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February 1, 2011 5:52 AM   Subscribe

High-def twilight landing at LAX

From the author's comments: "The video is sped up to somewhere between Mach 1 and Mach 2 (depending on actual airspeed about 8X). The original idea was to a) compress a 30 minute approach into three minutes; and b) to see what it would look like if you you were riding on the back of a cruise missile."

The same, in real time, with no music.
posted by BeerFilter (72 comments total) 38 users marked this as a favorite

 
Awesome.

However, I'm worried about myself because I clicked on the link before I was 100% sure it wasn't about vampires.
posted by chillmost at 6:03 AM on February 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


Ditto--Awesome.

I am confident that I could take the throttle myself based on my performance landing jets in GTA San Andreas, which--let's be honest--is pretty much the same.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 6:06 AM on February 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


LA is ... structured.
posted by klue at 6:08 AM on February 1, 2011


That was gorgeous.
posted by rtha at 6:11 AM on February 1, 2011


That was great but I can't help but think that the runway would be more obvious if it didn't have any lights at all.
posted by vbfg at 6:14 AM on February 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


When I flew into LA on April 30, 1992, we took the ocean approach.
posted by MrMoonPie at 6:17 AM on February 1, 2011


Wow, thanks!
posted by heyho at 6:18 AM on February 1, 2011


That's HD?
posted by elpapacito at 6:22 AM on February 1, 2011


I kept looking for the Tyrell Building while I was watching it.
posted by octothorpe at 6:31 AM on February 1, 2011 [6 favorites]


"what it would look like if you you were riding on the back of a cruise missile."

Also known as the Slim Pickens view.
posted by three blind mice at 6:34 AM on February 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


That's HD?

Choose 720p (HD) on the right side of the YouTube menu bar.
posted by ericb at 6:49 AM on February 1, 2011


I kept looking for the Tyrell Building while I was watching it.

I kept hoping for the Philip Glass music.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:03 AM on February 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


Is it normal for planes to follow such a complicated, circuitous route all over the city before approaching the runway? Is that what "SADDE Six Arrival" refers to?
posted by Western Infidels at 7:08 AM on February 1, 2011


Hey, at least I didn't enlist the music of Creed or Nickelback! Then I would be a douchebag
The artist discusses his choice of musical accompaniment.
posted by dougrayrankin at 7:14 AM on February 1, 2011


At 1:40 it looks like he flies directly over another airport — is that SMC or is it actually a railyard or something else that I'm just mistaking for a runway? It seems a bit surprising that ATC would put him right over another airport like that, although maybe the altitude is higher than it seems from the video.
posted by Kadin2048 at 7:23 AM on February 1, 2011


Air routes frequently pass over airports. The planes going to and from the airport are taking off and landing, leaving clear airspace directly overhead.
posted by procrastination at 7:26 AM on February 1, 2011


Is it normal for planes to follow such a complicated, circuitous route all over the city before approaching the runway? Is that what "SADDE Six Arrival" refers to?

Yep; here's a diagram of it. SADDE is the intersection near Malibu where two different airways intersect before they start the final LAX approach. I'm not sure what the Six means. They fly all the way over the city because the wind is usually blowing in from the ocean, and take-offs and landings are always into the wind.

At 1:40 it looks like he flies directly over another airport — is that SMC or is it actually a railyard or something else that I'm just mistaking for a runway?

Looks like the Hobart Railyard.
posted by jackflaps at 7:30 AM on February 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Also here is an (old) SADDE Six arrival chart; it doesn't show any landmarks so I don't know if the video follows it exactly. My understanding from pilot friends that I've talked to is that the air traffic controllers use the planned approaches but can move planes off of them depending on traffic.

In the narrative section of the chart, it talks about "VORTAC" stations, which are these. If you live near an airport you've probably seen them on the ground. It's quite an interesting system.
posted by Kadin2048 at 7:31 AM on February 1, 2011


I kept hoping for the Philip Glass music.

Vangelis.
posted by rusty at 7:37 AM on February 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


Is that what "SADDE Six Arrival" refers to?

