Which runway to use when winds are given


Choosing the runway correctly is very important for a perfect departure and arrival. Sometimes this can be really confusing on how to choose the runway. To choose the runway, one should must learn how to decode a METAR. You can find it here


BENEFITS OF WINDS


Aircraft land and takeoff into the winds. Some of it’s benefits are -

  1. It gives the aircraft greater climb rate or steeper descend rate (as required).
  2. It allows the plane to stop as the headwinds act as breaks on the plane. This makes the brakes of the plane relax and avoids overheating of the brakes.

CHOOSING THE RUNWAY


  1. If ATC is available, they would guide you to the suitable runway which is feasible considering traffic and weather.

  2. Runway to be used can be determined with the help of heading of winds. You can use the simple formula :
    | HEADING OF WINDS - 180° | = YOUR APPROACH HEADING
    Now you can use the runway which suits to your approach heading and the airport.

APPROACH HEADING OF THE RUNWAY TO BE USED = | YOUR APPROACH HEADING ± 90° |

( | | → this sign indicates modulus )

For better understanding, refer to the example below.


EXAMPLE OF RUNWAY CHOOSING


Let us consider an example of VIDP runway 27/09. Look at the METAR reading below :

Metar 2

It shows that the winds are heading at 130° (magnetic) at 4 knots. So we can make a simple diagram out of it as shown below :

Now applying the formula above :

→ | HEADING OF WINDS - 180° | = YOUR APPROACH HEADING
→ |130° - 180°| = 50°
So 50° should be my final approach heading in order to convert the wind into headwinds. But, VIDP does not have runway 05.
Now,
→| 50° ± 90° | = 40° to 140°

The above calculation shows that I can have my final heading anywhere between 40° and 140°. Now at VIDP I am available with runway 09 which has final magnetic heading of 90°.

So we can land on runway 09 at VIDP with the given METAR.


EXCEPTIONS


There are some exceptions where you are allowed to land with tail wind. Some are :

  1. ATC can use runway with tailwind in case of traffic. But if wind speeds exceed maximum allowed speeds, they will change the runway.

  2. When crosswind component, including gusts, exceeds 15KT (28km/h), or the tailwind component, including gusts, exceed 5kt (9km/h), the pilot have to change the runway.


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Great work!

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Thanks for the info

Really this helped 👍👍

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Yeah and the runway thing.

  1. If ATC is available, they would guide you to the suitable runway which is feasible considering traffic and weather.
  2. Runway to be used can be determined with the help of heading of winds. You can use the simple formula :
    | HEADING OF WINDS - 180° | = YOUR APPROACH HEADING
    Now you can use the runway which suits to your approach heading and the airport.

APPROACH HEADING OF THE RUNWAY TO BE USED = | YOUR APPROACH HEADING ± 90° |

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Thanks mate !

Thanks. I am glad that it helped you :)``

Awesome content,great job .Keep it up

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Thanks buddy !

Good post again, nice. Keep it up!

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Thanks… helped alot

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Anytime mate ! 😊

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Ok so if winds are 100 degrees I will be landing on RWY 10?

Hey @Patrick_McCormack,

Applying the formulas given above :

|100° - 180°| = 80° = Your final approach heading
Heading of Landing runways > |80° ± 90°| = 170° or 10°

So according to your above calculations you can land on any runway between 01 and 17 as per availability of the airport.

Note - A runway with heading of 10° is runway 01 not 10. You can check it here.

Hope this helped you 😉

@Raveesh… Pls see my PM.
Max

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By looking at this compass, if the heading of the winds were 130 as u put in ur example, can we just determine that the winds are coming from the southeast? Is this another way of checking which way the winds are coming from and what runway should be in use? @Raveesh
image

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Sure ! This is also a simple and best way to determine. Unfortunately not everyone has a compass. If you have it’s diagram, you can use it 😉

Thanks for sharing @Vignesh_S

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Sure thing!

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Some airports like Sarajevo or Florence always use the same runway for takeoff and landings due to terrain. For example, at Sarajevo they use 12 for landings and 30 for departures. In this case you just gotta deal with the tailwind if there is one (I landed with 25kts once 😬).

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Yeah ! I have landed at Sarajevo IRL with a huge tailwind. It was a nightmare for me 😱. Super bumpy approach

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Useful, but ima still eye ball it, I never read the METAR like never, ATIS yes, METAR nah

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