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Qantas suspends flights into Canberra

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Qantas suspends flights into Canberra

Old 5th Jan 2020, 04:40
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Qantas suspends flights into Canberra

Heard part of a news item on the radio a few minutes ago that Qantas have suspended flights into Canberra - presumably due to poor visibility in smoke.

Also on ABC web site:
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-01-...antas/11842038

Melbourne to Canberra flight flew through smoke and (fire induced?) turbulence. Passengers applauded on landing. Plane met by emergency services. Captain 'greeting' passengers as they disembarked.

I'm surprised flights have been able to continue to operate - visibility must have been close to limits for days.
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Old 5th Jan 2020, 05:11
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Canberra is CAT II so the smoke won't stop you, but the southerly is more the problem which prevents using the ILS.
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Old 5th Jan 2020, 05:40
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And bags are not being unloaded as it is unhealthy for staff to work in the poor quality air. Spent 30 minutes in a queue to give details so bags could be delivered when eventually unloaded ďtoday or tomorrowĒ.
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Old 5th Jan 2020, 06:15
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Originally Posted by neville_nobody View Post
Canberra is CAT II so the smoke won't stop you, but the southerly is more the problem which prevents using the ILS.
Canít do the CAT II without RVR, and as per the NOTAM, RVR isnít certified for smoke.

Canít even do the SA CAT I, everyone is stuck on the normal CAT I, using Vis or RV.
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Old 5th Jan 2020, 06:42
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And it hasnít been helped by the south easterly wind all day with up to 15kts TW landing on 35?

Can QF 73s and Dash 8s land with more than 10kts of tail wind?

The other issue worth considering is that the pyrocumulonimbus clouds donít show up on the weather radar. And if youíre descending in thick smoke - youíre every chance to fly straight into one. Which would be no fun at all!


Last edited by Colonel_Klink; 5th Jan 2020 at 06:53.
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Old 5th Jan 2020, 07:18
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Originally Posted by Wimbles View Post
And bags are not being unloaded as it is unhealthy for staff to work in the poor quality air. Spent 30 minutes in a queue to give details so bags could be delivered when eventually unloaded ďtoday or tomorrowĒ.
From staff at Qantas the company was handing out P2 masks....May be a little of the Workplace Health and Safety mantra that an employer cannot knowingly expose workers to environments where a hazard to health results.
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Old 5th Jan 2020, 07:34
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”The other issue worth considering is that the pyrocumulonimbus clouds don’t show up on the weather radar. And if you’re descending in thick smoke - you’re every chance to fly straight into one. Which would be no fun at all!”

Quite true. Without wanting to beat up on the QF crew - it is still poor form to fly yourself into a PyroCu. Ive been operating into CB the last week with all the smoke and the pyrocu’s are VERY easy to identify during the day - they are the only thing with any structure above the strong inversion keeping the smoke blanket thick on the ground. Its pretty easy to work out whether one will be on your STAR path and to pick a route/heading that will keep you clear during the descent into 0 vis.

At night the PyroCu’s have been collapsing pretty quickly too. The reduced temps after sundown mist see the fire propagating the cloud die down in intensity and heat, leading to the PyroCu collapsing.
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Old 5th Jan 2020, 08:34
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Originally Posted by Sparrows. View Post


Canít do the CAT II without RVR, and as per the NOTAM, RVR isnít certified for smoke.

Canít even do the SA CAT I, everyone is stuck on the normal CAT I, using Vis or RV.
Itís comforting to know the nanny state is alive and well.

What a bizarre criteria. Half the world only has LVO due to non-water particles. Fortunately Canberra is affected so casa will fast track a solution to this bureaucratic limitation.
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Old 5th Jan 2020, 08:37
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Originally Posted by Sparrows. View Post


Canít do the CAT II without RVR, and as per the NOTAM, RVR isnít certified for smoke.

Canít even do the SA CAT I, everyone is stuck on the normal CAT I, using Vis or RV.
Send in Malindo - they'll have no probs getting in
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Old 5th Jan 2020, 08:40
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The difference between Qantasís and Virginís approach has been stark. Virgin arrivals and departures at YSCB have continued, unabated, while Qantas has cancelled. The Qantas announcements in the YSCB terminal have stated that the cancellations are for the purpose of avoiding unnecessary exposure of staff to the smoke.

The atmosphere in YSCB is appalling. Shitty conditions would be nice, but the conditions are beyond shitty. The worst smoke haze Iíve ever seen (and smelt and tasted).

Will be interesting to hear what the ACTís chief medical officer says about the health effects of hanging around breathing this shit.
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Old 5th Jan 2020, 08:45
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So if the RVR apparatus isn't certified for smoke, what prevents an ARO going out and counting the lights to assess the visibility? I'm told the METAR gave the visibility and, if so, how was that obtained?

