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VB pax unload

Old 23rd Apr 2011, 23:26
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VB pax unload

Morning lads,

Just seen on the news that VB unloaded 2 pax after the skipper deemed the aircraft too heavy. From what I understand the pax had seats so that wasn't the issue, but too heavy? Surely 2 pax plus bags would tip a 73 over the scales?

I however do not fly jets yet so for those that do what's your opinions?

Rocket
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Old 23rd Apr 2011, 23:39
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Standard practice all over the world by all airlines. I have been on qantas, cathay and ansett flights over the years where they announce the flight is oversold and need "volunteers" to hop off. Usually you are well compensated (free flight) so I would if I wasn't time limited. If they are already onboard it is due to operational reasons.
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Old 23rd Apr 2011, 23:44
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A few reasons why this could occur.

Just a couple of the top of my head.....

+ Last minute defect that may require a weight reduction due to perfomace.
+ The aircraft may have been over fuelled.
+ A long sector that due to weather/headwinds, was not able to accomodate the usual payload.

Unfortunately, if the loadsheet says your 1 kg overweight, you have to get rid of that 1 kg!

Loose ends are not good!
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Old 23rd Apr 2011, 23:58
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More likely a short flight with significant weather holding/alternates and a landing weight limitation.
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Old 23rd Apr 2011, 23:58
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Good morning all and happy easter.

While 2 pax and bags (lets call it 200kg total) might seem a small amount of weight in the overall scheme of things i doubt any pilot here would like to be in the witness box at the coronial inquirey when the question was asked "'you knew you were overweight but did nothing about it- why???"'

Mr Murphy has a horrible habit of rearing his head at the worst possible time.

Fly safe and play hard.

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Old 23rd Apr 2011, 23:58
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Media reporting it was due to extra fuel due to weather.

Passengers refused and AFP removed them.

Suppose if the two weren't happy they could have kept everyone in Melbourne.

Bit harsh on DJ what else could they do.
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Old 24th Apr 2011, 00:07
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Passengers kicked off Virgin Blue flight, as Jetstar, Qantas passengers' luggage left behind | News.com.au

MEL-DPS flight in a 737. No wonder!
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Old 24th Apr 2011, 00:19
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While the crew were 100% right to do this .. I have a chuckle to myself that they were likely above mrw/mtow anyways with standard weights being used
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Old 24th Apr 2011, 00:26
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This is what happens when you are operating an aircraft to the limit of it's range.Occasionally there will be operational requirements that put the aircraft over this limit.Commercial should be aware of this and accept that sometimes these occurances will happen.In the future I would suspect the DPS flights will be A330 and that will fix the problem.
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Old 24th Apr 2011, 01:21
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Angry

Shoot me down in flames for saying this but offloading passengers like this at the last minute surely has to say a lot about the professionalism of those at Virgin. They would have had a number of options that could have been adopted but apparently took the easy way out - for a start, better planning would have gone a long way to avoid this unfortunate situation that stuffed up the holiday plans of a couple of innocent punters.
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Old 24th Apr 2011, 01:51
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Ken, do you not think that the ops/crew would have looked at other options before going for the pax offload?
Offload non-essential freight/gear?
Burn some extra taxi fuel to get below MTOW?
Double-check all the weight, fuel, performance figures?


I myself have decided to turn and burn for an extra ~15 mins rather than dump gear- I ended up a little late but the powers that be were happy with my justification for the delay and burning some excess juice.

Planning for the unplanned is sometimes quite difficult!


I'm also pretty sure that not 100% of the passengers on ANY flight "HAVE" to get to their destination- there are always some that could probably go on another flight and be happy with a freebie ticket in return. Maybe there were people on board this particular flight that were too selfish to volunteer to jump off which in turn played a part in "stuffing up the holiday plans of a couple of innocent punters."
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Old 24th Apr 2011, 01:54
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Seriously Ken, I know Im taking your bait hook line and sinker here. But flying your C172 on weekends has nothing to do with the problem faced by the crew here. Of course better planning could have helped, but how many different scenario's pop up in Aviation that you just have to "wear it" and take an unpopular decision so that the flight goes ahead safely.

That flight may be predicated on a nominal 30mins holding at DPS, so they sell X amount of seats. There may have been a last minute amended TAF issued which had a TEMPO for arrival, so straight away you dont have the weight for another 30mins fuel. Rather than offload pax immediately, they may have been waiting to see if there were a few no-shows so that people who HAVE turned up do not get shafted. But everyone probably turned up. So what do you do then Ken? Here is something which has been out of the control of the crew and they have to deal with it. The problem wont just magically go away with someone whinging about it.
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Old 24th Apr 2011, 02:00
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...offloading passengers like this at the last minute surely has to say a lot about the professionalism of those at Virgin.
I think taking them says more... Maybe there were other options, maybe they identified that they didn't have a better overall outcome than removing two people. We don't know the outcome for these two people either.

