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QF 29 diversion to Manila

Old 20th Jun 2018, 09:54
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QF 29 diversion to Manila

Anyone know the reason ?
Guessing a medical one but following on flight radar from where they commenced the diversion and all the routeing around in Philippines airspace in retrospect I bet they wished they just continued on to HKG

and as I write this at 1915 local time QLD they have just made a missed approach

Last edited by faheel; 20th Jun 2018 at 10:18. Reason: added text
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Old 20th Jun 2018, 10:49
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Manila is rarely straightforward.
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Old 20th Jun 2018, 11:03
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arse I know from my SIA days ,and I always kept the mva radar vectoring chart out,they tried to fly me into the hills on at least one occasion.
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Old 20th Jun 2018, 11:54
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Anyone know the reason ?
No, but likely Weather, Mechanical, or Medical.
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Old 20th Jun 2018, 23:01
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Yep , my son who was on the flight sent a one word email ..weather !!
But from what I could find from flight aware the wx at scheduled arrival time was vfr, but dunno how to find past metar, speci or tafs for vhhh.
On a similar question, I seem to remember QF never used to carry alternate fuel but 60 mins fixed reserve plus any tempo or inter fuel reserves as the case may be.
Is that still the case ?
the 3 longhaul carriers I worked for all carried alternate fuel plus any wx holding fuel as well.
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Old 21st Jun 2018, 01:06
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Originally Posted by faheel View Post
On a similar question, I seem to remember QF never used to carry alternate fuel but 60 mins fixed reserve plus any tempo or inter fuel reserves as the case may be.
Is that still the case ?
.
That seems to suggest that QF never carried alternate fuel, even if it was legally required. It’s not still the case, and never was. An alternate won’t be automatically carried as a matter of course, but it certainly will if the forecast requires it, or the dispatchers think it’d be a good idea, or the captain wants it.
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Old 21st Jun 2018, 01:41
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Originally Posted by faheel View Post
Yep , my son who was on the flight sent a one word email ..weather !!
But from what I could find from flight aware the wx at scheduled arrival time was vfr, but dunno how to find past metar, speci or tafs for vhhh.
Both the actual and forecast at the point they'd have had to make their decision included thunderstorms. They did not rate a mention on any earlier weather.

On a similar question, I seem to remember QF never used to carry alternate fuel but 60 mins fixed reserve plus any tempo or inter fuel reserves as the case may be.
Is that still the case ?.
That was never their fuel policy, though they do not arbitrarily carry alternates.
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Old 21st Jun 2018, 02:16
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Originally Posted by mrdeux View Post
Both the actual and forecast at the point they'd have had to make their decision included thunderstorms. They did not rate a mention on any earlier weather.



That was never their fuel policy, though they do not arbitrarily carry alternates.
Thanks for the heads up, I should have actually said unless an alternate was required, but I do think always carrying alternate fuel is the better practice, especially when your destination is 9 hrs away, given the vagaries of wx forecasting
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Old 21st Jun 2018, 02:31
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Weather forecasts in Hong Kong are hit and miss this time of year add to that the massive amount of traffic and holding once a few storms rock up . Change of runways and airspace constraints only add to the problem . Macau is just a 3 rd runway at Hong Kong . Shenzhen , Guangzhou and Macau regualary have storms but Hong Kong is clear ( hard to believe ) ? Do you want to rock up to Hk with no alternate ? Do you want to take 300 passengers with no CHINESE visa into China on a diversion only to run into FTL problems ? Diverting into Manila is understandable but carrying Manila plus 30 for Hk makes more sense .
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Old 21st Jun 2018, 05:49
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Faheel,
Australian regulations have never required, in general, always carrying an alternate. It is not particular to Qantas.
Likewise, FAA have a set of conditions where carrying an alternate is not required.
Good advice on Manila to keep very close track of radar vectors and ATC "clearances", there is more than one aircraft sticking out of a mountainside in the area, including a PamAm aeroplane years ago.
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Old 21st Jun 2018, 06:49
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Yep HKG weather at this time of the year can be interesting but generally thunderies that move through.

