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neville_nobody
12th May 2013, 22:33
Given Qantas how now done another Autoland in fog at a CAT I aerodrome, should they (or CASA) be changing the fuel policy? On my rough count Qantas have done at least 3 maybe 4 of these.

How many more can you get away with?

I don't believe any other airline in the world flies for 14+ hours without an alternate.

27/09
12th May 2013, 22:57
Aren't autolands pretty well much an every day occurrence in some parts of the world?

neville_nobody
12th May 2013, 23:03
Yes but on approved CAT II/III approaches.

And yes I am aware you can do them on a CAT I but not at a few hundred metres RVR.

compressor stall
12th May 2013, 23:15
It's only a matter of time until there is a smoking hole with a couple of hundred dead due to this Australian practice of flying around with no alternates.

This is more than QF bashing. It's the regs that need changing. Remember, it's not just the weather that can shut a runway.

maggot
12th May 2013, 23:25
How many more can you get away with?


just curious, are you implying that one of these autolands on cat1 gear is going to cause a bingle? or more that it may be an airport without such facilities that may catch one out?

Tidbinbilla
12th May 2013, 23:40
You assume it's a result of QF fuel policy. Are you familiar with same, Neville?

Yes, I'm asking as a moderator.

neville_nobody
12th May 2013, 23:59
You assume it's a result of QF fuel policy. Are you familiar with same, Neville?

My point is the ability to not carry alternates rather than the fuel policy per se. However this is part of their fuel policy.

This gives QF a competitive advantage over other airlines but at what risk?

Compressor Stalls sums up my point.

Do you want a change of thread title to move away from alleged QF bias?

just curious, are you implying that one of these autolands on cat1 gear is going to cause a bingle? or more that it may be an airport without such facilities that may catch one out?

Implying neither. Landing on a CAT I approach is unlikely to cause a prang the one time you do it, however it would have to be considered a risk and not really a great situation for a RPT aircraft to be in.

To argue otherwise you would be saying that we don't need all the CATII/III paraphernalia just go ahead and land in any visibility 24/7.

The point of the thread is that given QF have done this a few times now maybe they and/or Australian carriers should have mandatory alternates for RPT aircraft. How many more of these are acceptable?

Capt Fathom
13th May 2013, 00:10
This gives QF a competitive advantage over other airlines but at what risk?


The regs also require Australian Operators to carry INTER or TEMPO fuel when the forecast so requires!

This does not apply to Overseas Operators!

Swings and roundabouts!

compressor stall
13th May 2013, 00:16
Capt Fathom "When the forecast so requires". I think that's an own goal in the context of this discussion!

Also, fat lot of good that will do you on a cavok day with single runway and a disabled ac on the middle of it.

compressor stall
13th May 2013, 00:22
And yes, I'd support the removing of QF from thread title to prevent people taking it personally and not objectively.

IMHO there should be a CASA study looking at this "regulation" (CAAP) instead of the airy fairy fluff of DAMP etc. It's a much bigger safety issue.

Capt Fathom
13th May 2013, 00:25
The ole single runway chestnut again!

It doesn't really matter how much fuel you put on, something unexpected will come up that you haven't (or couldn't possibly) have planned for.

You just deal with it as it comes!

C441
13th May 2013, 00:38
Perhaps a non-Qantas/other Australian airline crewmember could advise which alternate would have been carried for Sydney given the forecast used by the QF108 on the 12th - before any mention of fog.
In particular it would be interesting to know if other A380 operators carry something other than Melbourne or Brisbane when Sydney is the destination.

A conversation some years ago with a friend at another major (Asian) airline suggested to me that they carry Williamtown or Richmond for Sydney and Avalon for Melbourne.

Personally I've never found the Qantas fuel policy has been deficient primarily because any discretionary fuel that I choose to add is rarely, if ever, questioned; something that was not the case for my friend mentioned above.

neville_nobody
13th May 2013, 00:38
Tidbinbilla feel free to change the thread title I can't figure out how to do it quickly. :\

Ollie Onion
13th May 2013, 01:24
Shouldn't the question be 'when are the Aussies going to pull their finger out and get some good airport infrastructure like say a CATIII approach at major international airports?

I believe Qantas fuel policy is in line with CASA regs so perhaps also ask, when will CASA bring itself into line with the rest of the developed world...

Offchocks
13th May 2013, 03:33
any discretionary fuel that I choose to add is rarely, if ever, questioned
I've never been questioned, even when I landed in JFK with 42 tonnes. :)

Shouldn't the question be 'when are the Aussies going to pull their finger out and get some good airport infrastructure like say a CATIII approach at major international airports?

I agree 100%!

clear to land
13th May 2013, 04:35
For an inbound flight for SYD we carry either CB, BN or ML as ALTN, depending on actual forecast when the FPL is prepared (15-18 hrs before ETA), and Captains decision. Our FPL's always tell us the fuel required for at least 3-4 ALTN's, to facilitate fuel decisions by the crew. Also due to coming in from the NW monitoring would enable numerous Tech Stops on the way , even once in the Australian FIR (think DN, AS, AD or BN/CS depending on inbound routing) We have a 'commitment to destination' enabler in our OM-A, however you couldn't use it for a Cat 1 airport with FG!

haughtney1
13th May 2013, 06:57
Just to back up C to L's comment, I just had a look at the actual plan for an inbound into to SYD that was scheduled to arrive during the forecast period (no idea if it was affected or not)
Trip fuel + 20 mins contingency + BNE as an alternate + additional KG + FRSV.
The policy of arriving at semi-isolated airports with no alternate is at best questionable IMHO, how does QF operate going into the US or LHR? surely they must be required to have an alternate?
Just wondering...

3 Holer
13th May 2013, 07:34
Ollie Onion - that IS exactly the point.

QF comply with CASA regs regarding carriage of fuel, if they get caught out occaisionly because of poor forecasting or unexpected weather, they revert to common sense and use what's available to carry out a safe arrival.

Offchocks
13th May 2013, 08:23
haughtney1: how does QF operate going into the US or LHR? surely they must be required to have an alternate?

As far as I can gather, before an airline is allowed to operate into a country on a regular basis, most country's aviation authorities scrutinize the airline's operation including the fuel policy in use. So having operated to the US and UK for 50+ years, does QF need an alternate operating into LAX, JFK or LHR ....... not if it complies with its own fuel policy which is also approved by CASA.

Note that the airports mentioned all have close airfields which can be used as alternates, we don't have that luxury in Australia with PER being the most obvious example.

Visual Procedures
13th May 2013, 09:26
I don't believe any other airline in the world flies for 14+ hours without an alternate.

When you take off with 150T of fuel, there a plenty of alternates. :ugh:

Its usually only the last 30 mins you don't have one :ok:

haughtney1
13th May 2013, 09:47
As far as I can gather, before an airline is allowed to operate into a country on a regular basis, most country's aviation authorities scrutinize the airline's operation including the fuel policy in use. So having operated to the US and UK for 50+ years, does QF need an alternate operating into LAX, JFK or LHR ....... not if it complies with its own fuel policy which is also approved by CASA.


Hence my question Chocks, do QF actually carry an alternate for the 380? LAX for example has KONT on the other side of town, but that's pretty much it, unless you want to go to Palmdale etc, and if you have to go to KONT, there a good chance a load of others will be needing to do it as well.

Note that the airports mentioned all have close airfields which can be used as alternates, we don't have that luxury in Australia with PER being the most obvious example.

Which is why every time I operate into Perth, my employer gives us YPLM or YPAD gas....but then it is in an old tech 777:ok:

Keg
13th May 2013, 10:25
Interesting Haughtney. You know if you go to YPLM in your 777 that you're not getting off the jet? No stairs apparently.

haughtney1
13th May 2013, 10:52
Interesting Haughtney. You know if you go to YPLM in your 777 that you're not getting off the jet? No stairs apparently.


Yep Keg, apparently arrangements will generally revolve around motion lotion, personally, I would rather lobb into Pearce...:E
Of course..we could always try Kalgoorlie :}
A quick check of the briefing suggests QF have some stairs....somewhere:ok:

givemewings
13th May 2013, 11:39
I was under the impression that Learmonth is an Emergency diversion field for one (that I know of) A380 operator. Surely there are steps there, even if they would need to be borrowed from the other side of the airport? Recall something about stairs for large aircraft being positioned there after QF72.... or was that just gossip?

C441
13th May 2013, 12:51
Hence my question Chocks, do QF actually carry an alternate for the 380?
Not normally unless there is forecast weather or another requirement that would necessitate it. Sometimes that may be a call made by the dispatcher at the planning stage based on assessments made from info other than official forecasts.

In the case of London or Los Angeles, normal fuel policy arrival fuel is such that Gatwick, Stansted or Ontario (as appropriate) can be used to meet forecast alternate requirements, such that in most circumstances an approach can be made at LHR or LAX with the appropriate fuel to cover those nearby alternates - legally but not with any planned excess of comfort!:hmm:

LAX arrivals can often have significant additional fuel to cover the depressurisation case en-route. On my last LAX trip (I'm Junior - it was Christmas time:ouch:) LAX deteriorated but the "unused" depressurisation fuel gave us enough to cover Phoenix reasonably comfortably from about 20,000ft if LAX didn't improve. (ONT was fogged).....we landed in LAX as the weather improved as quickly as Sydney's deteriorates!

Wizofoz
13th May 2013, 12:53
It does amaze me that I used to fly to single runway airports, in a medium Jet, with no planned alternate.

The question about what would happen is another operator did a gear-up in front of us was usually met with a lot of "Ahem"ing at looking at of shoes!

At a meeting once, the infamous TJ answered that we would get the offending aircraft bulldozed off the runway.

I always wish I'd had the balls to ask for the names and numbers of the people we had the bulldozer contracts with.....

NOW let's discuss Australia and Approach bans!!

haughtney1
13th May 2013, 13:02
It does amaze me that I used to fly to single runway airports, in a medium Jet, with no planned alternate.


A new idea for a command LOE wizz:E especially after they commit 2 hrs out:8

Offchocks
13th May 2013, 13:20
haughtney1

I'm sorry that you don't understand from my post "does QF need an alternate operating into LAX, JFK or LHR ....... not if it complies with its own fuel policy which is also approved by CASA." I'll spell it out for you ...... yes they do have an alternate when it is required, that is when the weather is forecast below alternate criteria.
Besides KONT there are two other alternates the A380 can use.
By the way having an alternate does not always guarantee things will go smoothly, I have had both destination and alternate drop below landing minima having originally been forecast CAVOK.
Prior to QF I spent 14 years in Europe carrying an alternate all the time, I can't say one system is better than the other. What can make a difference is the experience of the crew and having a company that will not come back at you for putting on extra gas.

haughtney1
13th May 2013, 13:27
It's ok Chocks, I've never understood CASA anyway....and I assume the other two alternates are KSFO, and possibly KSAN?
It was just a polite enquiry to help me get a handle on how on gods earth a transpacific/longhaul flight could legally be dispatched without an alternate.

Offchocks
13th May 2013, 13:42
No probs, the other two are KSFO and KPHX which are less distance than YSSY-YMML,

Sonny Hammond
13th May 2013, 15:52
Kalgoorlie in 777? Bugger that.

Sonny Hammond
13th May 2013, 16:31
For clarification: landing ain't the problem.
Dealing with everything after that would be the headache.

Keg
13th May 2013, 23:12
A quick check of the briefing suggests QF have some stairs....somewhere

Lol. We've had an INTAM out for quite some time stating that stairs will be positioned there soon. Given how long its been I gather they're pushing them utilising an 8 year old cocker spaniel with arthritis.

CaptCloudbuster
13th May 2013, 23:58
At a meeting once, the infamous TJ answered that we would get the offending aircraft bulldozed off the runway.

I always wish I'd had the balls to ask for the names and numbers of the people we had the bulldozer contracts with.....

Good luck finding a willing contractor in a timely manner at YPPH. True story, on a recent public holiday a simple fuel spill on one of the stand off bays closed a bunch of them all day and late into the night. No contractor willing to be called out at any price. Chaos ensued.... Caveat emptor

neville_nobody
14th May 2013, 00:10
QFs fuel policy and implementation of their policy is by far, in My opinion the best and most efficient policy I have ever worked under. The savings are obvious and the unencessity to Carry destination plus fuel when wx at dest is cavok and use descision point alt instead is massive.