Heavily trafficked airports like LAX usually have arrival and departure procedures that standardize incoming and outgoing traffic patterns, called SIDs (DPs, now, I think) and STARs. This is the SADDE Six arrival procedure. These were developed before GPS was readily available, so by necessity they often have airplanes hopping from one ground-based radio station to another, hence the circuitous route. They're also usually designed to avoid densely populated areas if possible.

I can't help but think that the runway would be more obvious if it didn't have any lights at all.

Yes and no. Big dark patch on the ground does mean that there's no development there, but it would be difficult to discern, say, the runway versus the large patch of grass right next to it. Or the other runway parallel to it, that another airplane is landing on. In the countryside, that big dark patch could be a field - great if you're in an emergency - or it could be a forest.

Things that will help you find the landing strip in the dark-

Runway Edge Lighting are, you guessed it, located on the edge of the runway. They have bi-directional colored covers on them, so the first half of the runway is white and the second half is red to give you a rough idea of how much runway you have left.

REILs - Runway End Indicator Lights - are two flashing strobes to mark the beginning of the runway. They are BRIGHT if you're within, say, five miles of the airport.

Approach Lights are usually associated with runways that have Instrument Landing Systems. They look a bit like a crucifix with several cross-bars. The centerline lights strobe in succession, so all you have to do is follow the strobe track in to the runway.

To find the airport in the first place, most have beacons - alternating white and green indicated a lighted land airport.
posted by backseatpilot at 7:41 AM on February 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


So I scrolled past this two or three times completely convinced that the link said "herf derf twilight landing."

uh just thought you all should know that.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 7:52 AM on February 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Spotting an airport in a city at night is often very difficult. They're typically the darkest thing around. No big deal when you're flying an arrival with a GPS and autopilot doing the navigation, but if you're just toodling around in a little plane it's not uncommon to be just a few miles from the airport before you see it.
posted by Nelson at 7:53 AM on February 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


The route wasn't that circuitous. The flight came down from the north, headed east to get enough space for a final approach, then turned back west to land. (Landing direction is determined by the wind.) The object at 1:40 is definitely not an airport; there are no runways.

LAX approaches are also not the most exciting, but they are pretty. There are some videos of the Canarsie approach to JFK, which requires the pilot to hand-fly based on visual markers on the ground ("Turn right after the two white tanks", e.g.). This landing at Tegucigalpa is pretty good.
posted by kiltedtaco at 7:57 AM on February 1, 2011


So that's what the terrorists would see if they hit LAX with a cruise missle?
posted by blue_beetle at 7:58 AM on February 1, 2011


Cool? Yes.

Safe and smart? No.

Fly the figgen plane, not take videos/text people.

People never learn.
posted by stormpooper at 8:02 AM on February 1, 2011


I kept wanting surface-to-air missiles to fly by. What is wrong with me?
posted by sexymofo at 8:06 AM on February 1, 2011


My favorite part was how fast they were able to reenter the atmosphere after being in such a high orbit above Earth. This does not diminish my hatred for LAX in the slightest, however.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:06 AM on February 1, 2011


I see Palmdale is marked/referenced on the approach charts.

As a frequent traveller from the north, Palmdale owns a way larger mind share than it warrants, every single approach into So-Cal involves a a Palmdale waypoint. "Today on our way into the LA area, we'll cross Carter Lake, Reno and Palmdale." Palmdale, wtf is Palmdale?

It seems to be an arbitrary collection point for inbound LAX traffic.
posted by Keith Talent at 8:07 AM on February 1, 2011


2:35, spotted my favorite in-n-out, right at the beginning of the runway. feels great to get a greasy burger and a shake after a long flight, kick back, and watch huge planes land 50ft over your head
posted by Mach5 at 8:08 AM on February 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


For those wondering -- the chart for the SADDE 6 STAR. (map, description, both PDF.) STAR is "Standard Terminal Arrival Route" -- set routes for incoming aircraft to fly. STARs don't take you all the way into an airport. They take you to a fixed point, where you're vectored into the approaches they're flying -- in this case, to the ILS localizer of 24R. In this case, it appears they're flying the Palmdale transition (which would be encoded as PMD.SADDE6 on the route.

