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Tracon 2012 - A funny thing happened on the way to 25L


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So far I've done all of my time controlling KLAX and I've gotten a little complacent I must admit.  I've edited some of the SID's and STAR's to make minor corrections in altitudes or missed legs on a route and things normally flow quite smoothly.  Notice I said normally....I should have known better.



Session parameters - KLAX - Time 14:00 - 100% Approach Rwy 24R/25L, 50% Departure 24L/25R, realistic weather, Real Traffic addon.



It starts off nice and slow at first, UA18 is climbing out and although I know QFA93, SKW6123 are inbound they haven't been handed over as yet.  I'm casually re-arranging the menus, getting the zoom right on the scope and generally settling in for a few hours of fun.  And then it happens...I'm in the middle of giving an instruction to one of the flights when suddenly the runway centerlines switch!


I look over at the wind gauge and sure enough there is a 20 knot tailwind blowing down the runway centerline.  Approaching flights are going to have to land from the oceanside of LAX instead...


Oh boy.  Alright I say to myself, it's ok.  I don't have any flights cleared for approach, it's not too busy yet but I know I have a lot of planes incoming. 


Now I start re-routing the incoming flights..."QFA93 cleared direct to Waker"...I hear a burst of laughter from the kitchen as my wife hears me say "Whack her".  She also tends to giggle a bit when I vector flights to "SAD" as well.  Wow, the wind gauge is reading 38 knots almost due South now, glad I'm not landing in that crosswind. 


"SKW6123 cleared direct to Pevee"...ok, breathe, oops LAN600 is being handed over, what am I going to do with him?  He's way over by Riivr and expecting to land on 25L.  "LAN600 Radar Contact",  "LAN600 proceed direct Holtz".  I can just imagine a real pilot would answer "Holtz?  I'm going to LAX buddy not Santa Catalina!".  Oh well, I'll figure it out when he gets closer.  Oops better descend him to 10,000 before he gets too close to the Imper departure route.  Valujet 346 didn't make his turn and now he's late heading that way and will cross LAN600's track quite nicely for a conflict.


QFA93 is approaching the western boundary, I better turn him north, "QFA93 proceed direct Nancy" I say rather breathlessly.  His answer? "Negative".  "QFA93 proceed direct Nance"...answer "Negative".  "QFA93 proceed direct Timse", thank goodness he takes that one.  Whew!  Ok, note to self, find out the correct pronunciation for NAANC.  Whoops, I have to clear him for landing...uh oh...I don't know what runways are used for ocean approaches!  Agh!  Desperately I radio QFA93 who must figure I'm having a nervous breakdown "QFA93 cleared visual approach runway 7L", answer "Negative".  Then I try 7R, 6L, 6R, all are rejected...he's almost crossing the centerline now.  Ooops, forgot to ask if he can see the airport, that's why he won't accept any clearances to land.  Eventually, I figured out that it was runway 06L and 07R and that you had to pronounce that leading 0.


More departures, more arrivals are being handed over.  Some departures aren't following their departure routes but are just flying heading 070 forever.  Oh well, things are settling into a routine as I re-route flights for ocean approaches and start realizing which departure need help and which don't.  I'm still somewhat rattled from the sudden change and it's a relief when I hear my wife call out that supper is ready.  When I sit down she asks what's happening because it sounded like I was getting a little frantic there for a bit.  I briefly explain the wind change and she rolls her eyes and hands me my plate.  Air Traffic Controllers get no respect...


Oh well, still having fun and I didn't crash anyone yet...now what's the pronunciation for NAANC?  I'll have to Google that later.

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