Yes I agree. It is very efficient and the chances of getting caught out are reasonably low, however what is the safety risk? From a regulatory point of view is it really acceptable for RPT? I am not aware of any other country doing it, and as I mentioned before QF have done a few emergency autolands now which would have to bring into question how safe is this whole no alternate system we allow in Australia.

A contributing factor to all of this too is Australia appalling lack of aviation infrastructure. I would suggest that the non alternate multi runway policy would be arguable if we had CAT III capability at SYD/MEL/BNE/PER/ADL.

Ken Borough
14th May 2013, 01:51
The numbe of times Qantas has been 'caught' by its fuel policy is hardly worth worrying about. How often do we read/hear reports of flights, when supposed to be carrying an alternate, declare a 'fuel emergency'? It's time this issue was put into perspective - if the self-described critics knew and understood QF fuel policy and how it was implemented, they wouldn't be offering the comments that they are. Ignorance is bliss!

angryrat
14th May 2013, 02:08
While there is all this talk of QF on here, I believe a Virgin(can't remember if it was Velocity or VOZ) got caught with their pants down too.

The TTF was not indicating what was actually happening. Very poor work from the bureau if you ask me.

AnQrKa
14th May 2013, 03:20
Of course the red and green team roll up in the harbor of fragrance carting an alternate on all occasions. Yeah right. MFM, same wx as HKG!!!! Pointless.

And the plan is cut back to bare bones fixed plus altn only giving you about 50 minutes of gas in total. QF probably dont roll up with an altn BUT I bet they roll up with as much fuel as the green and red team do!!!!

It doesnt matter what you call the fuel its how much you have and what you can do with it that counts.

And another thing, having an altn may be nice but what about carrying extra fuel for TS. Nupppp, not needed. No requirement "viz is ok lah". Again, I bet QF dont roll up bare bones when the sky is dark and spitting lightning bolts!!!!!

Ned Gerblansky
22nd May 2013, 09:04
Ladies and gentlemen,

When I fly, the fuel we carry is decided by we, the crew. The fuel policy for that flight, or series of flights is decided by we, and the highest justifiable vote wins. After lengthy consultation with the forecasts, notams etc, we the crew nominate a figure such that any other exigency is covered. We do not consult with anyone whose arse is not going to be aboard.

Should some pea-nut from outside question our decision, I offer them the prerogative of taking this hunk of tin themselves into the blue abyss. No takers as yet.

The AF 340 crash in Canada is remarkable for 3 frightening things:

They took no holding fuel when TS was forecast;

They arrived with 18 minutes of holding fuel;

The TS rain put out the fire - for 18 minutes. After which the WX was good.

Policy is like command - OWN IT!!

astinapilot
22nd May 2013, 10:09
The question about what would happen is another operator did a gear-up in front of us was usually met with a lot of "Ahem"ing at looking at of shoes!

Taxiways are all capable of taking a landing in such an unlikely emergency that you cannot hold while the clearing the RW.

By unlikely I mean the coincidence of
1. An aircraft immediately in front of you landing gear up.
2. You having absolute min fuel, ie you have used your contingency
3. The airport has no other runways

Declare a pan and use the taxiway, better than the ocean.

If I fly to a port without a full parallel taxiway and only single runway I make sure there is extra.

Derfred
24th May 2013, 08:13
If I fly to a port without a full parallel taxiway and only single runway I make sure there is extra.


Qantas doesn't...

Neither does CASA.

oicur12.again
24th May 2013, 14:50
neither did AN

Ned Gerblansky
25th May 2013, 09:49
It's not a PAN when you have no fuel left and are landing on a taxiway. It's a MAYDAY - (Aircraft is in grave and imminent danger)

astinapilot
25th May 2013, 11:28
Sorry didn't realise this was a loe smart ar*e.

AnQrKa
25th May 2013, 15:35
“Taxiways are all capable of taking a landing in such an unlikely emergency that you cannot hold while the clearing the RW.”

Try telling that to ATC in many Asian countries. Good luck.

“2. You having absolute min fuel, ie you have used your contingency”

This will always be the case. If a large aircraft in front of you has a nose gear collapse for example, then no airline will have enough fuel to hold 24 hours while they move it. 30 minutes gas up your sleeve in this situation will do very little for your outcome. Much easier to have a plan B in your pocket I reckon.

astinapilot
26th May 2013, 09:18
My point is that if the airport had a taxiway then how long the aircraft blocks the runway is irrelevant. You have a plan B. Rather than fly 1000's of flights with a few ton extra for an event that is statistically extremely unlikely to happen to you, land on the taxiway. VA have min 60 mins on landing anyway, I wouldn't be comfortable with 30mins. Is qf 30?? That's not a lot of fuel.

Also 30 mins contingency saved would get you to an alternate in many cities.

astinapilot
26th May 2013, 10:35
Doesn't dxb have 2 runways and also Abu 10 mins away?
Mumbai 2 intersecting runways.

I know of few major airports with the taxiway congestion you speak of that would only have 1 rw. If they did takd the fuel, what I'm getting at is its not just black and white.

Keg
26th May 2013, 10:44
Is qf 30??

At the end of the landing roll? Yes. However.....

In 18 1/2 years at QF I've landed with less than 45 minutes once- it was about 42 minutes of fuel. I've landed with less than 60 minutes on perhaps 10-20 occasions- always the subject of a discussion as to the how, what, why, etc.

Most days with benign weather most 767 drivers plan to land with at least 75 minutes*. If we suspect that holding is likely, whilst 75 minutes may take care of the 20 minutes plus fixed and variable and approach, etc, most crew will tack a bit on. Again, the intent is to land with 75ish minutes after finishing holding. This allows also a very sedate and extended 'circuit' in the various TMAs without having to sweat the fuel. A second go around may start to rise the eyebrows a bit though! :ok:

Most guys and gals take single runway destinations into the thought process.

So there is the law, which most crew never get within cooee of, and then there's what we carry. That still won't mean that with unforecast weather changes at the last moment that crew won't be caught out. I've ended up lobbing into Canberra on a forecast CAVOK MEL-SYD sector due unforecast TS at SYD.

*That's 1500' holding fuel too, not FL250 holding fuel.

Hope that helps.

scrubba
26th May 2013, 11:57
Hey Keg,

So there is the law, which most crew never get within cooee of, and then there's what we carry.

Of course the law in Australia only requires that you take reasonable steps to ensure that the aircraft carries sufficient fuel and oil to enable the proposed flight to be undertaken in safety and comply with what is in the Ops Manual. CAAPs are not "law". Isn't it funny how nobody has really moved on from all those decades ago when minimum reserves were mandated in real law! :E

Keg
26th May 2013, 12:18
Sure, sure. I get all that. The 'law' for me is 30 minutes at the end of the landing roll. Anything above that is just good sense! :ok:

Shark Patrol
26th May 2013, 13:25
WRT FFR, didn't I read in an AIPA communique within the last year that CASA are looking at the feasibility of reducing FFR to 15 minutes in lieu of 30 minutes?

LeadSled
26th May 2013, 15:09
---- at the feasibility of reducing FFR to 15 minutes in lieu of 30 minutes?

Shark Patrol,
If you understood the history and the why of the 30m FFR, and why it is in the relevant ICAO Annex, you would know that that is not going to happen.
Given the general level of ignorance in CASA, and the almost complete loss of corporate memory in that organisation (and some airlines), I can well imagine such a thing being suggested.
The wording of the minimum fuel requirements in the drafts of CASRs Part 121 and Part 135 (last time I looked) do illustrate said level of ignorance.

Tootle pip!!

astinapilot
26th May 2013, 23:44
Ex A380. You're not getting the point. Keg is bang on. There are leagl requirements and then there are airmanship considerations.
If I was flying to Dubai and both RW's were operational with excellent weather then I would plan to land to 75mins and push this down to 60mins with payload considerations.

However if a RW at Dubai was not available I would make sure I had enough for an alternate. Now if the weather at Dubai was marginal then I would take even more - ie it changes each day, its not merely take an alternate and second approach every sector.

The taxiway consideration is for an emergency, the question arose from someone not sure what to do if an aircraft blocked the RW with no fuel. It's something I always keep in the back of my mind should the need arise one day. So what I'm saying is you can should you find yourself in such an unlikely situation.

astinapilot
27th May 2013, 05:28
Virgin is similar. Always an alternate unless 2 independent runways and good wx. In either case min planned landing fuel no less than the greater of 60mins or 30 mins plus alternate. Sounds similar to ek but spoilt compared to qf.

mustafagander
27th May 2013, 08:44
After reading all these posts, I think that we all need to remember that the QF fuel policy sets the MINIMUM legal departure fuel on the ground and the minimum fly on fuel in the air. My reading of the fuel policy reveals nothing forbidding a Cpt from uplifting "sufficient" fuel for the flight in his/her opinion. Indeed, a Cpt is required to uplift that amount of fuel. We are, after all, paid to exercise judgement - tempo SIN in the evenings anyone?

WFK, a principal author of said policy, rarely departed without some extra fuel. use your expertise and judgement.

LeadSled
27th May 2013, 09:12
We are, after all, paid to exercise judgement

Folks,
It actually goes a bit further than that, you, the PIC, is requited by law to exercise that judgement, and taking the minimum fuel required by the fuel flight plan does not automatically (although it will be a good part defense) satisfy the law on the subject.
Tootle pip!!

Tankengine
27th May 2013, 12:38
Does an EK or VA flight plan give 1 hour of holding fuel for a Tempo or give diversion fuel to an alternate that does not need a Tempo?:confused:

Often the Tempo fuel at Qantas would be more than a close alternate.

Derfred
27th May 2013, 15:57
That is very true.

But there also has to be a reasonable policy in place to protect the travelling public from the 1% who think it's ok to land on a taxiway.

haughtney1
27th May 2013, 17:03
Does an EK or VA flight plan give 1 hour of holding fuel for a Tempo or give diversion fuel to an alternate that does not need a Tempo?


It depends on the tempo, tempo TS into WSSS may well elicit some extra gas, but tempo 3000 RASH 25G35 might not....:8

frangatang
27th May 2013, 21:52
Fun today in syd then with that fog....and no autoland capability. Spiffing.

Offchocks
27th May 2013, 22:16
astinapilot

Virgin is similar. Always an alternate unless 2 independent runways and good wx.


I'm guessing this is Virgin UK and not Virgin Australia?

In either case min planned landing fuel no less than the greater of 60mins or 30 mins plus alternate. Sounds similar to ek but spoilt compared to qf.

You seem to be under the impression that QF plan to land with 30min of fuel, in fact 95% plus the plan has us landing with 60min or more. We only carry an alternate where the WX is forecast below alternate criteria (not LDG minima), in all cases the company does not discourage us for putting more gas on. In 26 years with QF I have only landed twice with 30min. Sh1te happens but it also can when you carry an alternate.

I've operated extensively under both fuel ordering methods and I can't say either is better than the other.

ernestkgann
27th May 2013, 22:43
I'd rather land on a taxiway than on a paddock.

Ka.Boom
27th May 2013, 23:14
A much better title for this thread me thinks

Tankengine
28th May 2013, 02:25
So to summarise:

Qantas does not plan an alternate on a nice weather day.
Qantas does plan a Tempo fuel for any WX below alternate criteria ( or an alternate) so covered for any bad WX.
Qantas also adds extra fuel to plans varying on type, eg A330 plans to min 5 ton overhead regardless.
Qantas also adds extra fuel depending on depressurisation points etc.

Some airlines plan alternates regardless of any of above but may end up with less fuel than average Qantas flight?:confused:

Also pilots simply add fuel to the figure they want without anyone from management bitching.:ok: I personally put alternate fuel on to cover another aircraft fing up if there is only one runway.

It is Qantas that needs to change?:confused::hmm:

astinapilot
28th May 2013, 07:15
Derfer. Tell us your plan then?

So what you are saying is if qf find themselves in the unfortunate situation of an a/c going wheels up they should ditch beside a perfectly ok taxiway ? You sound like the old wives tail crew ditching instead of autoland.

Adamastor
28th May 2013, 11:20
Fun today in syd then with that fog....and no autoland capability. Spiffing.


