Airliner Takeoff in Zurich
I was challenged last week by a client that wanted to fly an ultra long haul flight from a high altitude airport with a restrictive climb performance gradient. This may be all Greek to my readers so I’ll try to explain. Aircraft don’t preform as well at high altitudes as they do at sea level. The other factor was rising terrain and obstructions in the takeoff path. Under normal conditions this is not a problem but we always plan for the worst case which is loosing an engine on takeoff. The FAA publishes very rough and restrictive generic climb restrictions. These restrictions severely limit the allowable takeoff weight at these high altitude airports. For many years now airlines with large in-house engineering staff have designed and the FAA has approved alternate procedures(Aircraft Specific) to follow in the event of an engine failure on takeoff allowing them to carry more payload. A company called Aircraft Performance Group serves as the engineering team for small corporate operators allowing them to have their own procedures for these high altitude airports. APG procedures allow corporate operators to safely fly out of all airports with the piece of mind of knowing that they can safely depart even in the event of an engine failure.
APG is run by two of the nicest most accommodating people I have run across in a long time; Roger Hemphill and Mark Thelen. They have also placed a very educational video on the website that I highly recommend. APG Runway Analysis