What happened to the STACK?

gay_pilot18

New Member
When I was younger, I used to always read about something in the air traffic control system called "the stack". It was used for arriving planes into a terminal area.

Basically it was this: Airplanes were stacked for arrival in a circular holding pattern at all altitudes and would slowly make there way to the bottom of the stack and prepare for there arrival and eventual landing at a certain airport.

The stack could best be described as a large holding pattern for landing aircraft at airports.

Now I fly alot and I work at a Class B airport (CVG) and have flown to all the big class B airspaces. ATL,LAX,DFW,SEA,ORD,PHX etc.,etc. and I don't ever remember the aircraft flying in a large circular holding pattern in preparation for landing at any of these airports.

Also since I have started work on my Instrument Rating I'm learning that arriving into a terminal area is pretty much following a direct path.

Feeder Route, IAF,Initial Approach Segment, Intermediate Fix, FAF, Final Approach Segment, MAP (if necessary)

So I guess my question to you all is what happend to the Stack? Is it still used?

Everett


P.S. Doug thanks for freaking me out about regional/major airline ground school thats all I needed is something more to stress bout in my life...(lol)
 

MikeD

Administrator
Staff member
[ QUOTE ]

When I was younger, I used to always read about something in the air traffic control system called "the stack". It was used for arriving planes into a terminal area.

Basically it was this: Airplanes were stacked for arrival in a circular holding pattern at all altitudes and would slowly make there way to the bottom of the stack and prepare for there arrival and eventual landing at a certain airport.

The stack could best be described as a large holding pattern for landing aircraft at airports.

Now I fly alot and I work at a Class B airport (CVG) and have flown to all the big class B airspaces. ATL,LAX,DFW,SEA,ORD,PHX etc.,etc. and I don't ever remember the aircraft flying in a large circular holding pattern in preparation for landing at any of these airports.

Also since I have started work on my Instrument Rating I'm learning that arriving into a terminal area is pretty much following a direct path.

Feeder Route, IAF,Initial Approach Segment, Intermediate Fix, FAF, Final Approach Segment, MAP (if necessary)

So I guess my question to you all is what happend to the Stack? Is it still used?

Everett


P.S. Doug thanks for freaking me out about regional/major airline ground school thats all I needed is something more to stress bout in my life...(lol)



[/ QUOTE ]

In the days prior to flow-control measures, stacking/racking/packing planes was the norm. STARS should alleviate this, but I've still seen it used in areas under IFR where multiple planes are desiring to make approaches to a non-tower or tower but non-radar field where TRACON will only allow one IFR arrival into the control zone at a time until he calls on the ground.

In the military, it's also known as the "marshal" stack, where you marshall (hold) until your assigned "push" time.
 

Mr_Creepy

Well-Known Member
I've been "stacked" over Providence several times waiting to get in to Boston. You know how long your hold is going to be (approximately) by your initial altitude - basically 5 minutes for every 1000' over 10000'.
 

Joe

Well-Known Member
John - I see planes all the time "stacked" over my house... They come in from the west, loop around RI/southern New England once and fly back over but at a lower altitude and head for Boston to land. It was weird seeing it at night when there were several planes flying the same circle... I thought Mars was invading again or something.
 

I_Money

Moderator
It is the norm going into London Heathrow but I have not had to stack going into LAX in the longest time. Having to wait after 11 hours of flying is no fun!!
 
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