Apparently they do have autoland - QFA2 managed to use it this morning.

http://archive-server.liveatc.net/yssy/AU-Sat-May-27-2013-1830Z.mp3 - about the 14 minute mark.

Chalk up another one, Neville.

maui
28th May 2013, 13:15
Gentlepeople, instead of all this willy waving as to who has the best fuel policy, I think it all comes down to a more basic analysis.

QANTAS has now on multiple occassions, needed to carryout unlawful autolands to get themselves out of a situation generated by a bad combination of fuel policy and inept weather forecasting.

What other operators have had similar experiences and how often has this occurred?

If other operators are not having a similar strike rate, then why not?

It is my understanding that most other operators simply bug out to a more suitable airport.

Why is it that QANTAS do not follow the same procedure?

Surely these are questions an honest regulator should be asking.

Maui

Derfred
28th May 2013, 14:41
Derfer. Tell us your plan then?

So what you are saying is if qf find themselves in the unfortunate situation of an a/c going wheels up they should ditch beside a perfectly ok taxiway ? You sound like the old wives tail crew ditching instead of autoland.

WTF?

If QF find themselves in the unfortunate situation of an a/c going wheels up they should follow whatever is the safest course of action at the time.

My post wasn't about what you do if you find yourself in a pickle, my post was about avoiding that pickle in the first place. To do that, we appear to have 3 basic protections:

1. The regs (CASA)
2. Company policy (QF)
3. The pilots (note I didn't say Captain - it's a team in our cockpit)

If the CASA and QF reckon it's ok to turn up at CNS on a dark night with 30 mins, I would hope the pilots would load a bit more on. I happen to know at least 1 pilot who wouldn't, and he's the one I'm worried about.

He's the one the regs and the company policy should be there to protect the travelling public from.

Luckily it hasn't happened to him yet, so he hasn't had to land on CNS taxiway. I hope it doesn't happen to him. If it does - he'll be front page news on every newspaper in the world in what could otherwise have been just another hum-drum diversion to TSV along with all the other jets.

The other 99.x% of us don't have to worry because we wouldn't put ourselves in that situation in the first place. But I do worry about him. And I'm not saying you are him, but he is out there and I would prefer it if either the regs or the Company would protect him. And I think his F/O's would agree.

Derfred
28th May 2013, 15:44
Ahh... so now there's at least 2 out there... Not the bloke I know.

At least your bloke is a team player... Good work.

astinapilot
28th May 2013, 20:33
Apologies. I thought your post was more about my answer to the emergency question. Yes I have never found myself close to that situation and never plan too.

compressor stall
29th May 2013, 02:15
So we have an airline with a legal fuel policy that sees it have to conduct two autolands in two weeks due weather below minumums and no gas for elsewhere. No doubt that there are some crews that carry fuel to prevent this contingency from arising, but clearly there are those who don't.

Where is the regulator :rolleyes:

FYSTI
29th May 2013, 02:28
Where is the regulator :rolleyes:
Wrong question, it IS the regulator.

neville_nobody
29th May 2013, 04:08
My beef is that QF are getting an enormous competitive advantage out of this. Whilst everybody else is carrying around alternates and diverting, they're just rolling up and autolanding illegally. In the second instance mentioned above Qantas landed and BA had to divert. So BA get penalised in a commercial sense for following the law yet Qantas are able to just land.

It must be a giant pain in the backside for airlines like Delta/United/Air Canada who would not have much in the way of spare crews lying around. So the delays after rescuing the aircraft and crew from the alternate and the subsequent schedule delays must cost a fortune.

Begs the question what would Qantas have to do for CASA to take action?

Some lightweight commentary here from the ABC on Sydney airport and the fog. No mention of the fact that a major international airport which has a significant number of Long haul flights inbound at dawn should have a CAT III approach regardless of the number of times a year the fog hits.

The World Today - Fog causes air delays for second day in a row 29/05/2013 (http://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/content/2013/s3769955.htm)

Keg
29th May 2013, 04:58
WTF? Someone want to throw some facts on this?

I can guarantee you that if a there is a requirement for an alternate, Qantas carries one. I can guarantee you that if they are limited in the fuel they can carry so as to be not able to carry the full alternate, they plan to fly to a PNR and then divert to suitable aerodrome if the weather at the destination has not improved above the alternate criteria. I can guarantee that if there is a forecast (TTF) for weather to be below the alternate criteria when they get to said PNR they divert to the alternate aerodrome.

So just how the crap are they not complying with the requirements? At a PNR there may be no requirement to carry an alternate. None. Zilch. Zero. Nada. That the weather subsequently deteriorates below said alternate criteria is a forecasting issue that the crew have to deal with the most appropriate way they can. At the decision point though, the airport has no requirement to carry an alternate. Do they divert because someone feels that you have to arrive in Sydney carrying an alternate every day?

Further, these were the Qantas diversions yesterday:

QF intl flights bound for SYD diverted:
QF82 / 42 / 12 / 6 - diverted to MEL
QF130 / 118 and QF128 (744! rate visitor OEB) - diverted to CBR
QF24 - diverted to ADL
QF 22 / 108 / 50 - diverted to BNE
QF 8 staying in BNE - revised arrival into SYD is 1235

Obviously there was either a requirement for an alternate at DPA and the aircraft diverted because they couldn't carry SYD plus the alternate or they arrived in Sydney with the alternate fuel, flew an approach and then diverted.

So tell me again the issue? How is this 'competitive advantage' not also available to other airlines? Any other airline in the world can fly their operation the same way.

Captain Nomad
29th May 2013, 05:03
Relying on a TTF as opposed to a TAF? :E

Hugh Jarse
29th May 2013, 05:04
Keg, the issue is you're dealing with armchair experts. :E

Keg
29th May 2013, 05:07
Yes, it's madness isn't it. Relying on a document issued 10 minutes ago by a MET bloke who says that the actual weather is OK compared to relying on a forecast issued 6-10 hours earlier based on their best guess at that time. Madness I tell you.

What we really need is some MET people who can do their job well. If crew are getting caught out it's because the MET guys aren't forecasting effectively. I've got no doubt it's a complex job and I don't envy them what they do- damned if they get it wrong through being too conservative and aircraft divert when they didn't really need to, damned if they get it wrong by not being conservative enough and not forecasting something that was subsequently there- but ultimately we can only do the best with the information they give us.

neville_nobody
29th May 2013, 05:23
So tell me again the issue? How is this 'competitive advantage' not also available to other airlines? Any other airline in the world can fly their operation the same way.

It is competitive advantage vs the risk involve.

QF taxi around 24/7 with lights ablazing because apparently it is 'world's best practice'.

Yet world best practice would appear to be to carry an alternate, since that's what everybody does yet that would be a significant cost disadvantage to QF as they have alot of long haul sectors.

Yes it is complicated, no there is no accusation of pilots deliberately busting the regs etc, however you must scratch your head as a competitor watching QF go ahead and autoland whilst you are off to the nearest alternate.

And yes Sydney needs a CAT III. Given the high number of long haul flights into SYD is it ridiculous that we don't. The AIPA guy on the ABC had a perfect chance to raise the issue yet seem to support SACL line of this doesn't happen very often.

compressor stall
29th May 2013, 05:32
I don't think anyone said QF were not meeting any requirements. What they do is perfectly legal.

The question is, is legal sensible?

6 aircraft may have had alternates yesterday and that's fantastic ('cos they needed it). But why did one not have one?

It's not unreasonable to think that a fuel policy where one airline has two autolands in two weeks due to "no gas to go anywhere else" should be the subject of discussion.

I've worked very closely alongside BOM (and seconded QF met. personnel) in the past and they are a good team. Yes some better than others, but they can only write what the models tell them with an amount of hunch thrown in. Weather forecasting will never be perfect and blaming them is not really helping your cause.

scrubba
29th May 2013, 05:43
interesting way that QF2 did NOT declare a fuel emergency, just a laconic statement to say we've got no gas to go anywhere else, so we're just gunna autoland. :eek: :eek: :eek:

I wonder what protections were in place to guarantee a suitable ILS signal - no other aircraft taxiing or being towed or safety cars parked near antennas, etc. :ugh: :ugh: :ugh:

clear to land
29th May 2013, 06:00
Surely if you do an Autoland at a non-LVO airport you are required to declare a MAYDAY! There is no critical area protection, No LVO procedures in place on the ground and no guarantee of signal reliability. To perform this you would legally have to be an EMG status aircraft. If the crew did not declare a MAYDAY then the PIC has operated illegally and should be subject to the full force of the law. If he did declare, then he used his EMG authority as PIC so only needs to fill in an ASR, and probably attend a Safety Brief with the company safety department. The question is-was an EMG declared for the autolands that were performed? Given that the media is not full of reports of a QF 'MAYDAY' I am leaning towards a straight breach of the Rules and Regs. What actually happened?

Tankengine
29th May 2013, 06:00
Today looking at the basic info on the TAF, forecast wind, QNH, temp/dew point it was pretty obvious to me that Sydney would probably (>90%) have fog.
The met man put on Prob30 Tempo.:hmm:
Qantas flight planned us with diversion to MEL plus traffic hold MEL plus Tempo plus 2.6 tonne "planned additional":)
After a little slowdown we had a go (better than RVR 550 reported), missed approach, held for a while, conditions up to 700RVR so had another go and missed out, went to MEL, got there with over an hours worth of fuel.:ok:
By the time we refuelled and got back to Sydney ( and 20 mins hold) it was clear.
Any armchair experts out there to tell me how to suck eggs?:rolleyes:

SandyPalms
29th May 2013, 06:38
interesting way that QF2 did NOT declare a fuel emergency, just a laconic statement to say we've got no gas to go anywhere else, so we're just gunna autoland.


I can quite clearly hear her say "declaring a fuel emergency".

According to the regs, a Fuel Emergency only requires a Mayday if the predicted fuel upon landing at the nearest aerodrome is less than fixed reserve (I'm looking it up, I don't pretend to know everything that is in there).

Maybe a Pan would have been appropriate?

Poto
29th May 2013, 07:01
Maybe 'Minimum fuel' as per the AIP

AIP ENR 1.1-98

60.5 Minimum fuel

Shark Patrol
29th May 2013, 07:25
How about we clarify a few things here, shall we?

From the AIP: "Emergency Fuel" - when the calculated useable fuel predicted to be available upon landing at the nearest aerodrome where a safe landing can be made is less than the planned fixed fuel reserve".

From the AIP: "Minimum Fuel" - when having committed to land at a specific aerodrome, the pilot calculates that any change to the existing clearance will result in landing with less than planned fixed fuel reserve.

So let's look at the case of QF108, for example, that flies from LAX to SYD. They probably leave LAX with an 06-12 TAF for SYD. If that TAF has any probability of fog below alternate criteria, the aircraft will have alternate fuel or, if unable to carry that amount, will be expected to divert at DPA (the waypoint before PNR).

Inflight, approaching DPA, if the TTF (which supersedes a TAF during its validity) has any probability of fog, then the aircraft will divert if it has insufficient fuel to fly an approach at SYD and then divert. If the TTF has no requirement for an alternate, the aircraft will continue to SYD.

Now if after passing DPA (with no alternate requirements forecast on the TTF), SYD unexpectedly fogs in, the aircraft is committed to a landing at SYD. Would the crew plan to fly that approach on their last drop of fuel?? NO!! They would probably hold for as long as they could, and then fly an approach so that they would land with more than FFR! Therefore, no requirement for a MINIMUM FUEL call, or an EMERGENCY FUEL MAYDAY call! Right?

Is a MAYDAY justified (grave and imminent danger to the aircraft and passengers and crew)? I would argue not. Is this a PAN (abnormal operations) situation? Probably. Would Sydney protect the localizer in this situation? I would imagine so, if the pilot declares that his intent is to carry out an autoland.

The Qantas fuel policy is approved by CASA. Any other operator could use a similar policy within Australia if they choose to. Okay?

Poto
29th May 2013, 07:47
Sharky's post is correct

clear to land
29th May 2013, 08:27
LVO's are more than just 'protecting the localiser'-it is a 'whole of airport ops' concept' therefore to do an autoland during actual LVO's would equate to a MAYDAY, as the PIC does not have the required protections, or the visual back up a practise autoland allows. Nothing to do with Fuel, purely LVO's.!