As for last minute changes, I have been in the flight deck at the gate in BNE, not far from push back, as weather changes have been applied to SYD and we needed to call the refueller back to cover a TEMPO that had been upgraded from INTER. Do we pretend we didn't see it before dispatch? Our airline (like most I have no doubt) relly on the pilots containing costs at our end by managing fuel for a flight between what is LEGALLY required and that which is REASONABLY required. I would argue that Min Fuel to SYD (or DPS for that matter!) is not reasonable when experience tells you that there is any number of possabilities that will require you to have more - RWY change, TFC holding, speed control etc...

This descision of a fuel figure and ballancing of factors is all far from the awareness of most in the 60 to 40 minutes prior to push back (as it should be), and largely irrelevant in terms of effects on passenger uplift - EXCEPT when the flight is limiting. BNE - SYD in the 737 will never be (short of if there were FG all over the east coast maybe), but MEL/SYD/BNE/ADL - DPS and PER-HKT in the 737 often is. No question, the 737 is not ideal for these routes everyday of the week. The plannng departments try to be proactive by capping the flight with a reduced total passenger load from the outset based on anticipated fuel requirements, but with any late deteriorations in the WX requirements, when using this aircraft on this route, sometimes there are no alternatives when it comes down to kilograms at the final stages.

As to these two passengers, were they taken off and put straight onto another carrier? Where they compensated with $100's of dollars and free flights? Where they accomodated in hotels at no cost? Who knows, but these are common recovery techniques.

Was it necessarily better to send the flight with those 2 passangers but without 10 passegers luggage instead? Should they have offloaded the catering? No potable water to flush the toilets? Pick which headline you would rather read really...

I would have done the same thing as these two pilots.

Offloading passengers who have paid money to be sitting on your aircraft is naturally no fun, and doing so comes with a full awareness of what the implifications are for the passengers - be it Easter or not.

However making measured and timely descisions and operating within a myriad of legal, commercial and practical guidelines is what the job is all about. Day in, day out.

-Bring on the A330's!

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Old 24th Apr 2011, 02:54
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i heard an aircraft went U/S in Bali, therefore there was a back log of pax from somewhere, that needed to get to bali, and sounds like they worked it out well to only off load 2 pax, not 20 or so..
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Old 24th Apr 2011, 03:10
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Capt Fathom has hit the nail on the head:

Unfortunately, if the loadsheet says your 1 kg overweight, you have to get rid of that 1 kg!
In days gone by, the problem might have gone away with some creative accounting but in this age of litigation and disengaged workforces it's a no brainer. While it is usual practice to offload deadload before pax (and assuming nil cargo) pax are heavier than bags so you will upset fewer customers by offloading pax before bags. If you offload the required weight in randomly chosen "last on" bags and have the courtesy to advise the affected pax, you run the risk of an even bigger bun flight than if you "appoint 2 volunteers". Was there also a trim issue which determined the chosen solution?
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Old 24th Apr 2011, 03:27
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Yeah Ken, have to agree with the others on this one mate. Airlines are always overbooking flights purely for the fact that alot of our punters dont make it to the airport or are late etc. It's common practise. This seems like one of those rare occasions when pax actually did have to be off loaded for what ever operational requirement that deemed it necessary. At least they have the flying publics safety in mind and still manage to turn a profit! Pretty funny that they had to get the AFP involved, i'm surprised that no one had the courtesy to hop off and take a free flight for their troubles!
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Old 24th Apr 2011, 03:29
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From my experience in the world of charters, using standard weights for pax and bags, the final payload weight arrived at is, at best, an educated guess. Experience shows that, on holiday flights, as oppose to business flights, the load is likely to be a bit under as there will be a fair proportion of women and children.

In the instance quoted here, if there were no other considerations and standard weights were being used, I would have been inclined to increase the taxi burn on the load sheet by 170kgs and stay legal.

Last edited by parabellum; 24th Apr 2011 at 03:48.
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Old 24th Apr 2011, 03:36
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On a positive note, VB have now probably guaranteed a 10 point improvement on on-time departures.
No one would dare being the last on board after this episode.
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Old 24th Apr 2011, 04:26
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I reckon the VB pilots would of done the best option available to them in this case.

In saying that though i have noticed certain types of captains in a different operation that are abit gungho with the removal of payload before hearing all the updated facts. It tends to happen on public holidays where they have been called in. Sorta like giving the bird to management.
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Old 24th Apr 2011, 04:35
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I was thinking the same thing, extend taxi to burn the extra weight. Personally, and I'll say again I haven't flown jets, this may have been the best option.

My understanding as I'm currently working on ATPL performance, is that a 727 has 150kg allocated to be burnt by the time it reaches it's BRW, In this is the case than surely a full plane of happy pax is the best way to go?

Unfortunatly the world we live in is full of threating litigation and media that can have a story to millions in just minutes. I think the pilots did the correct thing legally but may have avoided the media attention by just burning the extra fuel in taxi.

Just my two cents,

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