Where I once worked that (counting the runway lights) was how the crew determined if they had the required visibility for takeoff in poor conditions at airports where there wasn't any RVR equipment. Determining if the required visibility existed or otherwise was the crew's responsibility and counting the visible lights and multiplying the number seen by the known spacing got you the answer.

Doesn't an assessment of the visibility fall within the role of an accredited met observer?
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Old 5th Jan 2020, 09:18
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RVR and RV are different.

RVR has multiple sensors looking along the runway, and reported on METAR (or by ATC) depending on the runway divided into three areas (touchdown, midpoint, rollout).
RV is an approved observer. You might not be able to discern as many runway lights as the person standing next to you, so it’s a bit more subjective. And visibility not presented in RVR format in a METAR/ATIS etc is just visibility, and the automatic sensor is not necessarily looking down the runway.

well, that’s my non technical understanding of it anyway. I don’t do LV ops so don’t really concern myself with the RVR technical details!
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Old 5th Jan 2020, 09:37
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Originally Posted by Lead Balloon View Post
The difference between Qantasís and Virginís approach has been stark. Virgin arrivals and departures at YSCB have continued, unabated, while Qantas has cancelled. The Qantas announcements in the YSCB terminal have stated that the cancellations are for the purpose of avoiding unnecessary exposure of staff to the smoke.

The atmosphere in YSCB is appalling. Shitty conditions would be nice, but the conditions are beyond shitty. The worst smoke haze Iíve ever seen (and smelt and tasted).

Will be interesting to hear what the ACTís chief medical officer says about the health effects of hanging around breathing this shit.
That was the point Lead, it seems more WHS related rather than a flying limitation.
Despite Little Napoleon enjoying some a beach side interlude, resplendent in swimwear, he is responsible for the health and safety.
(Exactly why he wants three delivery flights classified as "research" -WHS defence if increased sickness results)
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Old 5th Jan 2020, 10:53
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Originally Posted by down3gr33ns View Post
So if the RVR apparatus isn't certified for smoke, what prevents an ARO going out and counting the lights to assess the visibility? I'm told the METAR gave the visibility and, if so, how was that obtained?

Where I once worked that (counting the runway lights) was how the crew determined if they had the required visibility for takeoff in poor conditions at airports where there wasn't any RVR equipment. Determining if the required visibility existed or otherwise was the crew's responsibility and counting the visible lights and multiplying the number seen by the known spacing got you the answer.

Doesn't an assessment of the visibility fall within the role of an accredited met observer?
Nothing prevents anyone from making a realistic assessment of the visibility. It’s just that for low vis ops e.g. SA CAT I and CAT II in Canberra, RVR is REQUIRED. It CANNOT be replaced by RV assessed by pilot or other observer (e.g. counting runway lights). Also, from what we have been told, it’s not just that the RVRs are not certified in smoke, they have also been giving false readings, see below.

RVR AT YSCB MAY BE UNAVAILABLE DUE TO THE RVR EQUIPMENT IS DESIGNED FOR FG/BR - IT IS NOT RATED FOR FU AND HAS BEEN GIVING ERRONEOUS READINGS.
.
YSCB TWR IS ADDRESSING THIS ISSUE BY INDICATING RVR NOT AVBL ON THE ATIS AND SUPPLYING INSTEAD, A VISIBILITY ASSESSMENT.
.
NOTE - WITHOUT RVR INFORMATION, CAT II AND CAT I SA APPROACHES ARE NOT AVAILABLE.
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Old 5th Jan 2020, 12:12
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Originally Posted by neville_nobody View Post
Canberra is CAT II so the smoke won't stop you, but the southerly is more the problem which prevents using the ILS.
Itís not just a problem of vis but contamination. I, nor my employer Iíd imagine, would want smoke getting pulled into the packs. Iíve modified my descent over forest and moorland fires before to avoid flying through the smoke. Donít want it in the pitots and I donít want it streaming in though the bleeds.
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Old 5th Jan 2020, 21:58
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Haven't there been issues in the past with this sort of smoke setting off cargo smoke alarms. I have a very vague memory of that from 767 days.
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Old 6th Jan 2020, 07:03
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Old 7th Jan 2020, 01:15
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If we paid Qantas enough, could they cancel them permanently? Close the highways and cut off communications as well?
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Old 7th Jan 2020, 01:35
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Originally Posted by Sunfish View Post
If we paid Qantas enough, could they cancel them permanently? Close the highways and cut off communications as well?
Sunfish, with tongue firmly embedded in cheek, what self-serving politician will stop J class junkets with more wine served in a 30 minute flight than a transcontinental five hour flight.
Boozy politicians and Chairman's lounge memberships..No influence at all your Honour.

Best thing they could do with Canberra is a build a big wall around it and let no one in or out.
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Old 7th Jan 2020, 01:54
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Best thing they could do with Canberra is a build a big wall around it and let no one in or out
And fill it with water.
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