*Lancer*
29th May 2013, 08:43
CTL, 'mayday' is for 'grave and imminent danger' = it means you're at serious risk of imminent death, which isn't really the case here . PAN suffices to operate in emergency conditions.

So ATCers, CAN you protect the critical areas at Sydney?

Keg
29th May 2013, 09:31
So, having decided that the crew aren't operating illegally or obtaining an advantage over any other airline, we're now focussing on whether the crew should have declared a MAYDAY or PAN? Is that correct? We've put to bed the first issues and now focussing on the next one?

I've heard SYD ATC protect the critical areas before in inclement weather. Not sure why they couldn't in this case.

unseen
29th May 2013, 09:46
Lots of people give Qantas hell for flying around with more pilots than other airlines would on certain routes - 'too expensive', waste of money', etc etc.

I would argue that having to do an autoland in these very seldom seen circumstances (ie unforecast fog with very late warning after the PNR) in accordance with a perfectly legal fuel policy, is safer than flying around on long sectors with the legal minimum number of pilots - ie less than Qantas does on many longer sectors.

Fatigue causes many more accidents than does very rare autolands below minima in unforecast fog.

Just adding to the discussion - take it or leave it.

heated ice detector
29th May 2013, 11:11
For what it's worth I was towing an aircraft several years ago when the QF 330 from Singapore was making its auto land at Perth airport, ATC were understandably cautious by not giving clearance to land until I was positioned on bay, vis was around 50 meters and for all they knew I could of been lost and merrily hooning down the runway.
As a fair paying passenger I would expect the airline I choose to carry fuel for an alternate.
there is always an element of hope that the necessary safeguards have been applied with a cat III landing currently in Perth.

Capt Fathom
29th May 2013, 11:15
I don't think it needed a Pan or a Mayday or a Fuel Emergency statement.
All that is required is an Incident Report to explain landing with vis less than the required landing visibility.

Seriously
29th May 2013, 11:27
The answer is in CAR 257, an aircraft can land at an aerodrome when the weather is below the published minima in an emergency. :ok:

neville_nobody
29th May 2013, 12:09
So, having decided that the crew aren't operating illegally or obtaining an advantage over any other airline,

I disagree with that there is a HUGE commercial advantage on long haul flights with no compulsory alternates. Do the numbers on the LAX flights alone the savings in fuel burn + the extra payload carried is massive. EK and QF operate the same aircraft on the same route, it would be interesting how much more payload you guys get on.

Then this sort of event happens and your competitors have aircraft and crews strewn all over the east coast, pax up in hotels meanwhile you guys are like 'oh shucks well these things happen', carry on.....

So how many illegal autolands would have to happen before the no alternate is a problem?

If say everybody used the QF procedures and we had a whole heap of autolands in the last few weeks do you think then ICAO or whoever might do something?

Singapore put one on the grass in Germany last year doing a autoland, which in Sydney would be catastrophic given the close proximity of everything, so they can go wrong.

clear to land
29th May 2013, 12:49
As per the above quoted CAR: 'in an EMERGENCY'-thus requiring a state of emergency to be declared. As someone who has done more autolands than the average QF pilot would do in their entire career, in many different parts of the world, there is no way I would do one at an airport not certified unless I declared a MAYDAY state. Note: I am not saying it couldn't happen to me, but that this is the ATC handling priority I would want.

Sprite
29th May 2013, 13:02
The airport IS certified for autolands, and it is not 'illegal', if it the fuel policy is followed.

clear to land
29th May 2013, 13:31
Really Sprite-care to provide the reference. There are definately no Cat II or III minima for YSSY published in LIDO. I am sure every other International operator that goes to SYD would be very interested to learn it is ok to do autolands there-I know my company would love it!

compressor stall
29th May 2013, 13:32
It is readily apparent from the many QF pilots here that QF (and CASA) accept that the mitigator for the risk of unplanned weather deterioration below certified approach minima is to auto land, instead of carrying an alternate like the rest of the world.

As the regulator is complicit in this, QF are doing nothing illegal. As I said at the start of this thread, the heat should be on CASA. Out of interest, do QF still have a pilot in the CASA office to 'help' them on policy issues?

Finally, if QF's no question fuel policy works so well, then why two auto lands in two weeks?

Capn Bloggs
29th May 2013, 14:16
Now if after passing DPA (with no alternate requirements forecast on the TTF), SYD unexpectedly fogs in, the aircraft is committed to a landing at SYD. Would the crew plan to fly that approach on their last drop of fuel?? NO!! They would probably hold for as long as they could, and then fly an approach so that they would land with more than FFR! Therefore, no requirement for a MINIMUM FUEL call, or an EMERGENCY FUEL MAYDAY call! Right?
Wrong. If you can't make a "safe" landing with more than FR, then it's a fuel mayday because if the aircraft had diverted to an airport where it could make a "safe" ie legal landing it would have done so with less than FR.

A "safe" ie legal landing would not be an autoland in vis less than the published minimum, just as me deciding that I should go to MDA-200ft out in the bush to get in because I was short of fuel would not be "safe".

Fair enough they got caught out by a dud TTF, but it was still a fuel mayday situation.

Keg
29th May 2013, 14:18
Obviously there has been two occasions where the weather has deteriorated below minima without being forecast that way. Your point?

PS: I can't recall that we've ever had a Qantas pilot 'in the CASA office' let alone 'still'. Got a time frame on that one Compressor stall?

clear to land
29th May 2013, 14:49
Keg the point would be that if any other operator did two 'required due to no alternative' autolands within a few days at an airport not certified for autolands and not having LVP's in place, then that PIC AND Operator would have some serious explaining to do. The Regulator should be asking why it happened also, as NO other operator had to do one-why is QF different to EVERY other operator?

LeadSled
29th May 2013, 15:17
Singapore put one on the grass in Germany last year doing a autoland,

NN,
My question is --- so?
If this is the incident I think you are referring to, it was a low speed departure from the runway due a issue that was not directly related to the fact an auto land was carried out. Again, as I recall, weather/viz. was not a factor.

If you were to use this SQ incident as a criteria, there would be no more auto-lands, to ensure the circumstances could not be replicated.

Whether you like it or not, ALL aircraft operations have a risk management basis underpinning the SOPs.

In the general Australian approach to when alternates will or will not be legally required (not just Qantas), the statistically valid results over the last 60 years or so validates the adequacy of the minimum legal requirements.

As I used to tell my student:
(1) If I always took the minimum the law (the fuel policy) allows, the company would go broke, because of the number of diversions.
(2) If I always took enough to cover every possible contingency, the company would go broke, because of the loss or payload and added fuel burn
(3)That is why we have the bloke or blokess called Captain, the one who finds the happy medium on each and every sector.

Tootle pip!!

lederhosen
29th May 2013, 16:47
There is some relevance in that it demonstrates the risk of autolanding on an unprotected runway. The SIA 777 autolanded when Cat3 was not in operation, e.g. it was unprotected. The departure was also not low speed if you look at the skid marks on the picture in the original thread and the fact they first went off the left side and ended up off the right side of 08R in Munich.

How does Qantas calculate final reserve. Is it 30 minutes at actual weight or is it a fixed figure? Some airlines have moved from a fixed amount e.g. 1200 kg on the 737 to a lower weight dependant figure (for a ferry flight it can be as low as 700 kilos).

Keg
29th May 2013, 20:55
This obsession with QF's FFR is getting very old. No QF aeroplane planes to arrive anywhere with just FFR of 30 minutes. That's actual aircraft weight and varies each sector.

Many aircraft have an 'arrival allowance' as well to get from 1500' to the ground. It's 1 tonne on the 767. I've never burned more than about 600kg of it and even then it would have been a day where I dirtied up earlier than that and had to drive it in against a pretty stiff headwind.

Capt Kremin
29th May 2013, 21:13
Clear to land, you appear to be confused between the ability to do autolands and LVP operations.

There are no LVP operations at YSSY but autolands are approved.

Apparently a few airlines landed this week at YSSY in the FG without declaring any form of emergency where others had to go-around. I think that would be more of a concern to CASA than the couple of QF incidents.

Sprite
29th May 2013, 21:26
The reference allowing autolands at Sydney is in the QRH. Therefore they are not illegal as some have claimed.

As for having an alternate always, how far do you want to take it? What happens if you get into the holding pattern (with alternate intact) then hold a little longer than expected? Do you then panic because you don't have alternate fuel after commencing an approach? A line has to be drawn somewhere.

Seriously
29th May 2013, 21:41
So the qrh says you can do an auto land at Sydney in wx conditions below the published minima? It doesn't mean in vmc conditions?

compressor stall
29th May 2013, 22:04
Capt Kremin: " I think that [the other airlines landing in fog] would be more of a concern to CASA than the couple of QF incidents."

Why is that?

Keg - at least about 5 years ago. Was an A330 skipper.

Sprite
29th May 2013, 22:04
No, the QRH says autolands are legal at Sydney. The FAM Fuel Policy (approved by CASA) says that it is accepted that there will be rare occasions when the weather deteriorates after deciding to commit to an airport. What QF did is not illegal, it is an approved fuel policy.

Also there appears to be some confusion autolands and low vis. You can do autolands on approved runways. You do not have to have a CATIII ILS chart for the airport to conduct an autoland.

As I said, the situation of having an alternate going into the holding pattern (even if not required by the forecast) but holding longer than expected, then having a drop in weather conditions to below alternate requirements, is the same. The end result - it is better to do an autoland with less than the minimum vis than to wait until you run out of fuel.

Capt Kremin
29th May 2013, 22:43
Compressor stall, there was a cryptic Notam issued at PER about 2 years ago reminding Operators that PER does not have LVP operations.

I followed a certain high profile operator down an ILS there a couple of years ago. Both myself and the Jetstar aircraft ahead of this particular aircraft went around while this aircraft landed.

Getting caught out by last minute unforecast weather is one thing.... Routine use of an LVP procedures to get in when none exist is another.

compressor stall
29th May 2013, 23:19
SpriteWhat QF did is not illegal, it is an approved fuel policy.

And the sense of such a policy is the subject of discussion, not whether QF had acted illegally.

Capt Kremin - Don't disagree there. The way your previous post read was that on the day in question, CASA should be more bothered about other airlines auto landing due low fuel than QF.

neville_nobody
29th May 2013, 23:22
The FAM Fuel Policy (approved by CASA) says that it is accepted that there will be rare occasions when the weather deteriorates after deciding to commit to an airport. What QF did is not illegal, it is an approved fuel policy.

That's nice to know maybe we should all get one of those exemptions, would make life a little easier. It makes for interesting discussion at a policy/legal point of view. Maybe they should apply the same common sense to their taxi light policy on the ground......

My question is --- so?

Point being that the QF guys here seem pretty blasé about the whole autoland thing. I was just saying they can go wrong. Maybe it being in the QRH might add to that, dunno.

End of the day if CASA says you can do it, you can. It is only really an issue in Australia as the rest of the world has CAT II/III.

I still think it's pretty gutsy to have it as 'policy' though and does give QF a significant edge over the 'rest of the world'.

Here whys when you ask for a autoland the towers says 'Critical areas not protected':

MISSED LANDING Singapore Airlines B777-312ER Munich Airport - YouTube

Capn Bloggs
29th May 2013, 23:40
Singapore put one on the grass in Germany last year doing a autoland,

NN,
My question is --- so?
If this is the incident I think you are referring to, it was a low speed departure from the runway due a issue that was not directly related to the fact an auto land was carried out. Again, as I recall, weather/viz. was not a factor.

If you were to use this SQ incident as a criteria, there would be no more auto-lands, to ensure the circumstances could not be replicated.

Nice try, but wrong on all counts. The crew (Captain?) decided due to the "average" conditions that they'd do an autoland. Didn't tell ATC and a 146 took off just before them (LLZ corruption). The aircraft speared off the runway to the left almost immediately after touchdown, then proceeded to do a all-wheel broggy across the runway into the dirt on the other side.

As for "replication" the only replication not needed was the crew to not do a autoland without LVPs...

Please do some research before engaging keyboard.

waren9
29th May 2013, 23:53
Apparently a few airlines landed this week at YSSY in the FG without declaring any form of emergency where others had to go-around. I think that would be more of a concern to CASA than the couple of QF incidents

What QF did is not illegal, it is an approved fuel policy.

So… CASA have given economic advantage to QF?

Why bother having alt minima at SYD when bugger it, we can all just go autoland there. Why bother investing in Cat II/III when you can get an exemption to do it on Cat I installations when you have a fuel policy that allows you to get into that situation not irregularly.

How many autolands this morning?

Shark Patrol
30th May 2013, 00:17
Bloggs:

I think we are differing in our interpretation of what constitutes "minimum" and "emergency" fuel. If I read your response correctly, I assume you mean that in the case of an autoland at Sydney in the circumstances described, you should declare "minimum" fuel, because you don't have enough fuel to divert to an airfield where you can land in accordance with normal procedures.

The reason I included the definitions from the AIP is because I imagine that ATC apply those definitions very literally. The definitions imply to ATC that unless you do not conduct your flight in accordance with the clearance you already have, you will land with less than FFR (minimum fuel) or you are already expecting to land with less than FFR (emergency fuel). Therefore, in both situations, you have a REAL fuel shortage. The situation I described - landing via autoland due insufficient fuel for diversion, but with more than FFR - by the definitions, and in their intent, is not resulting in an aircraft about to suffer from fuel starvation.

Other posters seem to be implying that Qantas just ignores TTFs and continues to the destination regardless of the final TTF. If you read my post I have said that the situations that have occurred in the last few days have been due to previously UNFORECAST conditions that have occurred AFTER PNR. There is a difference.

maybe we should all get one of those exemptions

The Qantas fuel policy is not an exemption: it is a fuel policy approved by CASA. As I have already said, there would be nothing stopping anybody else using a similar policy if they wanted to. Some airlines that have an alternate everywhere, get around it by using airports that are very close to their destination - Paya Lebar for Singapore (for example). So if Qantas followed that path, maybe we would be flying across the Pacific just using Richmond or Williamtown as our destination alternate.

Why bother having alt minima at SYD when bugger it, we can all just go autoland there.

I won't even bother replying to that.

Creampuff
30th May 2013, 00:35
The Qantas fuel policy is not an exemption: it is a fuel policy approved by CASA.How does CASA "approve" a "fuel policy"? Where is the rule that requires an approval of a "fuel policy" and where is CASA's power to "approve" it?

Just because someone in CASA says something is "legal" does not make it so. :=

neville_nobody
30th May 2013, 00:50
The Qantas fuel policy is not an exemption: it is a fuel policy approved by CASA.

Which it would appear at face value exempts you from the limitations of a CAT I approach, if you get caught out, which would make it an exemption to the rules.

Some airlines that have an alternate everywhere, get around it by using airports that are very close to their destination

And the point is?
Alternates have nothing to do with distance and everything to do with weather.

No problem having an alternate 40NM away. In some instances where they are separated by mountains the weather patterns are completely different.

compressor stall
30th May 2013, 01:03
Shark Patrol - how does QF mitigate the risk of unforecast deterioration at the destination after the PSD / PDA or whatever TLA QF calls it?

How do other airlines mitigate it?

Will the fact that the "rare occasion" has happened twice in two weeks be cause for review?


So if Qantas followed that path, maybe we would be flying across the Pacific just using Richmond or Williamtown as our destination alternate.

Well a 5 second check shows no fog at YWLM at the time that QF did its auto land in YSSY. (And to save thread digression, I don't even know the a/c type - assume it's heavy - so I understand that YWLM may not be suitable from runway, customs etc, but the point remains that a suitable airport could be close by).

Tankengine
30th May 2013, 01:18
When one of the airlines that always has an alternate diverts there, how much fuel do they have at the alternate?:confused:

What do they do when at that alternate the WX (unforecast) deteriorates below minima?:confused:

What do they do when they go down on fuel during the flight so they now do not have an alternate but the destination is Cavok?:confused: Do they divert away from their Cavok destination?:confused:

We could do this for days.:rolleyes:

Keg
30th May 2013, 01:19
No problem having an alternate 40NM away. In some instances where they are separated by mountains the weather patterns are completely different.

So lets say aeroplane is inbound to Sydney and their fuel policy requires an alternate at departure. Lets say that alternate (say CBR) goes u/S due unforecast FG en route. SYD is still showing CAVOK. Should that aircraft divert to BNE because they no longer have an alternate or should they continue to SYD where the weather is fine? What do VOZ do in this circumstance?

What happens when after deciding they are going to Sydney the weather at Sydney goes U/S due unforecast FG?

Keg
30th May 2013, 01:21
Lol. Tank engine and I obviously thinking the same thing at the same time. :ok:

Tankengine
30th May 2013, 01:37
So if you have a PRE FLIGHT requirement for a alternate that you no longer have IN FLIGHT then you continue to destination?:confused:
:E
So when you get to said destination and you no longer have fuel to an alternate AND there is unforcast fog then you are on exactly the same f%^}{]* situation so you do an auto land or ditch!:rolleyes:

waren9
30th May 2013, 01:42
So if you have a PRE FLIGHT requirement for a alternate that you no longer have IN FLIGHT then you continue to destination?

again, with the double jeopardy.

do what you can with what youve got

neville_nobody
30th May 2013, 01:58
Guys the argument that holding an alternate and getting caught is the same as arriving with nothing and getting caught is not the same argument.

A380 could have a quadrouple engine failure too. It is possible.

Shark Patrol
30th May 2013, 01:58
Compressor Stall:

I have been in Qantas for nearly two decades, have been on the line for the entire time and have regularly operated Trans-Pacific and very long range flights. You know how many times I have been in the situation that we are all debating here on this thread?

None! Nada! Zilch! Zippo!

I can, however, relate a tale from real-life experience to balance this discussion about always having an alternate.

NZ regulations required us to always have an alternate from top of descent. So to digress here briefly, if CASA were aghast at the QF policy, they could easily introduce a similar regulation if they wished. They haven't.

Anyway, I once flew from Sydney to Auckland (yep back when QF trans-Tasman flights were actually flown by Qantas pilots) that departed Sydney about 9pm and arrived in Auckland about 2am local time. The alternate airports in NZ for the aircraft type were Wellington and Christchurch.

The TAFs for the flight were Auckland - CAVOK for the entire period with no deteriorations at all; Wellington - fog for our ETA; and Christchurch - fog for our ETA. For the return scenario, Sydney would close due curfew half-way across, which left Brisbane and Melbourne (with a very strong jet stream to negotiate before landing).

The flight plan had us arriving in Auckland with sufficient fuel to divert from TOD to Nadi (which must have required less fuel than diverting to Brisbane or Melbourne from TOD). When we were approaching the west coast of NZ, we could see the lights of Auckland from 200 miles out, yet because of the NZ regs we landed with over 20 tonnes of fuel (which was astronomical for a 767). Could you imagine the cost of fuel carriage if this was multiplied for every single sector that we operate?

A second story:

When the cost of fuel was very high, our flight planning section was looking to minimize fuel carriage and Batam, about 15 miles away from Singapore Changi was approved for use as an alternate.

When we arrived at flight planning at Heathrow, Singapore had TEMPO TS for about an hour either side of our arrival time. Batam, however, was a single-line forecast and so we were given diversion fuel to Batam (5/8s of f*** all) rather than TEMPO holding fuel. That day we had the luxury of being able to carry TEMPO fuel for Singapore, so that's what we did. If we open up the possibility of using close-in alternates as SOP, that scenario would become much more the norm than the current system. I prefer the current system.

Somebody during the discussion has already mentioned risk mitigation. 99.9% of the time, the current fuel policy works.

compressor stall
30th May 2013, 02:19
Good to hear, Shark Patrol, but two of your colleagues have had issues in two weeks. I've been flying for a couple of years less than you and I have never had an engine failure. Should I stop briefing and considering the EO SID?

Seriously though - the issue is not with QF. The issue is with CASA. IMHO, CASA should be considering its policy in line with the rest of the developed world. But - as I have seen first hand some years ago in the CASA office - their attitude of "Qantas do it this way, so it's the only way" will I suspect prevail.

waren9
30th May 2013, 02:28
Seriously though - the issue is not with QF. The issue is with CASA. IMHO, CASA should be considering its policy in line with the rest of the developed world. But - as I have seen first hand some years ago in the CASA office - their attitude of "Qantas do it this way, so it's the only way" will I suspect prevail.

and here endeth the thread.

well said.

Shark Patrol
30th May 2013, 02:41
Without wishing to get into a tit-for-tat with you CS, the point of this discussion is the risk factor that is involved. Like you, I've never had an engine failure either, but obviously engine failures have to be considered because the regulations require them to be considered.

But where do we draw the line on what else should be considered? If I fly into a flock of birds on takeoff, I could easily lose two engines after takeoff. Should four-engined aircraft always be required to consider two-engines out performance whenever they fly? How would this requirement affect current operations?

As you rightly said, it is CASA that sets the legislative agenda within this country. I'm absolutely certain that they are fully aware of the fuel policies of every AOC-holder that is operating within their jurisdiction. If they had a problem, they would either act to warn the operator of a deficiency or legislate to ensure compliance.

Your last statement seems to reflect some sort of anti-QF bias, and I would hope that that is not the case. CASA is charged with regulating the industry and ensuring the safety of the flying public. At the same time, they would also be under immense pressure to ensure that aviation is a sustainable industry in this country. If they do not feel that they have adequate experience or qualifications to regulate the airlines that they oversee, then that's another problem entirely.

Ex Douglas Driver
30th May 2013, 02:53
So if you have a PRE FLIGHT requirement for a alternate that you no longer have IN FLIGHT then you continue to destination?

Yes, but the requirements become more onerous. Unless the destination is isolated (no alternate within 1:45 flight time; called Island Reserve with its own fuel and weather requirements), we always dispatch with a suitable alternate. When we discard the alternate in-flight due to higher than planned fuel usage, we have to protect against a loss of one runway, loss of precision approaches and poor weather, and probable ATC delays.
I'm not saying that the policy we operate under is perfect, but it attempts to protect against singular failures outside of our control, like grossly incorrect weather forecasts, or runway blockages.

FWIW, our airborne fuel policy in a nutshell:
In flight, we can continue towards the destination provided we can meet the following requirements:
1. Normal fuel required (includes fuel for a diversion to an alternate); or
2. Suitable ERA available (divert prior to passing overhead/abeam the last suitable ERA); or
3. In flight reduction of normal fuel required.

In flight reduction of Normal Fuel Required
If a flight will arrive at destination with less than minimum diversion fuel, you can continue to destination provided:
Enroute and prior to descent to the destination
a. the airport has two independent suitable runways (not crossing or reciprocal); and
b. the actual and forecast weather for the ETA has conditions better that the Non-Precision Minima for Filing as an Alternate, and crosswind within aircraft limits; and
c. there are no known ATC delays; and
d. fuel remaining is sufficient to continue to destination, +5% contingency from overhead/abeam the last ERA, +30 minutes holding at 1500' AAL, and complete an approach and landing. A further note says to use discretion and gives guidance to not use less a fixed reserve of less than 45 minutes.

After Commencing Descent
If a delay or unforeseen situation occurs that would result in the aircraft landing with less than minimum diversion fuel, the flight may continue to destination provided the landing fuel will at least be equal to fixed reserve. The commander must consider all relevant factors (Wx, delays, runway closure etc) before continuing to destination rather than diverting to an alternate.

compressor stall
30th May 2013, 03:05
Hi Shark Patrol - I don't have anything against QF. They are merely implementing a method of complying with a CASA rule regarding carriage of alternates (or lack of) and it works, mostly. As I made it clear on page 1, it is the CASA rule - not QF - that is under discussion.

My experience tells me that there is a very strong opinion in some elements of CASA that the Qantas way is the only way - even when presented with the fact that every other NAA and even the aircraft manufacturer sees it differently (a different issue than fuel for destination). That frustrates others in the industry - but I hold nothing against Qantas for creating an environment to capitalise on this luck.

Fly safe. :ok:

lederhosen
30th May 2013, 04:00
How does the Qantas operations manual define final reserve?
1. A variable figure depending on estimated landing weight and listed on the flight plan
2. A fixed amount covering all eventualities e.g. 737 1200kg (40x30 mins)
3. Something else
Does Casa expect you to have at least this amount crossing the outer marker, or on landing?

As more and more attention is focussed on fuel saving (sensible given the oil price) the pressure to reduce extra fuel increases. We are going to see more and more diversions and low fuel situations. An occasional event is fine, but if everyone shows up with little margin then things get complicated as they did in Madrid last year, even though everyone appears to have been in full compliance with the rules.

It may be different elsewhere, but our flight plans have considerable variance in how much fuel you really use, mainly but not only because we use the convention shortest departure longest arrival. There is no substitute for experience.

C441
30th May 2013, 04:13
Answer 1.
FIXED FUEL RESERVE (FFR)
The reserve fuel calculated as 30 minutes of holding fuel at 1,500ft. It is the
minimum fuel required to be in tanks at the completion of the landing roll.

lederhosen
30th May 2013, 04:37
Thanks for giving a swift answer. If you use option 1 in my experience 737 final reserve can be anything from 700kg to 1200 kg. It would be interesting to know how much it varies on the A380 from ferry to MZFW.

heated ice detector
30th May 2013, 11:40
As a fare paying passenger it certainly is concerning that in this day and age some pilots end up with only one option left, I thought the old saying was "if you are up to your last option you should not be up there".

Derfred
30th May 2013, 14:09
I doubt it was their last option. They probably could also have gone to Williamtown or Richmond.

They also could possibly have gone to Canberra with and landed with less than FFR.

However all of the above would also have been classified as "emergency" options. Obviously the Captain decided autoland in Sydney was the safest of these options. (Commercial considerations don't count once it's an emergency - safety only).

scrubba
30th May 2013, 16:15
Before this wanders off any further, does anyone have the relevant TAF and the TTFs that preceded and eventually led to this situation?

FYSTI
30th May 2013, 20:50
Historic TAF/TTF database (http://www.ogimet.com/metars.phtml.en). Set up a query with the location UTC date and time, two formats HTML( pretty) or text.

scrubba
31st May 2013, 04:00
FYSTI, thank you - that is most helpful.

Nice to be able to check the facts ;)

Keg
31st May 2013, 06:33
I suppose the question at the back of mind is this.

If Sydney is forecast CAVOK, should you carry an alternate? I'm looking out the window at the moment at a Botany Bay and airport skyline that only has single Chemtrail ( :E ) to mark the sky. I'd plan to arrive in Sydney on a day like today with about 75 minutes worth of fuel. You want me to turn up with more than double that in case of.........

If I'm flying from MEL-SYD I have CBR from about 10'000' on descent. If CBR's gone u/s due FG in the morning but Sydney's wide open you think I should have a return to Melbourne? My 'normal' fuel means I have Richmond anyway but that's considered an 'emergency' field for my operation.

mangatete
3rd Jun 2013, 09:59
Interesting discussion. CASA rules and therefore Qantas fuel policy is more conservative than other regulatory agencies I have operated with..

Like most other countries, CASA rules do not require fuel for an alternate unless the destination forecast weather conditions are below the alternate minima at the flight planning stage.

If anytime after the flight planning stage the weather conditions deteriorate below the alternate requirements or special alternate requirements, where available, the minimum inflight fuel must include fuel to an alternate.

If the inflight fuel remaining is not sufficient to enable the aircraft to conduct the approach at the destination and proceed to an alternate, then the flight must proceed to a new destination airfield that does itself not require an alternate or if it does require an alternate, the minimum inflight fuel must cover this.

In the event that the above option is not available the crew must make a decision based on the safest course of action, and file the appropriate paperwork as this is a reportable incident.

All international flights, I have operated into Sydney or any other Australian airports, that depart with flight plan fuel and no destination alternate fuel, will always have the inflight fuel on-board to divert to another suitable airport before descent has commenced.

So if forecast or actual weather conditions deteriorate below special alternate minima, inflight, and I do not have fuel to fly, approach, missed approach and full divert, then I divert to new destination.

This is Qantas fuel policy and CASA rules.

Neither the Qantas fuel policy or the CASA rules permit an aircraft to continue to a destination airport that has weather conditions below the inflight special alternate minima, let alone an airport that is below the landing minima without having full divert full to a suitable alternate.

So in answer to the opening of this thread, no I do not think there should be a change in the Qantas "Fuel Policy"

P.S
I have also operated into New Zealand ports and their rules only require the "TOD alternate" for International flights operating to a airport with a single runway, this is not a weather requirement, their alternate requirements are very similar to CASA, however the New Zealand NZCAR's "inflight fuel" only requires alternate fuel if the destination weather deteriorates below the approach minima, unlike the CASA requirement of the special alternate minima, therefore CASA rules are more conservative in this regard.

Safe Flying

astinapilot
3rd Jun 2013, 10:10
I may be wrong here but didn't the QF flights go past a PNR and therefore were committed when FOG came in. IE it wasn't at TOD that the FOG occured?
Not knocking Qf policy just interested.

mangatete
4th Jun 2013, 05:30
Good chance the aircraft had gone past a point where retuning back to an adequate airport was no longer available, however still more than one option ahead (prior to TOD) when flying towards Sydney from any direction.

Keg
4th Jun 2013, 06:03
I may be wrong here but didn't the QF flights go past a PNR and therefore were committed when FOG came in. IE it wasn't at TOD that the FOG occured?


I'd say 'yes'. Otherwise they would have diverted to said alternate!

Wizofoz
4th Jun 2013, 08:18
Like most other countries, CASA rules do not require fuel for an alternate unless the destination forecast weather conditions are below the alternate minima at the flight planning stage.


I beg to differ. Which Countries do you include in "Most other countries"?

Neither EASA (formally JAR) compliant States, nor North America allow planning without an Alternate except for very restrictive rules in the case of a remote destination.

clear to land
4th Jun 2013, 12:17
I will go further than that wiz-Mangatete please advise which countries other than Australia do NOT require ALTN's for an IFR flight?

Wizofoz
4th Jun 2013, 18:23
I suppose the question at the back of mind is this.

If Sydney is forecast CAVOK, should you carry an alternate? I'm looking out the window at the moment at a Botany Bay and airport skyline that only has single Chemtrail ( ) to mark the sky. I'd plan to arrive in Sydney on a day like today with about 75 minutes worth of fuel. You want me to turn up with more than double that in case of.........

If I'm flying from MEL-SYD I have CBR from about 10'000' on descent. If CBR's gone u/s due FG in the morning but Sydney's wide open you think I should have a return to Melbourne? My 'normal' fuel means I have Richmond anyway but that's considered an 'emergency' field for my operation

From an EASA perspective, that's the whole planned v enroute decision making spektrum.

No, there'd be no reason to return to Melbourne- you'd land there with the same fuel as Sydney, so where is the safety advantage in that?

The thing would be, you departed with fuel to reach two different places should one become unusable- in your scenario, one did.

The fact that Sydney has two independent runways is relevant- but lets take a scenario like Perth. it's CAVOK so you ONLY have fuel for Perth when, as number two, another aircraft becomes disabled on the intersection- NOW things get interesting.

Now, before the peanut gallery gets excited, you WOULD be allowed to commit to Perth with no alternate using en route commit rules- but you would have to DEPART with planned fuel to an alternate.

The chances of having an airport go unusable on the rare occasion you have to commit are obviously much lower than if you depart with nothing but fuel for destination on a routine basis.

maggot
4th Jun 2013, 23:34
If casa made flight planning altns mandatory i think we'd find a few very quickly added alts for the 380, Ric, ntl and avv lol, theyd all be sub 15 ton at a guess

LeadSled
5th Jun 2013, 01:10
nor North America allow planning without an Alternate except for very restrictive rules in the case of a remote destination.

wizofoz,
I suggest you have a close look at the FARs (both 91 and 121) on the subject, carefully and fully, and then revise your understandings.

In particular, the higher alternate criteria for no alternate on flights up to 6 hours are not particularly restrictive, given US weather patterns, although it is considerably higher than 400'/1600m equivalent.

One of the things that has always exercised my mind, is the number of countries that do not require planning for an en-route engine failure or depressurization, on the basis of them being a very rare event --- I fully understand the risk management logic, but having come from a background of always planning for depressurization and an engine failure en-route -- ???

As to "remote" destinations and "island holding", remote is determined on the basis of practically available alternates. This means that, if alternates are so far away that planning for an alternate makes the operation commercially nonviable, the destination can be approved as a "remote" airport.

This is why, for many years, Perth was a remote airport for "large" aircraft.

even when presented with the fact that every other NAA and

CStall,
No, they don't, see above, and have a look at the actual fuel policies of some longhaul carriers who are smart enough to know the "Qantas" system works, and has worked, with minor variations, for a bleeding long time now.
Two alleged events happening to one Australian carrier over a short period of time do not invalidate the statistics that under pin the Australian legislation and CASA approved fuel policies ( and please don't raise the accepted/approved thing).

Tootle pip!!

Creampuff
5th Jun 2013, 02:49
and please don't raise the accepted/approved thing OK then, I will make a different point.[T]he statistics that under pin the Australian legislation and CASA approved fuel policies …The Australian fleet has yet to fly a statistically significant number of hours. When it catches up to the first world, we'll analyse the statistics. :ok:

donpizmeov
5th Jun 2013, 03:52
Maggot,

There are lots of 380s flying into oz with planned ALTNs at the moment. That would be all of the ones not operated by QF.

The Don

LeadSled
5th Jun 2013, 04:16
Creamie,
If you take,as a starting point, just post WW11, and every sector operated since then, by ANA, Ansett, EWA,TAA, Qantas, MMA et al, and up to the present residual carriers, you may not be surprised that I would argue that what started out as a pragmatic approach to Australia's problem of long distances and very limited facilities, has been proved with the passage of time. And statistically valid. It certainly was not statistically based originally.

The first time I personally got involved "at the coalface", in the actual numbers, was in the early days or ETOPS/EROPS//EDTO/acronym of choice.

Remember that Qantas and Air NewZealand were into these operations in a big way, long before US or anyone in the then EU/JAA area. For the first five years or so of EROPS, something like half of all EROPS operations were conducted by QF and ANZ. In US, ALPA was bitterly opposed, largely because of the "Speed/Weight" formula used to set pilot salaries, and UK CAA and JAA, and European unions ( who had also opposed glass cockpits) were bitterly opposed. I think it was something like five or six years after the B767s went into service, before the first Airbus (A-310?) was EROPS certified, because of commercial pressure, and the 60m strangle hold was well and truly broken.

In arriving at the first QF EROPS fuel and operational policies for the B767, Boeing certainly thought the statistics were valid (but could be accused of commercial bias) CAA (or whatever is was then) agreed, as did the AIPA, -- who hired somebody whose name escapes me now, to do figures independent of Boeing etc.

Contrary to what some think, this was not all about the probability of engine failure, everything revolved around the weather, and how you handled it pre-flight and in-flight, for any number of reasons, when the forecasts turned out to be rubbish.

Along the way, a pretty deep analysis of the company historical records supported the long time policies.

I do think a 60+ years set of records, over heck knows how many sectors,millions?, is statistically valid, even if the number of aircraft in the Australia airline fleet was (and still is) miniscule, compared to US or other parts of the world.

There are lots of 380s flying into oz with planned ALTNs at the moment. That would be all of the ones not operated by QF.

Don------
So, what's your point??

Tootle pip!!

donpizmeov
5th Jun 2013, 04:56
Try and keep up leady old boy, mine was directed at Maggot.

The distances needed for ALTNs in Oz, and the lack of bad wx means a lot of fuel would be wasted every year carrying fuel that is not needed if ALTNs were planned all the time. Two autolands on CAT 1 ILSes in how many years doesn't mean the system is broken, it just means its a bit different.

the Don

Creampuff
5th Jun 2013, 05:32
I do think a 60+ years set of records, over heck knows how many sectors,millions?, is statistically valid, even if the number of aircraft in the Australia airline fleet was (and still is) miniscule, compared to US or other parts of the world.Yeah, you might ‘think’ that, but that does not make it so.

