View Full Version : BHX closed

21st Apr 2004, 15:12
Something to do with a Flybe Dash 8 gone off the end of the active runway onto grass. Thats all I know at the moment.

Runway is open at reduced distances

21st Apr 2004, 16:01
Can confirm that the ILS 33 is out SRA approaches to a reduced LDA 15

21st Apr 2004, 17:00
Saw it in situ.
It had gone onto the grass at E1 after turning off 15.
Nice tyre tracks and now a/c has been pulled off.

G-JEDI now being pushed into maint hangar with muddy tyres!


Hudson Bay
21st Apr 2004, 17:00
Just got back from Munich and had to hold for over an hour. Flybe Dash 400 ran off the end. All three legs stuck in the mud!!
Everyones ok.

Pilot Pete
21st Apr 2004, 17:16
Wouldn't be the first to have done this. Grass hasn't grown back fully from the last excursion yet. Notams mention 33 threshold being slippery when wet.


21st Apr 2004, 17:33
It's really about time that end is resurfaced. The operators should exert pressure on the airport bosses.

21st Apr 2004, 19:07
I seem to remember this topic was brought up on the EGBB ATC website www.egbb.co.uk some time ago. Apparently the Authority brought in Cranfield Institute of Technology to inspect the surface and could find nothing wrong with it. Personally I take it very gingerly vacating when its wet there!


22nd Apr 2004, 07:38
All BHX regulars know that either end of the runway has a threshold area of concrete rather than tarmac - when its wet it is noticeably 'slippery' and care is needed particuarly at the southern end of 15 where virtually all aircraft exit the runway with a ninety degree turn. My company briefly published amended performance figures based upon this problem but these were withdrawn when airport authority assured one and all that there was no significant loss of braking efficiency in damp or wet conditions.

Locals know this area as 'Britannia Corner' - know perhaps a new name will emerge !

At end of day, the good thing is that such excursions have caused no injuries other than to pride and will inevitably occur at very low speeds - there but for the grace etc...............

22nd Apr 2004, 08:31
The tire tracks were almost parallel to the Britannia's ..... bet the Britannia skipper feels better now ....

Last time this happened, we had NOTAM warnings everyday day for months, and skidometer checks (it seems) after every other landing aircraft for days ...

22nd Apr 2004, 08:43
Oooops, 2 excursions at the same end? Surely no coincidence there then. Thanks Cranfield, fantastic job. Earths flat as well eh?

I sit in the right seat at BHX with no tiller hence no responsibility once the hooligan elements of the landing roll have been completed. I work with a group of guys all highly experienced and v professional but I do find the old backside muscles tensing involuntarily as we approach the end of 15 in the wet. Thats not due to 'cavalier' taxying but a discernible change in runway surface and a very noticeable effect on braking.

Sounds like the latest incident caused a high degree of chaos which might provoke a solution from BHX Airport (particularly if its cost them). RET's would be nice and a runway surface that doesnt resemble something knocked up by Ground Force even better.

And most impressed by the RJ crew i/b from Munich with an hours holding fuel! Pretty sure we'd have been sat on a bus back from EMA by then, but thats another subject.

22nd Apr 2004, 11:36
RJ ?? I think you mean a FlyBe 146 inbound from Paris that held for 55 mins, it was the the only one to land out of the 10 initial A/C in the hold.:ok:
Nice to see some company's still allow there crews to carry that bit extra for mum etc.

Perhaps now BHX will invest in some extra tarmac - ever the optimist.:D


22nd Apr 2004, 12:55
The reason for the firm braking, followed by magical mystery tour of the west side of the airport by our LH 4904 B737 yesterday is now made clear! And there was I thinking "Why are we over here and obviously planning to cross via 16/24 instead of exiting left at the end of 15?"

Did see a few flashing lights and the unfortunate ac being towed back a bit later as I was walking through the arrival pier.

'Slippery when wet'- apart from being a great Bon Jovi album, means "Treat like ice!". Amazed how few folk seemed to know that back when I used to fly as other than SLF in big ac!

22nd Apr 2004, 15:25
No there's only a 4% difference in our fuel prices between BHX and CDG - which is not enough to warrant tanking as per FlyBe company policy.

I like to take extra fuel even when it doesn't require it, it gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling inside ;) and as a side effect occasionally pay's off with not having to divert when incidents like this occur :ugh:

This is in no way a criticism of those who had to divert, it's just that I consider myself lucky that i am not persuaded to always take minimum fuel when the weather is fine.


