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Astraeus B757

Old 21st Mar 2004, 16:05
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Question Astraeus B757

Rumour? Or News?
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Old 21st Mar 2004, 16:09
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Question or statement?
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Old 21st Mar 2004, 16:11
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"?" - Question!

Or to be more verbose, I hear a rumour that Astraeus are getting a B757 to operate to North America...any firm news?
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Old 21st Mar 2004, 16:22
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We are evaluating getting a 757. Not for North America.

H
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Old 21st Mar 2004, 17:05
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Thought the 73Gs were better for transatlantics anyway. Aren't the Deer Lake charters on -700s?
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Old 21st Mar 2004, 17:59
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Cool

It's all a balancing act of distance versus pax comfort versus airport capabilities versus costs versus functionality etc.

In a B737-700 you've got a max of 148 seats - but if you fill all of the seats then you typically can't fill the fuel tanks and ergo your range is reduced; and let's also not forget that B737-700 is still very much a B737, i.e. not many have IFE ( InFlight Entertainment ) and the onboard facilities ( i.e. the bogs & potable water ) are not really designed for flights pushing 7 hours with a full'ish load, and neither's the leg room.
That said the B737-700 are ‘cheap’ to run ( relatively speaking ), but cost a fortune to lease.

With a B757-200 you've typically got a max of 228 seats ( though some operators squeeze in a few more ).
Of course if you take out some of the seats - ergo reduce weight and thereby increase range - you can improve your passengers comfort / leg room for those long sectors and, with less than max pax the onboard, your 'services' are less likely to run-out. Plus many B757's already have IFE fitted ( so ditto on the passenger appeal ).
That said, B757’s are ‘cheap’ to lease ( relatively speaking ), but cost a fortune to run.

Then there's the fact that the a B737 has single main-gear bogies whilst the B757 has twin main-gear bogies and thus the B757 ( especially if configured with less than max pax ) is able to operate into airports where runway / taxiway pavement loadings are limiting – e.g. why else do you think that many Soviet aircraft have double or even triple bogie landing main landing gear ?! - as it provides a lighter footprint.

Of course, on the flip side, if your single B757 goes tech down route ( especially if it's a really remote location ) you've then got the hassle of how to rescue the bloomin' thing and pax therein – not easy when the rest of your fleet are B737’s; i.e. what you gonna do, send two 73’s, uhm ?!

So, somewhat as Hamrah says...... decisions, decisions !

Incidentally, from Gatwick to Deer Lake ( Canada ) is actually less far than it is from Gatwick to Aswan ( Egypt ) wherein the latter is a route we regularly operate, there & back in a day, with a -700 ( with block times typically 5'ish hours eastbound and 6'ish hours westbound ).
Accordingly there’s no reason that any trip to Deer Lake will be any different, i.e. there & back in a day – indeed it would actually be a shorter trip than an Aswan - and wherein the -700 doesn’t care if it happens to be over the North Atlantic and is more than capable of it.

Last edited by Puritan; 21st Mar 2004 at 19:19.
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Old 21st Mar 2004, 20:21
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I never thought of the 737 as a Transatlantic Aircraft but some can clearly have the range ...... does anyone else use them for this purpose ??? .....
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Old 21st Mar 2004, 20:39
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737 as a Transatlantic Aircraft .... does anyone else use them for this purpose
Yes, Lufthansa use a 737NG on a daily Munich to Newark flight, all fitted out as C class.

The longest stretch anywhere for a 737 though is Air Pacific which uses a standard 737-800 for a Vancouver-Honolulu-Fiji-Sydney flight, over 6,810 nm great circle. What must it be like in the back ?
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Old 21st Mar 2004, 20:50
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Puritan

Please forgive a little local (for me) digression but still relevant to the general subject.

I believe that Astraeus operates a weekly 737-700 inclusive tour flight from Bristol to Banjul in The Gambia. What would be the typical block times for that?