Another 60+ plus years and the Australian fleet might get close to the bottom end of where first world aviation operators are today in terms of kilometres/pax/kgs flown. :ok:

LeadSled
5th Jun 2013, 06:59
Yeah, you might ‘think’ that, but that does not make it so.Creamie,
Quite so, but at a minimum, it is a good start.
As you and I both know, for risk (safety) analysis, rates per sector flown are preferred by many as a truer measure of risk exposure than rates per ATK or similar. Hence US publishing rate per hours flown and sectors flown.

The distances needed for ALTNs in Oz, and the lack of bad wx means a lot of fuel would be wasted every year carrying fuel that is not needed if ALTNs were planned all the time. Two autolands on CAT 1 ILSes in how many years doesn't mean the system is broken, it just means its a bit different.
Don,
You are confusing posts ---- as a practitioner with something well over 20,000 on QF flighdecks alone, do you think I might actually understand the ins and outs of the QF fuel policy. Quite how you could come to the conclusion that I have any issue with the QF practices beats me.


Tootle pip!!

maggot
5th Jun 2013, 13:06
Maggot,

There are lots of 380s flying into oz with planned ALTNs at the moment. That would be all of the ones not operated by QF.

The Don


Yeah yeah, know that - im just remarking my cynicism that the stroke of a pen (mostly) and a little cash would suddenly allow far more convienient ALTNs that would easily accomodate a 380 (runway wise), qf doesnt carry them as such as they dont want to deal with a 380 turning up at Avv/ric/ntl at 7am. Looking at the 'usable airports' chart for qf 380s and this policy comes more clear, apart form maybe 15 airports 'designated', no airports are available (for planning) apart from these as they dont want to deal with a 380 turning up at these places, unless a very serious problem is unfolding, of course.
What this rambling is getting at; very few "suitable" airports available because they dont want to spend on it but if qf needed to carry altns for every flight, i'd bet few extras would pop up as available very quickly... :suspect:

Capn Bloggs
5th Jun 2013, 13:57
Two alleged events happening to one Australian carrier over a short period of time
Plus

http://www.atsb.gov.au/media/24331/aair200605473_001.pdf

Plus

Media releases: 02 August 2005 - Final ATSB report: Aircraft landing at Sydney in fog conditions (http://www.atsb.gov.au/newsroom/2005/release/2005_24.aspx)

Plus

http://www.atsb.gov.au/media/3460925/ab2011077.pdf#page=11

AileronsNeutral
5th Jun 2013, 22:37
Neither EASA (formally JAR) compliant States, nor North America allow planning without an Alternate except for very restrictive rules in the case of a remote destination.JAR allowed no alternate for flights less than 6 hours where there are 2 seperate runways and the weather was forecast to be 2000/5km. It was in the EASA version of my former employer's part A 6 months ago so I guess they are carrying on with it.

Capn Bloggs
5th Jun 2013, 23:35
Two alleged events happening to one Australian carrier over a short period of time
Actually, there seems to be a whole bunch of them:

http://www.atsb.gov.au/media/32921/b20040246.pdf

Capt Kremin
6th Jun 2013, 00:05
Actually, there seems to be a whole bunch of them


I think you need to re-read that. Most of them state that the aircraft landed at the destination minima. What is your point anyway?

maggot
6th Jun 2013, 02:11
Tactical edit :rolleyes:

Capn Bloggs
6th Jun 2013, 10:49
Capt K,

3 in that report landed either with less than required fuel or in conditions below the minima.

My point? I was presenting some facts which Ledsled should have considered before he implied that this thread was a lot of hullabaloo over (quote again): "Two alleged events happening to one Australian carrier over a short period of time". :ok:

framer
6th Jun 2013, 13:09
....but man they've got nice shopping and carparks.

LeadSled
7th Jun 2013, 08:55
NevilleN et al,

If you take the trouble to look at the comparison tables in the ATSB report on the subject, it makes it quite clear that the rule in the nominated countries are not greatly different to Australia's rules on the subject.
Put another way, the belief that "the rest of the world always requires an alternate" is just a tad inaccurate.

Bloggs,
My original remarks were directed at the genesis of this thread, not the recorded history of aviation.

In summary, the Qantas approach to flight planning and fuel reserves, and in-flight operational control, as well as always meeting statutory requirements nationally and internationally, is an operationally and commercially intelligent system, that has been proven by time.

A major part of reason the system works so well is that Operational Control travels with aircraft, and responds to the address: "Captain".

Tootle pip!!

thorn bird
7th Jun 2013, 12:54
Hear,hear leadie,
back in the dim distant past you never had enough fuel....unless you were on fire!!....so how much fuel is enough??...you cannot possibly allow for every contingency, just make intelligent assessments based on historical statistics.
I think the question should be why? given Australia's lack of tarmac we dont have CAT 111, I mean it was available back in the seventies...what year is it now?...maybe one day australia will catch up with the third world.

BalusKaptan
7th Jun 2013, 13:15
OK, time for me to throw my tuppence worth in. Having flown for two major competing Asian carriers, the current one for 18 years, both operators ALWAYS have an alternate unless Island reserve is approved. No Australian Port is approved by either of these two carriers so hence always an alternate. To assist at times a redispatch plan was used in the early '90s often using Alice or Tindal for the East Coast destinations or sometimes on an odd occasion even NZ. With greater range/payload capabilities these days I haven't seen one of those now for a good 15 years or so.
Prior to my Asian time, operating for an Australian company, even though an Alternate was not always required we never left home without one.
Earlier in this thread someone mentioned whats wrong with an autoland off CAT 1 when A/L approved. Quite simply, if it is below CAT 1 minima the accuracy of the ground equipment cannot guarantee you will always be in the correct spot. Evidence a 74 (non Australian) some years ago doing just such below CAT 1 minima into YSSY. Left some nice groves in the grass during a last minute go-around and gave Melbourne some free SYD turf on it's subsequent arrival down there.

Mic Dundee
7th Jun 2013, 14:48
[quote]This gives QF a competitive advantage over other airlines but at what risk?


The regs also require Australian Operators to carry INTER or TEMPO fuel when the forecast so requires!

This does not apply to Overseas Operators!


If the Wx is Tempo below CAT I mins, we at SWA (largest US Domestic Carrier), have additional alternate fuel.

JPJP
7th Jun 2013, 19:39
If the Wx is Tempo below CAT I mins, we at SWA (largest US Domestic Carrier), have additional alternate fuel.

That's fascinating Mick. :rolleyes:

SWA does not fly any international routes, nor does it seem capable of successfully completing ETOPS certification. No, San Juan is not another country, despite what your flight ops managers think. The airline that flies your international routes for you has nicknamed "SWA (largest US Domestic airline)", 'The Flat Earth Society'.

Carry on.

Wizofoz
7th Jun 2013, 20:17
Put another way, the belief that "the rest of the world always requires an alternate" is just a tad inaccurate.


In 13 years of flying overseas for four different carries on three different continents, I have NEVER even ONCE departed without fuel for a nominated alternate.

Whatever the nuances of the rules, in practice, a TINY percentage of the Worlds flights EVER depart without fuel to an alternate.

neville_nobody
8th Jun 2013, 01:05
In summary, the Qantas approach to flight planning and fuel reserves, and in-flight operational control, as well as always meeting statutory requirements nationally and internationally, is an operationally and commercially intelligent system, that has been proven by time

Yeah but you've had at least 5 fuel emergencies that I know of off the top of my head, who knows how many more there are. All of which would have saved by an alternate.

And while I agree that it is a tricky thing to negotiate and people have provided good arguments for both sides, given that the rest of the world do it would it not be considered 'world's best practice'?


The regs also require Australian Operators to carry INTER or TEMPO fuel when the forecast so requires!
This does not apply to Overseas Operators!

That's because they carry an alternate. Oz airlines can also carry an alternate in lieu of a Tempo/Inter as well.

LeadSled
8th Jun 2013, 02:10
In 13 years of flying overseas for four different carries on three different continents, I have NEVER even ONCE departed without fuel for a nominated alternate.

Whatever the nuances of the rules, in practice, a TINY percentage of the Worlds flights EVER depart without fuel to an alternate.

Wizofoz,
There is nothing nuanced about the regulations, they are quite plain.

I dare say that most of the operators you have worked for have, at least originally, come form areas where, at least originally in their history, the combinations of often lousy weather, and relatively short distances made always carrying an alternate a matter of little commercial importance.

In short, habit is no excuse for not doing considered analysis. In total contrast to the history of Qantas, where intense attention to such matters, to minimise fuel burn and maximize available payload was core to the business, and we all understand/understood that was core to company success.

We all know pilots are a conservative bunch, long ingrained practices are hard to shift, suggested changes produce the mantra of "safety", applying rational risk based criteria to airspace classification is a prime example in Australia.

A UK airline that I worked for for some years, having acquired a contract for some very long fuel critical sector into southern Africa, when we ( a couple of Australian working for this company) pointed out the fact that there was an legal "alternate" to always carrying an alternate, realised they had never really considered operating without an alternate. After rejigging the system, commercial payloads increased significantly.

The way fuel policies have developed in Australia, under quite different circumstances, for all carriers, not just Qantas, tells you no more than operating around Europe or the north Atlantic (something with which I am intimately familiar) is quite different to operating around Australia or the Pacific.

Using like scales, put a map covering just NSW and Vic. over western Europe, you may very well be surprised.

The common use of Inters and Tempos here to add 30 or 60m holding is a case in point, carrying 30 or 60 on YSSY is a lot less than carrying YMML as alternate, particularly if you are flying an aeroplane where there are no other alternates --- based on wheel loads, if nothing else.

Anybody who doesn't understand that it is all about risk management, and maximizing realisable commercial payload, need to rethink their approach.

Tootle pip!!

Capn Bloggs
8th Jun 2013, 03:55
The way fuel policies have developed in Australia, under quite different circumstances, for all carriers, not just Qantas, tells you no more than operating around Europe or the north Atlantic (something with which I am intimately familiar) is quite different to operating around Australia or the Pacific.
Yes, only because in the early days aircraft could not carry alternates all the time because they were gutless/couldn't carry much and/or couldn't go far. Now it's different. The capability is now there to carry an alternate; you just choose to accept that it's still OK to land below the minima on multiple occasions, blaming the forecasting. The forecasting is obviously (still) so bad that perhaps the rules should be changed so that these incidents don't keep occurring ie big modern aircraft should carry an alternate. If nothing else, it will sting the beancounters into action to make BOM do a better job.

Shark Patrol
8th Jun 2013, 04:40
An interesting discussion which suggests that the thread title should be changed to "Should CASA change the alternate requirements", because that's what it really boils down to. The CASA policy is that, if a destination is forecast to be below alternate criteria 30 minutes either side of your ETA you need to carry an alternate; but if it's not, then you don't have to. It's really just as simple as that, and the QF fuel policy abides by these regulations.

If nothing else, it will sting the beancounters into action to make BOM do a better job.

I can see two possible outcomes if more pressure were to be put on the BOM:

1. Under the present regs, they could become arch-conservative and if there is the SLIGHTEST possibility of requiring an alternate, then they will forecast accordingly; or

2. If the regs changed and every aircraft carried an alternate, their forecasting could become even worse with diversions becoming more common.

Neither outcome is desirable. As Mark Twain said, "Everybody complains about the weather, but nobody does anything about it".

On a different, but relevant note. A recent AIPA newsletter said that Sydney hopes to have Cat II capability on both 16R and 34L by the end of this year. Apparently the sticking point has been the construction of suitable lengths of HIALS for each runway.

Mic Dundee
8th Jun 2013, 05:02
If the Wx is Tempo below CAT I mins, we at SWA (largest US Domestic Carrier), have additional alternate fuel.

That's fascinating Mick. :rolleyes:

SWA does not fly any international routes, nor does it seem capable of successfully completing ETOPS certification. No, San Juan is not another country, despite what your flight ops managers think. The airline that flies your international routes for you has nicknamed "SWA (largest US Domestic airline)", 'The Flat Earth Society'.

Carry on.

JPJP, what a pri(k! Pronounced [pr-ik]. Look it up in the DICK-tionary. The circular, spherical shape of both the sun and the moon are also strong indicators that the earth is also round. Speaking of which, this isn't my first rodeo, I've flown around it a few times ya wane-ker. San Juan may be U.S. territory, but flight to it is international genius! Been PIC to every continent, accept Antarctica. Something like 19,000 flight hours. Heavy's? Been there, done that ... ya drongo! :/

Prince Niccolo M
8th Jun 2013, 05:03
Leadsled said:

There is nothing nuanced about the regulations, they are quite plain.