Here's the description as written.

PMD.SADDE6: From over PMD VORTAC via PMD R-251 and FIM R-347 to FIM VORTAC, then via FIM-R 148 to SADDE INT. Thence...from over SADDE INT via SMO R-261 to SMO VOR/DME, then via SMO R-068 to SMO 9 DME for Runways 24 and 25. FROM SMO 9 DME expect vector to final approach course for Los Angeles Intl Airport.

Here's it in English.

The route takes him to the Palmdale VOR, they flight at 9500' at 251 degrees until they reach the IWMIB intersection, which is defined by the 251 degree radial of the PMD VOR, and the 347 degree radial of the Filmore (FIM) radial. There, they turn south, fly 167 to FIM itself, then descend to 5000 and fly 148 degrees to the SADDE intersection (defined by radials from the Filmore, Ventura (VTU) and Santa Monica (SMO) VORs. From there (or, as they like to say in the descriptions, thence....) they turn left, flight at 500 at 081 to the Santa Monica VOR, then at 068 to the JAVSI nav point, which is defined as being 9 nautical miles out from SMO along the 068 radial.

At that point, the STAR ends. LAX Terminal Area Control will vector them to the correct Initial Approach Fixes for whichever runway they're going to land on. Once they hit the IAF and have the airport in sight or establish on the ILS, they're then turned over to LAX Tower for the actual landing. Once they land and leave the runway, LAX Ground taxis them to the ramp. Given how busy ConUnited is at LAX, they almost certainly have a Ramp Control, so LAX Ground would turn the plane over to the airline ramp controller, who brings them close to gate 68A, and Some Dude guides the plane to the final mark.

At 1:40 it looks like he flies directly over another airport — is that SMC

Yes -- well, technically, the IATA code for that airport is SMO (ICAO: KSMO). Note the SMO VOR/DME in the route description -- it's located at KSMO. They're flying over at 5000', the GA traffic is just kept below that until they're clear of the route. 5000' above an airport is a perfectly safe place to fly -- planes arriving and departing at the airport are much lower. It's along the runways that you have to watch out, and the reason that they fly another 9 miles out along the SMO 068 radial is to make sure they stay clear of the four approach paths for the runways at LAX. If you just turned south from SMO to get to 25L, you'd fly across the 25R, 24L and 24R approaches at pretty much the exactly wrong altitude.

So, they go west a good ways. Planes heading to 24R will make a pretty quick set of turns from SMO 9 DME to reach the approach, plane landing on 25L will make a wide set of turns.

LAX has been experimenting with a different style of approach, called continuous descent approaches. Rather than the slow, stair-step descent of a normal approach, these start much further out, and much higher, and the a/c just slowly descends the whole way. The 25L CD-ILS starts 48.5 miles out from LAX, at RIIVR (I-LAX 48.5 DME) at 10000, and the descent starts at 41 miles out. You then basically just descend all the way to landing. There are various fixes along the way that you use to check the descent -- as long as you're not below them, you won't hit a mountain.

These approaches are a lot easier on fuel and time -- no zig-zagging around the sky, no holding speeds at low altitudes. Here's the ILS/LOC 25L LAX (pdf) chart. There are two approaches. The conventional starts at ILF, the Seal Beach VORTAC, in the lower center of the map. You fly north (335) at 500' to GAATE, then turn onto the localizer and land.

The CD approach starts in the far right, at the RIIVR IAF, at 10000 feet. You then just flight 249 degrees and descend to land. You want to still be at 10000 at KRAIN, 9000 at TAROC, and so forth. When you reach GATTE, both approaches are now the same -- you descend until you fully establish at LIMMA, 7.4 miles out from the threshold, and fly the ILS to landing.
posted by eriko at 8:08 AM on February 1, 2011 [15 favorites]


stormpooper, your comment out of line. As the pilot himself notes, "the camera was mounted via a small tripod with velcro out of our way and line of site. Ultrapod I think it's called. Nothing fancy." In what way could having a camera running out of the way, automatically on record, be a danger? And why do you know better than the pilot?

