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View Full Version : Vueling returns to LGW due to too much fuel


vancouv
2nd Aug 2022, 08:48
Anyone know more about this? Sounds odd.

https://www.independent.co.uk/travel/news-and-advice/vueline-flight-gatwick-rome-fuel-b2135410.html?amp

oceancrosser
2nd Aug 2022, 09:24
Weird. Flying to Rome for 2 hours would have had pretty much the same effect regarding burning fuel. And they only realized AFTER take-off?
There has to be more to the story.

Dave Gittins
2nd Aug 2022, 13:02
Sounds more like they had a tech issue and either wanted some time to troubleshoot or wanted to burn some fuel to avoid an overweight landing.

DaveReidUK
2nd Aug 2022, 14:06
The author of the tweet referred to in that Independent link went on to post:

Francesco Ricci on Twitter: "@SherrFarFarAway @FlightEmergency because there was too much fuel and the Plane couldn't go high. So they had to burn fuel otherwise when they landed they would explode" / Twitter

I think that tells us all we need to know about the veracity of the report ...

SWBKCB
2nd Aug 2022, 14:08
Wouldn't they explode because they'd get too near the sun?

The Nr Fairy
2nd Aug 2022, 15:38
Wouldn't they explode because they'd get too near the sun?

Not explode but the wax bolts would melt. See the Greek AAIB report into the accident involving Icarus' home-made aircrat.

Wycombe
2nd Aug 2022, 15:41
I happened to catch this on FR24....my first thoughts were that it entered holding due to a problem during or immediately after departure. First at FL060 and then further SW at FL080, as reported.

What I also noticed was that there seemed to be a hold on Gatwick departures after it had departed. The next flight out (which I think was RYR to DUB) appeared to hold at the threshold for some minutes before departing. There looked to be a couple of abandoned approaches/holding of arrivals also due to this. None of this may be related, but it might be? (speculation, but maybe a runway inspection was required)

dixi188
2nd Aug 2022, 15:55
A thought.
Maybe they were fuelled to max and some vented on take off requiring the runway to be inspected. Then reported as a possible fuel leak, hence the return.
Just an idea.

Los Endos
2nd Aug 2022, 17:37
The aircraft suffered an issue with its pressurisation system and had to return to Gatwick but was overweight for landing and therefore required to burn off fuel weight for its return. Quite simple really. Another example of poorly researched histrionic media reporting.

DuncanDoenitz
2nd Aug 2022, 18:09
Is the confusion just a phonetic issue; Vueling problem = fuelling problem?

NoelEvans
2nd Aug 2022, 18:36
Is the confusion just a phonetic issue; Vueling problem = fuelling problem?

Heard/saw similar at BRU several years ago:

An A320 vacated the runway and asked to stop on the taxiway as the "had a few problems". Shortly after they asked why there were so many fire trucks around them. The answer from ATC was "you said you had a fuel problem"...!!

Flightrider
2nd Aug 2022, 19:11
Or the other infamous phonetics problem on a Gatwick flight many years ago, on an Air Ops Europe TriStar going transatlantic. Passengers had been told that the aircraft would need a refuelling stop but as the Captain made a heavily-accented PA before landing in "err, Gander", there was a near riot in the cabin. Turns out most of the passengers did indeed know about the fuel stop on the way to Orlando but had taken exception to it being in Uganda, which is what they had heard...

DaveReidUK
2nd Aug 2022, 21:10
Is the confusion just a phonetic issue; Vueling problem = fuelling problem?

No, just a passenger getting the wrong end of the stick.

BoeingDriver99
3rd Aug 2022, 02:42
As my account is likely to be banned shortly this may be my last anecdote to add to the illustrious pages of the once former great PPRUNE. Had a passenger pass out once due to low blood sugar/anxiety etc. Young female other wise healthy person. In Italy. I had the local Italian FO explain in Italian what the issue was but by the time we landed in Rome 15 minutes later the Tower was confirming the ‘heart attack patient’ on board….

tdracer
3rd Aug 2022, 02:43
Well I see MSN has picked up the same erroneous story.
Wasn't it Pascal that said something like 'In order to grasp the concept of infinity, one need only contemplate the magnitude of human stupidity'?:ugh:

john_tullamarine
3rd Aug 2022, 05:43
Voltaire, perhaps ?