That is correct - in an "outcomes" framework as distinct from a "prescriptive" framework. The key phrase in CAR 234 is:

...reasonable steps to ensure that the aircraft carries sufficient fuel and oil to enable the proposed flight to be undertaken in safety.

What is "sufficient" and what is "safety" will be determined in hindsight by a Judge, not an aviator. :uhoh:

Experience in other aviation litigation determined by non-aviator judges shows that "nuanced" doesn't even begin to explain some of the outcomes. As far as I know, there is no legal precedents yet established in Australia at any serious level in the court system in regard to CAR 234. :hmm:

maggotdriver
8th Jun 2013, 06:58
From CAR 234

(3) For the purposes of these Regulations, in determining whether fuel and oil carried on an aircraft in respect of a particular flight was sufficient within the meaning of subregulations (1) and (2), a court must, in addition to any other matters, take into account the following matters:

(a) the distance to be travelled by the aircraft on the flight to reach the proposed destination;

(b) the meteorological conditions in which the aircraft is, or may be required, to fly;

(c) the possibility of:

(i) a forced diversion to an alternative aerodrome; and

(ii) a delay pending landing clearance; and

(iii) air traffic control re-routing the flight after commencement of the flight; and

(iv) a loss of pressurisation in the aircraft; and

(v) where the aircraft is a multi-engined aircraft--an engine failure;

(d) any guidelines issued from time to time by CASA for the purposes of this regulation.


Seems abundantly clear to me. We have the regulation that we will be charged under in accordance with strict liability. What part of "possibility of a forced diversion" don't some people get? Whilst we're at it "delay pending a landing clearance" - anyone not been to Per or Bne lately?:eek:

LeadSled
8th Jun 2013, 07:47
------the capability is now there to carry an alternate; you just choose to accept that it's still OK to land below the minima on multiple occasions ----

Bloggs,
And how many of them were below the approach minima, not just the alternate minima?? Still, I guess we know where Australian aviation would be if all the rule were made by people who think the way you do ---- always looking for absolutes were no absolutes exist. As in demanding something called "absolute safety".

Do you have any idea of how closely QF works with BoM to minimise the occurrence of dud forecasts.

---- that the thread title should be changed to "Should CASA change the alternate requirements",

Shark Patrol,
If you want to change the thread title, make it:

"Should Australia/CASA once again depart from ICAO SARPs,and the practices of major aviation nations and once again introduce unique Australian regulations, with their attendant risk management unjustified costs and complexities",

because that is what you are asking for.

Re. CAR 234, and strict liability, this is one of many regulations where it (in a legal theory sense -- and the ALRC tome on the subject) cannot be strict liability, because a judgment call is required of the pilot and operator.

This, and many other equally appalling examples of how "strict liability" has been incorrectly applied to many aviation regulations, abound, and are generally carried through to the "reformed" regulations.

CAR 234 calls for a subjective judgement, there is no objective standard in the regulation, against which (in theory) a finding of guilt without a mental element being considered, can be made.

Tootle pip!!

astinapilot
8th Jun 2013, 10:16
Mic

What a great post, laughed my as* (pronounced, are, S) off.

Capt Fathom
8th Jun 2013, 10:42
Is this thread still going?

Time to divert, or carry on regardless?

sunnySA
8th Jun 2013, 12:41
The forecasting is obviously (still) so bad that perhaps the rules should be changed so that these incidents don't keep occurring ie big modern aircraft should carry an alternate. If nothing else, it will sting the beancounters into action to make BOM do a better job.

Doesn't QF have their own MET guys, what were they saying (when compared to BoM)?

JPJP
8th Jun 2013, 18:19
San Juan may be U.S. territory, but flight to it is international genius! Been PIC to every continent, accept Antarctica. Something like 19,000 flight hours. Heavy's? Been there, done that ... ya drongo! :/ - Mic Dundee

Now now Mic, there's no need to get upset. I'm very impressed with your 'international experience' .....

- The U.S Department of State disagrees with you. They say that Puerto Rico is domestic.

- U.S. Customs and Immigration disagree with you. They say that Puerto Rico is domestic. Were you disappointed when you couldn't find a nice customs man to stamp your passport when you returned from your International travels to San Juan ?

The reason you think San Juan is "International", is the fact that only SWA dispatches its flights to Puerto Rico as an International flight. Everybody else dispatches under Domestic rules. Perhaps one day you'll be able to do the same.

Keep working on that ETOPS. It's only a couple of years away. Just like it was four years ago, and two years ago .......

As I said, The Flat Earth Society.

neville_nobody
9th Jun 2013, 01:34
And how many of them were below the approach minima, not just the alternate minima??

Three in SYD were in dense fog, admittedly one of which was ridiculously unlucky. They got the TTF close to the field and committed to land and the place fogged in that time.

Another autoland in PER in dense fog and another one where they passed the PNR and committed to PER saying it would be a autoland if required, luckily they beat the fog.

On all occasions a alternate would have saved them, whereas the policy of committed to the destination has resulted in autolands in fog on CAT I installations.

Anyway something for the policy makers at CASA to sort out if the Insurers don't beat them to it.

And yes I would have changed the title of the thread but the system won't let you do it.

sunnySA
9th Jun 2013, 14:09
TAF AMD YSSY 091106Z 0912/1018
29008KT 9999 FEW030
FM100300 36010KT 9999 LIGHT RAIN FEW035 BKN060
FM101200 30006KT 9999 FEW030
PROB30 0918/0923 0300 FOG

Here we go again...

Capn Bloggs
9th Jun 2013, 14:25
7 hours warning! Launch the tanker to rondaevu with Leddie in his trusty 74 over Norfolk inbound who wouldn't have any alternate fuel on! :}

Mic Dundee
9th Jun 2013, 18:49
Defeats the purpose, as too many diversions will quickly negate any fuel savings.

C441
10th Jun 2013, 02:19
Here we go again...
With an Alternate forecast on the TAF a Qantas aircraft would have the alternate fuel or would divert at or before PNR/DPA.

This whole debate hinges on the timing of the alternate declaration and its usually only an issue when an alternate condition arises apparently 'out of thin air'. That the TTF conditions can apparently go from no reasonable chance of alternate conditions (usually fog), to visibility below the alternate minima in a matter of minutes to me indicates a failure of considered weather observation and forecasting, not a failure of the airline's fuel policy.

Sometimes I suspect forecasters rely too heavily on their computer models, rather than taking a walk outside to have a look or listening to the bloke in the tower who's telling him the fog is "just over there" as evidenced in one of the aforementioned ATSB reports.

Derfred
10th Jun 2013, 02:28
Sometimes I suspect forecasters rely too heavily on their computer models

Sometimes I suspect pilots rely too heavily on forecasters.

Who is ultimately responsible for conducting an emergency auto-land and endangering the lives of hundreds of people?

Capt Fathom
10th Jun 2013, 05:04
Interesting concept.

If you rely too much on the forecaster, you will endanger hundreds of lives!

No more forecasts for me then! Just to be safe.

scrubba
10th Jun 2013, 05:16
C441 said:

With an Alternate forecast on the TAF a Qantas aircraft would have the alternate fuel or would divert at or before PNR/DPA.

Isn't the real problem when the TTF does not reflect the "bad news" TAF and is relied on to continue past LPSD? :uhoh:

Which, of course, is to hide the myth that the TTF is "good for 3 hours", when in reality it is only 'good' until the next one is issued - on the METAR cycle or if a SPECI is needed! :eek:

sunnySA
10th Jun 2013, 12:24
SYDNEY (YSSY)
TAF AMD YSSY 101136Z 1012/1118
29008KT CAVOK
FM110500 03008KT 9999 FEW045
FM111200 29008KT CAVOK
PROB30 1012/1016 4000 MIST
PROB30 1016/1023 0500 FOG
PROB30 1023/1101 4000 MIST BKN005
RMK
T 14 12 11 11 Q 1019 1018 1017 1018

A touch of déjà vu all over again...

ATIS YSSY S 101325
APCH:
EXP ILS APCH
RWY:
34L FOR ARRS. RWY 16R FOR DEPS
OPR INFO:
CURFEW RWY NOMINATION,
CURFEW IN OPERATION UNTIL TIME 2 0 0 0.
LOW VIS PROCS IN FORCE
ALL VEHICLES MUST CTC AN APPROPRIATE ATC FREQ
FOR TWY ENTRY CLR
WIND:
310/5
RVR:
RWY 34L: 300M, 150M, 300M.
RWY 16R: 300M, 150M, 300M
TMP:
13
QNH:
1019

LVP prior to midnight has to be some sort of record for KSA...

sunnySA
11th Jun 2013, 11:43
TAF AMD YSSY 111109Z 1112/1218
29008KT CAVOK
FM120200 36008KT 9999 LIGHT RAIN SCT025 BKN050
FM121000 32008KT CAVOK
INTER 1203/1209 5000 MODERATE RAIN BKN010
PROB30 1118/1121 0500 FOG
RMK
T 14 13 12 12 Q 1017 1016 1015 1015

A touch of déjà vu all over again (and again)...

Capt Fathom
11th Jun 2013, 12:08
Sunny.

We all have access to forecasts. What is your point in posting them here?

There is fog somewhere in the world every hour of the day. Sydney is not unique!

Townsville Refueller
13th Jun 2013, 08:50
Should QANTAS change their fuel policy?

Yes, they should uplift more fuel at Townsville. ;):E

Mic Dundee
16th Jun 2013, 04:21
Here's the rub... No alternate required at time of takeoff = legal. Airborne, destination Wx declines, originally not forecasted, and no tempo. No brainer. Just select an alternate short of your destination, or use contingency fuel. You do have "Contingency Fuel" uplifted, yes?

Keg
16th Jun 2013, 08:12
The answer to your question is mentioned multiple times within this thread.

Every QF flights departs with multiple arrival airports available to them at a number of places en route. If the weather at that last designated point before their arrival at destination says the weather at destination is suitable then they commit to destination. If the weather deteriorates en route and at that designated point requires an alternate or a fuel requirement that they don't have on board (an INTER or TEMPO for example) then they divert.

compressor stall
16th Jun 2013, 09:28
If the weather at that last designated point before their arrival at destination says the weather at destination is suitable then they commit to detonation

And therein lies the "problem" at hand. :ugh:

Buckshot
16th Jun 2013, 10:01
If the weather at that last designated point before their arrival at destination says the weather at destination is suitable then they commit to detonation

That seems a bit extreme. They should at least try for destination :}

What's with the JQ fuel policy? A BNE-SYD flight diverted to ADL and a AVV-SYD diverted to LST with both overnighting. Cheaper hotel rooms?

Captain Nomad
16th Jun 2013, 12:03
Isn't the real problem when the TTF does not reflect the "bad news" TAF and is relied on to continue past LPSD?

Which, of course, is to hide the myth that the TTF is "good for 3 hours", when in reality it is only 'good' until the next one is issued - on the METAR cycle or if a SPECI is needed!

I agree scrubba. Hence my candid TAF vs TTF comment back in post #77. I have seen TTFs go from no fog to TTF SPECI fog here NOW - no FM period or BCMG!

Fog is a wily foe and I don't know if we are always capable of knowing what it will do in three hours...

Keg
16th Jun 2013, 12:05
Bloody iPad auto correct. :ugh: :eek:

Mic Dundee
17th Jun 2013, 00:09
Mic

What a great post, laughed my as* (pronounced, are, S) off.

Yea, I enjoyed it too :D

Mic Dundee
17th Jun 2013, 00:11
The answer to your question is mentioned multiple times within this thread.

This thread isn't short.

threetwenty
20th Jun 2013, 23:57
And how about enroute alts?

Mic Dundee
22nd Jun 2013, 22:45
[quote]SWA does not fly any international routes, nor does it seem capable of successfully completing ETOPS certification.

You definitely misunderstood the context of what was said. If you want good info, you're not going to get it here. This is a rumour board. Rumour has it, SWA is FAA certified as a Flag airline. ©