Keith Talent, the Palmdale VOR is a very common waypoint when flying around Southern California. It's a big radio beacon in just the right place that everyone navigates by, just to the north of the LA Basin in Lancaster, CA, in the Mojave. I've flown over it more times than I care to count; in a little plane there's only a few ways to get out of California over/through the mountains and Palmdale is often the most convenient route.
posted by Nelson at 8:14 AM on February 1, 2011 [5 favorites]


That reminds me of a completely different type of night flight.
posted by eschatfische at 8:16 AM on February 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Cool? Yes.

Safe and smart? No.

Fly the figgen plane, not take videos/text people.


That camera was clearly mounted to the plane. I don't think he/she was holding it while flying the plane.
posted by reformedjerk at 8:17 AM on February 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


I love flying into LAX at night. If you are coming from due east, you'll pretty much fly parallel to Route 10 all the way in, over the LA hinterlands. It's a massive sprawl of lights as far as you can see. It's huge.

But you can't beat Burbank for getting out of the airport afterwards! Or Long Beach, or John Wayne...
posted by Xoebe at 8:19 AM on February 1, 2011


Fly the figgen plane, not take videos/text people.

That camera was clearly mounted to the plane. I don't think he/she was holding it while flying the plane.


I'm pretty sure that was a joke.
posted by octothorpe at 8:31 AM on February 1, 2011


What was with the siren when it flew over Watts? That seemed added in to me. And if so, is offensive.
posted by shoesietart at 8:31 AM on February 1, 2011


@Nelson, why is it harsh when not paying attention pilot error can and has < ahref="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northwest_Airlines_Flight_255">caused accidents? I'm not saying that they were holding it going "woo hoo" but wouldn't you want someone to fly rather than dashboarding a camera?
posted by stormpooper at 8:35 AM on February 1, 2011


What was with the siren when it flew over Watts? That seemed added in to me. And if so, is offensive.


I've heard that on other cockpit videos. It's a ground proximity warning of some kind (don't know the real name for it, but that's the gist of it). It wasn't added in - it's actual cockpit audio.
posted by deadmessenger at 8:39 AM on February 1, 2011


I've wondered what the In-N-Out on Sepulveda looks like on approach. It's a great place to go get your In-N-Out fix while in town: close to the airport and one of the best planespotting spots in the city. You can see it in the bottom right corner of the screen at 2:34.
posted by joedan at 8:44 AM on February 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


I kept hoping for the Philip Glass music.

Vangelis.


No, I don't think so.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:45 AM on February 1, 2011


@stormtrooper – From your Wikipedia link:

"The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the accident was the flightcrew's failure to use the taxi checklist to ensure the flaps and slats were extended for takeoff. Contributing to the accident was the absence of electrical power to the airplane takeoff warning system which thus did not warn the flightcrew that the airplane was not configured properly for takeoff. The reason for the absence of electrical power could not be determined."

This has nothing, or very little to do with pilot attention, especially when said video camera was never touched during the flight. I think we have more to worry about the pilot thinking about swiss cheese than touching/playing with the passively-mounted camera.

Also, I liked the choice of music. But then again I am a degenerate, so...
posted by kurosawa's pal at 8:45 AM on February 1, 2011


eriko, even with the translation, i still didn't get most of that, but that's not to say it was not one of the best comments i've ever read
posted by efalk at 8:45 AM on February 1, 2011


It's a ground proximity warning of some kind

Can't listen to the video's audio right now, but it's probably a marker beacon.
posted by backseatpilot at 8:49 AM on February 1, 2011


wouldn't you want someone to fly rather than dashboarding a camera?

Of course. But having a camera rolling out of view requiring no interaction is not a distraction. Mostly, I object to the idea that the pilot for this video was putting his passengers at risk, complete with links to non-sequitor fatal accidents. That's a very serious charge and I think entirely out of line.
posted by Nelson at 8:49 AM on February 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


What was with the siren when it flew over Watts?

I thought it was part of the soundtrack; if not then yeah, I guess it's offensive.

