Explanations and Answers - A Place For All Of Your Aviation Questions

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For example, (don’t mind the extremely great image quality) KLAX had it’s runways at a 249° bearing in April 2002 as seen on the approach plate.

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It has tried

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Oh wow, never heard of this before, interesting

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Minor correction here, pretty sure this is supposed to be Golf not gold.

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I got a question.

I heard somewhere that some aircraft are able to point the wheels on the main gear in the actually direction of movement rather than just forward. Is this true?

Here is a comparison to better understand what I mean. Imagine you are sliding on ice in a car. The car is sliding sideways, and you suddenly hit dry asphalt, and the car either rolls or skids. On an airplane, if the wheels on the main gear were always pointed forward in the same direction as the nose, then landing in a heavy crosswind where the crab angle would be high seems like something similar would happen.

Am I making sense? And if I am, does this really exist?

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Yes. The B-52 incorporated this in its design and this feature was classified for a number or years. It allowed them to expand their crosswind operating limits.

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In a crosswind touchdown, the aircraft should be moving straight down the runway, and so when the nose wheel is lowered, it should be pointed straight down the runway as well. You get a problem of course when you are moving in a direction different than where your nose wheel is pointed when it comes down to contact the runway.

So all this means you have to remove the crab before the nose wheel comes down (so that the nose wheel can remain straight, as the aircraft is moving straight down the runway).

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Yep, typo. My bad. Thanks for noticing!

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Nice, again I learned something.

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Very nice topic @Robertine! :)

So much useful information on this.

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Remember that the left wing has the red light and the right wing has the green. This is intended so at night, you can always tell which direction an aircraft is relative to you. This is beneficial to avoiding midair collision. Not sure how they do it in IF, but IRL if you’re behind an aircraft the nav lights will be white.

Remember that under VFR, pilots are responsible for their own separation from traffic and obstacles, while under IFR ATC ensures separation.

Be sure to include that these are updated every hour unless drastic weather changes occur. If a big change occurs you will see “SPECI” in the METAR.

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Good points, I’ll add some stuff :)

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One point of feedback, I think ETOPS stands for “engines turning or people swimming” haha. Jokes aside, great topic!

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RKSI and ZSPD are great examples as well

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I also didn’t know the details of that. Interesting.

The real world would be easier of course if magnet north was always the same as true north.

True north of course (and the other true directions) is rigidly defined by the location of the earth’s axis of rotation (where the poles are).

But magnetic north is what drove flying by instruments and so runways are magnetic rather than true direction.

And so the magnetic direction shift is a bit of a nuisance, and apparently the shift has accelerated in recent years.

I just thought it was interesting that the magnetic pole is also related to the rotation of the earth, but the rotating generator of that magnetic field, is the non solid core of the earth which happens to be a bit turbulently lumpy here and there making its field generation direction a bit wobbly.

Sometimes in the past the magnetic poles apparently reversed! That would be a runway assignment problem:)

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Amazing thread @Robertine!

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Every airport staff scrambling to go scrape off the runway numbers and replace them

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Thank you so much Ryman :)

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Does anyone have anything they’d like explained in the original post? The 11 explanations above are some of the most confusing ones I saw on various forums but if you have anything you’d like added, just let me know :)

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