Many thanks.
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Old 21st Mar 2004, 23:42
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MV, according to our stats, the averaged times achieved for block-to-block ( i.e. brakes-off to brakes-on ) and / or flight ( i.e. takeoff to landing ), respectively, are in the region of :

Bristol - Banjul = 6:10 (block) / 5:55 (flt)
Banjul - Bristol = 5:45 (block) / 5:30 (flt)
Great circle route distance = 2381Nm

You might also be interested to know:

Gatwick - Aswan = 5:25 (block) / 5:00 (flt)
Aswan - Gatwick = 6:00 (block) / 5:40 (flt)
Great circle route distance = 2229Nm

Gatwick - Malabo ( Equatorial Guinea ) = 7:05 (block) / 6:45 (flt)
Malabo ( Equatorial Guinea ) - Gatwick = 7:10 (block) / 6:50 (flt)
Great circle route distance = 2879Nm

All the above stats are for B737-700 aircraft involving non-stop flights, i.e. no tech stops.

Ps. To put the above into some perspective - the great circle distance from Gatwick to Boston is 2843Nm ( i.e. ground distance wise, Malbo is further ).

And spare a though for us crews operating, say, Gatwick-Aswan-Gatwick; At the end of this two sector day - albeit with a mad-dash 45' turnaround in the middle - we will have flown just as far as an equivalent crew operating a single sector such as from (Eastbound) Gatwick to Madras, or (southbound) from Gatwick to Harare, or (westbound) from Gatwick to El Paso on the Texas / Mexico border; albeit that we end up back at Gatwick ( which can be and )

Yep, it's got long legs has a B737-700 !

Last edited by Puritan; 22nd Mar 2004 at 00:44.
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Old 22nd Mar 2004, 12:47
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Are B737 ETOPS approved then? Or do you fly North enough to be within range of Iceland/Greenland (315nm from memory for single-engine over water)?

Banjul surely isn't a day trip? 1 hour report, 11:55 block, and 45 min t/r takes you to 13:40...I thought 13:15 was the 2 sector limit. Either that, or a free tube of preparation H when you check in!!!

As to B757s going tech downroute...just get at least two of 'em!

NB: What's in Deer Lake?
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Old 22nd Mar 2004, 12:50
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IS THIS ANYTHING TO DO WITH THE DUBLIN THING???
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Old 22nd Mar 2004, 14:33
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Zulu,

My company did UK - BJL and back in day until this winter.
You can apply for a Level 2 Variation for a specific route. For this the flight crew must have 2 DO's before and after the flight. This adds 1 hour to the FDP making it 14.15. (It also reduces the max discretion from 3 hrs to 2 hrs).

I didnt overly mind doing it as we got Weds / Thurs Off, fly friday, landing about 1 am sat. Sat was a rest day, then sunday and monday off - so the whole w/e off really.
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Old 22nd Mar 2004, 16:13
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Zulu - I think you'll find that the 315Nm figure that you’re thinking of is the furthest distance away that a take-off alternate airfield can be in the event of an engine failure during the take-off ( assuming a long flight over water straight after takeoff ) - albeit that in our manuals that figure is specified as 330Nm ( -300 @MTOM ) and 340Nm ( -700 @ MTOM ) [ see: Ops manual / Part A / Section 8 - Operating Procedures / Flight Planning / Take-Off Alternates ].

Once you're in the cruise, and if non-ETOPS, the 60 minute rule applies, i.e. you must be no more than 60’ away ( still air ) from a ‘suitable airfield’ using an appropriate cruise level, at your single engine cruise speed.

Nb. What this means in practice is that the 60’ distance is a function of your aircraft weight, drift-down distance & altitude and your single engine cruise speed – wherein this is not pegged at 315Kt’s and is more likely to be in the region of 370Kt.’s.

Perhaps have a (re)read of [ Operations Manual / Part B / Section 3 - Abnormal & Emergency Procedures / Engine Failure in Cruise ].

Astraeus are not (yet) ETOPS approved but that doesn't rule out maybe applying for it sometime in the future - wherein it's not so much a flight crew thing as an engineering & pre-despatch requirement compliance thing ( and it comes with a not inconsiderable cost ).
That said, there are several airlines who do have ETOPS approval for their B737NG’s – mostly in the Pacific & Australasia, e.g. Polynesian Airlines, Air Nauru, Air Pacific, Air New Zealand, Qantas, Pacific Blue, Air Seychelles and Aloha(?).