Fool's Hole
22nd Apr 2004, 15:41
No, not THAT debate again.
However - never ever take just minimum fuel.
It's nothing to do with the nice weather or otherwise, extra fuel is for UNFORESEEN SITUATIONS.
Like Hudson Bay, who had just as a nice day as anyone else, but awarded himself a few kilos for that unknown factor - well done.

22nd Apr 2004, 19:28
I have no idea why the flybe 146 was carrying 55 min spare fuel--but to state this is just a 'few spare kilos' is nonsense. i think most people would acceot '20 min for mum' whatever the company tanking policy or otherwise (outside London of course)--but 1 hr ?
Surely the operator can expect that commercial policy may require the ac to divert to East Mid, Coventry, Brtistol, Stansted or Exeter--weather permitting of course ?
I restate that i have no knowledge of the specifics of this event.

22nd Apr 2004, 22:00
Max Prop,

I guess it's a good thing the Capt. of the 146 did carry more than 20 min's holding - otherwise FlyBe would have had an A/C + passengers diverting to Coventry and all the delay's to the next BHX - CDG - BHX rotation that followed that flight.

Perhaps they should invite the Capt. for tea and biscuits at Exeter for not doing what they expected him to do i.e. diverting and costing them lot's of money. :yuk:

23rd Apr 2004, 07:14
As i said , I dont know the specifics--he may well have been tanking for all i know.
the point I'm makng is that if every ac carried an hour's fuel for no reason at all other than there is space in the tank the cost of operation would rise unacceptably.

23rd Apr 2004, 08:26
Max Prop,

I have been in touch with the Capt. on said flight and can now enlighten you with the "specifics".

Firstly he/she wasn't tanking - they actually took the same amount of fuel from BHX - CDG as well.

Secondly they actually took an extra 40 mins fuel out of CDG but managed to save extra fuel en-route by reducing to holding speed when they received info of the runway blockage - hence stretching it out to 55 min's.

Thirdly let's look at the extra cost involved in taking this extra fuel -
You say that most will take an extra 20 min's holding - so they took an extra 20 min's on top of this "because there was space in the tanks" - 20 min's holding = aprox. 600 kg.- increased fuel burn per ton = 25kg. so actual extra fuel cost for 50 min flight from CDG - BHX = 600 / 1000 X 25 = 15kg
Average price of fuel these days = 15p per litre -- therefore 15kg = 18.75 litres X 15p = the grand total of 2.80.:{

WOW I'm surprised Flybe haven't gone bust already,

But hey your point is taken - after all it's an accumulative amount of all the flight's and not just one - right.

I'll advise him/she to take a maximum of 20 min's holding in future and divert to Coventry/East Midland, hopefully then 'the cost of operation wouldn't rise unacceptably' :hmm:

Fool's Hole
23rd Apr 2004, 08:35
Max Prop,

He didn't carry an hour's extra fuel necessarily.
He probably carried standard company holding fuel + an extra half hour or so, which is the extra fuel that I may take personally for unexpected scenarios, not exclusively for weather either.
He may have landed with diversion fuel or just a bit less.

23rd Apr 2004, 10:25
Good. i'm not exactly sure what we're supposed to be argueing about.

I could of course play devil's advocate and suggest that , if the problem was known about so early, the company should have sent the ac to Coventry and saved an hours maintenance related costs. But that would be churlish.

As I have said at least 3 times. I had no knowledge of the details. Thanks for the info which indicates that the captain did exactly what most of us do.

let us just agree that it costs money to carry fuel, and diversions dont happen very often.

23rd Apr 2004, 12:02
Call me a bluff old traditionalist but I'd be rather more interested to know why the aircraft left the taxiway as opposed to why another aircraft happened to have a stack of holding fuel !

Nil further
23rd Apr 2004, 14:04

I agree , i believe the Q400 is quite a tricky beast to handle in flight and on the ground. Also a lot of inexperience in Flybe . I once positioned on a Flybe Dash 8 and the combined flight time of the crew was just 2500h .


23rd Apr 2004, 14:13
The FlyBe flight Operations Director is famous for saying that he preffered people not to stay to long with the airline as they became a greater burden from the point of yearly increments and pension contributions etc - From a flight safety angle that is criminal and also very sad.

23rd Apr 2004, 18:03
Interesting posts from NILFurther and ALTSEL - could it also be inferred from this that the captain of the Britannia 757 which did exactly the same thing was also "inexperienced", or is this a bit of flybe bashing?

