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Did a BA B747 dump 50t of fuel due to a miscalculation?

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Did a BA B747 dump 50t of fuel due to a miscalculation?

Old 13th Aug 2007, 08:59
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Wiggy, please note the whole quote............................

if some of the posts on this thread are correct they set off not knowing about their extra 50 tonnes,
I found it quite difficult to believe too, but a number of posts, from people who appear to know what they are talking about, indicate that this was exactly what happened. EG the post that said they were advised of the extra load in a message from dispatch, after departure.

Woodpecker,

I was also surprised that fuel could cause a trim problem in those circumstances, but the post that said so came from 747-436 who also said that he/she flies BA's B747s.

As to the veracity of the whole rumour, this is a rumour network, not an incident investigation forum! But many of the posts have been sceptical, and I hope mine have been of the "If it happened, what happened?" variety. But perhaps I and others have been ready to accept some posts at face value.

On the other hand, if BA could cover up a "fuel dumping nightmare" news story they would, and so would I. It is pprune's task, as I see it, to uncover the cover-ups, whether BA's or anyone else's.
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Old 13th Aug 2007, 10:01
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It seems that my post yesterday implied that it was a 744 flight with a trim problem that was cancelled, it was an airbus, and not BA at that!
I cancelled the flight on the information from the pilots.

I edited my post last night to clear up any confusion.

So I think that is where the talk of the trim problem came when in fact it had nothing to do with the BA issue and I was just using it to illustrate the point that last minute A/C swaps can happen and aircraft can be fueled to go elsewhere and then have to do a short flight which causes problems.

And old not bold, I never said that I flew BA 747's, I am not a pilot.
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Old 13th Aug 2007, 11:13
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747-436 OK, understood....I assumed too much from the words in the post, before the edit............

This thread is going nowhere, it seems to me, unless someone can confirm or deny, with some obvious authority, that the incident took place at all.

I get the impression it probably didn't.
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Old 13th Aug 2007, 11:20
  #44 (permalink)  
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o,nb - there is an intersting 'whiff' of fish around posts 6 and 7, don't you think?
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Old 13th Aug 2007, 11:39
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I found it quite difficult to believe too, but a number of posts, from people who appear to know what they are talking about, indicate that this was exactly what happened.
onb - Whatever turns out to be the basis of this incident, it is almost impossible to set off with an extra 50T of fuel that you don't know about. Before departure you need to:

1) Agree a fuel figure for the flight
2) Notify dispatch, who will use this figure on the fuel sheet.
3) Verify the amount of fuel loaded with the fueler.
4) Verify the loadsheet fuel weights.
5) Check the EICAS fuel loaded figure.
6) Inspect the EICAS fuel page for correct fuel distribution
7) Select the appropriate fuel pumps for the appropriate fuel tanks.
8) Calculate aircraft take off speeds for the known weight.
9) Verify these speeds against those generated by the aircraft FMC.
10) Complete the 'Before Start Checklist' which would sweep up any omissions.

The chances of getting through all 10 steps without spotting an extra 50T you weren't expected are all but zero and would require gross incompetence from a whole chain of people.
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Old 13th Aug 2007, 12:07
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Hand Solo

Funny isn't it. I do know that all those things are reasons why it's almost impossible. For me, it's much simpler "It's almost impossible to depart without a load sheet, end of story." But it's the almost that gets us, isn't it. That's what Murphy's law is all about.

BOAC, yes, but the real culprit, if the thread was in fact nonsense, is Post No 30. Was that mischievous?
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Old 13th Aug 2007, 13:36
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One cannot help but get a bit impatient with yet another pprune thread, based on what appears to be little more than an unsubstantiated rumour of an event that cannot have taken place as described, gets discussed to death- in this case over 3 pages, and despite gentle indications that the description is rubbish and without any verification whatsoever, some people refuse to accept it smells of garbage to the very end! What part of 'this is nonsense!' is so hard to understand? Unless someone can verify positively the accusation, then please can we lay this to rest? It does the bulletin board no credit to harp on for weeks and multiple pages on an event that most probably never took place or had a logical explanation.

