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Virgin Aircraft 'Emergency' Landing

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Virgin Aircraft 'Emergency' Landing

Old 18th Jun 2013, 06:23
  #21 (permalink)  
 
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My friend was on that flight. I'll try to find out the truth.
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Old 18th Jun 2013, 06:24
  #22 (permalink)  
 
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Look up VOZ1615 on FlightAware.

DF.
Wasn't it VOZ1384 that diverted?
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Old 18th Jun 2013, 06:24
  #23 (permalink)  
 
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turn slightly left to MEL
Define slightly

A 90 degree turn for 300nm ?
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Old 18th Jun 2013, 06:34
  #24 (permalink)  
 
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DF flight was actually VA 1384

Hypothetical, on your way BN AD you fly past MIA, even though fog has been forecast all night, you look out the window, CAVOK. 15 minutes later get told AD has unforecast fog, and deteriorating below minima.

METAR MIA CAVOK at this time CAVOK.


What would you do?

As an aside QF also diverted there, did they have fuel for anywhere else
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Old 18th Jun 2013, 06:37
  #25 (permalink)  
 
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'the min fuel brigade'
Oh sure, they're around, but I've always found after talking to them, filling up to MTOW rather than my normal safe happy number above company minimum was the best way to get rid of that dirty feeling.
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Old 18th Jun 2013, 06:39
  #26 (permalink)  
 
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XXX, I'll wager the new fuel policy had [email protected] all to do with it. The "new" fuel policy actually has you arriving with MORE than the old one. It is a lot closer to being in line with what most captains would normally take. Anything you think you need, you take. Never heard of anyone getting a call about that. OTOH, there are a few "believers" amongst the boys, (very few I have to say), who regard plan fuel as good enough, occasionally they get a scare......... As always, unforecast fog can be an issue. Moe may be a bit closer to the truth.
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Old 18th Jun 2013, 06:46
  #27 (permalink)  
 
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Look up VOZ1615 on FlightAware.
Wasn't it VOZ1384 that diverted?
If you look up VOZ1615, which is a scheduled MQL - MEL run, you'll see that today it was serviced by a 738 and operated 3 hours late. I'm not quite sure the connection to VOZ1384, since VOZ1384 is also shown departing MQL and finishing its trip to ADL after the diversion. But at any rate that seems to imply that VOZ 738s operating to MQL is not unheard of, which maybe was the point.

(P.S. As long as we're using IATA codes, let's be consistent about them.)
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Old 18th Jun 2013, 06:49
  #28 (permalink)  
 
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My friend was on that flight. I'll try to find out the truth.
As a passenger or crew?

It would be very interesting to hear what exactly the passengers was told. I understand that there is often quite a gap between cabin announcements and the actual truth. I mean, you don't want to upset the passengers by telling them that there's not enough fuel on board.

They need to fit heart rate monitors on pilots and hook it up to the black-box; that would be interesting.
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Old 18th Jun 2013, 06:52
  #29 (permalink)  
 
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There must have been enough fuel on board.....it landed!
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Old 18th Jun 2013, 06:52
  #30 (permalink)  
 
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Pilots who take flight plan fuel if it is not enough to get somewhere reliable are setting themselves up IMO. I have no idea about this incident but at least once in a career an airport is going to close for a random reason ( bomb scare, lights go u/s , plane on the runway etc) and then you'l need to go somewhere else reliable. You need fuel from the miss to a runway where weather isn't a problem, simple as that really.
Ps that isn't a comment/ judgement on the Virgin flight, just on the topic of flight planning.
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Old 18th Jun 2013, 07:08
  #31 (permalink)  
 
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Photo on the Heraldsun website showing passengers disembarking shows quite good viz. Ceiling is hard to pick.

But photos from other sources show heavy fog. Hmmm.

Last edited by Spotlight; 18th Jun 2013 at 07:19.
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Old 18th Jun 2013, 07:11
  #32 (permalink)  
 
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Interesting to hear on the 5pm news, 2 different people on board who were interviewed, mentioning that cabin crew told them to assume brace positions on landing in MQL and were yelling "stay low, brace".

Perhaps cabin crew taking the flight crews information of an "emergency landing" a bit too literally, with little other information to go on?

Last edited by vee1-rotate; 18th Jun 2013 at 07:11.
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Old 18th Jun 2013, 07:37
  #33 (permalink)  
 
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Perhaps cabin crew taking the flight crews information of an "emergency landing" a bit too literally, with little other information to go on?
What are the actual procedures for landing below minima, is there anything documented? To me the brace position and emergency services on site seems a reasonable precaution. I'm only a PPL, so please correct me where wrong, but aren't the minima based, at least partially, on the tolerances for the instrument approach procedure in use and the amount of time/space it would take to correct for those tolerances before landing? If the runway is not sighted until below this minima, isn't there a good possibility the aircraft could be out of alignment with the runway, with not enough time available for adjustment. In which case the emergency precautions seem totally appropriate in the event of overrun.

Last edited by jportzer; 18th Jun 2013 at 07:38.
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Old 18th Jun 2013, 07:40
  #34 (permalink)  
 
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mentioning that cabin crew told them to assume brace positions on landing in MQL
Sounds fair, as the flight crew potentially don't know at what altitude they were going to become visual. That would have to be company SOP.

