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Single Runway Ops - LHR 07Feb

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Single Runway Ops - LHR 07Feb

Old 8th Feb 2002, 01:59
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Question Single Runway Ops - LHR 07Feb

LHR using single runway for a while this evening. BA 767 (?) seemed to have the fire trucks in attendence.

Hope everybody OK - Any news as to the cause?
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Old 8th Feb 2002, 05:03
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Heard on Co freq that it had a hydraulic problem requiring a tow tractor to get it off the runway, as Nose wheel steering was affected.
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Old 8th Feb 2002, 12:04
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Nah, not half as impressive as the "goats close 27R" one...
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Old 8th Feb 2002, 12:54
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I was operating to LHR last night through the BNN sector and I would just like to thank the hard pressed controllers who remained cheerful despite the prssure further compounded by 27L approaches being SRA.EAT`s were issued promptly with regular updates.This is particularly useful as my company operates a minimum fuel policy.. . Well done chaps!
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Old 8th Feb 2002, 23:05
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Whilst I wasn't involved in yesterday afternoon's little problem at Heathrow, I have read the Watch log. From what I can gather, the information available to the captain suggested there would be no problem getting off the runway and so BA/ HAL made no arrangements for a tug. When subsequently the a/c couldn't vacate there was a 20 minute delay waiting for one to arrive, with obvious implications for Heathrow during the busy evening peak. (The delay got to 33 minutes).

Being a talker not a driver I am not up to speed on the technical aspects of hydraulic failures but I was wondering if it wouldn't be wiser for us to prepare a tug as a matter of course, just in case the unforseen happens? Or is that considered a waste of resources? When balanced against a loss of our overstretched runway capacity I would have thought it reasonable.

Perhaps somebody might suggest that to BA ops.?

Point 4
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Old 9th Feb 2002, 00:01
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Moving slightly OT Tyrannosaurus raises an interesting point about fuel policy.

I've had to break bad news to a bunch of inbounds about a runway being temporarily blocked on occasion and it's surprised me just how many aircraft simply can't afford to wait around for 10 minutes to see what happens.

I know it makes no sense to carry fuel that you don't in the end need but equally it must be obvious that you can't always assume that there will not be any delays. And when a runway does get blocked ATC cannot always easily accommodate the increased demand that sorting out diversions requires - hence more delay.

Chatting with pilots it seems that there is incredible pressure from management to carry minimum fuel in some companies. Just wondering how widespread this policy is and whether events like this cause the policy makers think twice about their decisions? <img src="confused.gif" border="0">
Old 9th Feb 2002, 00:36
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On a similar line:

During delay periods, some aircraft chirp up and say they are committed to Heathrow, on the basis that the other runway is the diversion. What allowance do they make for the possibility we will lose a runway?. .At the bottom end of the Ockham hold, such an aircraft would be nearer to Gatwick than Heathrow.

Nine left
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Old 9th Feb 2002, 00:58
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Seems a fair idea to have a tug waiting in such a case, but it is difficult enough to get one when you are scheduled to, let alone get one ad-hoc!

I think last nights crew were unlucky. If it was a 767, they should have had a reserve for steering that would have at least enable the runway to be vacated (obviously they thought so to!). Why that reserve wasn't available, not sure, possibly that was were the leak/fault was.

33 minutes delay - doesn't sound too bad. Usually you can get about 40-45 mins from normal flight plan fuel, but committing to a single runway, especially as there is already an on going incident - does focus the mind though. <img src="eek.gif" border="0">
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Old 9th Feb 2002, 20:11
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What a surprise. !! Everyone waiting for a BA tug to arrive !!

30 min closure is totally unacceptable. Normally a tug is requested as a matter of course for any hydraulic failure just in case the aircraft becomes disabled on the runway. I can only presume that BA were cionfident of the aircraft vacating. . .Mind you i know an occasion when BA had 8 1/2 hours notice of a classic coming in from the states with hydraulic problems and still couldnt get the tug to the aircraft (disabled in block 17 09R) in time. When they did supply one it was a one of these towbarless tugs which is totally useless on the runway because it tends to damage the light fittings when it scoops the nosewhhel up. The runway was closed for an hour.!! . .Typical lack urgency in BA if you ask me.. .Perhaps its BA's airport after all.

<img src="mad.gif" border="0">
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Old 9th Feb 2002, 20:49
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I would have thought an airport as busy as LHR would have emergency tug facilities on standby at all times ..... whats the passenger through put in a year ..... 70 million plus?... charge all the passengers a penny extra per flight and you have 3/4 of a million British pounds to pay for the service ...... magic
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Old 9th Feb 2002, 23:27
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I believe that at another major UK airport (the biggest non-BAA one should pin it down) the airport ops people who co-ordordinate the response to such problems can call on any company with a suitable tug to assist in clearing a runway. Where there is some warning the tug is standing by near the runway. Getting the runway clear is an absolute priority and I gather that any company that is requested to supply a tug usually drops verything else and does so. There are some insurance concerns sometimes but at least a tug and driver are there on the scene.
Old 9th Feb 2002, 23:55
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LRC... fancy that, a different blocked runway dream!. .I hope the B767 hydraulic QRH drill actioned correctly, everything ment to be pushed pushed?
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Old 10th Feb 2002, 00:19
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The delay peaked at 71 minutes.
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Old 10th Feb 2002, 15:39
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The BA002 (Concorde) decided straight away that the delay was going to be too long and landed at Gatwick at around the same time it had been scheduled to land at LHR.

The aircraft (G-BOAG) was ferried back to LHR later that night at around 23:00
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Old 11th Feb 2002, 19:04
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Not all handling agents or airlines drop everything in an emeergency. As i thought BA had in fact 3 hours notice of the impending B767 arrival !!!!. Work that one out
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Old 11th Feb 2002, 19:13
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Hope Concorde obliterated the LGW night noise quota... hehe... 23:00? it might well have done...
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