W.r.t. Banjul and back – Yes, you can do it there and back in a day – if only because there's a thing called a level-two variation which allows you to extend the FDP ( albeit with various restrictions ).

W.r.t. "What's in Deer Lake ?"

A). Water !


Nimble - it's nought to do with Dublin.


expedite_climb - I’m Not sure your description of level 2 variations is technically correct – either that or maybe you have a ‘local’ rostering agreement and / or that’s how in principal it turns out to be.

E.g. Here’s what our Ops Manual / Part A / Section 7 - Flight Time Limitations has to say:
VARIATION OF FLIGHT TIME LIMITATIONS SCHEME - Level 2

Flight Crew

A). Where a planned sector length does not exceed 7½ hours, the Company may plan 60 minutes extra on the allowable FDP obtained from Table A.

B) 2 Local nights ( minimum 34 hours ) free from all duties must be achieved prior to an extended flight duty period.

C) Flight crew members must be acclimatised

D) Commander’s normal discretion to extend an FDP is reduced to a maximum of 2 hours with no more than 1 hour being exercised prior to leaving the initial point of departure.

E) Where a Commander exercises discretion which uses any portion of the time allowed after leaving the initial point of departure, then a report will be submitted to the authority.

F) One day off must be achieved following the extended FDP.

G) A maximum of 3 extended FDP flights may be undertaken in any consecutive 28 day period

H) Maximum duty hours will be 180 hours in any consecutive 28 day period in which the use of this extension takes place.

I) Minimum number of days off for flight crew operating one or more of these flights will be 9 in any consecutive 28 day period in which the use of this extension takes place

J) Despatch crews will not be used

K) Rosters will be annotated when an L2 variation is planned
In any event I’d keep quiet about it as it sounds like a cushy number.
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Old 22nd Mar 2004, 16:19
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Puritan - dont have our old L2 to hand, but it was similar, but different to yours w.r.t. 2 DO's after.
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Old 22nd Mar 2004, 22:53
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Thanks, Puritan & expedite, for comprehensive & informative replies.

I'd not heard of Level 2 variations before.

As to Deer Lake - D'oh! Perhaps I should ask, apart from the no-doubt lovely water, are there other attractions that make it a charter destination?!
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Old 23rd Mar 2004, 12:52
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Deer Lake

As far as I know, its either golfing or skiing or both!
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Old 23rd Mar 2004, 17:20
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Deer Lake ? Well, there had to have been someone on PPRuNe who's been in there ! (it was as a pax in an AC Dash8).

It's the airport for Corner Brook, the second largest town in Newfoundland (I think they regard themselves as a city but IIRC it's only about 30,000 population). It's on the other side of the island to St Johns, and there's really nothing more than the town, an enormous pulp mill, and forests for miles. And apparently a well kept golf course, hence the charters presumably. But it's cool even in midsummer.

And Deer Lake airport is a long way from the town, and I don't recall the runway being that long, maybe it's been extended. There is a field at Stephenville which is further away from Corner Brook which has a good runway, and used to be a diversion field in the days of prop aircraft across the Atlantic, seems to be a cheap but little used refuelling stop for transatlantic flights now. Your other alternate is Gander, many hours drive away (and even more in the middle of nowhere).

Good to see the crews are doing out-and-back in a day. Because an overnighter, let alone all week, in Corner Brook is not an exciting prospect. One little shopping centre !
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Old 23rd Mar 2004, 20:33
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The flights are connection with this resort. Lots of interest from British and Irish people to buy property there.

The flight this week is to bring a group of potential owners to view the property at the resort, with a view to starting a weekly service in December in time for some skiing.

We will operate Non-ETOPS for this trip, and if there is interest in getting a series going, we'll think of getting ETOPs approval for December.
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Old 24th Mar 2004, 12:04
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Deer lake is good for fishing and hunting i was travelling canada for a while, and although i dont fish,,, or hunt, i still had a great time, its just a relaxed place a lot of canadians have log cabins out there, so im guessing a lot of brits do too!
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