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Don't Be Fuelish

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Don't Be Fuelish

Old 4th Mar 2004, 03:59
  #41 (permalink)  
 
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>>Is it part of culture to second guess command decisions?<<

Spot on. I was there a few years ago and there were lots of demoted Captains. The problem seemed to arise when you made a safe decision that was deemed commercially expensive by a very senior person.

Add to that a discrete 'Tea & Biscuits' blame culture and you can understand why a Captain might double check with the airline about a choice of diversion.

I don't suppose it is too different in other airlines. However, the principle is that the Captain must always put commercial considerations second with an in flight emergency.

I have seen this included in some SIM training. Ops try to get you to divert to where they want and you have to overule them to avoid further safety problems.

You are better off with a clean licence and no job than no job and no licence . . .

Last edited by PPRuNe Towers; 6th Mar 2004 at 00:46.
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Old 4th Mar 2004, 04:06
  #42 (permalink)  
 
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Basil has hit the nail on the head.

Should you run out of fuel, it won't be the Chief Pilot's name that goes down in history, or the guy in ops that night.
It will be yours.

Think on!
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Old 4th Mar 2004, 04:25
  #43 (permalink)  
 
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I work for this company and readily admit to not knowing the details of this incident yet, but the consensus amongst the guys I work with is that it was only a matter of time before something like this happened. Whilst slightly ironic due to the position this capt holds, I'm sure it will come as no surprise that this particular captain got there first.

The company fuel policy is simple. It reflects JAR ops requirements, but asks that crews do not carry more than they require. This for some reason is misinterpreted as pressure not to carry extra. I take this to mean, If you think you need it, take it. I do and so far no one has questioned me why. If there is a chance of snow closing your destination runway I think its sensible to take extra. Assuming the details posted above are correct, IMHO its appears an error of judgement was made.

This is a regional operation, the cost fuel burnt carrying the extra fuel really is tiny compared to this sort of carry on.

For example..... on the plog there is a burn correction figure given for different aircraft weights. For a domestic sector we are talking an adjustment of around 20kgs per hour per extra ton carried! To put this in perspective, carrying an extra ton gives you nigh on an hours holding! So for 20kgs, i dont understand the problem, if you think you might need it, take it and save everyone the stress.
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Old 4th Mar 2004, 04:36
  #44 (permalink)  
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Yes, tongue was firmly in cheek.
The point of my posts was to try to highlight how there has - and is - a continuing erosion of the authority of the pic, perhaps to the point where it is now impacting on Safety.

One large airline in Singapore required a written explanation from the Captain if he ordered more than an extra 1,000kgs (6 minutes) above flight plan, this being on long haul flights of around 10 hours, to destinations where the alternates were usually more to meet the technical requirement rather than realistic.

With my current employer, they are often too quick to want to throw MORE fuel onboard for any reason (usually no complaints there, although it is sometimes over the top), however on the odd occasion I have increased the uplift I've had a 'phone call from the dispatcher wanting to know why.
The word "Safety" always gets a mention.

Could it be that in this particular instance, the pic was rigidly following company policy?
What IS the fuel policy of the company involved? And what is their "attitude" towards pilots who occasionally exercise their command prerogative to increase fuel above that on the flight plan?

(BTW, TAC On, I still haven't clicked. )
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Old 4th Mar 2004, 11:40
  #45 (permalink)  
 
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Simandall, your story doesn’t sound similar to the original post at all. Let me show you some of the differences.

Original Poster: captain elected not to carry any extra fuel for the weather conditions
Simandall: carrying extra fuel due weather

OP: the FO (handling pilot) questioned this decision, he was told to "Shut the **** up
Simandall: (no comment)

OP: ATC alerted him that it would now be at least an hour before the airfield was open. The aircraft diverted to its primary alternate
Simandall: The glideslope at Aberdeen failed and windshear caused a missed approach

OP: the fuel state dropped below Minimum Reserve,
Simandall: aircraft landed in Edinburgh with 140% of final reserve
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Old 4th Mar 2004, 12:09
  #46 (permalink)  
 
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Arrow

Wino: Thanks for the clarification. I had certainly forgotten which type of system problem they had on the DC-8. Had they gone all the way through the "Abnormal Gear Ind." checklist? The Captain might have gotten them all in big trouble anyway, even if they had left the holding fix sooner and were forced into another delay, i.e. a go-around on final, somehow.
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Old 4th Mar 2004, 12:20
  #47 (permalink)  
 
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Oh, and Captain "Shut the fcuk up", does indeed have the right of reply, we would all like to hear his version of events.
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Old 4th Mar 2004, 15:35
  #48 (permalink)  
 
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LKYA

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Old 4th Mar 2004, 18:47
  #49 (permalink)  
 
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JAR minimum fuel policy

Those who live by the sword die by the sword...
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Old 4th Mar 2004, 19:36
  #50 (permalink)  
 
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Danger

How much does a diversion of a fully loaden B747 cost your airline if, :

- 400 pax have to be bussed to origin, if poss at all

- replacement crew has to be shipped to alternate

-operating crew has to be hoteled somewhere unexpected

-outgoing flight will be delayed at least another 12 hrs. since everybody has already run or will be running out of duty time anyhow

-additional landing + handling fees

-more problems on that alt.field, bcoze nobody had seen your ship ever before.

