Runway heading for 30 miles

Pro Member First Officer
michlin First Officer

I left Miami (KMIA), Rwy 30 on an IFR to St Maarten. ATC had me fly runway heading straight out for approvimately 30 miles before intructing me to do almost 180° heading back over KMIA and on towards St Maarten. I was actually made it to FL270 before ATC gave me my first heading change. Has anyone seen anything like this before?

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crosscheck9 Guest

This has never happened to me in the sim, but once, we were outbound from DFW service to Frankfurt in Lufthansa's A340, (not sure which series), and the pilot flew for about 7 minutes on runway heading. What type of route were you flying. It is possible that if you were flying anything other than GPS DIRECT, your first waypoint would have been straight ahead of you. Hope that helps. Maybe someone else will come up with a solution.

Pro Member First Officer
Andrew (AJWatson2209) First Officer

Leaving Paris last night Challs de Galls i was made to do a full circle! and then procede on course. Its probably something to do with traffic perhaps.

crosscheck9 Guest

Yes, I too had to circle the airport a few times before proceeding on course once. It's weird how the sim does that.

Pro Member First Officer
michlin First Officer

crosscheck9 wrote:

It is possible that if you were flying anything other than GPS DIRECT, your first waypoint would have been straight ahead of you. Hope that helps. Maybe someone else will come up with a solution.

It was GPS DIRECT. Maybe a program hiccup? 😕

Don Wood Guest

It may also have to do with the airport from which you are departing. 30 miles seems a bit extreme but there are many airports that either prohibit turns or require specific turns for some distance from the airport for noise abatement. For instance, at LAX, aircraft departing on the westerly runways are prohibited from making any turns until reaching the coast line. At John Wayne-Orange County, there is a noise reduction requirement to reduce power at the airport boundry and then make specific turns to follow a noise abatement path until over the ocean.

The standard airline departure there is to climb as rapidly as possible to the airport boundary, using extreme climb angles, so as to reach maximum possible altitude before making the power reduction. Airline pilots hate power reductions that close to the ground because, if they are to have an engine failure, it will most likely occur when power setting changes are made. If they have to have an engine failure, they would much prefer it occur prior to reaching V1 or after reaching cruise altitude.

Pro Member Captain
John Hodges (originalgrunge) Captain

Don Wood is right. When you're planning an airport departure, you usually have a set of waypoints to pick from that let you leave the airport's airspace pointing in the direction of your route. Actually getting to that part can be quite crazy sometimes. For instance, check out the charts for the LGA9 departure from LaGuardia airport here in New York:

and continued instructions here:

As you can see, you don't just depart, fly a few miles, and then proceed on course. In an airspace this busy you have to fly to a certain distance from the airport, and make very specific turns on your way out to get going! And this is all if there's no traffic conflicts on the way out. Flying out of Midway on VATSIM the other day, Chicago departure gave me a lot of vectors departing to keep me out of O'hare's traffic on approach!

I'm inclinded to think it wasn't a glitch (even though the sim may have a couple 😉 ) becasue the computer actually did remember you before sending you on your way. Although, sometimes sharp turns do confuse it very much....

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