John Wayne Airport is only 15 – 20 – 30 or 60 minutes (depending on traffic) from my home. I pay more for a ticket from JWA than if I flew out of Los Angeles International. It’s worth every penny because I get more for my money. I want to share my ride with you. Buckle up!
“Steep takeoffs land JWA on ‘scariest airports’ list”
“John Wayne Airport is known for one of America’s most stomach-churning takeoffs, an abrupt, steep ascent which can make passengers feel like they are blasting into space.”
“The take-offs fly over one of the wealthiest cities in the United States, Newport Beach. Its mayor, Keith Curry, has stated that Newport was determined to reduce noise pollution. “We’ll do anything we can to reduce the impact.” (My guess is he has never flown out of JWA. He probably is chauffeured to Los Angeles International where he flies in a private jet)
Interviews and safety reports filed by pilots offer a glimpse into what sets John Wayne takeoffs apart.
“It starts on the runway, which is short compared to those at other Southern California airports. You hear the engines revving up before you start moving; that’s the pilot doing the airline equivalent of pushing the gas before easing off the brakes, to get a quicker start”.
“You feel the nose lifting up, and up, and up. Air carriers leave John Wayne at an angle of between 20 and 25 degrees, according to several accounts. That’s about twice as steep as the departure from other airports, often around 10 to 15 degrees”.
“The sharp departure gets air carriers higher, faster, over the homes below – and the airport noise sensors”. (the Newport Mayor smiles)
“Shortly after takeoff, you might feel a sudden sinking sensation. The pilot has just cut engine power by up to 15 percent, from the full blast of takeoff to the steady drive of the climb. The plane is still rising, just not as steeply as before – creating what retired commercial pilot Jim Dunlap called that momentary “light-in-the-seat” feeling”.
. . . . Your plane leaving John Wayne is still climbing at 15 degrees”.
“It will keep that up until it gets over the ocean (this is where the attendant TELLS you, that in the event of crashing into the beautiful blue waters of the Pacific, you need to dislodge the seat cushion and use it as a floatation device. I’ve never seen that DEMONSTRATED from an actual seat where you have to stand on the cushion to get in or out.) and away from the noise sensors, or until it’s high enough not to set off a violation with them”.
“From there, the departure procedure, that the website airfarewatchdog.com compared to a missile launch, should feel like any other flight (with the exception of grown men crying and women praying)
John Wayne Rides Again!!
By DOUG IRVING / THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER