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View Full Version : United mayday into YSSY 4thOct


UnderneathTheRadar
3rd Oct 2018, 23:30
Media reporting - including https://www.theage.com.au/national/nsw/major-emergency-response-at-sydney-airport-after-pilot-s-mayday-call-20181004-p507n5.html - reporting Mayday from United839 this morning due to low fuel.

Landing with less than final reserve I wouldn't have thought justified the response - but was it worse than that?

Capt Claret
3rd Oct 2018, 23:45
The AIP differs.

“EMERGENCY FUEL 12.1 The pilot-in-command shall declare a situation of fuel emergency by broadcasting MAYDAY MAYDAY MAYDAY FUEL, when the calculated usable fuel predicted to be available upon landing at the nearest airport where a safe landing can be made is less than the planned fixed fuel reserve and as a result of this predicted fuel state, the aircraft requires immediate assis-tance.

NOTE: MAYDAY FUEL declaration is a distress message. A distress message is reported when the pilot in command has assessed the aircraft is threatened with grave and imminent danger and requires immediate assistance.

12.2 It is a requirement in any case where an aircraft lands with less than its planned fixed fuel reserve that the pilot-in-command shall consider the event an immediately reportable matter and file the required report.”

TimmyTee
4th Oct 2018, 00:10
Is it a bit rich by the airline stating that there was no threat to passengers and “plenty of fuel left”? Why is it a mayday then?

Catwalk Dweller
4th Oct 2018, 00:17
TimmyTee - A standard boilerplate PR response, I would think - you'd hardly expect a spokesman to say, "Yes, but for the grace of God, they nearly went down in flames . . . "

V-Jet
4th Oct 2018, 00:21
"Yes, but for the grace of God, they nearly went down in flames . . . "

Less flames of course, than with full tanks:)

Catwalk Dweller
4th Oct 2018, 00:46
V-Jet: An excellent point! I'm a little slow on it today . . .

KRviator
4th Oct 2018, 00:58
Well, it was either declare Mayday Fuel, or land in a field to ensure their FFR was intact on touchdown! :}

hoss
4th Oct 2018, 01:02
31 minutes endurance = minimum fuel

29 minutes endurance = mayday fuel

Capn Bloggs
4th Oct 2018, 01:04
Hoss, gotta draw the line somewhere... :}

hoss58
4th Oct 2018, 01:05
So i guess their fuel policy is not to plan an altn but a re-clearance which begs the question did they fly past their re-clearance/divert point without the required fuel in the tanks.

Fly safe and play hard

Hoss

Capn Bloggs
4th Oct 2018, 01:12
That Flight Aware map on the link says to me they must have started to run below the line very quickly after passing Brissie...

InZed
4th Oct 2018, 01:25
VA did it a couple of years back. No NOTAM for holding other the standard required in the Jepps.

They got to YSSY and were told to expect up to 50 minutes of holding. The crew advised they could only hold for 30 minutes. Tower told them if they can’t hold for fuel then they needed to declare PAN PAN minimum fuel.

Could be the same with this situation? Unexpectedly high headwinds down south, and then couldn’t make the holding required. Alternatively, they did hold and then got themselves into a MAYDAY FUEL situation?

ozbiggles
4th Oct 2018, 01:37
I will have a stab
there was a message at some stage this morning to expect delays into Syd due ATC manning.
UA got the message and said we don’t have fuel for that MAV.
I see your message and raise you a Mayday.

judging by the tracking of the Aircraft into Sydney, there wasn’t a life or death fuel shortage....at least you would hope there would be better tracking if there was.

if this is the case there are going to be a lot of please explains going on right about now.

MickG0105
4th Oct 2018, 01:48
It is probably worth noting that American Airlines flight 73, also a B787-9 and also out of LAX to Sydney but about an hour behind UA839, diverted into Honolulu this morning. It could have been for a totally unrelated issue but it might have been for a similar emerging fuel issue due to stronger than forecast headwinds.

RodH
4th Oct 2018, 01:58
Then we get wonderful press releases like this as was reported in ABC online news and so accurate.

Safety regulator Air services Australia said no passengers were at risk during the landing and that the mayday call was triggered automatically because the plane's fuel gauge dropped below a certain level.

An Air services Australia spokesperson said instances like this were "not unusual".

"It doesn't mean you have no fuel left, and you have to land right away," she said.

"You still have a lot of fuel left."

Traffic_Is_Er_Was
4th Oct 2018, 03:08
"It doesn't mean you have no fuel left, and you have to land right away," she said.

"You still have a lot of fuel left."
and you have to land right away.

eman_resu
4th Oct 2018, 03:41
Its a slow news day down here today

They aren't changing the prime minister this week, so the media need somewhere else to put their breathless reporters. :rolleyes:

Kudos to the crew for following their SOP's, and missing the local orphanage on the approach....

C441
4th Oct 2018, 04:01
There is now a substantial amount of traffic departing the West Coast (LAX & SFO) about the same time and heading south west across the Pacific.

With the development of more sophisticated flight planning, two nights ago there were probably 6 or more aircraft (QF94, UA98, QF12, NZ5, UA 839, VA?, DL5?) all trying to get FL320 to 340, all going along roughly the same track. The NZ flight was cleared initially to FL260 en-route to Dinty (wpt); not sure how long it took them to get something higher. Ourselves and UA98 were never more than 80 miles apart from LAX to MEL all night. Some of these flights branched off but then the SFO flights merge so it's not unusual now to be asked by Oakland, and later Nadi, centre when you can accept a higher, often non-standard level. The same thing happens as you approach East of Brisbane as everyone homes in on Sydney, whether overflying for Melbourne or as their destination.

I'm not surprised that UA839 may have chewed through a bit more fuel en-route, but I am surprised it was enough to leave them down to min reserves, knowing that they are arriving in Sydney as the curfew finishes and multiple aircraft will be looking to land at the same time. Maybe it's just a clever way to jump the queue….

Occy
4th Oct 2018, 04:43
Maybe it's just a clever way to jump the queue….

Are you honestly suggesting an experienced airline captain for a major world airline would deliberately declare a mayday to avoid some traffic delays just because they want to "jump the queue"?

piratepete
4th Oct 2018, 05:19
Well, a few years ago a XXXX 747 was inbound to New York and after being told to hold soon declared "fuel emergency".Upon arrival at the gate the feds did a cockpit inspection and found they had lots of fuel so the Captain was barred from USA.He returned to NY quite soon afterwards with his new name........

Buswinker
4th Oct 2018, 05:22
It is probably worth noting that American Airlines flight 73, also a B787-9 and also out of LAX to Sydney but about an hour behind UA839, diverted into Honolulu this morning. It could have been for a totally unrelated issue but it might have been for a similar emerging fuel issue due to stronger than forecast headwinds.

i’m told that one was a medical

ruprecht
4th Oct 2018, 05:55
Are you honestly suggesting an experienced airline captain for a major world airline would deliberately declare a mayday to avoid some traffic delays just because they want to "jump the queue"?

Are you honestly displaying your lack of humour? :rolleyes:

MickG0105
4th Oct 2018, 06:02
i’m told that one was a medical
Thanks for that I recently heard the same thing but haven't seen a confirmation on that yet.

C441
4th Oct 2018, 06:14
Are you honestly suggesting an experienced airline captain for a major world airline would deliberately declare a mayday to avoid some traffic delays just because they want to "jump the queue"?
No. I couldn't find the 'tongue-in-cheek' emoji thingy but I have found this one! :rolleyes:

gazumped
4th Oct 2018, 06:36
ATC holding in Sydney is appalling, and compounded by very inefficient systems. Movements per hour are well below first world standards, if, for example, you were to impose the same operating procedures onto LAX, of LHR air traffic would grind to a standstill.
It would seem appropriate that Australian ATC be dragged into the 21st century.

drpixie
4th Oct 2018, 06:52
Movements per hour are well below first world standards

Remembering, of course, that despite having 2 runways, there is a movements/hour cap! Can't upset the locals, must keep the noise away from the PMs' electorate. And then on top of that, Sydney's special procedures - like all the STARs end in vectors!

KeepItRolling
4th Oct 2018, 07:08
ATC holding in Sydney is appalling, and compounded by very inefficient systems. Movements per hour are well below first world standards, if, for example, you were to impose the same operating procedures onto LAX, of LHR air traffic would grind to a standstill.
It would seem appropriate that Australian ATC be dragged into the 21st century.

Lose the movement cap and ease the NAP and see how many can be moved.
ATC works to the rules that are imposed from on high. Same as always.

gazumped
4th Oct 2018, 07:23
New PM’s electorate in now based in Cronulla, so aircraft noise shouldn’t be as bigger problem.
Movements per hour are also way down on par in all Australian ports, so the whole system needs looking at. To hold air traffic in HP’s for extended periods of time because of poorly designed systems seems morally wrong. The amount of money wasted in unnecessary fuel being burnt, not to mention the extra greenhouse gasses being generated, someone should tell the greenies.

Snakecharma
4th Oct 2018, 07:53
Think you will find a lot of the internationals (including VH tailed aeroplanes) don't carry traffic holding fuel - notamed or otherwise - they carry an alternate and have policies in place to deal with the traffic holding if it eventuates.

But my experience is that you can fly around the world, including north and south America, Europe and Russia and the first time you will get seriously dicked around is 250 nm of your Australian destination airport.

swh
4th Oct 2018, 08:18
Due to a sigmet MEL was no longer viable as an alternate, they proceeded to SYD without their filed alternate with enough fuel for MEL.

They declined ATC offers for closer airports(eg YWLM) and direct tracking.

swh
4th Oct 2018, 08:21
Think you will find a lot of the internationals (including VH tailed aeroplanes) don't carry traffic holding fuel - notamed or otherwise - they carry an alternate and have policies in place to deal with the traffic holding if it eventuates.
.

They do, it is perfectly acceptable to use your contingency fuel to count for traffic holding. No requirement to carry traffic holding fuel ontop of normal contingency.

Ex FSO GRIFFO
4th Oct 2018, 08:29
Many 'Moons Ago', a certain US airline used to be 'OPS Controlled' from USA by the Company.
We (SY FSC at the time) used to receive AFTN traffic from the Company for said aircraft advising the Captain to continue to SY, or divert to BN (Didn't happen very often) or whatever.....
Does this system still apply to some..?

Cheers

machtuk
4th Oct 2018, 08:50
Welcome to Australia, we'll turn the lights on when we find if there's someone actually home !

LeadSled
4th Oct 2018, 08:57
Remembering, of course, that despite having 2 runways, there is a movements/hour cap! Can't upset the locals, must keep the noise away from the PMs' electorate. And then on top of that, Sydney's special procedures - like all the STARs end in vectors!

Dr,
Nothing to do with the PMs electorate, these caps were legislated in about 1997, as an election promise.

However, politics does intrude, hands up those who remember Punchville and Breretown (Leon Punch and Laurie Brereton, LABOR MPs,) over whose electorates flights were avoided like the poison, unlike Liberal electorates NW of Sydney, where low, slow and noisy was ( and often still is) the order of the day, and complaints ignored.

Recently, again due to noise politics, the "80 per hour" is now longer an "average", but a maximum, making the problem even more inflexible.

You can justifiably blame Airservices for most of the infuriating Sydney "procedures", but not the movement cap.

Back in the day, we worked bleeding hard to have the "promise" treated as "aspirational", but a Minister could not be moved from his election commitment.

Later, we tried bleeding hard to have the Regionals exempted from the cap (they don't even register above the minimum threshold at the noise monitor points) but failed.

Given the runway configuration, and traffic mix, except in strong westerlies, YSSY can sustain about 135 movements per hour.

Tootle pip!!

arketip
4th Oct 2018, 10:47
31 minutes endurance = minimum fuel

29 minutes endurance = mayday fuel


What limit would you put then to declare mayday?

Ken Borough
4th Oct 2018, 11:11
Media reported that roads around the airport were closed. Did the authorities fear UA were going to land on Qantas Drive or O'Riordan Street? :}

josephfeatherweight
4th Oct 2018, 11:15
But my experience is that you can fly around the world, including north and south America, Europe and Russia and the first time you will get seriously dicked around is 250 nm of your Australian destination airport.
Absolutely agree - we make it so freakin’ difficult here and pretend we’re the best. Nothing against the ATCOs, they’re great, but the system is awful...

Lead Balloon
4th Oct 2018, 12:25
What limit would you put then to declare mayday?Perhaps when people are in grave and imminent danger?

The irony of the 30 minute fuel remaining ‘deemed emergency’ is that it presumes the pilot is not competent to make his or her own decision about when the aircraft is in grave and imminent danger, but is competent to calculate that there is only 30 minutes of fuel remaining.

donpizmeov
4th Oct 2018, 12:39
You need to ask your brother more questions LB. The final fuel reserve is on the OFP . Using our onboard inflight perf app it's a conservative amount . The FMC also gives you a pretty good idea . No guess work required . It's very user friendly .
it's good to see the handling of low fuel situations is now pretty standard throughout most of the world .

FlightDetent
4th Oct 2018, 13:17
Certain popular A/C type has a minimum fuel limitation of 1500 kgs for TKOF. Providing a positive margin to prevent the pumps getting uncovered.

​​​​​​The normal FRSV is 1100 kgs. Indicated.

​​​​​​----------

​​​​​​Use all the smartness to land above FRSV. If that does not work, you can still do the right thing: Fold and ask for help. Even egos stay intact. :ok:

Old Fella
4th Oct 2018, 13:18
New PM’s electorate in now based in Cronulla, so aircraft noise shouldn’t be as bigger problem.
Movements per hour are also way down on par in all Australian ports, so the whole system needs looking at. To hold air traffic in HP’s for extended periods of time because of poorly designed systems seems morally wrong. The amount of money wasted in unnecessary fuel being burnt, not to mention the extra greenhouse gasses being generated, someone should tell the greenies.


Arriving aircraft into YSSY have been getting put in holding patterns for more years than I can remember. Bad enough having to hold, but to add to the aggravation then get requested
to make best speed to join the approach. Often used to happen, seems nothing has changed much.

601
4th Oct 2018, 15:00
We were putting us with this [email protected] in the 70s. It did not only apply to aircraft on the end of a 14 hr leg but legs like Wollongong to Sydney and hold at Bindook for twice as long as the flight.
Brisbane was just as bad.
TWB to BN get to 20DME and get hit with unplanned 30 holding. One pilot replied that that would use his 15% and some of his FR. ATC reply was "cancel hold, track direct"

MarkerInbound
4th Oct 2018, 15:01
Ex FSO,

There are "redispatch" flight plans. Say it's 14 hours LAX-SYD. The FAA regs would require enough fuel to fly to SYD plus 10 percent (84 minutes) plus 30 minutes plus to an alternate. If you make it two flights you reduce the 10 percent fuel. Say initially release the flight to Nadi, call it a 10 hour flight. So enough fuel to get to Nadi plus 10 percent which is now 60 minutes plus the 30 minute reserve plus an alternate, say Faleolo about 1+30 away. You put on enough fuel to fly LAX to SYD plus some more. At about the 9 hour point the flight is "redispatched" with new paperwork to proceed from a waypoint about 5 hours out from SYD. So now you need enough fuel to fly to SYD which you had from the start (the Faleolo fuel gets repurposed) plus 10 percent (down to 30 minutes so the other 30 minutes is also repurposed) plus the same 30 minute reserve. And if the weather is good since the flight is now under 6 hours no alternate is required.

That is done all the time. PAX and ATC have no idea the company's original plan was to only go to Nadi. There has to be contact between the flight and the company for the redispatch to occur. Now it's normally done through ACCARS or Sat phone.

krismiler
4th Oct 2018, 23:38
Dipping the tanks of an aircraft which has declared a fuel emergency is standard practice on arrival in many countries.

Usually aircraft arriving at Australian airports which are coming from Africa or the West coast of North America are exempt from carrying NOTAM specified traffic holding fuel as ATC can give them priority. Obviously ATC can’t do anything about weather or headwinds though.

Redispatch is also a common procedure which allows an aircraft to depart with less than the normal fuel required by reducing contingency fuel which as a percentage of a long haul flights load is considerable. At the intermediate point nominated you would have the fuel required to divert to your enroute alternate but now the contingency fuel is based on continuing from this point rather than the entire flight so savings can be made.

FPDO
5th Oct 2018, 00:47
Who authorised the closure of the roads???????????

Tankengine
5th Oct 2018, 01:02
Who authorised the closure of the roads???????????


Exactly! No real issues with emergency declaration for low fuel when shit happens, (although personally I think the rule should be “Pan Pan fuel” rather than Mayday), but closing the roads as if the aircraft had control problems is over the top!
It is only a “potential” emergency.

Roo
5th Oct 2018, 02:39
Dipping the tanks of an aircraft which has declared a fuel emergency is standard practice on arrival in many countries...
Good luck dipping the tanks on a 787.

morno
5th Oct 2018, 02:52
I think the issue is if they treated one Mayday differently to another Mayday, who’s ass gets kicked when they don’t close the roads because they think it’s not as serious, then all of a sudden it drops short and kills hundreds on the road beneath the approach.

You all talk about making things simple, why then complicate things by classifying Maydays differently?

The police would authorise the closure of the roads as per the emergency response plan for the airport. The same as the local hospitals would be advised, all emergency services etc.

morno

*Lancer*
5th Oct 2018, 03:04
Exactly! No real issues with emergency declaration for low fuel when shit happens, (although personally I think the rule should be “Pan Pan fuel” rather than Mayday), but closing the roads as if the aircraft had control problems is over the top!
It is only a “potential” emergency.

Road closures are also to allow emerg vehicles faster access to the muster points.

Lead Balloon
5th Oct 2018, 03:07
Tankengine nailed the solution:“Pan Pan fuel” rather than Mayday.Road closures are an unintended consequence of making something an emergency when it’s not. If ATC says there’s no way the aircraft will be slotted in within 30 minutes, that’s the time to declare Mayday and close the roads around wherever the landing might happen.

Ollie Onion
5th Oct 2018, 04:23
^^^ Problem though is that the Pan Pan Fuel call doesn’t exist. You should advise Minimum Fuel if you may eat into your final reserve, if you know you are going to eat into reserve then the book is very clear it is a Mayday Mayday Fuel. If the airport policy is to close roads/runways etc then that is of no concern to me.

Also there are many parts f the world who don’t understand the Pan Pan call, I was on the flight deck once where we had a Hydraulic Failure climbing out from an African airport and we declared a Pan Pan call to arrange an immediate return, there was no response to 3 calls, on the 4th the controller came back and said ‘what is this PAN you keep saying. We declared a Mayday and went back, everyone knows what Mayday is.

Lead Balloon
5th Oct 2018, 06:02
Tail wagging the dog.


I know what the book says. The discussion is about whether the book is sensible.


If the roads don’t need to be closed when an aircraft is going to land with 31 minutes useable remaining on board, the roads don’t need to be closed if an aircraft is going to land with 29 minutes on board. That is, unless the 2 minutes difference increase the probabilities of an undershoot or overshoot.

And if some heavy metal is going to run out of fuel because it can’t land at e.g. Sydney in time, isn’t it going to force land/ditch somewhere other than close proximity to the airport, thus rendering road closures near the airport somewhat pointless?

wheels_down
5th Oct 2018, 06:48
Where are the ATSB reports?

I have yet to see one regarding the mess from Malindo at Melbourne last week.

Why is the safety investigator so secretive?

gordonfvckingramsay
5th Oct 2018, 07:01
If the roads don’t need to be closed when an aircraft is going to land with 31 minutes useable remaining on board, the roads don’t need to be closed if an aircraft is going to land with 29 minutes on board

Talk about complicating things.

It's simple: The flight crews expectation that less than 30 mins will remain on landing is what triggers the Mayday, the Mayday triggers the airport emergency response.

It doesn't matter how much fuel remains after landing as long as a) there was an expectation in the first place that the reserves were in danger of being consumed to some degree and b) the aircraft lands safely.

LeadSled
5th Oct 2018, 07:05
FAA Order 7110.65U,Air Traffic Control,states in paragraph:2-1-8.
Minimum Fuel“If an aircraft declares a state of ‘minimum fuel,’ inform any facility to whom control jurisdiction is transferred of the minimum fuel problem and be alert for any occurrence which might delay the aircraft en route.
”NOTE –Use of the term “minimum fuel” indicates recognition by a pilot that the fuel supply has reached a state where,upon reaching destination, the pilot cannot accept any undue delay.
This is not an emergency situation but merely an advisory that indicates an emergency situation is possible should anyundue delay occur.
A minimum fuel advisory does not imply a need for traffic priority. Common sense and good judgment will determine the extent of assistance to be given in minimum fuel situations.
If, at any time, the remaining usable fuel supply suggests the need for traffic priority to ensure a safe landing, the pilot should declare an emergency and should re- port remaining fuel level (in minutes).

Folks,
The common sense US practice, but it does require that a controller be given a level of flexibility to exercise good judgement.
Tootle pip!!

Rated De
5th Oct 2018, 07:29
Folks,
The common sense US practice, but it does require that a controller be given a level of flexibility to exercise good judgement.
Tootle pip!!

Never let a perceived crisis go to waste.
Closing roads and paramilitary presence for a low fuel state?
At first glance looks like a bit of security theatre.

Rodney Rotorslap
5th Oct 2018, 07:38
Everyone involved in this incident will soon have to answer to a much higher authority.

There was a Sixty Minutes reporter on board and she was not consulted on the conduct of this flight!

tick tick tick

BuzzBox
5th Oct 2018, 08:05
LeadSled,

Isn't the intent (if not the wording) of that 'common sense US practice' the same as what we have here in Australia? The Australian AIP states:

11.9.5 Minimum Fuel

11.9.5.1 The pilot in command shall advise ATC of a minimum fuel state by declaring MINIMUM FUEL when, having committed to land at a specific aerodrome, the pilot calculates that any change to the existing clearance to that aerodrome may result in landing with less than planned fixed fuel reserve.

Note 1: The declaration of MINIMUM FUEL informs ATC that all planned aerodrome options have been reduced to a specific aerodrome of intended landing and any change to the existing clearance may result in landing with less than planned fixed fuel reserve. This is not an emergency situation but an indication that an emergency situation is possible should any additional delay occur.

Note 2: Pilots should not expect any form of priority handling as a result of a “MINIMUM FUEL” declaration. ATC will, however, advise the flight crew of any additional expected delays as well as coordinate when transferring control of the aeroplane to ensure other ATC units are aware of the flight’s fuel state.

The wording in the Australian manuals is pretty much word for word the same as that in ICAO Annex 6, ICAO PANS-ATM and the ICAO FPFFM.

Ken Borough
5th Oct 2018, 09:41
Everyone involved in this incident will soon have to answer to a much higher authority.
There was a Sixty Minutes reporter on board and she was not consulted on the conduct of this flight!

tick tick tick

:D. :D. :D.

Adamastor
5th Oct 2018, 12:10
Not casting stones, just some factual additions.

Traffic holding advice was 30 mins (post-curfew arrival burst).
Aircraft assigned RWY 16L with 2 mins delay (standard runway assignment for B787s inbound from east).
Aircraft required RWY 16R.
Aircraft assigned RWY 16R with 9 mins delay.
Aircraft declares mayday fuel.

Lead Balloon
5th Oct 2018, 12:43
Well there’s the emergency, right there. /sarcasm off.

Capn Bloggs
5th Oct 2018, 12:57
Talk about complicating things.
You can say that again, and it'll probably be the death of this thread, just like lots of others. A shame really. Without all the petty sniping, one could learn something.

krismiler
5th Oct 2018, 14:02
https://youtu.be/BvtnA6q0dBI

hoss
5th Oct 2018, 21:27
Now it’s getting really embarrassing.

• Congested airspace - pigs arse, on a world stage!

• If SYD had STARs that connected to the runways the situational awareness would have been improved. Let’s face it, that was mostly vectoring and every aircraft would have been uncertain of their distance remaining.

• SYD director - where “22 miles to run” could be 15 or 40, sometimes 60. (If I was already minimum fuel, I can understand how the mayday call is needed to tighten things up and get some assurance.)

• I am interested in why the aircraft was continued via the STAR and subsequent downwind leg fuel burn off as opposed to straight to the IAF, 2nm final, runway 25 etc.

• UAL voice seemed quite comfortable, did ATC ask for his endurance? Also curious if the aircraft actually arrived above 30 minutes.

• Shutting down main roads around the airport in this particular case is interesting, next time they should evacuate all the Terminals and surrounding hotels for a bit of sport!

A681001
5th Oct 2018, 21:31
Have not read all of this thread , so apologies if already mentioned, this brings back memories of a 707 diverting in Williamtown and unable to taxing off the runway due to fuel exhaustion, very close call
https://www.atsb.gov.au/publications/investigation_reports/1990/aair/aair199002365/

krismiler
5th Oct 2018, 23:59
Concorde once landed at Heathrow with so little fuel that when it arrived on the stand, the nose was too far up for the aero bridge to be connected. It had to be partially refueled before the passengers could disembark.

Capt Fathom
6th Oct 2018, 00:11
• I am interested in why the aircraft was continued via the STAR and subsequent downwind leg fuel burn off as opposed to straight to the IAF, 2nm final, runway 25 etc.

Hoss, they were offered Williamtown. They were offered runway 25. They were offered track shortening, but elected to stay on the STAR to 16R.
:confused:

ScepticalOptomist
6th Oct 2018, 00:45
Hoss, they were offered Williamtown. They were offered runway 25. They were offered track shortening, but elected to stay on the STAR to 16R.
:confused:

At the end of a 16hr tour of duty a long, familiar, briefed, and loaded arrival and approach would be a safer course of action. Especially if their touchdown fuel was showing just under what they legally required.

They would have been using Flaps 20 instead of the normal 25 or 30 with the associated extra landing distance required, as per the low fuel checklist and any extra fuel used by doing what they did would be better than a possible go around. Simple Risk mitigation.

C441
6th Oct 2018, 03:37
….as per the low fuel checklist
Assuming, of course, that they had a "Low Fuel" EICAS message. Not having the statutory and/or company fuel policy volume onboard doesn't necessarily mean the tanks are low. If, as has been suggested earlier, they no longer had a suitable alternate airport and the company policy requires it, they may have had plenty in the tanks, just not enough to go anywhere suitable, other than Sydney.
Having declared a Mayday I would assume an ASIR has been submitted and thus the details should be known somewhere down the track.

ScepticalOptomist
6th Oct 2018, 04:07
Absolutely C441

neville_nobody
6th Oct 2018, 04:18
No point in quoting the AIP for a US Carrier they don't use it and you may find that they have a more conservative fuel policy in their Company Manual.

*Lancer*
6th Oct 2018, 06:08
No point in quoting the AIP for a US Carrier they don't use it and you may find that they have a more conservative fuel policy in their Company Manual.

You don’t declare a MAYDAY if you’re not able to meet your company policy requirements. Operators are also required to follow local regulations, which means our AIP. Same goes when Australian aircraft operate to/over other countries, and airlines have plenty of ways to communicate those local differences to crews.

neville_nobody
6th Oct 2018, 07:39
Operators are also required to follow local regulations, which means our AIP. Same goes when Australian aircraft operate to/over other countries, and airlines have plenty of ways to communicate those local differences to crews.


Not necessarily you follow your Ops Manual endorsed by your local authority that CASA then accepts. There would be many things that foreign carriers do that CASA wouldn't necessarily aproved to a VH operator because our rules are different.

This is from the AIM and doesn't appear in the AIP which I suspect is the reason for the United Mayday and their ability to take the vectors. In Australia you are supposed to divert if you can't take the holding.

If the remaining usable fuel supply suggests the need for traffic priority to ensure a safe landing, you should declare an emergency due to low fuel and report fuel remaining in minutes.

swh
6th Oct 2018, 11:34
Not necessarily you follow your Ops Manual endorsed by your local authority that CASA then accepts. There would be many things that foreign carriers do that CASA wouldn't necessarily aproved to a VH operator because our rules are different.
This is from the AIM and doesn't appear in the AIP which I suspect is the reason for the United Mayday and their ability to take the vectors. In Australia you are supposed to divert if you can't take the holding.

They would have a Part 129 AOC from CASA which says what they can do, where they can land, and what procedures they can fly. It is also conditional on following the Australian rules where required. I didn't hear them report endurance.

wombat watcher
6th Oct 2018, 13:34
Hey wake up!
they were coming to Sydney.
they had FOB ex the US which complied with the UA fuel Policy
along the way they may or may not have lost fuel behind the flight plan
they get to Sydney and Sydney weather is not the best it could be
ATC imposes on themsome holding which they don’t have the fuel for
they say they can’t accept the holding and ATC says that the only way out is for them to declare a fuel emergency (mayday)
the laconic crew says Ok and declares a mayday
Aussie rules don’t differentiate between a mayday because they can’t accept holding and an I’m about to crash and burn scenario
hence the fireys and the ambos
so they proceed as per almost normal and land without the holding
the media want to know why there wasn’t a crash
ATC wants to know why they have enough fuel to taxy to the gate
Epithaph: It would have been a no drama operation if there was no holding into Sydney at that time.
PS holding into Sydney is advisory not mandatory.
PPS Williamtown would only have been available as an emergency airport ergo there was no emergency except for the holding imposed on the flight

Solution:
option 1 make holding fuel mandatory. Not a desired solution
option 2 have a category for a long distance flight to be able to declare a position where when the flight was airborne they met the legal requirements but the situation changed in flight, holding became a requirement, this could be waived without declaring a full emergency (mayday). The simple result was a removal of the holding requirement without the associated dramas, A practical solution.

rowdy trousers
6th Oct 2018, 20:35
What he said - simples.

Snakecharma
6th Oct 2018, 22:06
Wombat. Excellent post...will never happen as it is too practical :)

I have operated from oz to the US and unforecast weather has taken the airport to cat IIIB conditions. In Melbourne one of our few 3B airports the world would have ended, aeroplanes would be holding everywhere, the flow rate would have dropped to a trickle.

in LA, no mention of it other than on the ATIS and we got less dicking around than we usually do.

i cant help thinking that the Australian policy of separation assurance slows things down so much that it becomes an impediment, yes it introduces risk, but appropriately managed that isn’t a problem.

on the upside, the Australian ATIS is MUCH better than the US ones. The American ones read like war and peace and will have the weather at cat 3 minima and still say they are doing visual approaches to runway 6r...go figure.

Sparrows.
6th Oct 2018, 22:54
Australian ATIS is MUCH better than the US ones. The American ones read like war and peace


Compared to all the rubbish they have on the Sydney ATIS about parrellel runway ops, independent departures in progress and don’t pass through the assigned centerline. Is that really necessary on the ATIS or can it just be mentioned in the jepps rather than trying to listen to it?

C441
7th Oct 2018, 02:50
Compared to all the rubbish they have on the Sydney ATIS
Sydney compared to this? A near current LAX ATIS….:)
ATIS - 9 - LOS ANGELES - LAX -
- Los Angeles International airport information Romeo, 2250 zulu.
- 220/11 10SM FEW( clouds )022 FEW( clouds )030 055SCT 13/07 A3018.
- Simultaneous ILS approaches in progress to runway 24R and 25L, or vectors for visual approach will be provided.
- Simultaneous visual approaches to all runways are in progress and parallel localizer approaches are in progress between Los Angeles International and Hawthorne airport.
- Simultaneous instrument departures in progress runway 24 and 25.
Notices to Airmen :
- Use caution for two metal plates on taxiway B, between taxiway C5 and taxiway C4.
- Upon received of your ATC clearance, read back only your call sign and transponder code unless you have a question.
- Advise on initial contact you have information Romeo.

….and that's a short one!

Capn Bloggs
7th Oct 2018, 02:54
option 2 have a category for a long distance flight to be able to declare a position where when the flight was airborne they met the legal requirements but the situation changed in flight, holding became a requirement, this could be waived without declaring a full emergency (mayday). The simple result was a removal of the holding requirement without the associated dramas, A practical solution.
No, if you don't carry the traffic advisory, don't start bleating and asking for preferential treatment when it inevitably occurs. And answer to CASA for landing a 200t jet with 200 punters with less than 30 minutes of fuel. Cowboys. I suppose the 787 doesn't have a drill for gear refusing to come down/cabin prep...

Snakecharma
7th Oct 2018, 04:05
Hey bloggsy, I normally agree with you but not on this one.

we have been coming for 14-15 hrs and the times are available on the cpdlc so it shouldn’t come as a huge shock that we are going to be there at a particular time. If anyone wants to bleat about them being given 2nd place to a long range international stiff shit, the vast majority of traffic is domestic so a few long range internationals isn’t going to screw the system too badly.

that said, get rid of separation assurance and move more traffic and we would all be fine. The 80 am hr cap would then be the biggest drama for Sydney.

neville_nobody
7th Oct 2018, 04:36
Once upon a time long haul flights were exempt from traffic holding, what was the logic behind the change? As Snakecharma says the whole world knows they're coming for the last 15 hours why can't the flow be built around them?

swh
7th Oct 2018, 06:08
As Snakecharma says the whole world knows they're coming for the last 15 hours why can't the flow be built around them?


Their scheduled arrival time is 7:45 local, try turning up in DXB, LHR, FRA 60-90 minutes early, they knew they were going to be early before they even pushed back. They started their descent into SYD before the airport had even opened and touched down around 6:35. The whole world knows Sydney has a curfew, delays are always expected when the runway opens while they clear the amount of traffic backed up because of the curfew. They are also aware of the updated forecasts including the SIGMET for conditions to get worse in the Sydney area for their arrival time.

donpizmeov
7th Oct 2018, 06:11
Nev that would work well for a week . But then because the flights become more efficient they will be dispatched with less fuel . And the problem will return .

zanzibar
7th Oct 2018, 07:50
PS holding into Sydney is advisory not mandatory.

Are you sure? AIP ENR 1.1, para 11.9.3.1 suggests otherwise.

Of course, you can choose not to carry any holding whatsoever (wx, traffic etc) and carry an alternate but that sort of planning would be inane - arriving over your destination and immediately diverting :rolleyes:

Snakecharma
7th Oct 2018, 08:01
SWH, couple of points, it would not be unheard of for forecasts to change for the worse whilst enroute. Short of magicing up more fuel then there isn’t much that can be done about that.

Re the arriving early bit, you are right sometimes the winds work in favour of an early arrival, but even then the FMC arrival time is available for all to see in the system from departure so it shouldn’t be too hard to manage arrivals without holding. Work out times and send the inbounds a feeder fix time 10-12 hrs out not 10-12 minutes.

Capn Bloggs
7th Oct 2018, 08:36
PS holding into Sydney is advisory not mandatory.

Are you sure? AIP ENR 1.1, para 11.9.3.1 suggests otherwise.
I think he meant Traffic Holding fuel.

Capn Bloggs
7th Oct 2018, 08:38
Short of magicing up more fuel then there isn’t much that can be done about that.
Snake into YBBN for a topup... :ok:

Derfred
7th Oct 2018, 09:41
I have a policy of magicing more fuel prior to departure. It’s worked pretty well for me. No Mayday Fuel’s on my record yet.

zanzibar
7th Oct 2018, 09:59
Quote:PS holding into Sydney is advisory not mandatory.Quote:Originally Posted by ZanzibarAre you sure? AIP ENR 1.1, para 11.9.3.1 suggests otherwise.I think he meant Traffic Holding fuel.

Oops, my mistake, I meant para 11.9.3.2 which refers to Traffic Holding otherwise my comments stand.

Snakecharma
7th Oct 2018, 10:03
Bloggsy, a quick duck into Noumea or Brissie for a top up isn’t as easy or practical as it sounds.

By the time we land in either we are adding at least 90 minutes to the flight, getting a gas and go done on an unscheduled basis isn’t all that quick, and add that 90 or so minutes onto a duty period already sitting around 15-16 hrs and it is all turning to crap rapidly. LAX-SYD is already around the 15 hr block time mark, plus sign on and you can see it is a long day getting longer. LAX-MEL is much closer to 16.

getting flight plans, load sheets, fuel and a gate to park at on short notice isn’t all that easy a prospect and I reckon turning around in 90 mins is pretty good going.

there isn’t anything special about transpacific flying other than the fact that you tend to leave the US at max weight, so you can’t bung on too much more fuel, LA as an example has a thing about taking off into wind at night which further complicates things, and these issues make it a bit of a planning challenge, so throwing on a lot of extra gas for Mum and the kids isn’t all that practical in some cases (not always but a lot of the time) so while it isn’t a big drama to throw on 30 minutes of fuel in a 737, 320 or 717, putting on an extra 6-8 tonnes in order to have 30 or so mins available at the end of the flight is severely restrictive.

swh
7th Oct 2018, 11:40
SWH, couple of points, it would not be unheard of for forecasts to change for the worse whilst enroute. Short of magicing up more fuel then there isn’t much that can be done about that.

Re the arriving early bit, you are right sometimes the winds work in favour of an early arrival, but even then the FMC arrival time is available for all to see in the system from departure so it shouldn’t be too hard to manage arrivals without holding. Work out times and send the inbounds a feeder fix time 10-12 hrs out not 10-12 minutes.

The 030503Z TAF which was available at the time of departure had FM031600 18015G25KT 9999 -RA SCT020 BKN050 FM032000 18018KT 9999 -RA SCT015 BKN025 INTER 0322/0324 5000 SHRA BKN010 TEMPO 0400/0412 4000 RA BKN010. When they arrived at Sydney it was SPECI YSSY 032230Z 20012KT 9999 -RA BKN006 BKN035 16/15 Q1018. The forecast at time of departure was pretty close to what it turned out to be.

Between 5:17 am and 5:38 am they were within 30 minutes of Brisbane, at 5:47 they passed their ETP between Brisbane and Sydney. Top of descent for Sydney was was at 5:59 am. Arriving 15 minutes early is a bit early, arriving 70 minutes early is into a curfew restricted airport poor planning. Their FMC and flight plan would have told them it was a quick sector time, sometimes it is two hours longer which the 787 can also do without stopping. They should have adjusted their departure time to suit. SYD is not going to open up early and get rid of the traffic backlog just because they come early.


getting flight plans, load sheets, fuel and a gate to park at on short notice isn’t all that easy a prospect and I reckon turning around in 90 mins is pretty good going.

there isn’t anything special about transpacific flying other than the fact that you tend to leave the US at max weight, so you can’t bung on too much more fuel, LA as an example has a thing about taking off into wind at night which further complicates things, and these issues make it a bit of a planning challenge, so throwing on a lot of extra gas for Mum and the kids isn’t all that practical in some cases (not always but a lot of the time) so while it isn’t a big drama to throw on 30 minutes of fuel in a 737, 320 or 717, putting on an extra 6-8 tonnes in order to have 30 or so mins available at the end of the flight is severely restrictive.

They knew when they were at Vanuatu they were short and burning more than planned, an early decision there at 3:25 am could have had them in Brisbane at 5:25 am, and out again easily by 6:15 am. They do not need a gate, a remote stand and stairs is just fine to get fuel. The load sheet is simple, just the new fuel load no change to the ZFW. Flight plan can be sent to the aircraft via ACARS, all the new paperwork could have been on the aircraft in the 2 hours between Vanuatu and Brisbane. You can easily do a splash and go in 30-45 minutes, another airline did one in Brisbane in under 25 minutes recently, fuel goes in at over 2 tonnes per minute, you can load over 20 tonnes in 10 minutes.

You would be looking at under 3 tonnes on the 787 for 30 minutes at departure, not 6, 2+ tonnes for 30 minutes, plus around 500 kg to carry it. They only had a 5 pilot crew, other airlines operating 14+ hr flights into Sydney are doing it with 3 pilots.

Snakecharma
7th Oct 2018, 11:47
SWH, I was talking generically not to the specifics of the United Flight, as I don’t know what they are, but if they need 3 tonnes to arrive with 30 mins at the end of that length sector I am impressed!

The delta burn must be negligible because I would have thought that it burns around the 4-5 tonnes an hour, though not having flown a 787 I don’t know.

As for doing a splash and dash in 25-45 minutes then it must be a different mob to the one I work for as I can’t see us getting everything sorted in that time.

swh
7th Oct 2018, 12:00
SWH, I was talking generically not to the specifics of the United Flight, as I don’t know what they are, but if they need 3 tonnes to arrive with 30 mins at the end of that length sector I am impressed!

The delta burn must be negligible because I would have thought that it burns around the 4-5 tonnes an hour, though not having flown a 787 I don’t know.

As for doing a splash and dash in 25-45 minutes then it must be a different mob to the one I work for as I can’t see us getting everything sorted in that time.

You say you think it is 4-5 tonnes an hour, half that is 2-2.5 tonnes for 30 minutes. Then you are looking at 200-300 kg per tonne over that distance to carry the fuel.

No reason everything could not be in place in a 2 hour transit to Brisbane, a normal turn around is under an hour.

Snakecharma
7th Oct 2018, 12:22
SWH, if you have any numbers I am keen to see them, I am genuinely interested. Not flown the 78, but the bigger Boeings are a lot more, though it would be expected that the newer machines are more efficient

wombat watcher
7th Oct 2018, 23:09
The 030503Z TAF which was available at the time of departure had FM031600 18015G25KT 9999 -RA SCT020 BKN050 FM032000 18018KT 9999 -RA SCT015 BKN025 INTER 0322/0324 5000 (tel:0322/0324 5000) SHRA BKN010 TEMPO 0400/0412 4000 (tel:0400/0412 4000) RA BKN010. When they arrived at Sydney it was SPECI YSSY 032230Z 20012KT 9999 -RA BKN006 BKN035 16/15 Q1018. The forecast at time of departure was pretty close to what it turned out to be.

Between 5:17 am and 5:38 am they were within 30 minutes of Brisbane, at 5:47 they passed their ETP between Brisbane and Sydney. Top of descent for Sydney was was at 5:59 am. Arriving 15 minutes early is a bit early, arriving 70 minutes early is into a curfew restricted airport poor planning. Their FMC and flight plan would have told them it was a quick sector time, sometimes it is two hours longer which the 787 can also do without stopping. They should have adjusted their departure time to suit. SYD is not going to open up early and get rid of the traffic backlog just because they come early.



They knew when they were at Vanuatu they were short and burning more than planned, an early decision there at 3:25 am could have had them in Brisbane at 5:25 am, and out again easily by 6:15 am. They do not need a gate, a remote stand and stairs is just fine to get fuel. The load sheet is simple, just the new fuel load no change to the ZFW. Flight plan can be sent to the aircraft via ACARS, all the new paperwork could have been on the aircraft in the 2 hours between Vanuatu and Brisbane. You can easily do a splash and go in 30-45 minutes, another airline did one in Brisbane in under 25 minutes recently, fuel goes in at over 2 tonnes per minute, you can load over 20 tonnes in 10 minutes.

You would be looking at under 3 tonnes on the 787 for 30 minutes at departure, not 6, 2+ tonnes for 30 minutes, plus around 500 kg to carry it. They only had a 5 pilot crew, other airlines operating 14+ hr flights into Sydney are doing it with 3 pilots.



all of that.
maybe or maybe not, he could have managed the flight better or even to your satisfaction.
that does not get away from my point that “ I don’t have enough fuel to accept your vectors and your holding “ statement to Australian ATC has to turn into a full blown emergency with roads being closed, ambos and fireys being diverted from other more important tasks.

BTW statements that long range fights should divert to get a quick topup of fuel in changed circumstances are puerile and ignore the realities of aviation life.

Capn Bloggs
8th Oct 2018, 01:37
BTW statements that long range fights should divert to get a quick topup of fuel in changed circumstances are puerile and ignore the realities of aviation life.

The reality is you're ignoring what your aeroplane can't do, and demanding that the rest of us who do carry fuel so as not to have to declare a mayday (by diverting for a unscheduled fuel stop, for example) keep out of your way. Puerile indeed.

wombat watcher
8th Oct 2018, 02:08
The reality is you're ignoring what your aeroplane can't do, and demanding that the rest of us who do carry fuel so as not to have to declare a mayday (by diverting for a unscheduled fuel stop, for example) keep out of your way. Puerile indeed.

you obviously fly an aicraft on an operation where you can carry the extra fuel.
in the aviation world of today there are a number of operations where that is not a practical option.
Fortunately there are not too many pigheaded insular pilots who think the way you do. Most try to accommodate each others needs.

swh
8th Oct 2018, 02:10
BTW statements that long range fights should divert to get a quick topup of fuel in changed circumstances are puerile and ignore the realities of aviation life.


I disagree, they operate under number of exemptions and deviations in their OpsSpec to reduces the amount of fuel carried than is prescribed in the FARs. The aircraft physically has the ability to carry more fuel, this was a relatively fast sector time. They just didn’t carry the fuel from the outset to give them a competitive advantage. Then during the flight they were aware they had burnt through their alternate and contingency fuel and decided to press on.

We should not be bashing Aussie ATC if one particular operator cannot manage to get their arrival time even close to the ballpark. Many other operators are scheduled to arrive at that time, they should not be displaced and put at a competitive disadvantage because one airline cannot manage their arrival time or their own fuel policy.

United is a serial offender is causing additional congestion at that time of the morning, I am not sure if you were aware one of the aircraft infront of United from from LAX was the United flight from SFO, both turning up at SYD well before they are scheduled. That is two arrival slots and two bays being taken away from aircraft that are arriving at their scheduled arrival time.

The problems are not only on arrival, they are also causing enroute issues by taking away levels from aircraft that are on schedule.

wombat watcher
8th Oct 2018, 02:19
I disagree, they operate under number of exemptions and deviations in their OpsSpec to reduces the amount of fuel carried than is prescribed in the FARs. The aircraft physically has the ability to carry more fuel, this was a relatively fast sector time. They just didn’t carry the fuel from the outset to give them a competitive advantage. Then during the flight they were aware they had burnt through their alternate and contingency fuel and decided to press on.

We should not be bashing Aussie ATC if one particular operator cannot manage to get their arrival time even close to the ballpark. Many other operators are scheduled to arrive at that time, they should not be displaced and put at a competitive disadvantage because one airline cannot manage their arrival time or their own fuel policy.

United is a serial offender is causing additional congestion at that time of the morning, I am not sure if you were aware one of the aircraft infront of United from from LAX was the United flight from SFO, both turning up at SYD well before they are scheduled. That is two arrival slots and two bays being taken away from aircraft that are arriving at their scheduled arrival time.

The problems are not only on arrival, they are also causing enroute issues by taking away levels from aircraft that are on schedule.

how do you know these to be the facts?
if you have a fast flight plan and take all the optimum levels , how can you burn through your alternate fuel and contingency fuel? That’s a helluva lot of fuel to go down.

Capt Fathom
8th Oct 2018, 02:29
The aircraft physically has the ability to carry more fuel... They just didn’t carry the fuel from the outset to give them a competitive advantage
How do you know they weren't at Max Take Off Weight ex LA and unable to put on extra gas?

swh
8th Oct 2018, 04:07
if you have a fast flight plan and take all the optimum levels , how can you burn through your alternate fuel and contingency fuel? That’s a helluva lot of fuel to go down.


The extra burn was on average around 1 lb/minute, the profile flown was not as planned. Over 14+ hours it adds up.

How do you know they weren't at Max Take Off Weight ex LA and unable to put on extra gas?

According to the United internal communication over the event, they only took the full fuel required under their OpsSpec.

LeadSled
8th Oct 2018, 05:13
Concorde once landed at Heathrow with so little fuel that when it arrived on the stand, the nose was too far up for the aero bridge to be connected. It had to be partially refueled before the passengers could disembark.
Folks,
I was at EGLL one morning, when one Concorde couldn't even make the stand, it has to be towed in --- that is really cutting it fine.

Please all remember that the 30m FFR is to ensure all engines are running at touchdown, given the vagaries of fuel contents and consumption order of accuracy -- an engineering fact of life --- 30 minutes holding, calculated or indicated, could be zero minutes in fact.

There are bleeding good reasons for establishing the ICAO SARP --- in the accident and serious incident history.
Tootle pip!!

wombat watcher
8th Oct 2018, 10:01
The extra burn was on average around 1 lb/minute, the profile flown was not as planned. Over 14+ hours it adds up.



According to the United internal communication over the event, they only took the full fuel required under their OpsSpec.

Can you please spellout chapter and verse what their OpsSpec says they should have carried.

are you serious: 1lb per minute. That’s 27 kg per hour which is less than 400kg over the whole sector and you are calling that out as mismanagement.
The stupid STARS and vectors that have to be flown at SYD use more than that.