In regards to airports, I've flown into some tricky ones like La Guardia, John Wayne and Galway, but Juan Santamaria in San Jose, Costa Rica was my favorite. See people waving to you from above while you cruise by through a volcanic valley at 150 knots. I have yet to fly into Tegus, and hopefully I'll never have to, but can imagine that any airport in Central America can be hairy.
posted by jsavimbi at 8:53 AM on February 1, 2011


But... but... but.. if there are reflections of ground lights off the _top_ of the nose, doesn't that mean the aircraft is... you know... UPSIDE DOWN???!!
posted by Mike D at 8:59 AM on February 1, 2011


That's a very serious charge and I think entirely out of line.

So is he going to spank me or something?

@Kurosawa, what I was trying to find was the air crash that was caused by pilot error because they were too busy messing around with the flight attendant/flirting and joking rather than stay on track with their flight check--aka being distracted. If I picked the wrong crash, my fault.
posted by stormpooper at 9:04 AM on February 1, 2011


>That camera was clearly mounted to the plane.

Not sure how "clearly". You did notice the top of the yoke in the image, right?
posted by spock at 9:05 AM on February 1, 2011


I've wondered what the In-N-Out on Sepulveda looks like on approach. It's a great place to go get your In-N-Out fix while in town: close to the airport and one of the best planespotting spots in the city.
posted by joedan


Agreed. Plane spotting is essentially pointless, unless your are outside on an eighty degree day at In"N"Out with the planes so close it feels like you could touch them. It's a quintessential LA experience. And you don't need to buy any shitty food in the terminal. Looking at your here Wolfgang.
posted by Keith Talent at 9:07 AM on February 1, 2011


Oh, this isn't an HD video of a plane landing on top of the cast of Twilight? Eh.
posted by FatherDagon at 9:13 AM on February 1, 2011


Unless I remember wrong, any civil aviation has to fly directly OVER LAX, on the north-south axis, in order to travel in the LA area. Directly above the airport is where there would be the least commercial traffic.

When I was a kid, a neighbor took me flying once, and that seems to be how we did it.

Is that still correct?
posted by Danf at 9:34 AM on February 1, 2011


By civil aviation I meant private, small planes.
posted by Danf at 9:41 AM on February 1, 2011


@Kurosawa, what I was trying to find was the air crash that was caused by pilot error because they were too busy messing around with the flight attendant/flirting and joking rather than stay on track with their flight check--aka being distracted.

How is that even remotely analogous to a pilot pressing a button on a camera half an hour before the plane even lands?
posted by oneirodynia at 9:43 AM on February 1, 2011


Beautiful footage but if that's HD, I'm glad I never made the jump to Blu-Ray.
posted by dobbs at 9:48 AM on February 1, 2011


Nope, never mind, definitely a siren. Sounds like part of the soundtrack, to my ear.
posted by backseatpilot at 9:52 AM on February 1, 2011


> Beautiful footage but if that's HD, I'm glad I never made the jump to Blu-Ray.

There's really no comparing an actual Blu-Ray or 1080p TV to the YouTube's 720p.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:57 AM on February 1, 2011


Wow "Snowgasm 2011" put people in a bad mood. Have your pilot take pictures, video, texting, Twittering, Facebooking, and Tosh.0ing. I'm going on the Metra home where conductors fart and cause noxious fumes to kill the passengers.

Sheesh.
posted by stormpooper at 9:57 AM on February 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Trying to answer my own question, up there. . .more info than I can digest, in PPT, but very interesting.
posted by Danf at 9:57 AM on February 1, 2011


Not sure how "clearly". You did notice the top of the yoke in the image, right?

