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Melbourne Air Traffic Control

Old 17th Jul 2017, 10:52
  #381 (permalink)  
 
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Why does it beg the question? How much fuel you have is of no use to me to separate you - until you tell me it's a problem it's irrelevant to me. You either have plenty or you don't. The vast majority of the time you all seem to have plenty. I don't mean to sound callous but as a line controller there is absolutely nothing I can do.
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Old 17th Jul 2017, 11:02
  #382 (permalink)  
 
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I reckon if ATC holding times have been exceeded then every holding a/c should give their endurance in minutes as they turn outbound. Ie " Velocity 124 Saver outbound, endurance 120 " Every once in a while you'd get someone with significantly less than the others and then the info is out there and can be managed. I know it won't happen
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Old 17th Jul 2017, 22:52
  #383 (permalink)  
 
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Bugger that, if you start sequencing aircraft according to how much fuel they chose (not) to carry, it's not going to lead to a particularly desirable conclusion.

If so-called professional pilots can't work out how much fuel they need to carry then maybe they need to start re-thinking their profession.

Or call a fuel emergency and put your airline on the front page of the newspaper. It's your call. Not ATC's problem.
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Old 18th Jul 2017, 02:14
  #384 (permalink)  
 
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Fair enough, I have to admit that as I typed I was aware I hadn't thought it through very well.
If so-called professional pilots can't work out how much fuel they need to carry then maybe they need to start re-thinking their profession.
We do alright most of the time, as do controllers. No need to bring attitude to the bar.
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Old 18th Jul 2017, 04:29
  #385 (permalink)  
 
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If there is no WX holding then our airline plans for ATC hold + fixed reserve + variable (which may already be gone if held low, etc.)
Unless we put on extra that is it.
If ATC want us to have more fuel then they should mandate it!
Haven't done much holding for some time though.
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Old 18th Jul 2017, 04:40
  #386 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Derfred View Post
Bugger that, if you start sequencing aircraft according to how much fuel they chose (not) to carry, it's not going to lead to a particularly desirable conclusion.

If so-called professional pilots can't work out how much fuel they need to carry then maybe they need to start re-thinking their profession.

Or call a fuel emergency and put your airline on the front page of the newspaper. It's your call. Not ATC's problem.
I have told ATC in the past that I was now turning for downwind! When they enquired how much holding fuel we had I replied "two minutes"! They vectored away another aircraft and we landed with maybe enough for a quick circuit above fixed reserve.
This was overseas, no emergency call, no front page, no "call the tower" even. I doubt it could get that bad here.
ATC had vectored us around for nearly an hour with zero info before I made the call to land regardless of them!
If fuel is low, I MAKE it ATCs problem! (As a professional pilot should!)
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Old 18th Jul 2017, 06:56
  #387 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Derfred View Post
If so-called professional pilots can't work out how much fuel they need to carry then maybe they need to start re-thinking their profession.
We worked out how much fuel we needed to carry based on advisory traffic holding information and weather forecasts ten hours ago. If we turn up and due to some unexpected development in the intervening several hours there is now bulk holding, it’s not really our fault we haven’t turned up with hours of extra gas. I think it’s quite reasonable to advise holding endurance if major delays have developed.
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Old 18th Jul 2017, 09:50
  #388 (permalink)  
 
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There's not really much point in telling us until it's becoming an issue as there's nothing we can do with it.
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Old 18th Jul 2017, 09:57
  #389 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by le Pingouin View Post
There's not really much point in telling us until it's becoming an issue as there's nothing we can do with it.
Which shows one of the problems with ATC.
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Old 18th Jul 2017, 10:08
  #390 (permalink)  
 
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What would you have us do with it?
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Old 18th Jul 2017, 10:26
  #391 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by le Pingouin View Post
What would you have us do with it?
If someone is capable of substantially less holding than everyone else, bump them up the queue?

Some hub carriers outside Australia provide their short-haul flights with extra holding fuel when major holding is expected to enable their long-haul arrivals to go in front, as it's much cheaper to carry the fuel on a shorter flight, as long as ATC plays ball.
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Old 18th Jul 2017, 10:55
  #392 (permalink)  
 
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Cause that won't get exploited
LOL
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Old 18th Jul 2017, 11:01
  #393 (permalink)  
 
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Surely that decision would be better handled by your company ops? Delaying the wrong flight by an extra 30 minutes (or whatever) might prove rather unpopular. Swapping same company flights does happen occasionally but in the cases I've seen the company nominates the loser.
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Old 19th Jul 2017, 01:21
  #394 (permalink)  
 
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An arrival slot swapping arrangement within an airline is a novel idea that could well have benefits from time to time for the major users of an airport. However any arrangement that favours the aircraft that turns up at the holding pattern with the least amount of fuel is a terrible idea.
A considered crew puts on extra gas, accepts the payload penalty, wears the added fuel burn but then cops a delay as another operator jumps the queue as they didn't bother to put the fuel on. Can't see that plan working.
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Old 19th Jul 2017, 01:25
  #395 (permalink)  
 
