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Why did the jet initially take a pass on landing at John Wayne Airport?

Q. Mr. Honk: On May 27 I was on a flight to John Wayne Airport. It was a 737 Max, and I was excited to have an experience with this marvelous airplane. During the flight from Denver, everything was going very well.  At about 7 p.m. during the approach to JWA, I was looking out the window and from what I could guess we had passed the I-5 Freeway and were descending normally. Then I noticed the aircraft started gaining altitude. We passed over the airport. My assumption was that because of Santa Ana winds, we were going to land from the other side of the airport. However, I was wrong. The plane did a complete go-around, for say 15 minutes, and used the usual approach that we had before. The airplane landed smoothly. I was curious as to what happened. I decided to ask the guru of transportation for the possible reason for this go-around.  Was there an obstruction on the runway, say a donkey, or, a software issue? I would appreciate you enlightening me.

– Mohsen Sharifi, Laguna Hills 

A. The guru of transportation, after Mohsen provided the name of the airline and the flight number, reached out to Ian Gregor, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration.

“The John Wayne control tower cleared Southwest to land,” Gregor said in an email. “About a minute later, the Southwest pilot radioed that he was going around because their approach was unstable. He did not provide any additional information, but generally speaking, an unstable approach can be due to speed, altitude, descent angle, winds, etc.

“Aircraft that go around fly standard go-around routes, and controllers issue them standard go-around instructions, which occurred in this case. It was a routine event.”

Brian Parrish, a Southwest Airlines spokesman, agreed that go-arounds are routine. He offered some specifics on your flight, Mohsen:

“The assigned flight path over the Santa Ana Mountains for this particular flight required the crew to remain at a higher altitude for an extend period of time,” he said in an email. “The crew elected a go around to allow for a more stabilized descent and normal approach to landing.”

Q. I recently had cataract surgery on both eyes with the trifocal lenses. This enables me to see with nearly perfect vision, distance and up close. My driver’s license has the corrective-lenses restriction. I no longer need corrective lenses. Do I need to go to the Department of Motor Vehicles to retake the vision test and change my driver’s license, or is proof of my new lenses sufficient for law enforcement if questioned?

– Bill Bell, Temple City

A. Yes, you need to head into the DMV, armed with a Report of Vision Examination, filled out by your optometrist or an ophthalmologist. It will show that you had surgery and detail your current degree of vision.

And, yes, you will need to take the vision test again, said Nicholas Filipas, a DMV spokesman in Sacramento.

Honkin’ fact: More than 140,000 people called home a van, a RV or a boat in 2019, before the pandemic hit, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. That was 38% more than three years earlier. Time Magazine, which cites the statistics, says the number of those living out of vehicles has grown during the pandemic.

To ask Honk questions, reach him at honk@ocregister.com. He only answers those that are published. To see Honk online: ocregister.com/tag/honk. Twitter: @OCRegisterHonk


Source: Orange County Register

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