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Ryanair Very Low Fuel Landing

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Ryanair Very Low Fuel Landing

Old 5th Jun 2008, 19:29
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What I would like to see is better airmanship from F/O's. They are PF and so they decide the fuel. Their thinking is not educated. They've been brained washed in an unhealthy way. Plog = macho minimum. +330kgs allowed, we'll take it. Wx. bad so another 300kgs. That's it. So one day I listened to this guessimation and then I said 1500kgs more. Wow, their eyes exploded. So we sat down and did the caluclations of what we wanted to do. Hold here for X ins, make 2 approaches, divert there, hold there for Y mins and then land with 30 mins. Guess what; 1500kgs extra. Eyes wide open. "Are we allowed to do that?" "On this flight we are!"

Next year these guys are going to be captains. 4 stripes don't always make a captain. It's what's on the inside that counts. not the outside. OK; 10 years experience takes 10 years, but a lot more can be done to educate before the 4th stripe is given. There's a danger of too many trained monkies flying around. Also, too many times I hear, "yesterday we did this and it worked out." So no need to assess today as a different day, then?

One day......................................
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Old 5th Jun 2008, 19:45
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PICs

About fourteen years ago I was flying from KSFO to KDEN to pick up my 10 weeks on the airshow circuit in Hap Arnold's C-41 (DC-3)

As I got onto the 737 (I don't know which model, but it had a pretty neat decal on the VS), I looked into the cockpit, saw steam gages and a guy who looked to be about 19 in the left seat.

On landing in KDEN, after a flight that was CAVU all the way, I chatted him up and found that he had almost 2,000 hrs. and that he thought that he had a pretty cool gig...

I don't fly Frontier anymore.
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Old 5th Jun 2008, 21:19
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I am becoming quite fascinated by this anti-Ryanair phenomenon. This latest outburst of venom and vitriol was started by:

Whitebraz from Frankfurt
Post: No.1

"Anyone with details concerning the Ryanair Frankfurt Base Captain who landed with less than 800 kgs of fuel"?

Now this is not an accusation as such but is smack full of innuendo and, as such, is clearly designed as a sh*t stirring exercise.

In this it has been largely successful for it has so far generated 7 pages of rubbish and learned discussion (in mixed proportion) on the thread but let us look at the facts:

1. Whitebraz has made his entrance to pprune with this piece of innuendo.

2. Whitebraz has found nobody to confirm this event.

3. Whitebraz has produced no evidence of any sort.

4. Whitebraz has not made one other single posting on this piece of innuendo (or on anything else for that matter). In other words, he has started his bit of sh*t-stirring and is too cowardly to come back and defend his corner.

From all of this one can only conclude that Whitebraz has his own agenda which probably involves the Frankfurt Base Captain. Perhaps he could enlighten us?

In the meantime, we have had 7 pages of mostly regurgitated opinions about fuel planning and the only thing that has emerged (as someone who has never flown a Boeing) is that a whole bunch of pontificators who cried foul about the low-level lights coming on at 907 kgs a side were enlightened by those who really knew their aeroplane that this was merely an ETOPS requirement and that their aircraft were modified so that the low-level lights came on at 453 kgs per side.

And so it seems to me, as one who flew professionally for over 50 years (and who still teaches in the simulator), pretty pathetic that even if Whitebraz is indeed correct, and considering the thousands and thousands of sectors flown, that one aircraft landed and had about 100 kgs less than low level in the tanks.

There could be around a million reasons for this. Diverting is not always a cut and dried and simple procedure.

I will give you an example; I was captain of a DC-10 inbound to LGW from JFK. Gatwick had had early morning fog but it was clearing rapidly. However, because of their single runway and the general backlog there was a lot of holding going on.

I held until I got down to minimum diversion fuel and all the time kept ATC advised of my fuel status. I then asked for a diversion to Stansted (where the weather was actually worse than Gatwick) and so we set off in that direction.

Somewhere north of Heathrow, they called me and said that Gatwick would take us now without delay and so it was that I landed at my original destination (having started a diversion) where the weather was much better and was, incidentally, where the 380 punters wanted to be.

Needless to say, I had less than C+D when I got on the ramp but I defy any of you so-called professionals out there to tell me that I made the wrong decision.

In summary, when you see a posting like this and the person that starts it is not prepared to put up or shut up, then maybe those of us who really are professional pilots should just totally ignore it and let the spotters get on with it.

P.S. I started by describing this as a piece of innuendo. I don't know if you have heard the definition of innuendo?