I think that was a pitot tube.
posted by Long Way To Go at 9:59 AM on February 1, 2011


I cheated; I found this was an airline thread and immediately text searched for eriko. If it wasn't for a simple case of RED/GREEN I think I would be an air bus driver.... I'm too fascinated by this stuff.
posted by cavalier at 10:06 AM on February 1, 2011


They seem to have figured out how to make the most generic indie-rock ever; to distill a sort of refined essence of homogenised angular cool that makes one long for the rough-hewn authenticity of The Killers.
posted by acb at 10:11 AM on February 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Danf, you're thinking of the Los Angeles Special Flight Rules Area (map); you can fly VFR on a very specific line over LAX at 3500' or 4500' without a clearance. It's basically a hole poked through the LAX airspace for general aviation, I think mostly for the convenience of the air traffic controllers. Generally when flying near the Bravo airspace near a big airport you have to be talking to ATC and they keep you out of the way, often right over airports. The LA SFRA lets pilots cross over the LAX airspace without even talking to ATC. LA also has other well known routes that are mentioned in the AOPA article linked above. It's a complicated place to fly.

While we're posting, here's a straight down aerial video over San Francisco. The perspective looks quite low, but that may just be a trick of the lens. The legal requirement is 1000' above the tallest obstacle.
posted by Nelson at 11:00 AM on February 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


Also related, here's a 3d Sketchup model of LAX airspace. If you rotate the 3d view you can see the little hole in it; that's SFRA.
posted by Nelson at 11:03 AM on February 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


eriko, even with the translation, i still didn't get most of that, but that's not to say it was not one of the best comments i've ever read

(blush)

Okay. Navigation in the air is currently by waypoints. There are three main classes.

1) Beacons. In modern day flight, this means some variation of VOR. Expanding the name won't help you to understand them, so I won't. VORs broadcast a signal that tells you what direction you are currently at from the beacon. These are called "radials", and are numbered in degrees. Radial 000 will point to magnetic north at the beacon, unless magnetic north is hard to read, in which case, they'll point true north. Radial 090 is East, 180 South, and 270 west.

The trick that makes VORs so useful is the radials. It doesn't matter what direction *you* are flying, the radials are static. NDBs -- Non Directional Beacons -- need the aircraft to have an antenna system capable of direction finding. Modern aircraft have ADF -- Automatic Direction Finding -- but the accuracy is limited by the small antennas used and the amount of metal present. On the aircraft, the only antenna you need is an omnidirectional one, and signal strength doesn't affect the ability for the navaid to work -- basically, an NDB depends on the clever bits being on the plane, and a VOR depends on the clever bits being on the ground.

There are three main variants. Normal VORs (rare, nowadays), VOR-DME (VORs with Distance Measuring Equipment, which means you can tell both how far* and in what direction you are from the beacon -- allowing one VOR to give you your position. VORTACs included the military TACAN navigation beacon as well, and are also DME equipped. There's a new Doppler version as well that's even more accurate.

There are still NDBs around, usually as fix markers, but we'll elide them for now.

VORs are identified by three letter codes -- so SMO and VTU, above, are VOR beacons. Airports are also three letter codes, but you won't have a VOR and an airport with the same identifier unless they're either in the same place, or the VOR is very far away so confusion can't occur.

2) Intersections. There are only so many VOR beacons you can run. You may want more flexibility in routing. What you can do is make an intersection. This occurs in the arrival I posted above -- the IWMIB intersection is created by the intersection of the 251° radial from the Palmdale VORTAC and the 347° radial from the Filmore VORTAC. The old school way to put your plane at this point would be to have two VOR receivers. You'd set one to the Palmdale VORTAC, and fly out from it on the 251 radial. The second you set to the Filmore VORTAC, and you tell it that you're flying on the 347 radial. You aren't, of course, but you tell the 2nd VOR receiver that you were. Then you keep flying along PMD 251 until the needle on the 2nd VOR receiver hits the center, telling you that your are on the FIM 347 radial. When that happens, you are at the IWMIB intersection. Intersections are identified by five characters -- thus IWMIB and SADDE are both Intersections, and charts will have the lines drawn to show you what beacons they're created from.

3) Declared Waypoints. With GPS, we can now arbitrarily declare waypoints in the sky without needing VOR beacons. Basically, you just say that this spot is now a waypoint. If you don't have some way of knowing that (read, GPS or INS) then you can't use that waypoint. Thus, routes using those waypoints are called RNAV routes, and if you don't have RNAV (Remote Navigation) then you can't fly them. These are also identified by five characters.

