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Passengers kicked off Qantas Perth flight because 'plane was too heavy'

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Passengers kicked off Qantas Perth flight because 'plane was too heavy'

Old 13th Jun 2017, 06:14
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Passengers kicked off Qantas Perth flight because 'plane was too heavy'

Passengers kicked off Qantas Perth flight because 'plane was too heavy'
Up to 40 passengers on board a Perth-bound Qantas flight have been removed from the aircraft because it was reportedly too heavy to fly.

Passengers on board the Boeing 737-800 Sydney to Perth flight, according to Radio 6PR, had their names called out and were told to disembark the plane.

One passenger commented her row was empty by the time the plane took off.

A Qantas spokeswoman said an issue with the fuel pump had affected the plane's load readings.

"As a result, a number of customers were reaccommodated onto the next available service, which departed shortly after," she said.

"We sincerely thank our customers for their patience and understanding."
Fuel pump. What?
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Old 13th Jun 2017, 10:26
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Very simply, losing a pump means no ER flights (therefore longer route, more fuel required, less payload available), and you've got a greater minimum quantity required in the tank on landing (once again, more fuel less payload).

Not familiar with the operator's policies/procedures nor their route/requirements/alternates etc across Australia so that's all I can really offer.
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Old 13th Jun 2017, 10:39
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more likely the pump wasn't indicating the amount o f fuel loaded correctly so they didn't have an accurate weight for t/o.... best to err on the safe side and unload passengers as that is a known number
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Old 13th Jun 2017, 11:02
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Umm, pumps don't record fuel quantity, they err, pump fuel.

And even if it was a quantity indication issue, there's other methods to obtain an accurate quantity which don't require offloading passengers. Drip or float sticks.

For what it's worth the fuel is measured via a capacitance system.

Now, if you are talking about the fuel truck pump system not giving a reading on its meter, well, there are ways around that too.
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Old 13th Jun 2017, 11:47
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If people were being moved out of specific seat rows in a 737 it looks like a fuel problem plus staying in trim for the entirely of the flight.

Rob
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Old 13th Jun 2017, 13:37
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Dependent upon which fuel pump is unserviceable results in having to take extra fuel according to the MEL. Therefore the aeroplane could well have been too heavy with the extra fuel onboard on this occasion.
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Old 13th Jun 2017, 18:19
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Originally Posted by TangoAlphad View Post
We are a weight limited operation into several of our destinations and occasionally need to DBC some pax and chuck em on the next one. The amount of times we have had to explain to pax just because there is seats there doesn't mean we can fill them all and go.. the amount of people who struggle to understand that basic fact is astounding.
What the hell do you mean "DBC some pax and chuck em on the next one." ....people who struggle to understand that basic fact..."

I don't know who you are or what you do; you come across like an idiot who has just learned a few simple things about handling and is trying to sound like a grown-up by using jargon. These "pax" you hold in such contempt probably have more knowledge about many things in their little fingers than you will ever have in your whole, mean little life. Moreover they pay your wages.

So, little britches, just remember that when you "DBC some pax and chuck em on the next one" you are causing upset and anxiety to them, to say nothing of extinguishing their desire ever to fly again with your company.

And it's probably happened because someone just like you got it wrong in the first place.
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Old 14th Jun 2017, 10:15
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I as a SLF admit to being surprised at PAX being unloaded to stay within limits. I didnt realise that these limits were so easily reached/exceeded. It does make me wonder how a particular aircraft type is allocated for a route and the analysis done beforehand to try and prevent this sort of thing.
Every day is a school day as they say..interesting thread. I know if I was bumped my question to the crew would be how they plan to stop a repetition of this....
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Old 14th Jun 2017, 11:11
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TangoAlphad You know what? You just don't sound like someone who "respects our passengers".

You just can't help it, can you? Your sentence
Now, occasionally some pax see this as an open invitation to release some frustration despite our attempts to explain to them.
is just sarcasm, and tells me that you simply don't understand that they are not "releasing some frustration", they are bloody angry that you have sold them a ticket to fly on a particular flight, and now you are saying "Sorry, we screwed up, don't worry, we'll chuck you on a later flight."

I would be angry too, not least because I too have operated small aircraft and know that if on a particular sector you "occasionally" have to reduce the payload, you only allow confirmed reservations on that sector up to that reduced weight, and wait-list after that. If your company is unwilling to do that then your passengers have every right to be angry when denied boarding as a result.

You will find, if you adopt a slightly different approach to your "pax", that 95% understand perfectly that all aircraft (not just yours, by the way) are what you loosely term "weight-limited" and that unexpected weather can reduce payloads. But they also understand perfectly that if an airline, no matter how small or friendly, deliberately issues reservation confirmations in the knowledge that there is a known probability that they will be denied, it is doing so out of greed and contempt for its customers.

So, sunshine, I am not in the slightest bit offended by your comments. But I do hope that you will ask yourself if you are in the right job. People, by and large, don't buy a ticket because they want a ride in an aeroplane. They do it so as to be in a particular place at a particular time, and all sorts of other arrangements involving many other people may depend on that. They will take a lot of trouble making sure they are at the airport, ready to go, at the time stated on the ticket. To be met by a grinning fool telling them that they have been chosen to be "chucked on to a later flight", while "explaining" that the "aircraft is weight-limited" because it's too windy, or the wind is in the wrong direction, or whatever is about as anger-generating as it gets.

