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Qantas Fuel Mayday

Old 20th Jul 2022, 22:40
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Qantas Fuel Mayday

How to make a story sound sensational.

https://www.theage.com.au/national/n...20-p5b35r.html

Last edited by Senior Pilot; 22nd Jul 2022 at 01:46. Reason: Fix url link
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Old 20th Jul 2022, 22:56
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Originally Posted by olderairhead View Post
How to make a story sound sensational.

https://www.theage.com.au/national/n...20-p5b35r.html
Declared a mayday and landed with 40 minutes of gas. What would have happened if they did a GA?
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Old 20th Jul 2022, 23:01
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Nothing wrong with what the crew did, but declaring a 'Mayday' is pretty sensational in the minds of the travelling public. No need to hype it much, considering it was a 'Mayday', and it did involve a 'low fuel state'. Only question is was Kalgoorlie or other a viable alternate available instead of a Mayday, or were they committed to Perth for some reason. That's something for what will be an inevitable investigation as I doubt the ATSB will drop this one. There's also the question about flying across a continent with bare minimums, which I assume they must have also used variables as well for some reason to get to that point, ie stronger headwinds, as arriving at Perth from Brisbane with just 40 mins is barely fixed reserve let alone all the other stuff. I am aware variables are there to be used, but it's a situation that is rarely an occurrence.
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Old 20th Jul 2022, 23:05
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Let’s just hope the crew get the same scrutinization on here as the 71 rocky crew did. Was PH really under the pump with arrivals? What are the other contributing factors that led to this mayday as it is never just one contributing factor.
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Old 20th Jul 2022, 23:15
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Luck everyone else in the stack wasn’t so “company minded” or it would have compounded.
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Old 20th Jul 2022, 23:18
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Originally Posted by 43Inches View Post
Nothing wrong with what the crew did, but declaring a 'Mayday' is pretty sensational in the minds of the travelling public. No need to hype it much, considering it was a 'Mayday', and it did involve a 'low fuel state'. Only question is was Kalgoorlie or other a viable alternate available instead of a Mayday, or were they committed to Perth for some reason. That's something for what will be an inevitable investigation as I doubt the ATSB will drop this one. There's also the question about flying across a continent with bare minimums, which I assume they must have also used variables as well for some reason to get to that point, ie stronger headwinds, as arriving at Perth from Brisbane with just 40 mins is barely fixed reserve let alone all the other stuff. I am aware variables are there to be used, but it's a situation that is rarely an occurrence.
While I think that “mayday” for a low fuel state (as opposed to knowing that you will run out of the stuff) is mis-use of the term as it was originally intended, that is what the regulations required in this case. Unless the additional holding time was issued prior to passing PNR beyond Kalgoorlie, there is nothing to see here; move on….
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Old 20th Jul 2022, 23:21
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If I read this right, they don’t declare minimum fuel, they don’t go to “pan” they go straight to “mayday”

righteo, nothing to see here
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Old 20th Jul 2022, 23:41
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Let me guess.....Management pilot trying to show everyone why they should take flight plan fuel?
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Old 20th Jul 2022, 23:41
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If I read this right, they don’t declare minimum fuel, they don’t go to “pan” they go straight to “mayday”
And that’s going to be ATC’s get out of jail free card. If they didn’t declare minimum fuel and given a time then it will be on the pilots.
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Old 20th Jul 2022, 23:43
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Having been in a similar situation in a much larger delay sequence ATC won't care what you say until you get to the "mayday fuel" call. Luckily we had options to reduce fuel flow dramatically, position for diversion and landed with 50 minutes fuel after the sequence freed up, the original delay had put us within 5 minutes of minimum. When we told them we could not absorb any further delay they were just interested in where we were going to divert to. Our situation was fine until an aircraft behind declared a medical and added the extra delay time, always good to have at least another 15 minutes spare for those sort of occurrence.

And that’s going to be ATC’s get out of jail free card. If they didn’t declare minimum fuel and given a time then it will be on the pilots.
ATC already has a get out of jail card, holding requirements were changed from holding fuel requirements for traffic to 'expected traffic delays', which means the holding fuel requirement is subject to discussion, I take that amount as the minimum expected delay and add some more if I think it's under-cooked. Like if you hold a nearby controlled airport as an alternate, the expected delays are for expected normal traffic, so if you divert there on short notice a short distance expect more delays due to unexpected sequence changes.
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Old 20th Jul 2022, 23:44
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While I think that “mayday” for a low fuel state (as opposed to knowing that you will run out of the stuff) is mis-use of the term as it was originally intended, that is what the regulations required in this case.
Correct.

All this was discussed, at length, when the new regulations were made. The use of the word 'mayday' is now mandated in circumstances that are not an emergency. In reality the circumstances might justify a 'pan' call, but the brains trust that makes the rules knows better.