A diversion enroute due destination weather in HKG does not sound right, have the alternate fuel and 60 holiding should be no issue.

Unless flow control advised something different? What were the European arrivals doing?

Just doesn’t sound right.

As for Manila, I say excellent controlling, traffic management and flow considering its crossing runways, one runway for heavies, infrastructure that gets smashed by the wx. I say they do a great job. Though yes always pay to double check the ole vectoring altitudes, lots of high ground for sure. Today though with GPWS and even TCAS both above help the situational awareness.

Back on topic why did it really divert? Medical?

Last edited by Global Aviator; 21st Jun 2018 at 06:50. Reason: Make it sound better :)
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Old 21st Jun 2018, 07:32
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According to my son skipper came on and said something along the lines that the wx was not as forecast and they did not have enough fuel to continue to hkg. So off to Manila for some fuel...and when they finaly got on the approach made a missed approach..for wx !
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Old 21st Jun 2018, 07:39
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I have been flying into HKG for nearly 3 decades with a well known HKG airline, which at least always carries an alternate. But all the close alternates can fill up with diverting traffic. Over the last few years the traffic has become crazy and the weather forecasting, never particularly good, has got to the point where I just don’t trust it at at all in the HKG summer.

Years ago an ‘old and bold’ told me, ‘If any one of HKG, Macao or Shenzhen have even a prob of thunderies, put the fuel on’. This advice has served me well.

Has not happened to me yet, but I have heard northbound aircraft, even some overflying HKG, being told to hold in Manila’s airspace as ‘Hong Kong will not accept them’ due traffic. Even enroute ‘large scale weather avoidance’ causes chaos in the FIR.

Couple years ago our bean counters cut back Contingency fuel to save $$$ (due to stupidly hedged fuel). A few diversions into Manila with several hundred punters eventually dissuaded them of that great money-saving idea.
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Old 21st Jun 2018, 07:53
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Any TS in the hkg terminal area can really clog things up
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Old 21st Jun 2018, 08:52
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Originally Posted by faheel View Post
According to my son skipper came on and said something along the lines that the wx was not as forecast and they did not have enough fuel to continue to hkg. So off to Manila for some fuel...and when they finaly got on the approach made a missed approach..for wx !
So....in summary......HKG weather changed and required an alternate or holding which they didn't have. So they diverter to a airport which didn't have requirements and therefore they remained legal and complied with the fuel policy.

If the weather on arrival is unforecast then what can you do. Can't plan for everything.

Done and dusted
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Old 21st Jun 2018, 08:57
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Wow...inbound to Wanchai, at this time of year without alternate gas, bravery personified and probably just cost the airline all the savings they made by having a policy to not carry alternate gas for the last year or three.
Nothing like being compliant :-)
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Old 21st Jun 2018, 08:59
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Trip summary says "HKG storms"

One wonders why the decision of the crew, backed up by IOC, is being questioned?
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Old 21st Jun 2018, 09:21
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Manila forecasts ?
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Old 21st Jun 2018, 09:44
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Probably went to Manila for the chicks !
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Old 21st Jun 2018, 10:21
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Originally Posted by Chris2303 View Post
Trip summary says "HKG storms"

One wonders why the decision of the crew, backed up by IOC, is being questioned?
Nope not questioning the crew decision at all, the original question was why they diverted, just for info, but it has morphed into whether or not it is good policy as a matter of course to carry an alternate .
I am in the camp that an alternate should be carried at all times as a contingency plan to cover the unlikely event that for whatever reason you cannot land at your destination.
When you consider that your destination is 8 or 9 hours away and in an area where the wx can change markedly I think its prudent.
I am sure the QF bean counters have worked out that the cost of carrying the extra fuel versus the cost of making the rare diversion puts them in the camp of no alternate fuel required based on the current TAF so be it.
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