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Merged: Pel-Air Westwind Ditching off NLK

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Merged: Pel-Air Westwind Ditching off NLK

Old 19th Nov 2009, 04:15
  #41 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: blacksoil country
Posts: 23
After dozens of approaches (and a few diversions)into Norfolk,my rule generally was one go and divert.Not a place to try and out guess the weather.
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Old 19th Nov 2009, 04:22
  #42 (permalink)  
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I am disturbed at the direction that this thread could be taking and I would suggest that people deal only in facts and not speculate at this stage.

It is good that no one has been badly hurt.

It is cataclysmic that an aeroplane has been lost.

Proper investigation will determine the whys and wherefores.

NLK is a diabolic destination in that the WX is often appalling with low cloud, low visibility and windshear. There is no precision approach. A typical 'bad' day will has a TAF that reads like: 160/20-30G45 3000RASH BKN 300 OVC 1200 TEMPO 180/35G50 1000XXSH OVC200'.

YBNF is not a place for sissies. Over the years, there must have been hundreds of briefings with the island clearly visible at TOPD for arrival into NF expecting a VMC approch that culminated in just getting visual at the minima-yes, the wx at NF is THAT changable!

I refer to CAO 82.0:

1 Application
1.1 This Part applies to Air Operators’ Certificates authorising aerial work
operations, charter operations and regular public transport operations and sets out conditions to which such certificates are subject for the purposes of...


remote island means:

(a) Christmas Island; or

(b) Lord Howe Island; or

(c) Norfolk Island.


2.3 The minimum safe fuel for an aeroplane undertaking a flight to a remote

island is:

(a) the minimum amount of fuel that the aeroplane should carry on that

flight, according to the operations manual of the aeroplane’s operator,

revised (if applicable) as directed by CASA to ensure that an adequate
amount of fuel is carried on such flights; or

(b) if the operations manual does not make provision for the calculation of
that amount or has not been revised as directed by CASA — whichever

of the amounts of fuel mentioned in paragraph 2.4 is the greater.

2.4 For the purposes of subparagraph 2.3 (b), the amounts of fuel are:

(a) the minimum amount of fuel that will, whatever the weather conditions, enable the aeroplane to fly, with all its engines operating, to the remote island and then from the remote island to the aerodrome that is, for that flight, the alternate aerodrome for the aircraft, together with any reservefuel requirements for the aircraft; and

(b) the minimum amount of fuel that would, if the failure of an engine or a
loss of pressurisation were to occur during the flight, enable the


(i) to fly to its destination aerodrome or to its alternate aerodrome for the flight; and
(ii) to fly for 15 minutes at holding speed at 1 500 feet above that aerodrome under standard temperature conditions; and

(iii) to land at that aerodrome.

Last edited by Anthill; 19th Nov 2009 at 04:36.
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Old 19th Nov 2009, 04:36
  #43 (permalink)  
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Norfolk has and always will be a dicey place especially when the WX turns bad. Ask any of the operators that have done the RPT runs out there and it ends up turning very expensive with 2 trips and 2 diversions not being out of the ordinary.

Norfolk was also the scene of another near incident years ago when a 'RPT PA31' operated by Kenti-Link left LHI for NLK - didn't get the most current TAF halfway thru the flight and ended up at NLK and couldn't get in. He was talked down by the airport manager and him and pax lived to fight another day. It was the end of RPT from LHI in pistons when the report came out due to the recommendations.

Sure is going to be an interesting report this time around as well!

A3211 that mentioned the GGs flight in the RAAF BBJ that diverted out of NLK - check the date - that happened in August !
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Old 19th Nov 2009, 04:41
  #44 (permalink)  
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Also waiting for the report into the Ozjet B737 that lost some flap during a go around in bad wx and diverted to Tontuta in December 2007.