Don't forget: If you're doing circuits and you realise you might land with less than 30 minutes' fuel remaining, you must declare a 'mayday'.
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Old 20th Jul 2022, 23:50
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In theory now you should be arriving with at least 45 minutes if its a single destination with no alternate, way more if it's considered isolated. Don't know what QF domestics fuel policy is, so they might still be using the old 30 minutes rule, I heard some operators refused to move to the new rules. The extra 15 minutes providing buffer for the inevitable 'Mayday fuel' if you cut it too thin.
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Old 20th Jul 2022, 23:57
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Isn’t there a “Minimum Fuel” call? So if you declare that, it means you cannot absorb any further delay or you will land with below reserve fuel.

Overseas that was the case anyway. Used it myself once during a diversion and ATC prioritised us over everyone.
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Old 21st Jul 2022, 00:00
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Originally Posted by KABOY View Post
Declared a mayday and landed with 40 minutes of gas. What would have happened if they did a GA?
If they landed with 60 minutes fuel in tanks then it would be hard to justify the Mayday. If they did a GA (or held for 16 minutes) then they would have eaten into the FFR, that’s why they declared an emergency. But after all, that is the reason you have a FFR, for unexpected situations. Obviously you shouldn’t be running so lean that you regularly eat into the FFR but these situations are exceptionally rare.
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Old 21st Jul 2022, 00:05
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So this crew arrived over PH with 1600 kgs if the 40 mins fuel remaining is to be believed.Given 15mins extra holding would be max.600 kgs or if on descent less than 100 kgs.They must have been arriving PH with 2200kgs max. including any traffic holding from the flight planning stage.This is very thin on fuel for PH.This airport always needs to be considered a remote strip operation with unpredictable WX and the worst ATC system around, you ALWAYS need a plan B.So there is plenty to see here!!What is legal and what is safe,are two different things.
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Old 21st Jul 2022, 00:07
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The investigation into this will be a paperwork exercise of whether they should have carried x amount of fuel, was a diversion prudent, was the delay appropriate. At no point was safety really a factor as they landed with more than enough fuel, as the crew did the right thing and made sure they landed with enough. If they held until fuel went down to fumes, then it would be a safety event.

So this crew arrived over PH with 1600 kgs if the 40 mins fuel remaining is to be believed.Given 15mins extra holding would be max.600 kgs or if on descent less than 100 kgs.They must have been arriving PH with 2200kgs max. including any traffic holding from the flight planning stage.This is very thin on fuel for PH.This airport always needs to be considered a remote strip operation with unpredictable WX and the worst ATC system around, you ALWAYS need a plan B.So there is plenty to see here!!What is legal and what is safe,are two different things.
Maybe they were using to old plan for KG and keep going as contingency reserve requirements reduce allowing Perth.
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Old 21st Jul 2022, 00:08
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Originally Posted by mates rates View Post
So this crew arrived over PH with 1600 kgs if the 40 mins fuel remaining is to be believed.Given 15mins extra holding would be max.600 kgs or if on descent less than 100 kgs.They must have been arriving PH with 2200kgs max. including any traffic holding from the flight planning stage.This is very thin on fuel for PH.This airport always needs to be considered a remote strip operation with unpredictable WX and the worst ATC system around, you ALWAYS need a plan B.So there is plenty to see here!!What is legal and what is safe,are two different things.
Correct. The delta burn on 73 is piss all. People try too hard for the company...
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Old 21st Jul 2022, 00:11
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It's not so much about what they landed with, and more about what they predicted they would land with:
The pilot in command must declare a situation of emergency 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 fixed fuel reserve for the flight. The pilot in command must declare an emergency fuel state by broadcasting MAYDAY, MAYDAY, MAYDAY FUEL.

Note The emergency fuel declaration is a distress message.
You continue to crack me up, 43":
I heard some operators refused to move to the new rules.
I think you'll find that operators don't get a choice. The clue is in the word "rules".
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Old 21st Jul 2022, 00:12
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QF domestic flights are all planned with a minimum of 70 minutes over destination, plus whatever dispatch or the crew deem necessary on top of that.
It’d be interesting to know the facts of what happened here, but of course the absence of said facts should be no barrier to speculation and condemnation…

(For joker89, there’s no such thing as declaring a pan for fuel. As morno alludes to, there’s ‘minimum fuel’ and then ‘mayday fuel’. Do we know for sure that ‘minimum fuel’ wasn’t declared?)
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Old 21st Jul 2022, 00:12
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I think you'll find that operators don't get a choice. The clue is in the word "rules".
Actually I know one operator of the QF group that does not use the new rules. Hence why I said this. They claimed the new fuel and alternate requirements were uneconomical so stuck with the old requirements, including use of special alternate minima and such (which part 121 can not use anymore). That may have changed in the last few months, but was like that for some time after the new rules were adopted.
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