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I've had a slot swapped in our favour from a generous 737 crew when arriving in vapours from la
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Old 19th Jul 2017, 02:30
  #396 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Beer Baron
A considered crew puts on extra gas, accepts the payload penalty, wears the added fuel burn but then cops a delay as another operator jumps the queue as they didn't bother to put the fuel on.
Ryanair have been accused of doing exactly that in the past: See the 2012 Valencia incident: Ryanair ordered to 'review' fuel policy after making THREE emergency landings because planes almost ran out | Daily Mail Online


Ryanair investigation prompts call for new fuel guidelines

Although the Madrid-based Civil Aviation Accident and Incident Investigation Commission (CIAIAC) confirmed that Ryanair had not breached air safety regulations, it noted that the airline operates flights with minimal fuel to save money, which “leaves none for contingencies”, the industry magazine Travel Weekly reports.

It added that Ryanair’s policy was putting it at an economic advantage, which was encouraging other airlines to follow suit – a situation which might result in airports facing “simultaneous emergency declarations for lack of fuel”.

Last edited by CurtainTwitcher; 19th Jul 2017 at 02:37. Reason: added Valencia link
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Old 19th Jul 2017, 17:01
  #397 (permalink)  
 
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[QUOTE=Berealgetreal;9606613]

Another one that I do hear occasionally is "large delays lower levels available" on first contact. Makes a HUGE difference to fuel and workload to level off at 300 rather than blast up to FLRidiculous only to come back down.

First time reader of this thread - all very interesting. I work enroute ML-SY and often will offer the CB-ML jet a lower level if there's delays at the ML end. But I've never really known if that's what you'd prefer - I'll offer it more often now I know! Learning alot.....PJ
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Old 20th Jul 2017, 02:08
  #398 (permalink)  
 
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Another one that I do hear occasionally is "large delays lower levels available" on first contact. Makes a HUGE difference to fuel and workload to level off at 300 rather than blast up to FLRidiculous only to come back down.
That makes me happy to hear. Us enroute controllers don't have any influence on delay, but if we can make your life easier when delays get crap, all the better I guess. Although we toe a bit of a fine line with delays, if we get in early before everything else has settled, the chance of it changing is pretty high (especially if they go to LAHSO at short notice ). But everything is pretty sturdy at about 250-200 from ML, so I tend to leave the smaller delays until then. If the delays are 10+, some of us will jump in early to give a time before props level out or to the jets with a "min speed, lower levels available." I've seen plenty of jets with enough time absorb the whole 10+ mins when that's done. It makes everyone life easier I hope.

Is there an amount of delay that you would like to be given the option for lower levels? Delays are pretty crap, not much we can do to change them, but we can at least make it a bit easier for you guys.
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Old 20th Jul 2017, 03:02
  #399 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by BlockNotAvailable View Post
That makes me happy to hear. Us enroute controllers don't have any influence on delay, but if we can make your life easier when delays get crap, all the better I guess. Although we toe a bit of a fine line with delays, if we get in early before everything else has settled, the chance of it changing is pretty high (especially if they go to LAHSO at short notice ). But everything is pretty sturdy at about 250-200 from ML, so I tend to leave the smaller delays until then. If the delays are 10+, some of us will jump in early to give a time before props level out or to the jets with a "min speed, lower levels available." I've seen plenty of jets with enough time absorb the whole 10+ mins when that's done. It makes everyone life easier I hope.

Is there an amount of delay that you would like to be given the option for lower levels? Delays are pretty crap, not much we can do to change them, but we can at least make it a bit easier for you guys.
The biggest thing for us is time. With enough notice then we can do either lower level (25-30K) slow cruise or at least if holding required we can do it at higher levels to save fuel, the last thing we want is fast cruise to the fsirly fast descent then given holding down low.
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Old 20th Jul 2017, 08:21
  #400 (permalink)  
 
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I'll speak for the A320, but the same applies "mostly" to all jets.

The holding "sweet spot" is FL250, up to FL300 where above compressibility can substantially increases the fuel burn at "holding speeds" by a small percent, as we need to fly at faster air speeds to stay aloft. This usually equates to 1% more up to FL 300, 4% FL350 and 11% FL398.

Conversely, 5% increase FL200 and below.

However this doesn't always mean descent is preferable. With Anti Ice on full, the penalty is between 5% and 7%.

The goal in general is for Linear holding I.e. Holding in a straight line as every turn increases fuel burn, so selecting an altitude whereby this can be achieved for a given TAS and wind forecast is the preference.

To do this, personally, I would want a minimum holding time. the actual holding time would be the beez neez, but the absolute minimum we are going to expect, on first contact, on climb.

"Minimum holding time of 10 minutes, lower altitude available, speed reduction approved"

Just helps limit the negative consequences of the system we have to live with.

Last edited by Bula; 20th Jul 2017 at 08:53.
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