Routes, then, are flown along radials between waypoints.

Note well: Radials are independent of which direction you are flying. When I'm flying to the FIM VORTAC along the 347 radial, I'm actually flying south -- on a heading of 168 degrees. When I reach it and fly out along the 148 radial, I'm then flying a heading of 148 degrees.

This is important enough that there's a to/from flag on the VOR receiver's instrument. If I've set 090 on the VOR's instrument, and the needle is center, it tells me that I'm on the 090 radial. If the To flag is visible, it means I'm moving towards the VOR, thus, if I'm flying along the radial, I'm flying at a heading of 270 degrees, and I'm moving towards the beacon. If the From flag is visible, it means I'm flying a heading of 090, and I'm moving away from the beacon.

So, our jet here flew in along some route that put him at the Palmdale VOR, then he flew a standard arrival pattern from PMD -- fly 251 from PMD to the IWMIB intersection, turn left and fly to the FIM VORTAC on the FIM 347 radial, then turn left just a bit and fly out along the FIM 148 radial until you reach the SADDE intersection, then another left, flying to the SMO VOR/DME on the 261 radial until you reached it, then a slight jog to the left, and you fly out from the SMO VOR/DME along the 068 radial until your DME reads 9.0 miles -- at that point, you've reached the end of the arrival route, and LAX Terminal will tell you what direction to fly, and at what speed, to get to the runway you've been assigned. In reality, that direction may come before you finish the route -- the TRACON (terminal radar control) knows where you are and basically says "abandon the STAR, fly this heading from your current position."


* Note: This distance is called the slant range -- it is the distance between the airplane in flight and the beacon on the ground. It is *not* the distance between the airplane's position over the ground and the beacon, because the signal has to travel up to the plane as well as out to it.
posted by eriko at 11:57 AM on February 1, 2011 [5 favorites]


Nelson, thanks. The PPT presentation I cited covers that, as well as other stuff about general aviation in LA. Really interesting.
posted by Danf at 1:24 PM on February 1, 2011


2:35, spotted my favorite in-n-out, right at the beginning of the runway.

Over on Radford. Those are good burgers, Walter.
posted by Cheminatrix at 5:27 PM on February 1, 2011


There's really no comparing an actual Blu-Ray or 1080p TV to the YouTube's 720p.

Well, I can compare it --- BluRay is about 25x the bitrate of YT 720p :)

(YT 720p is 2Mbps, Blu-Ray tops out around 54Mbps).

And of course the uploaded footage may even be lower than 2Mbps. The only qualification for being 720p or 1080p on YouTube is having a vertical resolution of (wait for it...) 720 or 1080.
posted by wildcrdj at 5:28 PM on February 1, 2011


frikkin fantastic. cool music and nice banking.
posted by clavdivs at 8:49 PM on February 1, 2011


So glad I clicked on that. And I'm pretty sure those are added sirens over Watts and in LAX when the ambulances (?) drove by.
posted by Defenestrator at 12:17 AM on February 2, 2011


I've landed on the ocean approach (eastbound) at night.

Coming from the north, at first it is similar to the posted video, flying south over the Santa Monica mountains near Agoura. A similar left turn, sinking lower and lower toward the black well of the Pacific, while moving closer toward that bright edge of the sea of lights in the Los Angeles basin. LAX is on that edge near Marina Del Rey. The aircraft, flying over the dark ocean, sinks toward the edge to meet the west end of the runway.

The uncanny feeling is of just making it to that edge for landing instead of missing it and flying underneath the plane of lights.
posted by lathrop at 3:03 PM on February 2, 2011


ricochet biscuit: Your quoting the comment about the Tyrell Building made me think you were talking about the opening scene of Bladerunner, which is what this suggested to my mind too. And the music for that was Vangelis. Looks like we just crossed up our references.
posted by rusty at 6:29 AM on February 3, 2011


The original video was deleted, but you can see it in standard definition here or in HD (but with a different soundtrack) here.
posted by Rhaomi at 3:58 PM on February 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


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