I’ve just survived what may possibly have been the first tornado warning I’ve ever endured living in LA. And yes, I grew up here. I’m not quite sure why they’d bother doing that because none of us have any clue what we’re supposed to do if there’s a tornado nearby. It’s not like we have basements here.
I swear I’m not just hear to tell you about the weather. I’m actually trying to figure something out, so hopefully someone can enlighten me.
The airports here have been operating in reverse configurations all day today (eg landing over the ocean and taking off over land at LAX). Here at home on the west side of Long Beach, that means we can see landings heading to runway 12 instead of the usual departures from runway 30. You know what? This isn’t going to make sense to 99% of you. Let me throw down a map here. We live west of the airport.
Anyway, I was out walking the dog a little after 530p when I saw an Airborne Express 767 fly overhead lined up for runway 7L. He throttled up and ended up going around before landing on 12. This seemed really odd to me, because I’ve never seen a large jet operate on those smaller runways. I’ve only seen them on 12/30. So, I went back and listened to the tower archives on liveatc.net to see what was going on.
Here’s the conversation that occurred:
ABX1753: Tower, Abex1753 Heavy, we’re trying to get on runway 12 here
LGB Tower: Abex1753, Long Beach Tower, runway 12 cleared to land
ABX1753: Cleared to land runway 12, Abex1753
Then a couple minutes later . . .
ABX1753: Are we cleared to land runway 12?
LGB Tower: Abex1753 Heavy, you’re lined up for runway 7L right now
ABX1753: Ok, we’d like to go around for 1753
Needless to say, the tower cleared him to execute a missed approach, and that’s what I saw. Now I’ll get to the point . . . how the heck does that happen?!? Shouldn’t an aircraft know with which runway it’s lined up? I mean, even a simple compass could tell you that you’re lined up at heading 070. Can someone explain this?