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Mytilene airport

Old 3rd Oct 2019, 18:37
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Mytilene airport

Was recently flown home from Mytilene (Lesbos) by the CAA following the collapse of Thomas Cook. We flew out from Gatwick on a Thomas Cook A321 fully loaded with passengers and luggage. The plane the CAA sent to fly us home was a White airlines A320. The pilot of that plane said that he was unable to take off with the plane fully loaded with passengers and luggage so 90% of the luggage was left behind. Presumably the Thomas Cook A321 would have taken off fully loaded with passengers and luggage, so why couldnít the A320???
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Old 3rd Oct 2019, 23:19
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Different type of aircraft, obvious to most rational folk.

The A320 is not an A321, is it?

Why did Thomas Cook use an A321 I wonder?
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Old 3rd Oct 2019, 23:37
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FR24 shows that flight MT1813 was an A321 flying MJT-LGW every Saturday. Equally MT1501 was an A321 flying MJT-MAN every Saturday and MT1215 was an A321 flying MJT-BHX every Saturday
Clearly an A321 has the legs to not only take off from MJT but also make it as far as Manchester non-stop on a regular basis without significant likelihood of needing to stop off to refuel

CAA stats indicate that Gatwick-Mytilene had 2162 pax in August 2019. There were 5 Saturdays in August, so this suggests an average of 216 pax per flight, well beyond the 180 or 186 pax capacity that can be achieved with an A320
Manchester-Mjytilene has 2100 pax in August while Birmingham-Mytilene had 2087 pax

Mytilene on 28 September in mid-afternoon was warm and dry - seemed very typical of the weather one might expect of a Greek island in the summer of the year - but not excessively hot. The runway is right by the sea and can't be more than about 100 feet above sea level

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Old 4th Oct 2019, 08:10
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Originally Posted by RoyHudd View Post
Different type of aircraft, obvious to most rational folk.

The A320 is not an A321, is it?

Why did Thomas Cook use an A321 I wonder?
Roy Hudd, of course Iím aware itís a different aircraft. Surely that was clear from my question. Presumably a Thomas Cook used an A321 because of its bigger capacity. My question was why the A320, a smaller plane than the A321 was unable to take off when the A321 was. Anyway thanks for your answer.
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Old 4th Oct 2019, 20:20
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The inference was...different a/c, different power plant type, different performance characteristics, different weight and balance, different range, ...nothing to do with size per se. `That should be obvious to a light aircraft pilot, let alone a commercial 70-ton jet pilot.

Did you get your bags in the end?
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Old 4th Oct 2019, 21:13
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You can get different power ratings from the same basic engine on an A 320 just as you can on an A 321. It may be that the repat A 320 had low power engines while the Thomas Cook 321 had higher power engines, as it obviously did the trip regularly. The CAA had to find aircraft, and lots of them. at short notice so may not have had a suitable aircraft available at the time. I notice that a Malaysian Airlines A 380 seems to have been used for some flights.
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Old 4th Oct 2019, 22:22
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Originally Posted by RoyHudd View Post
The inference was...different a/c, different power plant type, different performance characteristics, different weight and balance, different range, ...nothing to do with size per se. `That should be obvious to a light aircraft pilot, let alone a commercial 70-ton jet pilot.

Did you get your bags in the end?
fair enough but Iím not a light aircraft pilot, just an ignorant passenger 😂. Yes bag turned up today thanks.
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Old 4th Oct 2019, 22:25
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Originally Posted by kriskross View Post
You can get different power ratings from the same basic engine on an A 320 just as you can on an A 321. It may be that the repat A 320 had low power engines while the Thomas Cook 321 had higher power engines, as it obviously did the trip regularly. The CAA had to find aircraft, and lots of them. at short notice so may not have had a suitable aircraft available at the time. I notice that a Malaysian Airlines A 380 seems to have been used for some flights.
thanks for the reply. Makes sense. Iím in no way criticising the CAA, they did a great job in the circumstances. I was just curious as Iím not a pilot and have no experience of this type of thing. This forum seemed to be the best place to post my question!
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Old 5th Oct 2019, 11:38
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There could have been a technical issue too that might have prevented a full load being taken.
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Old 5th Oct 2019, 20:43
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The "White" A320 is over 24 years old and has different CFM engines to the Thomas Cook 321's most of which are considerably younger. Maybe this combined with unfavourable high level winds (strong west to east jet stream over that past week or so) meant a weight restriction to make the UK destination non-stop.
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Old 5th Oct 2019, 22:24
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Without being there we can only assume what the restrictions were.
my thoughts would be that the ZFW (zero fuel weight) and the minimum fuel needed for the trip would take the aircraft above max take off weight. To avoid a fuel stop en route the only way to take the minimum fuel required is to reduce the payload. That would be the reason some of the bags were left behind.
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Old 6th Oct 2019, 07:05
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Max take off weight is not the same as regulated take off weight. Just to be clear.
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