It is a Spanish suppository!
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Old 5th Jun 2008, 21:19
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I don't think there's anything wrong with making sensible commercial decisions, with regard to fuel. It costs money, and we are duty-bound to be safe, but also commercially aware. I don't want my company to go bust, and despare of these morons who clearly don't understand fuel policy, and load extra on every sector, and probably not enough when they really need it.

I'll give you an example. The other day, I was flying back to LGW, late at night. It's a new company route, so no stats were available, and hence we were planned 15 mins of contingency. We had a very generous taxy fuel, for what was a very quiet airfield. I reasoned that we'd almost certainly get shortcuts on the way, probably a straight-in on 08R, and that we'd not need all that taxy fuel, so loaded 300 Kgs less than flight plan. Reserves were 2.2, planned remaining 2.8, and I landed with 3.4, as everything happened as predicted. Frankly, if it hadn't, my 300 Kgs that I didn't have, would have equated to an extra 8 mins in the air. Big deal.

All you are doing by loading extra fuel, is avoiding having to make a decision, which is what you are paid for. By all means load extra, when the weather is bad etc. But loading extra all the time "just in case" is pathetic, moronic, and you don't deserve your job if you do.

Oh, and do you ever fly with those idiots who load an extra 100 Kgs? What, exactly are you going to do with your extra 2-3 mins? As I say, I despare, sometimes.......

PS All based on 737 figures.
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Old 5th Jun 2008, 21:20
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Rubik

The statisticians out there would only argue that because it hasn't happened in 9000 sectors can only mean is that its now over due!

$195 is 50p per seat sold. Bargain........(compared to the alternative) lets face it the holes just need to line up only once.

Back to the thread if it was only 800kg then I would be looking at that figure sideways in my 14 ton bizjet
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Old 5th Jun 2008, 21:49
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I reckon rubik has made some bloody good points, to dismiss that as a 'narrow band of experience' is ridiculous
I did not deny his level of experience, just the variety.

It was mostly a wind up but I should have known you serious types would take it seriously.

Chill out, go count your hours.
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Old 5th Jun 2008, 22:21
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Gentlemen, while the more arcane technical details are beyond my ken, I can say that I once was an airline bean counting type of person and I know a lot about cheese paring as we called it, and I used it to great effect trimming maintenance budgets for six years.

We do these little calculations about the weight of oranges, pencils and charts and approach plates, you name it, and then we innocently make the claim that if perhaps, you only carried the approach plates you really neededfor a flight, it would save the company X hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. Our logic appears irrefutable, or appears to be.

However, the logic is flawed because you haven't subtracted from your savings the risk adjusted costs of not having what is required. That was the original point of my post, when I glibly said "take a bit extra for mum".

To put it another way, it was great that I saved tens of thousands of dollars a year by cutting our stock of widgets in half, right up to the day where an aircraft was grounded for three weeks due to lack of widgets wiping out six years of savings in one day - you need to look at your savings in perspective compared to the possible outcomes.

But the more sinister issue is allowing too much "bean counter" influence over operational decisions, because what starts as "voluntary" cost cutting programs have a very nasty habit of becoming "compulsory". Furthermore if you give in to such forces and the operations manual is not amended to reflect them, which it won't be, and you cut things too fine one day, you will be hung out to dry by the authorities.

I guess the simplest thing for the authorities to do is monitor the number of "low fuel" calls, if the number starts trending up, the bean counters have got at you too much. Fuel is your decision. Keep it that way.
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Old 5th Jun 2008, 23:13
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Yeah, Sunfish, it is my decision, but I really don't understand why everyone gets's their knickers in a twist about it. My personal fuel policy is that I won't land without any. It's fairly simple; company policy is to take flight plan, unless circumstances dictate otherwise (wx etc). I follow company policy, and divert if necessary (2 times in 10 years-sometimes **** happens, and your extra 150 KGs would be no use...). Maybe that costs them more - I don't know, and it's the bean-counters' problem. I just don't land without any fuel, and make my decsions on the day accordingly.
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Old 6th Jun 2008, 00:29
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I don't disagree that it may still be in tanks when you land
If its not still in the tanks you are DEAD.

I new someone would come up with the old argument of multiplying x times number of flts etc etc. Look at the big picture.

If my experience of a particular route or time of day says to me I need extra fuel I should be allowed to take it. That is what I am paid for. That 300kgs of 'comfort' fuel gives me thinking time and reduces my blood pressure and risk of heart attack. My company wants me to land with diversion fuel. If I go into the hold they don't want me to divert. They accept that I may eventually land with less than 900 kgs. That is about 15 minutes to everybody on board being DEAD.

