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Gulf Air denies mid-air crisis

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Gulf Air denies mid-air crisis

Old 10th Jan 2007, 01:32
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Gulf Air denies mid-air crisis

GULF Air's head of operations yesterday dismissed as "nonsense" reports in other newspapers that passengers' lives were endangered when a flight, which was running low on fuel, was denied clearance to land in Manila, the Philippines.
However, aviation officials in the Philippines have praised the pilot for avoiding a potential catastrophe.
GF154 from Bahrain to Manila was diverted from Ninoy Aquino International Airport to Diosdado Macapagal International Airport because Philippines' President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was using the runway on January 3.
"In aviation, there is a minimum amount of fuel that must be carried," said Gulf Air vice-president operations Captain Hameed Ali.
"We can never go below this minimum, but we may add to the amount of fuel according to other factors."
This minimum is in accordance with Civil Aviation Regulation Operations (CAROPS) - a standard enforced by Oman's Directorate General of Civil Aviation, which is based on the European standard JAROPS (Joint Aviation Regulation Operations).
Capt Ali said this would be enough to divert to another airport and also includes an additional 30 minutes of fuel on top of that.
However, airline officials have declined to reveal just how low on fuel the plane was when it landed.
"As for passengers' lives being in danger, this is nonsense," he continued.
"Prior to approaching Manila airport, the air traffic control (at Manila International Airport) informed the flight crew that the airport was closed due to VVIP movement.
"In such cases, the flight crew would enter a holding pattern until new information about the reopening of the airport is made available."
He said that if the information was not known, the pilot would then execute a diversion based on many factors - one of which was fuel reserve.
The safest course of action in this case was a diversion to an alternative airport, which was planned prior to departure, added Capt Ali.
"Accordingly, the aircraft was diverted to Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (Clark Air Base)," he said.
"It was then prepared for another departure awaiting information on the reopening of Manila International Airport.
"This is a normal practice followed in any aviation operations and Gulf Air flight 154 landed in Manila without any incident and, under no circumstances, was an emergency declared."
There were 213 passengers onboard the aircraft at the time, said another Gulf Air source.
"We always have sufficient fuel, we are a world-class airline with more than 60 years in the industry," he added.
"Our procedures conform with the best international practice and that includes maintaining enough fuel to carry out a diversion, which is the normal practice in the day-to-day operations of the aviation business.
"At no time was the flight in any kind of danger, crisis or the passengers exposed to any kind of risk.
"Fuel is the most important area of the business. Planes need fuel to fly and you cannot cut corners."
TZZ is offline  
Old 10th Jan 2007, 02:30
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Join Date: May 2005
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"The world-class airline with more than 60 years in the industry" has also "under no circumstances" received a warning letter from the German CAA after failing SAFA ramp checks 3 times in a row at FRA

Apparently the warning letter says one more "**** up" and Goof Air losses its rights to fly to the EU.
Frozen Turtle is offline  
Old 10th Jan 2007, 03:13
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I have never understood why the capital cities of self-professed "proud" nations use their major airport for so-valled VVIP movements with untold inconvenience to the travelling public who - by the way - are made to pay all sorts of charges and taxes for the privilege.

VVIP is clearly the euphemism for politicians who have not yet fully understood that they are in place to serve the public and not v.v.

If the nation is really that grand it should not have a problem in designating an airforce base or a secondary airport to deal with these pompous a$$es.
Al Fakhem is offline  
Old 10th Jan 2007, 05:28
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Ahhh, Al F, but I think even you will admit that on reflection, you're missing the point completely. If said VVIP's could arrive and depart from some anonymous military base, no one among the great unwashed would be reminded of how important they are.

I'm sure i'm not the only one who trolls this site who remembers the Sultan of Johore, who used to keep jet airliners in the hold while he did circuits at VJR in the ***ing microlight.

Someone I'm sure will correct me if I've got the details wrong, but I understand that one Oz FO with MAS one day made so bold as to suggest over the radio that this might just be a tad over the top. He was made to fly down to Johore on his day off and hand deliver his written apology to a senior lackey of the Sultan's.
Wiley is offline  
Old 10th Jan 2007, 06:28
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Did a flt recently on GF and luckily we landed at an alternative airport in terrible weather........Heard afterwards from good faith that luckily we landed there cause Gf had no fuel to go to their nxt alternative!!!!

It is so obvious that GF are saving on the fuel bills(it seems their main priority is not passenger safety but cost cutting!! Accident waiting to happen or not................)They have an issue with fuel bills....Scary

Load of bollocks! - Any more spotter warble & I'll bin it. 4HP
Old 10th Jan 2007, 12:39
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Join Date: Jun 2001
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Regi, apparently you are not an aviation PROFESSIONAL are you....can you be more specific about the facts....and it is ALTERNATE, not ALTERNATIVE as you say...
ironbutt57 is offline  
Old 10th Jan 2007, 13:56
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Join Date: Nov 2004
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The destination airport is closed for whatever reason, so the flight diverts to an alternate airport.......
What is the problem here ?
One would think this is normal procedures, or is it not ?
Am I also right to say this is not a rare occurence ?
tournesol is offline  
Old 10th Jan 2007, 14:01
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: FOX HOLE
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Thumbs down Bit rich...

As much as I like to W... and bitch about GF, I think this article is nonsense....First let's have details before coming with an article like this..Second, anyone with a minimum of experience can have such an experience and that's where you have to get all the tricks and knowledge out to resume the flight safely...These things happen and that's what we are paid for to ....This is a non story....DV
Dominus vobiscum is offline  

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