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Near miss

Old 16th Sep 2012, 08:39
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Near miss

Why no info here on another near miss between CX and KA a couple of days ago?
Another ATC breakdown due to weather, missed approach and CX calling low fuel therefore leaving controllers with less options.
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Old 16th Sep 2012, 14:56
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After the missed approach, the CX crew declared that they did not have enough fuel for another approach and made a 180 turn to the opposite direction RWY07 for a visual approach.

That left ATC had little room to recover the situation.

Did the crew follow the rule with that kind of fuel reserve?
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Old 16th Sep 2012, 17:04
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hmmm not that uncommon on long haul flights to come in with less than planned fuel especially if ATC is not providing optimal service
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Old 16th Sep 2012, 18:25
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After the missed approach, the CX crew declared that they did not have enough fuel for another approach and made a 180 turn to the opposite direction RWY07 for a visual approach.
OK, I can understand a crew getting into such a situation, especially with the pretty lengthy HKG GA and approach procedures.

If it is as reported, I would have thought it more professional (thinking NUTA - Notice, Understand, Think Ahead) to have advised ATC of the situation so that they could build in an extra couple of miles in the approach spacing or whatever to help avoid the GA in the first place.
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Old 17th Sep 2012, 05:59
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TOPBUNK.....

QUOTE "I would have thought it more professional to ... Blah Blah ..." UNQUOTE

Do you base that on having knowledge of the crew having been less than professional?
Otherwise I would have thought it more professional of you to keep hold of ones wise council 'til ya have. Apologies if I've missed something though, just sounded like a comment made by all the non-pilots who have lack the big picture the experience, the details and like to jump to conclusions - we know how none of us like those guys.
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Old 17th Sep 2012, 08:23
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I believe there was some bad weather involved on finals with a sudden 30Kts tail wind.
I think the question to ask is why are we declaring a low fuel state if we know there is a chance of a GA. Why not divert early and get more fuel?

Are we not taking too much risk for the company by even operating in low fuel situations?
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Old 17th Sep 2012, 09:04
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White None

Thanks for your selective quoting

If you re-read my post, the second paragraph begins, "If it is as reported, I would have thought ....."

I also said, subject the above qualifier, " .... I would have thought it more professional..." , ie I didn't say that they weren't professional, but that there was maybe a better way.

However, you are correct in that their actions only need to be justified, if the need arises, to the appropriate authorities (ie not PPRuNe).

Speculation is something that is bound to occur on internet forums, no-one will ever stop that. I was merely making an observation as to how the near miss may have been avoided by best practise on he flight deck, and yes, I fully understand that sometimes a commander has to make very quick decisions. Was this one of them? I would suspect not necessarily, the expected fuel remaining on landing would have been known, together with its consequent ramifications if a GA was required.

As to my qualifications to comment

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Old 17th Sep 2012, 12:02
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After the missed approach, the CX crew declared that they did not have enough fuel for another approach and made a 180 turn to the opposite direction RWY07 for a visual approach.

That left ATC had little room to recover the situation.
Un-frikken-believable

Is that was happened? Surely, a widebody Airliner at a regular destination (not on a diversion) with a shyteload of (enroute)-alternates around should never end up in a situation like that.

Now, if that had happened to Hong Kong Airlines, though, then the media and also this forum would be in high gear again

Glad it had a lucky outcome.

Last edited by Burger Thing; 17th Sep 2012 at 12:04.
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Old 17th Sep 2012, 15:04
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It would be nice if the crew of CPA 8?? could get on here and thank the (expat) controller on AMN (118.2) for pretty much saving their day. I've listened to the tapes and they were a pretty appreciative crew that landed on 07L during/after most unusual circumstances. Forget about all the Monday morning quarterback stuff, the shit hit the fan big time! By the way, the wind change that went through, went from a 10 knot Westerly (RWY 25L/R) to a plus 30 knot Easterly in the space of a couple of minutes.
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Old 18th Sep 2012, 00:28
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Un-frikken-believable

Is that was happened? Surely, a widebody Airliner at a regular destination (not on a diversion) with a shyteload of (enroute)-alternates around should never end up in a situation like that.
Really? I don't know all the details, but with fine weather forecast at destination, no expected ATC delays and enough fuel for an alternate such as Macau, would you really divert to an enroute alternate to top up the tanks?

Even if they were running low on fuel at the end of an ULH flight and had to drop the alternate, I'd suggest it would be perfectly reasonable to continue to destination if the forecast & actual weather was fine and there were no expected delays. If you then throw in an ATC delay followed by a go-around then it is not at all surprising they had to call low fuel.

Well done to the quick thinking controller.
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Old 18th Sep 2012, 01:11
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Agreed

I agree with Buzzbox,

I was number 5 for approach when the wind swung around making r/w 25 out of limits. A lot of orbits in position before landing on 07. The forecast for HK was fine and I would think 90% of flight coming in were on flt plan fuel as I was. The storm over the field was particularly bad and caused some go arounds and a few pilots squawking (cx and Dragon) about fuel. The controllers did a great job fitting them in and we landed with sufficient fuel. Macau was wide open so there wasn't a problem and people are making a big deal out of a normal day at the office.
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Old 18th Sep 2012, 02:53
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I don't think Burger boy flys large airliners for a living. Either that or he forgot to engage brain before typing.
I can certainly think of a scenario which would make what the crew did look like a good idea, try this:

He's on minimum gas, ie. enough for Macau. He's first across the threshold as the tailwind hits 30kts. He can then divert straight to Macau but realises that with a 30kt tailwind no one else is going to land behind and they're going to have to change the runway so asks the controller if it's possible to teardrop back on to 07.

