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BA088 Mayday

Old 7th Nov 2007, 17:35
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BA088 Mayday

Apparently the BA088 from NBO declared a mayday this afternoon as it approached London. It has diverted into LTN by all accounts.

Anyone have any details?
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Old 7th Nov 2007, 17:48
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I don't dispute your info but just find it rather odd that they diverted to Luton. Unless it was perhaps fuel related?
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Old 7th Nov 2007, 18:35
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Last time I checked my trusty Weetabix atlas , Luton was still the wrong side of London from Nairobi ?
If this really did happen , must have been commercial / weather decision and LHR was experiencing long EATs ?
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Old 7th Nov 2007, 18:48
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Lets start this again then....BA088 FROM NBO (Yes planes are capable of flying from NBO to London nowadays and yes....Luton is considered a London airport SHOCK HORROR) has indeed diverted to LTN as a result of some incident...even proven on the BA website that the flight landed at 1633 into Luton and subsequently cancelled!!!!

Now the only info I dont have is to why this happened and I was kinda hoping someone out there in PPRuNe world may know as you lot are always normally so sh1t hot on incidents like this!!!!
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Old 7th Nov 2007, 19:09
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Thumbs up states the BA088 landed at LHR at 16:33.

The LTN-LHR sector was obviously lined up to happen, but things obviously changed and the aircraft landed at LHR instead.

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Old 7th Nov 2007, 19:49
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Aircraft left LHR for Lusaka 2 hours 30 after landing, the Luton diversion may just be a case of confused computers.

Luton maybe on the wrong side of London from BIG but how do you know they hadnt gone around at LHR. Anyway i suspect you'd be on the ground quicker at Luton from FL90 in BIG hold than you would at the more congested Gatwick. You'd also cause utter chaos going to Gatwick whilst ATC tried to descend you across the SE/E deps from LHR and LGW.
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Old 7th Nov 2007, 19:55
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I'm surprised LTN isn't used more as an alternate for LHR, obviously depending on your type and weight. My company is obsessed with Gatwick and Stansted as alternates. In my opinion it creates further delays. A quick refuel in LTN and a short taxi and off you can go again down the road to the BNN hold.

A bit off topic so I'll shut up now.
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Old 7th Nov 2007, 20:49
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The airlines don't like us using Luton. Still frightened we'll all start talking like Lorraine Chase.
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Old 7th Nov 2007, 20:49
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BA say it landed at LHR, so looks like computer gremlins as far as LTN claims concerned. Switch the PCs off and on again, lads.
Can't shed any light on the mayday claim. Frankly, Heathrow is such an ordeal these days that it's a wonder we don't get maydays from everyone funnelling in and out
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Old 7th Nov 2007, 21:03
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Edited to add this:

As I have direct access to FICO I checked as soon as this thread started. The flight record clearly showed that 088 routed NBO-LTN-LHR. The delay code remarks (which I won't divulge ) also showed the reasons.

There was a further sector planned LTN -LHR.

That the aircraft record wasn't updated with actual events is down to overworked ops controllers not editing their records..............

Last edited by ETOPS; 8th Nov 2007 at 07:44.
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Old 7th Nov 2007, 21:43
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I don't know where you get your info from but it's wrong unless you are talking about a completely different flight! BAW88 landed at Heathrow, not LTN.

It was 15 miles south east of Biggin and informed it had its EAT. The pilot mentioned that he was a bit tight on fuel but and that he would need an improvement in the EAT. The EATs were constantly being amended and BAW88 got an improvement of 8 minutes. (They weren't actually real EATs by then, they were around 12 mins delay).

This was still not good enough, the pilot reckoned he had about 5 mins to diversion, so elected to go to LTN (at this stage the Biggin controller informed the pilot that if he declared a PAN, he would get a priority approach to EGLL but was told 'it's not that bad') The diversion was duly arranged and he was vectored towards LTN.

The A/C never actually entered the Biggin hold, it carried straight on through with a bit of vectoring and a 2000' climb (from FL140 to FL160) to make sure it cleared LAM stack.

As he was nearing BKY, he was informed that he would be able to get a straight in if he wanted to go back to EGLL, delays were now less than 5 mins and he would be given priority.

Round about this time he called a PAN.

He elected to try EGLL, and was being positioned for a straight in aproach. As he flew down the ILS (at about 9 miles), he declared a MAYDAY.

Landed at EGLL safely.

Reason given for being so short on fuel was that he was held down low for a while in Africa.

The reasons for things turning out the way they did will come out in the subsequent investigation, however I can categorically state it did not land at LTN!!

Apart from the exact point at when the PAN was called, the above is a very accurate description of events.
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Old 7th Nov 2007, 22:02
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Mayday standard procedure if you are going to land with less than minimum reserves. This would make the aircraft a top priority with no go-around to be scheduled. It is a company instruction, but nothing to get excited about. Statistically, every so often a flight will get low like this. Sounds like they were on the ball and well in control of the situation, with an escape route planned and ready. With ATC co-operation, the situation was resolved. But then the word gets out........
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Old 7th Nov 2007, 22:18
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The only issue I have with aircraft turning up at LHR, in a busy TMA, short of fuel and declaring a MAYDAY is that runways will be sterilised to assure the landing and a number of movements will be lost thus increasing the delays for everyone else and maybe knocking someone else in to the same situation which means movements will be lost and so on.

If "just" a PAN is declared fewer movements will be lost but there will, again, be an increase in delays to everyone else.

There's always more than one aircraft out there, you know.
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Old 7th Nov 2007, 23:20
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Roffa, the rules requires such things.
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Old 8th Nov 2007, 00:35
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Another UK airline short of fuel inbound to LHR.
Why am I not surprised.

