Re: Runway 32L Overrun

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Message posted by Peter Merlin (Member since 11/13/2003) on September 26, 2022 at 15:55:15 PST:

The lakebed runways (03-21 and 09-27) were first marked on the playa in the 1960s for emergency use and for landing when there were high crosswinds over the concrete runway. Originally, the approach ends of 03 and 09 formed an apex just north of the mid lake turnaround pad. In recent years, runway 03-21 has been moved south so that it now crosses 09-27.

According to the Area 51 Landing Area Rules (Standard Operating Procedure 50-3060-11):

When the surface wind velocity is less than 10 knots, the runway normally used as the 'calm wind' runway will be 32. When the surface wind velocity is 10 knots or more, the runway most aligned with the wind will be selected. When approved, takeoffs and landings [on the lakebed] should be made adjacent to either side of the marked runways to preserve the marked runway surface for aircraft landing under emergency conditions.

The asphalt extension of runway 32 out onto the lakebed was strictly intended for contingency use. It was not lighted for nighttime operations and was only to be considered as "remaining runway" during daylight hours. If a plane landing on runway 32 overshot the concrete and came to a stop on the asphalt, the pilot had to taxi all the way out to the mid lake turnaround pad before reversing course to return to the parking ramps.

In Reply to: Re: Runway 32L Overrun posted by Theran on September 26, 2022 at 14:58:04 PST:


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