Quick thinking by the crew equals 1 saved diversion, less fuel, less time. Pat on the back for quick thinking and big pat on the back to ATC for enabling.
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Old 18th Sep 2012, 03:00
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Really? I don't know all the details, but with fine weather forecast at destination, no expected ATC delays and enough fuel for an alternate such as Macau, would you really divert to an enroute alternate to top up the tanks?

Even if they were running low on fuel at the end of an ULH flight and had to drop the alternate, I'd suggest it would be perfectly reasonable to continue to destination if the forecast & actual weather was fine and there were no expected delays. If you then throw in an ATC delay followed by a go-around then it is not at all surprising they had to call low fuel.
Call me old school, but I don't think I would start my Take Off for a LR Flight with an alternate, which is a stone throw away from my destination. Especially for a sub-tropical destination during a summer day and given the "strange" air space arrangement in HK.

Even if the unfortunate crew encountered some unlucky circumstances during their flight, I find the idea that a Widebody Aircraft had to do a 180 on a go-around agains the traffic and came close to another aircraft, really really uncomfortable.

Without wanting to start a fight or finger pointing, I just sincerely hope that CX and KA start to look into their fuel policy and chose a maybe slightly more conservative (and given the event described above) a safer alternate. Just like many other airlines do.
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Old 18th Sep 2012, 03:36
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I just sincerely hope that CX and KA start to look into their fuel policy and chose a maybe slightly more conservative (and given the event described above) a safer alternate. Just like many other airlines do.
CX Line Ops keeps a close eye on the weather patterns around Hong Kong and if the forecast is marginal they would normally plan a more distant alternate such as Kaohsiung or Taipei rather than Macau. At the very least the CFP would call for extra holding fuel, which is not subject to payload. The captain also has the discretion to take more fuel if he or she thinks it is necessary, and unlike some airlines, CX does not normally question the captain's decision.

Holding Taipei as an alternate on an ULH flight imposes a significant payload penalty as it requires an uplift of at least an extra 9-10 tonnes of fuel. If CX did that on every single flight regardless of the weather forecast, they would forgo a huge amount of revenue. Consequently, if the weather forecast is good they would normally plan a closer alternate such as Macau or Shenzen.

CX has been operating out of Hong Kong for a long time and they are very familiar with the peculiarities of the weather and airspace, etc. Nothing's ever perfect, but Line Ops are pretty good at adding extra fuel to CFPs when they think it is necessary.

Last edited by BuzzBox; 18th Sep 2012 at 03:56.
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Old 18th Sep 2012, 03:48
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Burger Thing,

How close is Loopdeloop? Very close I think.

Your comments on here must be the reason you don't fly for CX or any other ULH outfit for that matter.

For Long Range flights most companies will plan on the closest alternate possible, providing it is sensible and legal. Merely due to the cost of carrying extra fuel for a more conservative alternate.

Additionally, as you correctly point out, at this time of year in the tropics the weather can be a variable and difficult to forecast beast. For that reason alone, where would you suggest? Because all the possible airfield could be in weather at the moment they are required. That said, if there is a very large cell over HKG, what is the likelyhood of there being one over MFM at the same time? Low, I would suggest.

There are international regulations that cover this type of thing, perhaps you should cast your eye over them before posting on here again.

Additionally, I think you would find it hard to find a CX pilot who has a problem with our fuel policy. We are one of the more conservative and generous outfits when it comes to fuel. Also the Captain has the discretion to add more fuel or to change the filed alternate if he so wishes, even at the expense of offloading payload.

Ask a BA pilot how much contingency he will be given on an HKG-LHR sector. It's a lot less than we get and then we will very often have a recommended extra on top of that. I am reliably informed that BA drop the alternate on many of their ULH flights. I've had to do it once in 17 years.

Before you shoot off about something that you have absolutely no knowledge of engage your brain and STFU!
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Old 18th Sep 2012, 03:51
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I have been operating widebodies into HK for years on 3 different airlines. Neither of them had VMMC as a primary alternate EVER. Secondary, yes. Most of the time, ZGGG or as you said, RCKH. In fact, under one aviation authority we operated in the past, VMMC would have not even been legal (too close to the destination).

I know airlines are squeezing every penny out if their ops and putting lots of pressure at time at the crew. It is a shame.
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Old 18th Sep 2012, 04:33
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I too have been operating widebodies into HK for years on 3 different airlines. All of them would use VMMC as the alternate when conditions warrant it. Which alternate is closer to HKG ZGGG or VMMC? Which aviation authority would not have accepted VMMC as a legal alternate (too close to the destination) but would accept ZGGG which is exactly the same distance from HKG as MFM

As several others have stated above CX fuel policy is conservative and very suitable for purpose. You appear to be talking out of your rear.
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Old 18th Sep 2012, 04:46
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The continuing and overriding problems are:

1. The stupid 'glass wall' of 'mainland Chinese' airspace just north of HKG that severely restricts options for vectoring and weather avoidance

2. Inaccurate forecasts from the Hong Kong Observatory. I have been trusting them less and less over the years.

Last edited by Captain Dart; 18th Sep 2012 at 09:20.
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Old 18th Sep 2012, 05:20
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Dart what a load of unmitigated clap trap.
You are a drama queen.
HTFU
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Old 18th Sep 2012, 05:58
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One military outfit I am familiar with would not allow an alternate within 25nm of the destination. I always thought that to be reasonable. Of course, an alternate was not required at all unless the forecast weather was below 3000' ceiling or 3 miles visibility. This resulted in a four-ship tear dropping opposite direction on a runway we had all just gone missed off. Good thing all those jets made a hole to land in coming back the other way!
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