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

Qantas Fuel Mayday

Old 25th Jul 2022, 05:40
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Million years ago ..... VC-10 ex-London overflew Boston en route New York, and on approaching JFK was given a holding time that would have meant landing with less then the minimum required on arrival, and certainly less then required to divert to any suitable alternate, so immediately diverted back to Boston, where ...... the WX had deteriorated due snow, and was way below any possible landing minima. Now no diversion fuel left - what to do ? Emergency landing at a USAF base was approved, and succeeded. Phew ! (Nb, not me )
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Old 25th Jul 2022, 06:17
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Originally Posted by smiling monkey View Post
I do recall an Air Asia Indonesia A320 diverting to Kalgoorlie a few years ago due to excessive holding time due weather in Perth at night. Their biggest issue was not knowing KGI has pilot activated lighting and their unfamiliarity with operating with PAL. If I remember correctly, a local aircraft enroute to the east coast from Perth helped with keying the lights for their arrival.
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I always thought it was astounding in a supposed 1st world country like Australia that all these airports have notoriously unreliable PAL. It seems possible for the councils etc to keep the street lights on every night without a problem but can't seem to keep runway lights on all night?
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Old 25th Jul 2022, 06:37
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Resource rich state like WA that provides %40 of Australians income and relies on Aviation , itís the most isolated city on the planet and it canít afford to upgrade its main airport or leave lights on during the night at a remote alternate .
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Old 25th Jul 2022, 06:52
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It can "afford it", but why would it do it? It's making a motza for the owners as is, and that's all that counts.

Transport used to be an essential service (like energy). Now it's a 'market'. And when you have a monopoly...

Same reason for Sydney KSA being a third world shit hole.
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Old 25th Jul 2022, 08:39
  #165 (permalink)  
 
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it’s the most isolated city on the planet
This old chestnut. Honolulu slipped into the Pacific Ocean did it?
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Old 25th Jul 2022, 08:53
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Originally Posted by Icarus2001 View Post
This old chestnut. Honolulu slipped into the Pacific Ocean did it?
by some measures, Honolulu in Hawaii is the most isolated city in the world. Small Pacific islands aside Ė Perth, Western Australia, is the most isolated city on any continent, anywhere on Earth.

Operations into Hawaii better supported by infrastructure and airline fuel policy .
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Old 25th Jul 2022, 09:15
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Hmm, so isolated for 737 operations, when you could go to Busselton, Kalgoorlie, Pearce. Add to that possibly Albany, Esperance, and a few other 1800m+ strips that can handle jets. Pearce is viable, a QF group landed and refueled at East Sale a few years back when it got caught out by weather in Melbourne, I don't recall the RAAF was particularly phased by it being used for such purpose given the circumstance. The question in this riddle is why the jet did not proceed to an alternate for fuel, and rather declare a Mayday to proceed to it's nominated destination. Were the alternate destinations ruled out, were they led to believe there was going to be no more holding and then told last second there was more, say after passing the pnr for PKG. The report will have all the answers. Is it OK to declare a fuel mayday to push to a destination when an alternate is available? again something for the ATSB to ponder over.

IF Perth was truly isolated for the day, due to every other port in the area being fogged in or not adequate, then surely the extra fuel required for travel to an isolated aerodrome would need to be carried, add to that EDTO requirements.
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Old 25th Jul 2022, 11:50
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Originally Posted by Icarus2001 View Post
This old chestnut. Honolulu slipped into the Pacific Ocean did it?
Honolulu has buckets of alternates, and they are available as diverts. The disinterest in infrastructure that plagues Australia results in very few choices for international operators inbound, and even for domestic on occasion. Add Perths TAF accuracy that is about as good as choosing lotto numbers...

Precision approaches... that's arguably Perth, and nowhere else nearby. Add environmental conditions that can challenge autoland capability for less than the most modern systems...

PHNL-PHTO-188nm
YPPH-YPLM - 589nm. KSEA- LSFO 589nm. EGLL-LIMJ 565nm
YPPH-YPAD - 1145nm KSEA-KAMA 1179nm EGLL-LMML 1135nm

Its reasonable to say Perth is isolated
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Old 25th Jul 2022, 23:06
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Originally Posted by 43Inches View Post
Hmm, so isolated for 737 operations, when you could go to Busselton, Kalgoorlie, Pearce. Add to that possibly Albany, Esperance, and a few other 1800m+ strips that can handle jets. Pearce is viable, a QF group landed and refueled at East Sale a few years back when it got caught out by weather in Melbourne, I don't recall the RAAF was particularly phased by it being used for such purpose given the circumstance.
Yes they are all 1800m+ however as said what infrastructure? Stairs for the 737/320, tow bar, approaches mentioned, etc. Yes i would certainly use any of these in dire emergency but not for a min fuel situation, no one shouldnít be in that position but if one is then what the QF crew did works.

