Australia, New Zealand & the Pacific Airline and RPT Rumours & News in Australia, enZed and the Pacific

Qantas Fuel Mayday

Old 21st Jul 2022, 11:01
  #61 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: FNQ ... It's Permanent!
Posts: 3,914
What a pointless thread. Whatever the reason, an aircraft into Perth became aware they may land with less than minimum fuel.
They followed the required RT procedure and the rest was a non event.
Capt Fathom is online now  
Old 21st Jul 2022, 11:14
  #62 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Australia
Posts: 4,451
Captain. You must have missed the blaze of emotive reporting in the newspapers and on TV.
Dick Smith is offline  
Old 21st Jul 2022, 11:15
  #63 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Australia/India
Posts: 4,411
I would agree, CF, but for this kind of fallout:
Qantas is playing this down by spinning it - saying "it wasn't a safety issue" on news tonight ! Sure Qantas. . . Sure - no one believes you Mayday is a cut-through word. The Aeronautical Information Publication (AIP) already specifies that a pilot in command is required to broadcast Mayday Mayday Mayday fuel: when the calculated usable fuel predicted to be available upon landing at the nearest aerodrome where a safe landing can be made is less than the planned fixed fuel reserve and as a result of this predicted fuel state, the aircraft requires immediate assistance.

Perhaps by uplifting adequate fuel - instead of those extra pax would of been a better idea - ex Brisbane hu ? Commercial pressures has proven to be a disastrous in the past, in aviation.

Qantas is consumed all sides on spotfires breaking out and diminishing/tarnishing ONE WAS a proud quality brand. Damage done now. No matter how much PR spinning they do - Sad Really.
This is a rare circumstance in which I agree with what Qantas said. But punters will make the - I would suggest, reasonable - assumption that the declaration of a mayday meant there was an emergency and it makes no sense that an emergency involved no risk to anyone’s safety.
Lead Balloon is online now  
Old 21st Jul 2022, 11:40
  #64 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Australia
Posts: 999
Originally Posted by Lead Balloon View Post
I don’t have much wisdom. I merely absorbed the points made by those with experience when this was debated to death a couple of years ago.

The answer to your question is in the terms of your question. A fuel ‘emergency’ should be declared when it’s an ‘emergency’. The word emergency has a meaning. So does the word ‘mayday’.

But both of those words are now being used in the context of circumstances which are not, objectively, an emergency. It’s a case of the tail wagging the dog, because apparently we don’t have the wit or wisdom to design ATC procedures that will result in a heavy stuck in a stack being given priority due to calculated fuel being a minute short on landing, without the use of the word “MAYDAY”. Only in aviation…

And, in any event, the rules have (in Australia) been applied to all Australian aircraft, including a Cessna 152 doing circuits, despite the circumstances giving rise to the bright idea being quite specific.

Having worked overseas for a number of years and seen these procedures in action on several occasions, they worked well. ATC instantly got the message, the aircraft concerned (not mine) were vectored out of the hold, given priority for landing, and nobody batted an eyelid. It seems to me that some people here like to make mountains out of molehills. Perhaps they need to broaden their horizons and see how the real world operates outside the sheltered workshop that is Australian aviation.
BuzzBox is online now  
Old 21st Jul 2022, 11:51
  #65 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Somewhere
Posts: 2,869
Perhaps by uplifting adequate fuel - instead of those extra pax would of been a better idea - ex Brisbane hu ? Commercial pressures has proven to be a disastrous in the past, in aviation.
But where does that end?? 30 minutes extra? 60 minutes extra? 2 hours extra just in case?? You shouldn't need 36 minutes of additional holding fuel if the forecast is CAVOK. However that is what was required in this instance. United had a similar Mayday in Sydney a few years ago when they too got messed around with traffic holding in fine conditions.

The real issue here is the Australian ATC system combined with the lack of runway infrastructure but I will bet my bottom dollar that none of that will be addressed in the report it will just all be glossed over and if they can't blame the pilots then it will just be swept under the carpet.

Last edited by neville_nobody; 21st Jul 2022 at 12:07.
neville_nobody is offline  
Old 21st Jul 2022, 13:34
  #66 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: VHHH
Posts: 35
One question not yet asked is why was the traffic holding so much more than forecast?

