31st Jan 2004, 20:48
I was wondering how many airlines have a fuel policy of being allowed to use your div fuel to hold at destination ?
I know of one major UK airline that allows this, under a few criterion like : Delay must be know; must land with reserves; landing must be assured with one plausible failure ......
I do sometimes wonder the 'ethics' of this ..... numerous events can close your destination whilst holding, ie. WX, security, blocked runways etc .... you are then left with a/c in 'no mans land' ...... it obviously suits airlines to use such a policy to cut down on tankered fuel and accept the 'odd fuel mayday' will occur, BUT their are senarious when the crew are left with no where to go ...... and on their heads be it !
Is this policy ethical and how many other UK airlines adopt this policy ?
31st Jan 2004, 21:46
This has been discussed many times on PPRuNe and at great length.
Just two of the examples are here (www.pprune.org/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=50602) and here (www.pprune.org/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=69040)
noblues - as Cpt A says, well thrashed out before. It is 'enshrined' as an 'acceptable' procedure in JAROPS, so it should be JA you have a go at rather than any airline which (obviously) chooses to use JAR to save money? Captain's decision is, however, always final!
Right Way Up
1st Feb 2004, 03:38
What is the difference of landing with final reserve at destination or your alternate. It is still 1/2 hour fuel. And don't forget having diverted to your alternate, the aircraft ahead of you could have a mishap!
I witnessed an interesting event last month. I was holding at a destination which had forecast occasional light snow showers. This had turned into unforecast heavy snow.
The guy holding 1000 ft below me announced that he was down to minimum diversion fuel and was advised by ATC that the runway was being ploughed and "should be open soon". He decided to stay in the hold.
About 10 minutes later ATC announced that the runway was open but then gave a braking action of 23/12/14 with no improvement for 2 hours!
I was very grateful for the extra fuel that I had loaded and set off happily to my alternate. The chap beneath me was committed to making an approach. I hope he walked away from it. The airport was closed shortly afterwards.
Aviation is constantly full of surprises.
8th Feb 2004, 02:04
Interesting one, JW - thanks for posting it. A salutary example of the profound need never to reduce the number of your options to one. :uhoh:
13th Feb 2004, 23:58
and "should be open soon". In which case the airfield was closed, there was no EAT and the delay was unknown. In these circumstances it is not legal to burn your diversion fuel and you must divert when your fuel state gets to final reserve plus diversion.
17th Feb 2004, 18:39
Want another interresting one, happened to me at christmas.
In holding above destination, airport closed due to weather below minimum (cat II).
Alternate scheduled, is a rather near airport but on the other side of the mountains ridge where weather is cavok.
Plenty of fuel aboard, so I am discussing with company mangement, who want us to hold as long as possible expecting the weather to improve which in my opinion is unlikely.
ATC called us, alternate airport now closed, no parking position available anymore (due to the high number of diversion), what is your second alternate?
Here the alternate could still have been be used in emergency, the hell if I am stuck on the runway without parking in emergency, but that could as well have been: a guy IS stuck in the middle of the single runway!!
Happy to have fuel to go somewhere else much farther away....
Think about it before commiting yourself to ONE airport whatever it is your destination or alternate!!