Thursday, 28 February 2008
Oz Jet’s old and scary jets come under question

Ben Sandilands writes:
Significant question marks over the use of old and scary jets by charter airline Oz Jet are apparent in preliminary air safety investigation reports into the carrier’s two headline making Christmas holiday emergencies.
On 29 December one of its 32-year-old Boeing 737-200s suffered a flap failure that saw passengers on a flight from Brisbane to Norfolk Island wearing their life vests in case the flight was forced to ditch into the ocean as it diverted to Noumea.
On 31 December another similarly aged Oz Jet 737-200 that had departed Port Moresby for Brisbane made a Mayday distress call and a quick return to the airport after a part of a crucial control surface near its tail broke off.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau describes how the first flight experienced high frequency vibrations after flaps failed to retract properly when the pilots aborted an attempt to land at Norfolk Island in low cloud and driving rain.
The problem caused the jet to pull 40 degrees to the left of its intended course and suffer continued buffeting and roll and “yaw” (or nose wagging) for much of the diversion to Noumea, the nearest alternative airport.
Because of doubts about whether the jet would make Noumea, full emergency drills were carried out in the cabin with passengers putting on uninflated life vests and preparing for the worst.
In the Port Moresby incident, the ancient 737 suffered vibration so severe the pilots reported the jet was difficult to control. A section of the right elevator tab in the tail of the jet had broken off.
This component is of crucial importance to the controllability of all 737s old or new. The ATSB notes that Oz Jet had complied fully with a special service bulletin mandating close inspections of this part.
In both cases the safety investigator is now looking in more detail into how such old jets are serviced.
Its findings will have global relevance, as 737-200s are widely used by third world carriers because they can be cheaply acquired for close to scrap value. This model of the 737 figures disproportionately in crash statistics, particularly in Africa and Indonesia.
Oz Jet is sometimes described within the industry as having among the best of pilots and cabin crew but flying the worst of aircraft
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Old 19th Nov 2009, 04:46
  #45 (permalink)  
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Loose Lips Sink Ships

Can't wait to see the quotes in the media, sourced from the Professional Pilots Rumour Network!

There's some doozies here to choose from!

The general public has a largely jaundiced view of aviation as it is, without us adding too it!
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Old 19th Nov 2009, 04:51
  #46 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: sydney
Posts: 81
It would be great if CH9 and the rest of the media held off going with the Hero Pilot caper until more is known.

The bloke did a good job by the sounds of it, and may well deserve the hero tag, but until an investigation finds out why the situation occured its a bit premature to speculate.

Many years ago a TAA F27 out of MEL had its rudder come adrift. The Melbourne media named and hailed the Captain as a hero after he elected to circle around MEL for a long time, burning off fuel to a minimum, before making a perfectly normal landing..

Only problem was TAA management didn't think he was a hero. They called him in and reamed him out for not landing ASAP. Had an engine failed while endlessly circling around , the lack of a rudder would have seen them go in like a dart. A point lost on your average media hacks.

It pays to get the full story before creating media heroes.
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Old 19th Nov 2009, 04:57
  #47 (permalink)  
Silly Old Git
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This Dominic?
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Old 19th Nov 2009, 04:58
  #48 (permalink)  
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"I think I would rather have attempted an on airport landing by descending on the VOR appch from a calculated VDP on the 3* appch path to below minimums to a lit runway as a last resort rather than attempt a night ditching in pitch black conditions in bad weather." - AUSSIE 027

Hey Aussie027 are you seriously suggesting that you would bust the MDA in a terrain rich environment in IMC conditions that are below the MDA and risk a CFIT into stratogranitus rather than a "controlled" contact with the water as a REAL OPTION?

Do YOU know why CASA PROHIBIT instrument approach commencement when the weather is below stated criteria?

It is to save the life of the passengers who have to sit behind pilots who are all too willing to make the type of decision that you seem so willing to not only carry out, but to encourage others to do it as well.

Yours is one of the most dangerous comments I have ever read on PPRuNe or anywhere else.

Do YOU understand that NAVIGATION TOLERANCES do not guarantee tracking over a particular piece of ground?

Do YOU understand anything about the way that Instrument Approach procedures are designed to be flown?
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Old 19th Nov 2009, 05:04
  #49 (permalink)  
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Didn't think that would be your sort of publication tinny.