Was there a GDP in place?
DROPS is offline  
Old 21st Jul 2022, 13:47
  #67 (permalink)  
601
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Brisbane, Qld, Australia
Age: 76
Posts: 1,370
fixed fuel reserve
If is never to be used, why carry it?
Surly this day and age with accurate winds, accurate performance data and well coordinated ATC, it could be done with.
Then a Mayday would be appropriate.

I got busted by an ATC gentleman for only having a margin of 1 minute, when I had 45min plus 60 holding and 15%.
601 is offline  
Old 21st Jul 2022, 15:57
  #68 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Canada
Posts: 1,339
Actual Quote from a Bell 204 pilot in Canada years ago: : “How long will this thing run on the Low Fuel Light? BEEP BEEP BEEP Disregard I just found out!”
Splash one 204 in the lake 1/2 mile from the pad he was heading for.
albatross is offline  
Old 21st Jul 2022, 19:41
  #69 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2022
Location: Great Britain
Posts: 228
Originally Posted by albatross View Post
Actual Quote from a Bell 204 pilot in Canada years ago: : “How long will this thing run on the Low Fuel Light? BEEP BEEP BEEP Disregard I just found out!”
Splash one 204 in the lake 1/2 mile from the pad he was heading for.
Unfortunately didn't end so well for the Police chopper over a Glasgow pub.

The question in this (Qantas) instance isn't so much "Fuel mayday was called" but "Why?".
Everyone blaming the crew. Maybe a technical fault was to blame?
uxb99 is offline  
Old 21st Jul 2022, 20:02
  #70 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Boldly going where no split infinitive has gone before..
Posts: 4,633
Originally Posted by Capt Fathom View Post
What a pointless thread. Whatever the reason, an aircraft into Perth became aware they may land with less than minimum fuel.
They followed the required RT procedure and the rest was a non event.
Actually, "May land" with less than final resereve is casue for a "Low fuel advisory". WILL land with less is a "Mayday".
The fact that having been goven a "Low fuel advisory" ATCs response was "Not our problem" is a potential place for seeing where there is a problem. That is an indication that there is a potential emergency and a chance to stop it. If they really DID say "Can't help unless it's a Mayday", then we need some very serious examination of ATC procedures.
I've been in the situation of knowing we were going to be tight at the destination for 7 hours, conveyed this to Oceanic and Continental US ATC, and had them work very hard to help us out- no danger, we had divert options- but ATC is there to facilitate air traffic.
If they landed with more the 30 mins at holding rate, they were not technically in a "Mayday" state, but having been all but dared to do so by ATC, and realising that DECLARING and emergency was the only way to PREVENT an emergency, they did the right thing-but whichever ATC bod decided stopping a low fuel emergency from happening isn't their problem needs kicking.

Last edited by Wizofoz; 21st Jul 2022 at 22:18.
Wizofoz is offline  
Old 21st Jul 2022, 20:08
  #71 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Boldly going where no split infinitive has gone before..
Posts: 4,633
Originally Posted by Lead Balloon View Post
I don’t have much wisdom. I merely absorbed the points made by those with experience when this was debated to death a couple of years ago.

The answer to your question is in the terms of your question. A fuel ‘emergency’ should be declared when it’s an ‘emergency’. The word emergency has a meaning. So does the word ‘mayday’.

But both of those words are now being used in the context of circumstances which are not, objectively, an emergency. It’s a case of the tail wagging the dog, because apparently we don’t have the wit or wisdom to design ATC procedures that will result in a heavy stuck in a stack being given priority due to calculated fuel being a minute short on landing, without the use of the word “MAYDAY”. Only in aviation…