Now throw in foreign crew on the 737/320 and the only real alternate is Kalgoorlie.

Perth is an isolated airport for a myriad of reasons.
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Old 25th Jul 2022, 23:11
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What stairs do you need, its a dash and splash. As I said this happened to a QF 737 that diverted to East Sale a few years back due to a low fuel state. Albany advertises that its 737 capable, Busselton is a Jetstar port, so you are saying an A320 can land there but not a 737 for a spot of fuel? And Pearce has an ILS, whatever that matters when RNP will get you in to any of these ports. My point is if you are going to declare a low fuel state and broadcast a mayday fuel, can you do so with alternates available that are acceptable and within range. Remembering that under the new fuel rules, alternates require less fuel and weather minimums than the destination. I think many posters here are forgetting that WA has a number of options for 737 sized aircraft now, while navaids might be an issue this aircraft would have been RNP capable. We are not talking about foreign crew or a heavy type international flight, it was a domestic QF 737-800. Or do QF 737 crew need ILS everywhere they go now?
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Old 25th Jul 2022, 23:38
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As I said this happened to a QF 737 that diverted to East Sale a few years back due to a low fuel state.
Do you want to actually put a date to that timeline. A "few years back" would be 2018.

And Pearce has an ILS, whatever that matters when RNP will get you in to any of these ports.
Do you mean RNP-AR or the rebadged RNAV-Z! Only RNP-AR would be of use if committing to a diversion because a lot of the RNAV-Z give you a minima not much better than a VOR approach. If you want to talk diversions "a few years back", remember the Virgin 737 that diverted from Adelaide because of fog and ended up landing in fog in Mildura off an RNAV-Z. He would have been better off declaring a Mayday and auto landing in Adelaide.

If you are going to write factually incorrect stuff then remember the saying about it better people thinking you are a fool........
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Old 25th Jul 2022, 23:54
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Originally Posted by 43Inches View Post
What stairs do you need, its a dash and splash. As I said this happened to a QF 737 that diverted to East Sale a few years back due to a low fuel state. Albany advertises that its 737 capable, Busselton is a Jetstar port, so you are saying an A320 can land there but not a 737 for a spot of fuel? And Pearce has an ILS, whatever that matters when RNP will get you in to any of these ports. My point is if you are going to declare a low fuel state and broadcast a mayday fuel, can you do so with alternates available that are acceptable and within range. Remembering that under the new fuel rules, alternates require less fuel and weather minimums than the destination. I think many posters here are forgetting that WA has a number of options for 737 sized aircraft now, while navaids might be an issue this aircraft would have been RNP capable. We are not talking about foreign crew or a heavy type international flight, it was a domestic QF 737-800. Or do QF 737 crew need ILS everywhere they go now?
If you were the Captain of the QF aircraft involved in this incident, what would you have done? Diverted into an unfamiliar, marginal airport on the bones of your ass for fuel; or declared a fuel Mayday and continued to a very familiar destination, for which you were already on descent, set up and briefed? What would be the safest option, in YOUR opinion?
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Old 25th Jul 2022, 23:59
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Originally Posted by 43Inches View Post
What stairs do you need, its a dash and splash. As I said this happened to a QF 737 that diverted to East Sale a few years back due to a low fuel state. Albany advertises that its 737 capable, Busselton is a Jetstar port, so you are saying an A320 can land there but not a 737 for a spot of fuel? And Pearce has an ILS, whatever that matters when RNP will get you in to any of these ports. My point is if you are going to declare a low fuel state and broadcast a mayday fuel, can you do so with alternates available that are acceptable and within range. Remembering that under the new fuel rules, alternates require less fuel and weather minimums than the destination. I think many posters here are forgetting that WA has a number of options for 737 sized aircraft now, while navaids might be an issue this aircraft would have been RNP capable. We are not talking about foreign crew or a heavy type international flight, it was a domestic QF 737-800. Or do QF 737 crew need ILS everywhere they go now?
plan on using the escape rope for the walk around? Popping a slide?
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Old 26th Jul 2022, 00:04
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Lookleft, that was an uncharacteristically harsh post from you. I don't see an issue with "a few years" being 2018, nor "RNP" to get into an alternate. All those discussed here have LNAV/VNAV minima (Busselton and Kalgoorlie have RNP-AR). Is 200ft really going to make a difference at Geraldton?

I can't see the relevance of the Virgin (and QF) diversion to Mildura to this incident. Different cause and circumstance.

