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View Full Version : A320 landed with 200kg of fuel remaining


Escape Path
6th Nov 2022, 16:22
How come this hasn't been discussed here?

https://avherald.com/h?article=4ffdb8d6&opt=0

tubby linton
6th Nov 2022, 16:45
VivaColombia Airbus A320-200N, registration HK-5378 performing flight VH-8332 from Cali to Riohacha (Colombia), was descending towards Riohacha Airport when the crew aborted the approach at about FL180 and entered a hold for about 30 minutes. The aircraft subsequently climbed to FL370 and was enroute to divert to Medellin when the crew again needed to abort the approach to Medellin at about 15,000 feet. The aircraft climbed back to FL210, the crew declared emergency, and diverted to Monteira (Colombia) where the aircraft finally landed on runway 32 about 2:15 hours after aborting the approach to Riohacha and about 3:20 hours after departure from Cali. The aircraft had about 100kg in its left fuel tank and about 110 kg of fuel in its right hand tank, the totalizer showed 200kg of fuel remaining.

The airline reported the aircraft needed to abort the approach to Riohacha due to bad weather and diverted to Medellin (Rio Negro). While the aircraft was approaching Medellin weather also impacted the aircraft and made a landing impossible. The crew therefore diverted to Monteira where the aircraft landed safely. The aircraft had more than 180 minutes of fuel available for the 80 minutes flight.

On Oct 27th 2022 Colombia's DIACC reported: "During the arrival to MDE terminal area, the flight crew listened to other aircraft on the frequency reporting missed approaches at MDE due to meteorological conditions; after a couple of circuits in holding, the flight crew decided to proceed to Los Garzones Airport (MTR) in Monteria (SKMR) as alternate. While enroute to MTR, at approximately 18:40 UTC, the flight crew declared MAYDAY FUEL EMERGENCY - SQUAWKING 7700. The flight landed at approximately 19:07 UTC in MTR and it taxied to the assigned parking position without further incident. According to information retrieved from FDA, the flight landed with 282 kg of fuel and it had 236 kg remaining when engines were shut-down." The occurrence was rated a serious incident and is being investigated by Colombia's DIACC.
I wonder how much fuel was actually onboard as the gauging has its own inbuilt design errors?For an A320 Family aircraft, the instrumental tolerance on the ground is calculated as follows:
(1% of current FOB + 1% max possible FOB for this aircraft)As an illustration, for an A320 aircraft, if there are 5 tons left in the aircraft, the maximum normal tolerance value is:
(5000kg (current FOB) * 1% + 20000kg (max FOB)* 1% ) = 250kgNote: The FQI system is designed in such a way that the lower the fuel quantity in the tank, the more accurate the fuel indication.
The FQI system is calibrated on ground during manufacturing and its accuracy (as per the formula above) will remain the same throughout the operational life of the aircraft.

Lonewolf_50
7th Nov 2022, 16:37
This appears to be an illustration of why having that fuel reserve is so important. Two diversions in bad weather.
... where the aircraft finally landed on runway 32 about 2:15 hours after aborting the approach to Riohacha and about 3:20 hours after departure from Cali.
... The aircraft had more than 180 minutes of fuel available for the 80 minutes flight.

zambonidriver
7th Nov 2022, 18:52
In this occasion they seemed to have planned for possible adverse conditions but things got really bad. I'd file it in the 'freak' incidents category. Happy everyone walked from it.

goeasy
7th Nov 2022, 23:51
I've been in that situation. Departed with legally required alternate fuel, and a bit more.... but some unforecast weather at alternate left very few options.

This is a great outcome, much better than forced landing somewhere, with dry tanks!

Not really with discussing even

rudestuff
8th Nov 2022, 02:09
Isn't this exactly what is supposed to happen when you run out of options? There is a final reserve for a reason.

FullWings
8th Nov 2022, 07:26
Isn't this exactly what is supposed to happen when you run out of options? There is a final reserve for a reason.
Exactly. Its not how much fuel you begin with (although they seem to have had more than plan), its what you do when it starts running out, through circumstances outside of your control. They made everyone aware of their problem then got it onto the ground somewhere safe, without being too distracted by the fuel state. Job well done IMO in a very rare situation thats going to happen to someone at sometime.

WideScreen
8th Nov 2022, 09:23
Being committed to a landing is always a "nice" aspect and good for the bar- and grandchildren-stories, many years later.

WingNut60
8th Nov 2022, 22:23
There must have been really bad weather on the northern coast.
I'd have thought Baranquilla or Cartagena would have been better options.

Peter47
11th Nov 2022, 07:30
This is why I sometimes wonder about battery powered aircraft.

punkalouver
20th Nov 2022, 10:38
Exactly why the fuel reserve requirements are too lax. An extra 15 minutes final reserve would be much more comfortable.

I suspect a lot of overrun on wet runway incidents are due to the pressure on pilots of having minimal fuel resulting in them deciding to do a marginal approach.

Whos to say that a thunderstorm wont be at your alternate or that it has fogged in? The amended forecast?

procede
21st Nov 2022, 09:48
Exactly why the fuel reserve requirements are too lax. An extra 15 minutes final reserve would be much more comfortable. You do realise that carrying extra fuel means burning more fuel to carry it and thus increasing costs? There is always a trade-off between safety and cost. Also more fuel means more weight which actually decreases safety a bit, particularly on take-off and landing.

punkalouver
21st Nov 2022, 17:31
You do realise that carrying extra fuel means burning more fuel to carry it and thus increasing costs? There is always a trade-off between safety and cost. Also more fuel means more weight which actually decreases safety a bit, particularly on take-off and landing.
Yes, I realize that that it requires more fuel and therefore costs more money. Just like having alternate fuel plus final reserve plus contingency fuel already requires more fuel and cost.

Will extra weight really make a difference for takeoff. One will just adjust their maximum thrust reduction to achieve required performance.

An extra 15 minutes of fuel on a typical landing would really have more than a negligible safety effect? I doubt it.

One really should ask themselves whether it really makes safe sense to be legal and within accepted norms to land at your alternate with 30 minutes of fuel based on reduced power holding speed at that airport.

Not nice when the weather went down at a major hub and everybody is scrambling to get to those not so busy alternates.

kristofera
22nd Nov 2022, 06:21
This is why I sometimes wonder about battery powered aircraft.

If a battery powered aircraft has, say, 450kg* of batteries onboard, it will still have 450kg of batteries on board when those run out of juice.
* = https://cleantechnica.com/2020/01/29/rolls-royce-claims-its-latest-electric-airplane-battery-has-the-highest-energy-density/