-"you do NOT have ca$h, sorry but we do not take your credit card!"

.....and so on and on!

If you would take ,let`s say in a 35year airline career, on all of your flights 1oookgs of extra fuel-just for mum and the kids-it will be still LESS than only ONE diversion you will make in your whole time!

Airlines went NEVER bankrupt by pilots fuel decisions, only by beancounters!!!


Happy ldgs
Angel
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Old 4th Mar 2004, 21:24
  #51 (permalink)  
 
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etrang

You seem to have been suckered in a beauty. And they talk about the press.

I think you should rephrase to Captain "Shut the fcuk up" allegedly. This chap seems to have been proven guilty buy the Kangaroo court already. Being one who was flying into EDI that night I didn't detect one ounce of tone which indicated the were anywhere near a level of fuel criticality. The fuel warning goes off at a point where you have about 20-25 minutes until you are into your final reserve. And when the warning goes off I am sure you start getting nervous. So perhaps this Captains first mistake was to declare a PAN PAN.

I have certainly been there myself so am I guilty of jeopardising the safe operation of the flight.

I suggest this will never get a satisfactory resolution and would point out this thread may be a victim of some porkys.
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Old 4th Mar 2004, 22:02
  #52 (permalink)  
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Kaptin M

I see you've been ingratiating yourself on this thread. LOL

It should be an interesting experience flying with you on fumes some day

Coco
 
Old 4th Mar 2004, 22:32
  #53 (permalink)  
 
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Hats off

I have spoken to the Captain concerned as the allegations seemed most unlikely imho. I wouldn't claim to have all the facts but that they landed with well above final reserve fuel (frf) is certain. The fact that they allegedly had not put "extra" fuel on does not mean that they arrived over the airfield with alternate + frf. I went without extra the other day - held for 10 minutes at Talla whilst they repaired the runway at EDI - and still used less than the PLOG trip fuel. And I still had enough to hold for another 15 minutes before even getting close to diversion + frf.

I am sure that most of us consider whether other aircraft are likely to be diverting also as well as whether the diversion airport is normally busy anyway, when considering what fuel we would divert with.

To go back to the original allegations though, there are a number of flaws in them. For example:

Would you need to put extra fuel on if the forecast was "light snow showers"? - Not necessarily so, especially if you had performance issues. (I don't know what the forecast was)

Would you divert if you were assured of a landing in half an hour, especially if the diversion airfield was over half an hour away? - I wouldn't.

Would anyone honestly say "Shut the **** up" and "Take control"? - Not really very likely.

Why wouldn't you change your mind and divert if you were given new information that meant your landing wasn't assured? - I can't imagine you would even go into the diversion fuel before you were guaranteed a landing.

Would you seriously not upgrade to a "Mayday" IF you had less than frf? - Of course you would.

Stifler; I would be very careful what you say on here because some of this stuff is bordering on slanderous.

Titus

ps. I have never been a big fan of Pprune because of the ridiculous allegations that people make under pseudonyms, and this thread further confirms my thoughts.
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Old 5th Mar 2004, 03:23
  #54 (permalink)  
 
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Deleted my previous in order to double check some facts. Also because my anger was not helpful. No specific company or crew is implied by the following information. I know of an aircraft that may or may not be the one referred to in this item.

Aircraft was carrying extra fuel at departure from MAN due to the weather at destination.

Aircraft took up the hold at ADN with about forty minutes hold endurance before divert and FRF.

Aircraft began an approach during which the glidepath and NDB became u/s. Went around due to windshear warning.

Aircraft diverted immediately after missed approach to EDI with divert plus FRF.

Commander declared PAN due to Low Fuel warnings. Crew believe these were caused by the severe turbulence because indicated fuel was well above the normal trigger level.

Aircraft arrived on stand with 600kg. FRF is 440kg.

Aircraft had a planned trip time of 57 minutes. It was 2hrs 20 minutes block to block.

No evidence to suggest alleged bad language was used.

Believe it is libel when you make unsubstantiated allegations in writing. Much easier to prove than slander which is the verbal form of defamation.

Last edited by simandall; 5th Mar 2004 at 03:35.
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Old 5th Mar 2004, 04:47
  #55 (permalink)  
 
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If the above post relates to the same incident it bears no relation to the original post.

40 mins hold, Multiple factors led to diversion, landed at alt above FRF? A completely different kettle of fish!

Might have to agree with Titus on this one. Best wait to read the ASR.
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Old 5th Mar 2004, 08:35
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So now there are two possible versions of this story. The original is dramatic and highly implausible but a number of people took it as true and, without questioning the glaring gaps in it's credibilty laid into someone who had been cynically identified by the orginator hiding behind his apparent anonymity.

The second version has a ring of truth and it has been met with virtual silence (pitch trim excepted). Time will prove which is correct and since the apologies that should be made are clearly not going to be I think it is time to leave this one to the legitimate process that will surely be examining every aspect of this flight and will publish full details to those who work for the company in question.