Now then, it is true that sometimes you are held down in Africa, nothing new there, OTOH one would have thought that the Commander would have forseen this, as it is a regular occurance, and uplifted just a tad more fuel.

Perhaps BA are used to steaming around in a low fuel state.
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Old 8th Nov 2007, 07:02
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The rules for fuel are as follows:

Crews should plan to arrive overhead a destination aerodrome with, at the very least, fuel sufficient to:
A) Make an approach to land; and
B) Carry out a missed approach; and
C) Fly to an alternate aerodrome, carry out an approach and landing; and
D) For turbo-jet powered aircraft, fuel to hold for 30 minutes at 1,500ft above the aerodrome.
Additionally to this in the London TMA the phrase, "Expect no delay" actually means that 20 minutes of holding must be assumed and allowed for in fuel planning.

See: CAA AIC 82/2003 (Pink 92)
and: CAA FODCOM 11/2003 - Aircraft inbound to UK with fuel approaching minimum.

I'm not sure what's produced on BA's flight plans (this document is also known as the 'PLOG') but it's often the case that PLOGS make no allowance for "Expect no Delay" (at least the PLOGS at my company make no allowance and it's down to the commander to cater for this).

Therein, if one is held low across Africa (which has happened to me many times!), and / or one's maybe a tadge heavier than the predicted weight that the PLOG was based on, and / or that the headwind component is perhaps a bit more than anticipated... then these can very quickly eat in to ones 'Contingency' fuel (wherein Contingency fuel is usually 3% to 5% of the 'Trip' fuel and is intended to cater for a certain degree of unforeseen circumstances, as mentioned).

One will then arrive in the London TMA close to, or at, ones 'Company Minimum Reserve' / CMR (i.e. with enough fuel to make an approach, followed by a 'missed approach' and then diversion to your nominated alternate airport, be able to hold overhead your alternate for 30 minutes at 1,500ft, and carry out an approach and landing).
Nb. The fuel required to hold for 30 minutes @ 1,500ft is usually known as the 'Final Reserve' fuel.

In the UK there is no such thing as a 'Fuel Emergency'.

The percieved wisdom is that:

If a commander thinks he might land below 'Final Reserve' he should declare a "Pan".

If the commander knows he will land with less than 'Final Reserve' he must declare a "Mayday".

It sounds to me that the BA guys did it buy the book.
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Old 8th Nov 2007, 07:09
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* Operational Flight Info * Ba 88 -1 We 07nov
City Info Hour Local)
Nbo Estimated Time Of Departure 0955
Left The Gate 0955
Took Off 1024
Other Information
Flight Diverted- Contact British
Airways For Further Information
Estimated Time Of Arrival 1620 Lhr
Lhr Div Ltn Lhr
Flight Deck Crew Request
Passengers On Board 056)
Other Information
Not Diverting After All
Aircraft Landed 1627
Arrived 1633
Estimated Time Of Arrival 1620 Lhr
Ltn Div Lhr Ltn
Destination Station Limits
Passengers On Board 056)
Estimated Time Of Arrival 1615 Ltn
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Old 8th Nov 2007, 07:50
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That's a good un Rainboe.
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Old 8th Nov 2007, 08:20
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No doubt Shirley will give him a bottle of bubbly for taking Cirrus
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Old 8th Nov 2007, 08:51
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Why edit your post to still provide inaccurate info? The A/C was destined for LHR, started to divert to LTN (having never even commenced a hold at BIG), then turned back to LHR when EATs were cancelled (it's a fluid situation, they were being updated constantly), and landed at LHR. Never even made an approach to LTN, though it flew towards BKY momentarily.

411A - the facts of this incident will come to light eventually - there is more to it than just being held down over Africa... I was one of the controllers working last night when the incident happened... I am not drawing any conclusions but some variables are ... because we were in EATs, the A/C came across relatively low and slow into TC airspace..... the EATs were quite innnacurate i.e. we were at the stage that we were hovering on the boundary of getting rid of them.... however our traffic managers would rather promulgate a delay than state that there was none, only for A/C to then have to hold unexpectedly (safer that way, obviously), the pilot believed he was fine to make his diversion - i.e. LTN.

It transpires (in hindsight) that if he had gone to LHR he would have had little or no delay. It is the old swiss cheese model - a/c short of fuel, holding taking place, holding gets cancelled just after a/c diverts etc etc. The holes all got lined up last night.

Should the pilot have called a PAN earlier? Well he did not have to hold anywhere and he should have had fuel to get to LTN and carry out a missed approach and still have fuel to go around and land - did he have the fuel to do this when he commenced the diversion or should he have PAN'ned? Did ATC do all they could (though he was told as he commenced his diversion that if he called a PAN, he would get priority into LHR) bearing in mind the EATs were slightly innacurate and were constantly being amended as they were reducing?

It's not just a simple case of a UK carrier not carrying enough fuel (mind you they probably carry less than the Yanks because we pay so much more for ours), it's not just a case of bad airmanship, and it's not just a case of bad ATC - it's a combination of factors that could include all or a few of those things. Instead of drawing conclusions now, lets wait to see what comes out... but please, please, ETOPS, lets get our facts correct if we are going to claim you are in the know... all that your amended post shows is that the computers have not been updated as to reflect fact. Yes,

As I have direct access to FICO I checked as soon as this thread started. The flight record clearly showed that 088 routed NBO-LTN-LHR. The delay code remarks (which I won't divulge ) also showed the reasons.

There was a further sector planned LTN -LHR.
the A/C was going to be routed NBO-LTN-LHR if the diversion had been completed and yes there would have to have obviously been an extra sector planned LTN-LHR if the diversion happened, but the diversion did not take place
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