Last edited by VH-XXX; 18th Jun 2013 at 07:40.
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Old 18th Jun 2013, 07:46
  #35 (permalink)  
 
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About to Ditch in a paddock. i seriously doubt that was EVER an option.No options left? load up the RNAV App and it will deliver you over the threshhold at 50' AGL. 20' callout close the thrust levers. IF things are that bad i would rather be crashing on the runway than some obscure paddock. The majority of us will never know the full details so it a brave person (read arrogant) that can make an assumption on what was the right call without having all the facts.
Just my humble opinion though.
Ps: I wouldn't be taking a passengers opinion of what happen with too much weight. How many times have we heard "The engines went to full power and we shot up like a rocket. We all though we were going to die"..... Read... "The pilots conducted a by-the-book missed approach procedure and we were all safe.

Last edited by Austaz; 18th Jun 2013 at 08:07.
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Old 18th Jun 2013, 07:51
  #36 (permalink)  
 
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Hmmm,
here's a handy diversion from the senate estimates for FF.
Shut them down!!!
Hey they shut Tiger down for a lot less.
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Old 18th Jun 2013, 07:58
  #37 (permalink)  
 
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Channel 7 just showed video of the landing.

It was indeed foggy. Less than 500 metres horizontal visibility at a guess! There was a prec-search (go-around?) conducted prior where the aircraft was barely visible from the ground at what looked like 500ft or less.

We'll all get to read about this further when the report is released in about 2 years

Last edited by VH-XXX; 18th Jun 2013 at 08:09.
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Old 18th Jun 2013, 08:13
  #38 (permalink)  
 
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Fog can form VERY quickly given the right conditions, I remember looking around after topping up the oil on an engine and wondering where all the hills had gone. They were definitely there when I started !

The news video looks quite interesting, definite fog. Difficult to say if it was forming or dispersing. Reminds me of a few early mornings with delayed departure.
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Old 18th Jun 2013, 08:20
  #39 (permalink)  
 
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With a guessed visibility of 500m or less, the aircraft would not become visual until 85 feet above the runway elevation, based on a 3 deg profile.

Yet it was seen at what looked like 500 feet during the previous approach.

It's getting better by the minute!
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Old 18th Jun 2013, 08:31
  #40 (permalink)  
 
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Ben's take on the day's events.

Virgin jet fog 'drama' at Mildura a sign of bad fog season | Plane Talking

It’s unusual for two mainline jets, both 737s, one operated by Virgin Australia and the other by Qantas, to have to land at Mildura because fog has closed one capital city airport (Adelaide) and they don’t have the fuel to go to another capital city (Melbourne) or to another jet capable airfield (Albury Wodonga for example).

As such, today’s diversion into Mildura by Virgin and Qantas flights, but with the former declaring a fuel emergency, raises some questions which may, stress the word ‘may’, prove important.

Fuel emergencies are not intended within the rules concerning diversions to alternate airports to be a normal procedure. That’s why they are called ‘emergencies’, to be used in an emergency, and it is the use of the emergency call for the Virgin flight to then safety land at Mildura that needs to be determined.

If we try to summarise the rules that Qantas, Virgin Australia, and anyone else has to abide by in diversions caused by the closure of an intended airport, the key point is that no matter whether it is an A320, or a 737 or an E-jet, and no matter where it may have started its trip, it will arrive in the vicinity of the alternative airfield (Mildura) with identical capability to make a set of missed approaches, and loiter with intent to land, if it has to.

Qantas and Virgin were both diverted to Mildura by air traffic control when Adelaide airport notified it that fog was closing it to arrivals.

At the time air traffic control had reported that Mildura was clear. It acted on the best information it had, directed the affected airlines to go to Mildura, and then everyone was caught out by the unforecast fog that also affected the visibility at that airfield.

There is no suggestion that the crew of the Virgin Blue 737 did anything wrong.

But their route to a safe landing at Mildura was different to that used by the Qantas 737 in that they had to declare a fuel emergency meaning they had to land as soon as practicable rather than wait for an improvement in the visibility.

It may come down to the amount of fuel the respective pilots of the 737s used or didn’t use making missed approaches to the unexpectedly fog shrouded Mildura airport. The Virgin jet is reported to have made two missed approaches. Pilots are entitled to elect under their company’s operating procedures to fly an approach and abandon it if they cannot make visual contact with the runway at the decision height at which they continue the landing or power up the engines and climb away.

A spokesperson for Virgin Australia confirmed these details, and emphasised that the airline was co-operating fully with CASA and the ATSB, should the ATSB decide to inquire further into the incident on the basis that so doing may enhance or improve air safety through awareness of or discussion of the factors were in play at Mildura and in the 737s at the time.

It has so far been an uncommonly foggy or bad weather prone winter in SE Australia. There have been various other incidents in recent weeks that haven’t made it into the general media that were caused by late deterioration in conditions at airports like Sydney when approaching airliners had in some cases no option but to land in ‘crappy’ conditions.

Awareness of them may call for a ‘little’ extra precautionary fuel here, or a few less passengers or freight pallets there when it comes to flights heading off for SE capital city airports.

Especially if the aircraft concerned are large, will be flying for 14 to 15 hours, and have less alternative runways to choose from because of their landing weight and length and width requirements.

This may make this a winter where airline operations in general will need to become increasingly sensitive to the risk of last minute weather issues.

But the airlines don’t need the media to alert them to the risks. The merits of an ATSB inquiry would not be in pointing to a ‘problem’ the airlines are well aware of, but providing a cohesive and informed look at the issues arising from last night in Mildura as a basis for any change in the procedures or rules that everyone should adopt.
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