In my experience, passengers understand the technicalities perfectly well; what they do not understand or forgive is why the airline allows the situation to develop in the first place while doing nothing to prevent or mitigate it. That applies to Twin Otter operations just as much as A380 operations. And that's what makes them "release their frustrations".

Last edited by old,not bold; 14th Jun 2017 at 11:21.
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Old 14th Jun 2017, 14:08
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There are a couple airline COO positions open at the moment. Interested?
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Old 15th Jun 2017, 19:40
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Originally Posted by Ignore the HUD View Post
I as a SLF admit to being surprised at PAX being unloaded to stay within limits. I didnt realise that these limits were so easily reached/exceeded.
Whether or not passengers understand the fact (and frankly, there's no reason why they should), very few aircraft can carry maximum payload with full tanks.
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Old 16th Jun 2017, 10:09
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Originally Posted by Amadis of Gaul View Post
There are a couple airline COO positions open at the moment. Interested?
If that was addressed to me, repeat if, the answer's "no". Been there, done that, and I don't think I could give 100% in a world where someone can send an email such as the one I got just now from the US-based Tech Support desk for some software we use for on-line training (my semi-retirement hobby job). Here are the beginning and end of the email;

Thank you for reaching out to me............If you have any more questions or would like further assistance, please feel free to reach back out to me.
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Old 16th Jun 2017, 20:07
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Originally Posted by DaveReidUK View Post
Whether or not passengers understand the fact (and frankly, there's no reason why they should), very few aircraft can carry maximum payload with full tanks.
My post was intended to understand why this occurs. I do find the tone of your post disappointing. Why shouldn't I know why a flight has limitations that could cause me to be denied a seat ?
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Old 16th Jun 2017, 20:55
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I suspect they aren't selling all the seats and leaving some blocked off.
Which is exactly what a responsible carrier should do.

In the bad old days, in a UK airline that shall remain nameless, we got round this problem by declaring the en-route diversion as the destination, and the real destination as the diversion, and then diverting when overhead the "destination" to the diversion/real destination, so long as that was open and looked like staying that way for an hour or so. That gave us 6 more seats to sell on a Viscount to, say, Majorca, and thus a profit on the flight. The FOI was kept quiet by, ummm........, little favours. I rather hope that in these enlightened times such creative flight planning would not be allowed.
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Old 16th Jun 2017, 21:30
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Originally Posted by Ignore the HUD View Post
I do find the tone of your post disappointing. Why shouldn't I know why a flight has limitations that could cause me to be denied a seat ?
I wasn't getting at you (or anyone else), apologies if it came across that way.

If you understand payload/range charts then I commend you, but I don't think you'd be typical of most pax.
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Old 17th Jun 2017, 10:07
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Originally Posted by Ignore the HUD View Post
Why shouldn't I know why a flight has limitations that could cause me to be denied a seat ?
Probably the same reason why you don't necessarily know all the intricacies of your house's electrical and plumbing systems even though you use them every day and malfunctions thereof can cause quite a bit more grief than a seat bump.

We can't all know everything...
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Old 21st Jun 2017, 07:23
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Originally Posted by Ignore the HUD View Post
My post was intended to understand why this occurs. I do find the tone of your post disappointing. Why shouldn't I know why a flight has limitations that could cause me to be denied a seat ?
I think DaveR's wording was a bit ambiguous, not intended as a slight to you. I read it as "there is no reason why a passenger should be expected to have this knowledge", not "there is no reason a passenger should be given this information".
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Old 21st Jun 2017, 10:16
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Back in the 90's BA often had weight issues on 737's to LHR - Aberdeen - luggage delivery after the last daily flight (which had fewer passengers) became a great earner for taxi drivers in N E Scotland
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Old 21st Jun 2017, 10:32
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To answer I-T-H's question, we have to make the assumption that this aircraft had to reduce its payload. This might have been to carry more fuel (possibly because it had to fly lower) or some fuel could not be used etc., either way let's assume this had to be done. It is entirely reasonable that actual reason is explained to at least the passengers affected. I have had to do this a few times. I'll give a general, Tech-lite explanation to everyone but I'm always willing to give the compete story to anyone who wants it. But continuing, most aircraft fly well when fully loaded. But as the load reduces, the centre of gravity (thus stability and controllability) starts to become an issue. This is because the CofG envelope is not always comprised of completely straight lines and also, as the weight reduces, the envelope becomes smaller. Also there are often kinks in the lines yet the CofG has to remain in the acceptable region thoughout the flight as the CofG shifts with fuel usage. Which is one reason. Another is inoperative hold area and/or abnormal hold masses (cargo) that may have a higher on-load priority than passengers. This restricts your the rest of your payload. Either way you have to loose some and/or shift what you can around the aircraft.

For what it's worth, in performance terms my aircraft can fly full tanks and full payload. But we haven't purchased the increased weight from the manufacturer and at the same time have saved fortune by artificially reducing the maximum (we have purchased) take off weight to reduce airways charges. Most large aircraft, as other posters have pointed out, are unable to do the same.
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