As far as I know the names of the crew haven't been released yet within the company or outside - but if it is who we believe it is the captain was very experienced, with something between 15 and 20 thousand hours the majority of it on medium/heavy turboprops.

As far as the Q400 being difficult to handle, Flybe Q400s have been landing on this runway many times a day for the last two years with no incidents - if the aircraft was that hard to fly would not some of these 2500 hour crews which you allege exist have had problems before now?

As has been previously mentioned on this forum when conjecturing about accidents to commuter aircraft hours cannot be the only measure of experience - a pilot with 2000 hours of turboprop operations with Flybe would have performed almost that many landings either as PF or PNF - this sort of exposure to the critical phases of flight would take many more years and thousands of hours to amass in medium or longhaul operations.

No doubt in time the AAIB will tell us what actually caused the problem.

23rd Apr 2004, 18:14

"From a flight safety angle that is criminal and also very sad".

Now I can understand the "very sad" bit but could you please explain the "criminal" and "flight safety" bits to the rest of us please?

Moving on; was not the "BY 757" a "BY 767" positioning empty from Manchester?

Nil further
24th Apr 2004, 09:37
You are obviously better informed than i am ( i no longer work for Flybe).

I was merely saying that ( like a lot of regional outfits) the overall experience level of flybe v say BA or Virgin is lower and that this can sometimes be a factor in incidents . This is after all a rumour /news thread !

As regards my "allegation" of 2500 hours crew , if you identify yourself to me in a PM i will give you the names of the crew and the month of the alleged flight. .......sorry i dont remember the exact date !

Before i do that , would you care to confirm or deny on this forum that the flybe limit for a Dash command was 2500 hours , that certain individuals in the past recived commands with less total time than this and that there was nothing to stop them flying with FO who had just started their flying careers ?


25th Apr 2004, 21:45
Nil Further - I will try to answer your questions fairly

Yes, the limit for a dash command in Flybe is 2500 hours

In the past (actually prior to 9/11) a few commands were given to pilots with less than that experience (I believe there were three of them, but stuck as I am on a rock I may have missed one or two)

No there was nothing to stop them flying with a new F/O provided he had at least 100 hrs on type.

However, none of that is relevant to your statement - "a lot of inexperience in Flybe". You could have said "two years ago there was some inexperience in flybe", with that I would have had no argument. Or alternatively you could have said that "in common with almost every scheduled carrier in the UK, including easyjet, flybe have crews less experienced than those in Virgin/BA" - that I also could not argue with. But your original statement could easily have been taken by anyone less informed to mean that Flybe were exceptional in this area, and I don't think that is the case.

All that aside, that was then and this is now. Since last years pay settlement there has been a lot lower turn over in pilots at Flybe ( I am not saying that things couldn't change in the future, mind) and there have only been a couple of promotions on the dash in the last 12 months, plus jet pilots coming onto the aircraft ex 146 and CRJ. You won't find experience levels anyway near as low as those that existed in the past on the dash 8 200/300 on the flight deck of the 400s.

Also of course all of that had no bearing on this incident, as I have said. The captain of the aircraft was highly experienced, although not familiar with the peculiarities of runway 15 at BHX - and the briefing pack he received from the NATS briefing system at EDI made no mention in notams of "slippery when wet", nor does the AERAD airfield booklet.

I will however apologise for my use of the word "alleged", re-reading your post I notice that that part was actually referring to times gone by, unlike the rest.

26th Apr 2004, 06:59
Having flown with the alledged captain many years ago I can only say he/she was very thorough, careful and professional in their duties as a commander.

Not being BHX based as pointed out on here, the captain had little 'local knowledge'. But there for the grace of god go we........

I'm definately slowing down to a snails pace now at the slippy end as opposed to a fast walk. Apparently from a positioning crew member it was only approx 10kts taxi speed when it went off.

Nil further
26th Apr 2004, 18:22

Thanks for your honest reply , not a lot of it on this site . Let me make it quite clear that i did not set out to imply anything negative about flybe or the individual crew concerned . I greatly enjoyed my time at flybe and learnt a great deal from a number of very talented and very nice people .These type of things can and will happen to any one of us at any time.

My turn will come .

My comments about inexperience in flybe was in-appropriate as i can only speak about the situation as existed approx 2 years ago.

I have to say that if we are worrying about " what less well informed people will think" then we better get this site closed down pronto!

Nice to see someone other than Raw Data flying the Flybe flag.


ps. I know that approx 25% of Flybe pilots went to EZY about a year ago ...... i wasnt one of them ! keep guessing.