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BA088 Mayday

Old 10th Nov 2007, 13:01
  #61 (permalink)  
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To clarify my earlier post;

I bet that No Companythat flies into the London TMA adds 20mins of fuel onto the flight plan as per the CAA recomondation.

Though pilots according to their own judgement can carry extra fuel if they so wish.

So let's not make this a BA bashing thread- BA like all of the UK operators would rather carry less fuel and accept the cost of 1 or 2 diverts as its cheaper!

easyprison is offline  
Old 10th Nov 2007, 13:13
  #62 (permalink)  
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I do sometimes wonder at some of the posts on fuel policy/usage, especially from so-called "professionals".

There are times in most pilots' careers when they, for whatever reason, get close to their destination with less fuel than they'd really like. Then the important issues are that they deal with this problem a) safely and b) in a commercially prudent manner. From what I read in this discussion, the crew of the NBO flight appear to have done perfectly well in both departments.

There are always those who say they would never end up in this situation because they always take "enough" fuel. Oh yeah? "Enough" for what and do you ever manage to get any payload on board after the wingtips have touched the tarmac?

For those who don't know, Nairobi is a classic hot'n'high airfield with some interesting terrain not far away, leading to possible weight restrictions on a long flight (not to mention any performance MEL items). Sometimes a decision might have to be made to offload passengers and/or freight to get more fuel on board; the crew may have actually taken greater than flight plan fuel in anticipation of delays into London but had it burn off due to being held down, etc.

Once en-route, the crew would have kept track of the fuel situation; they would know it would be tighter than normal at LHR but as long as they could arrive above Company minima, there would be a chance of getting in and if not, there would be plenty of nearby alternates. They would have considered a refuelling tech stop in somewhere like southern France but this would have had duty hours implications and been quite costly: much better to reach UK soil where an aircraft can be recovered quickly by a standby crew if neccessary. On receiving a 35-minute EAT from London, they made the decision to divert to Luton (could have been Stansted, Gatwick...) then during that diversion were offered a 'straight in' to LHR. In safety terms, they now had no delay into a 2-runway airfield as opposed to a single and in commercial terms they were saving a diversion; easy decision I'd have thought. The reasons for the PAN and subsequent MAYDAY have been explained well enough on this thread - I suspect speed control and vectoring around the TMA used a little more fuel than planned so the relevant agencies were kept informed in a timely manner.

The system works, what's the problem?
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Old 10th Nov 2007, 13:32
  #63 (permalink)  
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I think the only problem is with Americans who have lifelong access to cheap and plentiful fuel supplies, much of it homegrown, and not taxed to the hilt. Who cannot imagine any reason not to 'fill 'er up, Jose!' Elsewhere, we have become more adapted to viewing fuel as a costly and precious item and learnt to work around that criterion. I guess it makes a far bigger contribution to the bottom line on this side. But they are learning- fuel costs are coming home, even over there.
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Old 10th Nov 2007, 14:01
  #64 (permalink)  

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Now that you've all done this one to death, you can concentrate on this thread: Media hysteria on low fuel states in 3, 2, 1... with the added bonus that it is a similar story about..., wait for it..., a US aircraft in US airspace!

If ever there was ammunition for cutting down one of 411A's myopic attacks on British pilots, here's your chance!
Danny is offline  

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