And, in any event, the rules have (in Australia) been applied to all Australian aircraft, including a Cessna 152 doing circuits, despite the circumstances giving rise to the bright idea being quite specific.
The problem is there is a layer of saftey to PREVENT an emergency that seems to be missing- the crew let ATC know they were headed in that direction, and the mechanism should be in place to ensure it doesnt get tht far. Is the 737 left with statutory minimums and was in a position that they may end up with less than 30 minutes, they should have been given priority so as to stop it getting that far.
Wizofoz is offline  
Old 21st Jul 2022, 21:23
  #72 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: VHHH
Posts: 35
Disagree. If you know for hours that you may be heading for low fuel and put it on ATC to prioritize you, it is hardly ATC fault. There are many competing priorities. By prioritizing just one aircraft during a busy period, the cumulative effect may be that several then become minimum fuel. This is because the companies 'collaboratively' determine what they want the traffic fuel advisory to be - it is not just ATC. ATC would like you to have more - the companies less. Sometimes it doesn't work out right for whatever reason. The only fair way is to declare an emergency to get priority. This is what happened. If everyone just carried the bare minimum and declared minimum fuel upon arrival it ain't gonna work. These rules sound like they were determined to protect crews from their company fuel policy.
DROPS is offline  
Old 21st Jul 2022, 22:16
  #73 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Boldly going where no split infinitive has gone before..
Posts: 4,633
Originally Posted by DROPS View Post
If everyone just carried the bare minimum and declared minimum fuel upon arrival it ain't gonna work. These rules sound like they were determined to protect crews from their company fuel policy.
But they don't, and it would be both bad practice and poor ecconomics to do so- the number of divertions would make any supposed saving moot. Minimum fual means something hasn't gone to plan (in my case, a flight-planning error as it was a brand new aircraft and the performance degredation figure was wrong) but it isn't yet an emergency. ATC is there for saftey- and PREVENTING an emergency sounds like a sound saftey goal to me!
Wizofoz is offline  
Old 21st Jul 2022, 23:11
  #74 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Australia/India
Posts: 4,411
Having worked overseas for a number of years and seen these procedures in action on several occasions, they worked well. ATC instantly got the message, the aircraft concerned (not mine) were vectored out of the hold, given priority for landing, and nobody batted an eyelid. It seems to me that some people here like to make mountains out of molehills. Perhaps they need to broaden their horizons and see how the real world operates outside the sheltered workshop that is Australian aviation.
You make my point for me, albeit inadvertently, Buzzbox.

The “procedure” could work just the same if the mandated phrase were “Fluffy Puppy” or “Ford Prefect” or “Ethel The Aardvark Goes Quantity Surveying”.

In the “real world”, the word “Mayday” is usually used to describe a ‘mountain’, not a ‘molehill’. That’s why it’s hardly surprising when the media and punters get really animated when they hear that an airliner’s crew has declared a “Mayday”. And the media and punters get really sceptical when the airline says ‘move on, nothing to see here, there was never a risk to safety’.

The terminology makes a mountain out of a molehill.

I get it: There’s a power stoush going on between ATC and airlines. ATC don’t want airlines to be ‘encouraged’ to use fuel management practises which assume they’ll be able to ‘cut the queue’ by simply declaring a ‘Fluffy Puppy’. So the bright idea: Let’s make sure it can only be done by declaration of a ‘Mayday’, thus turning the circumstances into a ‘mountain’. But the same outcome could be achieved without the ‘collateral damage’ of declaring a ‘Mayday’ when there’s no objective emergency.

And I also get it that the aim of the declaration is to precipitate priority changes now on the basis of calculations and predictions as to what could happen if nothing changes. But I note that the prediction of what could happen, which results in the requirement to declare a ‘Mayday’, includes landing with 1 minute of final reserve having been consumed. (And please: Let’s not rehash all the arguments about instrument accuracy and potential further random delays, which arguments lead inexorably to requirements for declarations of ‘Mayday’ earlier and earlier and earlier and earlier…)