I don't see any "factually incorrect stuff" in 43 inche's posts.
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Old 26th Jul 2022, 00:09
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Buzzbox, you're getting a bit dramatic there. Regardless of familiarity with ports, plugging in a straight-in approach and then landing on the big black area that appears in front of you at 500ft on final shouldn't really be a problem, should it?
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Old 26th Jul 2022, 00:25
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If you are going to write factually incorrect stuff then remember the saying about it better people thinking you are a fool........
And the fool would be? The one who omits QF diverted ahead of VA and landed at Mildura safely, or that the diversion was flawed because updated information was not sought prior to diversion or not passed on when alerted by aircraft arriving earlier. For instance not much made of the Rex flight who saw the unfolding drama and immediately diverted to an alternate to avoid what was a growing list of unknowns ahead regarding holding aircraft, unforecast weather, etc, possibly causing them issues. Or should I recite the CARs which require a PIC of RPT/Charter to be familiar with all airports, including alternates and weather patterns on the route to be flown, so that diversions and such can be made without having to fly to 'unfamiliar' airports. I mean seriously the amount quoting Perth is so isolated means a captain operating there should be aware of all alternates en-route and in the area and it would be easy to be familiar as there are not that many, and due diligence means you must be familiar with all alternates and emergency possibles. Some here make it sound like the QF crew are barely trained and experienced and are flying a Cessna 172 on a private hop.

PS Mia forecast had a Tempo for broken low cloud before the VA aircraft had even diverted, so they needed to arrive at MIA with at least 60 minutes holding, so it was a marginal destination as is.

Point still stands though, that if every other port in the area had alternate or marginal forecasts, why was the aircraft operating on bare minimum fuel.

One last clear point; what the QF crew did was not unsafe, they landed with reserves intact, so I agree they acted appropriately. However if as has been posted earlier you start getting multiple aircraft using this fuel mayday because numerous cut it thin, then ATC will have to triage who goes first, and you may end up with different outcomes, I mean what if the 3-5 aircraft ahead all were operating on minimum fuel and then a chorus of fuel maydays rolling as they got additional delays to follow the QF. So it has to be asked if they had appropriate fuel to begin with, did they consider alternates, were they completely committed to Perth and if not is a Fuel Mayday appropriate if alternates are available. All questions the ATSB will ask I'm sure.

Last edited by 43Inches; 26th Jul 2022 at 00:46.
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Old 26th Jul 2022, 01:18
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Originally Posted by Capn Bloggs View Post
Buzzbox, you're getting a bit dramatic there. Regardless of familiarity with ports, plugging in a straight-in approach and then landing on the big black area that appears in front of you at 500ft on final shouldn't really be a problem, should it?
Perhaps so, but that somewhat misses the point. In my view it comes down to choosing the safest option, which is not a rushed diversion into an unfamiliar airfield.
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Old 26th Jul 2022, 01:24
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Bloggsy sorry you thought that my post was harsh but my point about Mildura was that there is no such thing as a simple diversion to a regional airport especially if you are relying on a TAF. I agree Busselton has RNP-AR but I cant find an RNP-AR at Kalgoorlie. As others have pointed out there is also the issue of stairs etc. Company requirements would possibly still necessitate a walk around by a crew member before departure even for a refuel. The hypothetical about multiple maydays is irrelevant as on the day only one crew used a prescribed and legal procedure to ensure they landed with the statutory reserves intact. I doubt the crew didn't follow the QF fuel policy and will be supported by QF flight ops in their decision to continue to Perth. The ATSB won't produce a report that is very different to this one:

https://www.atsb.gov.au/publications...aair200401270/

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Old 26th Jul 2022, 01:47
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One issue is that both crew in the Mildura incident did not request the TAFs, only the current METARs. That was one of the issues highlighted by the ATSB, they only requested and received the current METAR which was pre the low cloud and fog rolling in. The current TAF had a Tempo for BKN Cloud at 600 feet, which means a 60 minute fuel requirement for any arriving aircraft. The SPECI was passed to both aircraft while they were busy talking on other frequencies and not followed up. Both aircraft landed well before 60 minutes holding had expired.

There is no point asking for current conditions if diverting to a place that has deterioration on the forecast, the current conditions only tell you what is happening at that point in time, not at arrival time. The Met run down in that report shows why it was forecast as low cloud rather than fog and why they got it wrong. In any case both aircraft should have had 60 minutes on arrival + at least 30 minutes reserves.

The 60 minute requirement had been there all morning as well.

I mean basically you are saying that you would not divert due fuel because the forecast at any of these locations might be wrong. And we are saying now that QF has no alternates in the Perth area including Kalgoorlie or Busselton with no stairs for a 737, this just sounds silly as how did this 737 get to Perth with barely reserves and traffic holding without some sort of contingency fuel as well. I can only think it was holding YPKG initially en-route and shifting to YPPH as it reconsidered variables. I would say Pearce has 737 capable stairs as they handle RAAF 737.

Last edited by 43Inches; 26th Jul 2022 at 02:03.
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Old 26th Jul 2022, 03:30
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The only question going to asked in regards to diversion is why they didnít go to Kalgoorlie. It might well be they couldnít make it anyway so Perth was the only option.
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