View Full Version : Sunstate - Dash 8's - WX


Wheeler
2nd Mar 2003, 02:03
Had a really interesting pax ride down from Bundy to Brisbane. We took off (with a fair amount of tailwind) on our way, I think they said to FL170, being told the weather in Brisbane is not too good but not a problem. We get somewhere south of Maleney, aircraft takes sudden lurch to the east and we land at Maroochy. We sit on the apron for about 20 mins, engines running, passengers getting edgy (one even asked for permission to use his mobile - and got it) and then we hesitently taxi off, taking a backtrack to end up into wind this time, but pointing North. We then circle Maroochy, fairly low, and embark on what seemed to me to be fairly hairy scud-run dodging around cloud and staying visual (sort of) most of the way at (guessing) about 2000 ft. Although I loved it, one would have to admit this wasn't really popular with some of the pax, especially when we see Brisbane and take a pretty cool nosedive to get under the cloud - with, one has to say, a real humdinger of a landing as the finale.

My questions are this

Wouild we have been VFR on that last leg? If so, why? (I have to say, as a mere spamcan pilot, I would have elected to go IFR, even it it had taken longer.)

Would it be policy to land or hold when this happens? (Seems every time I have experienced this before, we go around in circles, nice and high in a clear patch, and then get vectored to the ILS or something?

What is the policy on holding fuel in these cases? (I don't recall seeing the plane refuelled in Bundy)

How much tailwind can one of the new bigger dashs take at a place like Bundy on a hot and very humid day? (Must admit, I dont really like that especially when us amateurs are all going around the other way! - not that they were at the time it has to be said.)



Hugh Jarse
2nd Mar 2003, 04:41
Wheeler, are you a journo or something? aircraft takes sudden lurch to the east or we hesitently taxi off, taking a backtrack to end up into wind this time, but pointing North or take a pretty cool nosedive to get under the cloud or fairly hairy scud-run dodging around cloud and staying visual (sort of) most of the way at (guessing) about 2000 ft. Would have to be reasonably flat terrain up there to avoid the GPWS going off.

Not saying that this happened, but perhaps there was some inflight malfunction which required a diversion to Maroochy in order for the crew to assess the situation on the ground and perhaps apply an MEL to continue in VMC to get you to your destination.

The Dash-8 can take off with 10kt of tailwind most of the time, and in certain circumstances can land with up to 20kt of tailwind in accordance with the Flight Manual Supplement. Sometimes it's better to takeoff (payload-wise) with a tailwind. A good example is Canberra on a hot day. It is regularly more favourable to take RWY 17 with a tailwind (and often we do it). Otherwise you might have to leave several PAX behind.

The policy on holding fuel is that you carry what ever is required in the FCOM plus contingency fuel. The Dash is good in the fact that under most circumstances we can carry a reasonable amount for "mum and the kids". Your crew on the day probably had round trip fuel and then some, hence no refuelling in Bundy. My personal policy (if it can fit) is round trip plus 30 mins on top of whatever's required. Most of the time you can do it (at least in the southern states). Saved my bacon a few times now, just like your crew probably did the other day.