Finally, this all points up why this has nothing to do with a C152 doing circuits out the back of Bourke and why this special ‘Mayday’ declaration rule should not apply to them at all.
Lead Balloon is online now  
Old 21st Jul 2022, 23:45
  #75 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: australia
Posts: 321
Does Qantas apply an individual performance degradation figure to their computerised flight planning?
mates rates is offline  
Old 22nd Jul 2022, 00:08
  #76 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Anvya
Posts: 48
It’s a problem as old as aviation , 747 going into Heathrow , Aussie captain , not Qantas , having issues with female approach controller who wants him to declare fuel maday but he just wants reassurance of no delays and in frustration asks if there is a male controller he can talk too . Long haul into LA gets told he will have to declare a fuel mayday if he wants to get priority , so he does only to be told he is No 42 in the fuel mayday stack .
I get atc’s frustration , pilots arriving regularly wanting special consideration and some days they just say prove it ! Should they prioritise a long haul that departed the day before with weather that’s changed while in flight or a domestic or regional that departed 2 hours ago that took min fuel ?
No need for special word , maybe Perth needs more fuel as not a lot of options if things don’t go perfectly?
KAPAC is offline  
Old 22nd Jul 2022, 00:10
  #77 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Timbuktoo
Posts: 181
having issues with female approach controller who wants him to declare fuel maday but he just wants reassurance of no delays and in frustration asks if there is a male controller he can talk too
Sounds like he has bigger issues than just fuel TBH!
brokenagain is offline  
Old 22nd Jul 2022, 00:15
  #78 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: VHHH
Posts: 35
Originally Posted by KAPAC View Post
It’s a problem as old as aviation , 747 going into Heathrow , Aussie captain , not Qantas , having issues with female approach controller who wants him to declare fuel maday but he just wants reassurance of no delays and in frustration asks if there is a male controller he can talk too . Long haul into LA gets told he will have to declare a fuel mayday if he wants to get priority , so he does only to be told he is No 42 in the fuel mayday stack .
I get atc’s frustration , pilots arriving regularly wanting special consideration and some days they just say prove it ! Should they prioritise a long haul that departed the day before with weather that’s changed while in flight or a domestic or regional that departed 2 hours ago that took min fuel ?
No need for special word , maybe Perth needs more fuel as not a lot of options if things don’t go perfectly?
This used to happen with aircraft on ULR arriving East Coast - it disappeared when the GDP was implemented. But the GDP has not been universally re-adopted post-COVID because one assumes opposition from..... the airlines. Perth with it's limited alternates should probably be considered similarly for transcontinental flights - max 10min traffic holding. Just means other carriers have to wear the cumalative. When of course, the bickering starts
.At the end of the day, ATC on the spot is just applying the rules that everyone agreed to so they didn't need to carry more fuel than they wanted - nothing to do with being 2nd best, this shit goes on everywhere
DROPS is offline  
Old 22nd Jul 2022, 00:22
  #79 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: australia
Age: 73
Posts: 36
See discussion
Perth "Mayday" From Crikey.com

perth is a very dangerous airport for the inexperienced pilot.
your union and the AFAP needs some teeth.

‘I have heard a declaration, “Mayday “ while preflighting with radio on tower, on ground Perth 0200, and the fog was not forecast.
The aircraft QFA330, landed with almost no fuel after doing an auto land in 100meters fog.

my experience of over 25,000 hours tells me you should always carry alternate for Perth.
I am retired now and have ATC tower experience.
Airports close for multiple reasons
Fog, thunderstorms, melted runway ,accidents, security similar to 911, use your imagination for possible closures.
I was ATC when Sydney had the “Mr Brown” 1971 security threat but could have been for real.
I always carry alternate fuel, (once I carried Melbourne when nothing else was possible.)

very expensive but your aviation union should act in the interest of the accepted international safety standards.
Demand union policy from Your Toothless union.
nose,cabin is offline  
Old 22nd Jul 2022, 00:35
  #80 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Aus
Posts: 1,809
The system should treat all users the same, the problem is more that they allow inbounds to continue and then slap them with a last minute 15 minutes, when it could have been done a long time before. Give aircraft proper slots, be at feeder fix x at x time, not 'about this time' gdp rubbish so that everything departs +-15 minutes or some nowhere near that and then deal with 15 aircraft that should have been well spaced. I can depart right on GDP time, get airborne and get min speed and15 mins holding, then another aircraft gets max speed to fit in front of me, that's where the system makes no sense at all. And that scenario happens regularly, not based on emergencies or medicals, just weird TAC decisions. Then inevitably the max speed aircraft doesn't meet its time and everything gets a further slow down, when we could have been 5 minutes ahead of it even with slow down of 5 minutes.

I always aim to land with an hour+ in the tanks, no point being on fumes when you don't have to, my aircraft starts yelling expletives at me before it gets to FR fuel level anyway, so I'd be dealing with abnormal checklists and reports if I got anywhere near 30 minutes remaining.
43Inches is online now  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.