My God if my company was dragged through the mire over rubbish like this I would set lawyers with big teeth onto everyone who dared drag its name through the mud like this! Unless the accusation is verified, I really don't understand why so much garbage is allowed to fester here- that thread title will remain in the history even if it is all shown to be nonsense.
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Old 13th Aug 2007, 13:57
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Rainboe... I agree with all of what say except the if it occurred. Read the posts again, and I think there are a couple fairly reliable 'clues' that it did

Why it occurred, whether it matters it occurred, is as you say a non-event. It just cost BA 50 tons of fuel - pretty small fry in their league of blowing cash
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Old 13th Aug 2007, 14:07
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My God if my company was dragged through the mire over rubbish like this I would set lawyers with big teeth onto everyone who dared drag its name through the mud like this!
RB, posts #6, #7, #30 (and #50) from the respective (longtime) PPRuNers wouldn't be there if all would be unsubstantiated rubbish. Of course you could still be right regarding the
logical explanation
but I'm afraid we won't get one here.

PS: regarding the thread title, deleting the "because of a miscalculation" would do some good, agreed
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Old 13th Aug 2007, 21:25
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BOAC, yes, but the real culprit, if the thread was in fact nonsense, is Post No 30. Was that mischievous?
Look not at the post, look at the previous threads started by the poster...

...and do it quick before the Mods remove this, as they did my earlier words of caution on the subject.
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Old 13th Aug 2007, 21:51
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How much does 50t of fuel cost?
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Old 13th Aug 2007, 22:13
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10K - 15k ? http://tmdg.co.uk/misc/fuel.php
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Old 14th Aug 2007, 10:20
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All I have seen is the text that is in post 30 so I don't know anymore than that.

Last edited by 747-436; 14th Aug 2007 at 10:36.
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Old 14th Aug 2007, 22:14
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Not too sure about the fuel system of the 747-400, but certainly on the A340 the computers distribute the fuel as it is being loaded. If the figure dialled in is high enough to warrent the stab tank to be used, the fuel will automatically start to fill up into the stab tank from the start of refuelling, not once the other tanks are full as one would expect.

If there is suddenly a last minute problem, and the a/c is swapped and is then placed on a route with a lower fuel requirement, you then have the problem that some of the fuel is in the stab tank where it is not supposed to be with the lower fuel figure and this can cause an aft trim problem if the a/c is lightly loaded.

As I said, not sure how the 747-400 fuel system works, just merely providing an explination as how it could have had a trim problem with just the fuel.

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Old 15th Aug 2007, 01:06
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I have a theory about this. Cardiff on easterlies is rather limiting for a 744. Lock out a brake unit as well and the MLW is over 70T less than normal MLW. So if you're ready to head off to maintenance, the engineers decide to lock out a brake to get you away then the wind changes direction..........

Not saying this is what happened, I don't know what did, but I'm starting to see how someone could have a bad day.
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Old 16th Aug 2007, 19:18
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Angry

As this is my first post on here,I will try and make it a positive one.....For all of you with access to the "world's favourite" intranet,the summary of this incident is available via the "Safety and Security section.....Then "Corporate Safety and Quality, w/e 23 July. Just don't let "swampy" and his mates know!!
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Old 17th Aug 2007, 16:55
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Thumbs up

To be fair, whether it is true or not; I found reading about the subject of fuel dumping/off loading quite enjoyable. Theres always a positive slant to a thread thats been derailed.
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Old 17th Aug 2007, 17:48
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To back up Chinooker, it happened. I've read the weekly safety report and it's there in black and white.
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Old 18th Aug 2007, 15:03
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Anyone willing to share how this "impossible" miscalculation occurred?

Some folks here are sure it could never happen to them. I'm sure it could happen to me so I would like to learn from this error and avoid it in the future.
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Old 18th Aug 2007, 18:49
  #60 (permalink)  
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Well thank you BOAC- fame at last!

So is someone going to put us out of our misery and let us know the details and circumstances?
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