You really are full of surprises!
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Old 19th Nov 2009, 05:04
  #50 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: australia
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Congratulations Pelair Westwind Captain

Done Good Pilot !
To get a jet onto the ocean in one piece then evacuate all on board to safety {with a med patient as well), took courage and one hell of a steady hand.
In that moment you looked death in the face and prevailed.
You've done your fellow aviators proud,
Well Done.
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Old 19th Nov 2009, 05:23
  #51 (permalink)  
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Radio interview with Norfolk Island airport manager

Dominic James Ditches Plane | Norfolk Island | CareFlight, medevac

Apparently all this for a "walk on" patient.
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Old 19th Nov 2009, 05:25
  #52 (permalink)  
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Have you given some thought to the fact that pilots are not supposed to run out of fuel?
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Old 19th Nov 2009, 05:30
  #53 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2009
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Posts: 25
Agree with anthill

FACT Life vests on board ( enough for all )
FACT Life raft on Board

some here seem to be impliying otherwise.
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Old 19th Nov 2009, 05:42
  #54 (permalink)  
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A hero ... wait for the report. Releasing his name ... Noumea is the closest alternate. I'm just wondering what will happen to a payout for the aircraft from insurance IF the fuel calculations weren't IAW CAO 82.0 or company procedures, if anybody cares to enlighten me. Why were there only 3 wearing life jackets? The media

Last edited by Bo777; 19th Nov 2009 at 05:57.
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Old 19th Nov 2009, 05:43
  #55 (permalink)  
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Location: WX at our destination is 32 deg with some bkn cld, but we'll try to have them fixed before we arrive
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I also agree with Anthill

FACT- Former Bachelor of the year nominee
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Old 19th Nov 2009, 05:49
  #56 (permalink)  
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So when did this happen?
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Old 19th Nov 2009, 06:01
  #57 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Oz
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I would think it prudent to sit on this one until the facts come out.

Potential scenario:

TAF is all good and well for NF on dep. from Samoa

At PNR, crew gets updated WX and TAF still good.

Crew press beyond PNR as fuel is all good at this point.

Wx closes in when aircraft past PNR.

Aircraft cannot make it to any other divert (not aware of RPT NF rules, so assuming they legally don't need to hold Tontouta based on good TAF for NF on dep. Samoa?)

Crew has no option but to land at (or next to) NF.
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Old 19th Nov 2009, 06:13
  #58 (permalink)  
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good work to the co-pilot also, no doubt they would have been workin to buggery also!
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Old 19th Nov 2009, 06:18
  #59 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2009
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She did very well but is not getting much air time
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Old 19th Nov 2009, 06:24
  #60 (permalink)  
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Would like to know the full story, but according to the paper he made several attempts at landing, before running out of fuel.
I am sure CASA will be interested in this as risking 6 peoples lives by running out of fuel, at night, in the middle of the ocean, may not meet the requirements of a mercy flight, assuming that is what they will claim it was when asked why they ran out of fuel.

A mercy flight may only be declared when a pilot is unable to conduct a compliant
flight within the time available, or lacks the time to seek an exemption from relevant
provisions of the regulations. Notwithstanding the declaration of a mercy flight, normal
flight rules apply to the maximum extent possible in the circumstances.

Pilots should be aware that stress generated by the urgency of a mercy flight may
compromise their decision making ability. Coupled with a contravention of normal flight
rules, poor risk analysis may result in poor quality decisions.

A pilot should declare a mercy fight only after evaluating all known factors and
assessing the risks that are likely to be encountered during the flight. He or she must be
satisfied that although the flight will involve a breach of regulations, the flight can
nevertheless be conducted without significantly increased level of risk. Although CASR
91.170 authorises the declaration of a mercy flight, the pilot and operator remain bound by

Civil Aviation Act Section 20A, which prohibits careless or reckless operations.

I don't think he has complied with 5.3, you tell me
( PS, it's an oldish draft, not sure if anything has changed )
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