Time to put this one out of it's misery.
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Old 5th Mar 2004, 16:09
  #57 (permalink)  

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On the other hand, simandall, we could generalise.

-- We could ask how many Captains in our own airline carry minimum fuel, even when destination weather is poor.

-- We could ask how many First Officers would remain silent in such situations. Silent at the flight planning stage. Silent in flight at the point where diversion was demanded.

-- We could ask how many First Officers receive adequate CRM, aircraft performance, fuel planning and job description training.

-- Ditto the last for Captains !

-- We could ask how many Captains regard First Officers as mere bums on seats, making up the numbers, whose opinions are worthless.

-- We could ask how many Captains are perfectly capable of abusive language directed at other staff.

-- We could ask how many Captains would be reluctant to declare a Mayday, in view of possible disciplinary repercussions.

-- We could ask if a combination of the above factors could lead to a safety threatening in-flight shortage of fuel.


Now, with this in mind, tell me that the worst scenario described previously in this thread could'nt happen.

What I want to know is why it does'nt happen more often !!!

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Old 5th Mar 2004, 17:36
  #58 (permalink)  
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simandall

This is a non story, at least when the facts are known!

But people don't like the facts to get in the way of a good story!

What was sad about this post is that it was a deliberate attempt to castigate and identify the Captain, who had no right of reply without confirming his/her identity.

The Captain is a decent individual who works hard and makes a major contribution to the safety of the Airline for whom he/she works, moreover he/she would never treat another pilot in the way he/she has been treated by some of his/her own.

GGrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Out
 
Old 5th Mar 2004, 20:28
  #59 (permalink)  
 
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Almost everyone who posts via this medium knows that sometimes things have to be taken with a pinch of salt. That does not mean that many of the comments and concerns are not valid although, perhaps, in this particular case they may be unfounded.

There is surely something inherently wrong when an ATCO posts that three aircraft have to issue a PAN call at almost the same time due fuel shortage! We are not talking about ultra long haul aircraft getting a bit near the bone after a 14 hour sector - the aircraft in question are quite capable of carrying a lot more fuel and anyone who has been around aviation for a while with any common sense knows that cutting it fine with fuel on a regular basis is setting yourself up for some interesting situations.
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Old 5th Mar 2004, 20:39
  #60 (permalink)  
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Quite possibly correct, KAT TOO - "..a deliberate attempt to castigate and identify the Captain.." - however as the majority of readers (such as I) on a worldwide basis don't really care WHO the particular individual is, the discussion that has been stimulated is what has made this thread worthwile.

Anthony Carn - famous in J.B. - raises some very relevant issues, imo
-- We could ask how many Captains in our own airline carry minimum fuel, even when destination weather is poor.

-- We could ask how many First Officers would remain silent in such situations. Silent at the flight planning stage. Silent in flight at the point where diversion was demanded.

-- We could ask how many First Officers receive adequate CRM, aircraft performance, fuel planning and job description training.

-- Ditto the last for Captains !

-- We could ask how many Captains regard First Officers as mere bums on seats, making up the numbers, whose opinions are worthless.

-- We could ask how many Captains are perfectly capable of abusive language directed at other staff.

-- We could ask how many Captains would be reluctant to declare a Mayday, in view of possible disciplinary repercussions.

-- We could ask if a combination of the above factors could lead to a safety threatening in-flight shortage of fuel.
And my addition to A.C's list is
--We SHOULD ask how much unnecessary non-aviation management interference has created - and continues to create - an erosion of the Captain's authority, in an attempt to justify THEIR positions?

For the sake of this discussion, I submit, in part, the following fuel policy of one of the major international airlines, specifically wrt Fixed Reserve and their interpretation thereof:
The greater of Method A or Method B.
Method A:-

1. - Holding Fuel (Fuel required to hold for 30 mins at altitude of 1,500 ft over alternate airport.)

2. - Alternate Fuel (Fuel required to fly from destination to alternate airport with Optimum Speed Climb, Long Range Cruise, Normal Descent.)

3.- Contingency Fuel (Fuel required to fly for duration of 10% of flight time from departure to destination airport at final cruise altitude, temperature, and long range cruise. This fuel should not be less than the fuel required to hold 15 minutes at altitude of 1,500 ft over destination airport.)

4. - Burn off Fuel....no definition

5. - Taxi Fuel....no definiton

6. - Stored Fuel & 7. - Extra Fuel ...Only when necessary.

Method B:-

1. - 45 Minute Fixed Reserve Fuel (Fuel required to make LRC at cruise alt and temp to alt airport.)

2. - Alternate Fuel (Fuel required to fly from destination to alternate airport with Optimum Speed Climb, Long Range Cruise, Normal Descent.)

3.- Burn off Fuel....no definition

4. - Taxi Fuel....no definiton

5 - Stored Fuel & 6 - Extra Fuel ...Only when necessary.

Extra fuel is the fuel added when the PIC and the dispatcher have judged that adding such fuel will improve operational efficiency.

To change a flight plan during flight, the PIC and the dispatcher shall coordinate closely. PIC shall also obtain an approval from ATC.

(TAC, I assume that that may be the equivalent of ADD!)
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