Nonetheless a superb observation of human incompetence.

netstruggler
3rd Aug 2022, 07:22
I thought the only time you could have too much fuel while in the air is if you're on fire.

DaveReidUK
3rd Aug 2022, 07:51
Attributed to Ernest K. Gann, but possibly apochryphal.

vancouv
3rd Aug 2022, 10:50
The aircraft suffered an issue with its pressurisation system and had to return to Gatwick but was overweight for landing and therefore required to burn off fuel weight for its return. Quite simple really. Another example of poorly researched histrionic media reporting.

That makes much more sense than too much fuel and couldn't go high enough :ugh:

Rie
3rd Aug 2022, 10:58
Overweight landing is not really that much of an issue in the 320 though. Most of the time it is just a quick check to have the plane released to line. Is this just a case of people preferring to save their own behinds instead of landing earlier?

FlightDetent
3rd Aug 2022, 11:03
Since the legal possibility and authority to do so is not well understood by many pilot managers, can you blame the line crew or dispatcher on duty to err on the cautious side?

vilas
3rd Aug 2022, 12:25
May be they had taken too much fuel to take off higher than MTOW itself. So to be on safer side they didn't want to do overweight landing. There's no fuel dumping in A320.

EDLB
3rd Aug 2022, 15:23
And what would be the difference on fuel in circling 2h or go to Rome in the first place? Is Gatwick such a better place to get anything fixed on a A320 than Rome?

Nightstop
3rd Aug 2022, 15:26
Years ago I requested 6,000 kgs fuel for a quick early LON - AMS. Got to the aircraft to find a puzzled refueller waiting to make sure we wanted 9,000 kgs of fuel removed. It had 15,000 kgs on board from the night before, but the flight didnít operate for some reason. Had we departed for AMS the aircraft would have been well above MLW on arrival AMS. Pity Ops didnít know the FOB before scheduling that aircraft for a short sector.

DaveReidUK
3rd Aug 2022, 15:32
And what would be the difference on fuel in circling 2h or go to Rome in the first place? Is Gatwick such a better place to get anything fixed on a A320 than Rome?

I suspect that LGW-FCO at FL100 might have raised a few ATC eyebrows ...

FlightDetent
3rd Aug 2022, 16:16
I suspect that LGW-FCO at FL100 might have raised a few ATC eyebrows ...Apart from their well intended pesky questions, GPWS warnings and low fuel alarms can spoil the audio comfort as well.

Depsite looking illogical from a purely geographical point of view, if the origin is a not-too-small company base returning there is the optimal choice most of the time. Also for passanger service / customer care.

oceancrosser
3rd Aug 2022, 23:18
Apart from their well intended pesky questions, GPWS warnings and low fuel alarms can spoil the audio comfort as well.

Depsite looking illogical from a purely geographical point of view, if the origin is a not-too-small company base returning there is the optimal choice most of the time. Also for passanger service / customer care.

At a LCC??? :confused:

FlightDetent
4th Aug 2022, 04:15
At a LCC??? :confused:Money talks, yes.

If they manage to get a replacement airplane rolling within 3 hrs of the original scheduled departure, they could save about 2 x 160 x 250 EUR = 80k on delay compensations. That is hard to earn back for LCC without stealing from their employees again.

Offloading mid-point they need to
- send a replacement ship there
- possibly pay hotels without long-term secured rates
- some of the pax will require re-routing back home on a 3rd carrier.
- there could be visa / money exchange / phone charges / language issues.
- the MX team might not have good stock available + you need to pay the outsourced service.

​​​​​​Back at base it will all get sorted out more quickly at a much reduced cost (primary driver) with comparably less painful result for the customer (secondary effect).

Not saying their cutthroat margins allow them to give a flying duck, just pointing out their best economical choice is more easy on the travellers too.

If this was the Orange team perhaps CDG would do equally good or even better. So yes, a large company base enroute will do and a level headed commander who is not allowed to make an overweight landing (😭) would prefer that one, at least put the fuel to a good use.
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