Some here are behaving like bean counters and doing their job for them. A relatively small amount of 'comfort' fuel would be covered by raising the passenger ticket price by 1 Pence per ticket. Thats how petty it is.

Show me a Chief Pilot who is willing to say to the Management Board....'Leave my Captains alone with their fuel....get your economies elsewhere. Any volunteers?
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Old 6th Jun 2008, 09:41
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Finman

No one in the course of this thread has disputed that the decision to carry extra fuel, based on expected delays, weather, NOTAMs or equipment failures, MEL etc is anything other than sensible and correct.

Some company PLOGS have a block which which allows the Captain to circle a reason for carrying the extra fuel e.g Weather / Icing / ATC / etc. Where that facility is not pre printed, a simple single word comment beside the fuel block to verify the reason for the extra fuel is all that is required. E.G Weather.

What is wholly unreasonable is carrying "comfort" fuel: if you routinely need 300kgs of "comfort" fuel, either your superior training department has failed to do it's job, or your Chief Pilot and company culture leads you to somehow doubt the safety and efficacy of your planning system and / or the airframes you fly and / or the skills and abilities of your colleagues.

Incidentally, burning the excess 150kgs "comfort" fuel won't kill you: you still have D+E (CMR) in the tanks. No need to be quite so neurotic!

Last edited by The Real Slim Shady; 6th Jun 2008 at 10:07.
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Old 6th Jun 2008, 09:57
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Incidentally, burning the excess 150kgs "comfort" fuel won't kill you: you still have D+E (CMR) in the tanks.
There are none so blind as those who will not see.

Think again....That 150 kgs is at the bottom of the tank. It is the last 150kgs to be used!!!!

My company has discounted every reason you can give for carrying extra ....in advance. The only reason they accept as valid is Low vis. Expected delays from my personal experience aren't statistically supported and are not valid. The ANO that recommends returning to the London TMA with div fuel plus 20 minutes holding fuel does not apply to 'us'.

I am trying to put this argument into perspective. The unwarranted pressure put on Captains to carry less and less fuel and sending out ****ograms to those who would seem to 'waste' 3kgs of fuel adds enormous, unecessary stress...and for what.....the equivalent of 1 P per ticket!!!
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Old 6th Jun 2008, 10:28
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Finman

I fail to see why the AIC does not apply to aircraft inbound to Stansted: STN is quite clearly within the TMA and unless specifically excluded by the CAA from the 20 minute = no delay protocol surely you have to follow their guidance.
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Old 6th Jun 2008, 11:03
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Apparently not....
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Old 6th Jun 2008, 11:35
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With the utmost respect, the AIC doesn't say you must load an extra :20 when operating into the LON TMA, neither is it an ANO requirement.
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Old 6th Jun 2008, 12:00
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I agree. It simply states:

In busy terminal areas in the UK 'No delay expected' can mean a delay of up to 20 minutes.
It is down to the company to identify the requirement or not. My personal experience counts for nothing.

Anyway this is getting away from the point.
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Old 6th Jun 2008, 12:00
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Quite agree LKYA, and if enough data exists to confirm that the probablity of a 20 minute delay is minimal I can see no reason to carry extra fuel. Howver, if you have data indicating a 20 + minute delay at 5pm every Friday it would be eminently sensible to increase the fuel load.

It is all a matter for commmon sense and airmanship.
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Old 6th Jun 2008, 12:08
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Not allowed where I work!
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Old 6th Jun 2008, 13:49
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Finman has got me thinking. Other than a couple of degree modules I have no legal training other than Air Law at ATPL. Could someone more enlightened than me please shed some light on the legal position a company would be in should they take disciplinary action against a crew for loading additional fuel, and should that crew then take the action to tribunal. IMHO JAR-OPS1 would be on the side of the crew regardless of any employment laws, contract etc.

Of course taking action against your employer may well have you seeing out your flying days in a Caravan in the bush of Africa, but thats a different story.
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Old 6th Jun 2008, 14:06
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Devil

Someone computer-savy really should post Shreks latest memo on here for all to readů


Btw have you guys noted that this memo was only circulated on paper, and NOT via the normal intranet systemů food for thought!!!!

i can only say if i was the DCP i woud not have the balls to write said memo... but then again i am not as eloquent...
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Old 6th Jun 2008, 14:12
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Of course, everyone has copied the memo and filed it for future reference?
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