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Low Fuel Emergency - Aberdeen?

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Low Fuel Emergency - Aberdeen?

Old 5th Jun 2008, 23:06
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Low Fuel Emergency - Aberdeen?

Does anyone know anything about a Flightlines BAe146 going into Aberdeen last Monday short of fuel? The Captain had apparently declared an emergency because it was met with a full turn out of crash vehicles etc. A colleague of mine was on the flight but the passengers were not informed of any emergency at the time.
I'm interested because i'm a frequent passeger on these flights.
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Old 6th Jun 2008, 08:23
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Good Grief

A low fuel emergency and Ryanair aren't involved.

This could have a profound effect on the trolls and morons !!
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Old 6th Jun 2008, 12:31
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...
The Captain had apparently declared an emergency because it was met with a full turn out of crash vehicles etc.
...
Was there a fuel truck among the equipment or why do you conclude fuel emergency?
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Old 6th Jun 2008, 13:44
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Mismatch....

One of the passengers has a spouse working for one of the emergency services involved and that is what was reported to them.....
I asked the question because it all seems to have been kept very quiet.
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Old 6th Jun 2008, 14:39
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Refuels in SCS for a 40 min flight to ABZ - where's he been to run low on fuel?
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Old 6th Jun 2008, 16:27
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This particular flight took off from ABZ but could not land at Scatsta due to weather, it then made an approach to Sumburgh but again was unable to land. It returned to Aberdeen and presumably declared an emergency.
Surely all of these possible outcomes should be taken into account when taking on fuel?
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Old 6th Jun 2008, 16:51
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WW,

all such instances are taken into account, but there are a number of factors:

Normally, the captain would take on enough fuel for the trip, at l;east two approaches to the destination airfield, enough fuel to divert to the diversion airfield hold for 40 mins and make a couple of approaches.

However, flights to Scatsta have to take into account that they are likely to be carrying a full load of passengers & baggage and have to land on a very short runway, this means that they will carry less fuel to enable the aircraft to land at the permitted weight or less for that short runway.

This isn't a dangerous practice, because they will be carrying enough fuel to hold, make a couple of approaches, then if necessary, proceed to their nominated diversion airport

In this instance the aircraft couldn't land at Scatsta, couldn't land at Sumburgh and therefore was faced with the highly unusual situation of diverting to their 3rd diversion airfield, i.e back to Aberdeen.
Consequently they would have had little or no holding fuel and were faced with being vectored by ATC in the normal fashion, which would have put them below operationally permitted fuel minima's.

Under the circumstances, calling an emergency is exactly what I would expect and is precisely what is required by the CAA, either by PAN or MAYDAY call.
That calls for a full call out by the emergency services, just in case the aircraft does run out of fuel.
It's easier to have them all there and do nothing than calling on their services after an accident and being too late to help.

Hope that clarifies the situation.
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Old 6th Jun 2008, 17:12
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niknac,
Thanks for taking the time to explain, it certainly clarifies things for me.

That's the trouble most of the time, passengers aren't given an explanation of what is happening or what has happened and they are left to think the worst!

Thanks again.
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Old 6th Jun 2008, 18:35
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I don't think the passengers need to be told, unless the captain is sure that the chance of fuel starvation to the engines is high enough that the cabin has to be made ready for a possible landing on less than 3 engines or a ditching.

It's only going to create panic amongst nervous flyers.

Maybe he could have said afterwards that the emergency services were on standby for "xxx" but why bother. If I had been a pax on the flight, I would simply have asked the cabin crew or flight crew as I disembarked.
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Old 6th Jun 2008, 19:26
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What about Kirkwall,Wick and Lossie ?
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Old 6th Jun 2008, 19:41
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Surely all of these possible outcomes should be taken into account when taking on fuel?
They did, hence why the aircraft didn't end up in a smoking hole
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Old 6th Jun 2008, 21:36
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niknak

Normally, the captain would take on enough fuel for the trip, at least two approaches to the destination airfield, enough fuel to divert to the diversion airfield hold for 40 mins and make a couple of approaches.

Where is this normal flight planning? How many tons of extra fuel do you carry?
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Old 6th Jun 2008, 21:49
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Niknak

Niknak - You describe exactly what I would have expected and what the informed PIC chose to do.

About the only other option would have been to land on a motorway with sufficient minimum fuel. This is what some morons here would recommend I guess.
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Old 8th Jun 2008, 08:59
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Manadasystem

I take it from your post that you've never operated into the Shetlands, because if you had you'd know that the weater turns within minutes. I used to operate the Brit World (RIP) ATP's to both Sumburgh and Scatsa, and it's not at all uncommon to shoot 2 approaches to Scatsta, then one into Sumburgh then end up buggering off back to Aberdeen, only to find that the aircraft 2/3 mins behind you on the approach to both destinations got in without difficulty. It also used to be polisy to take round trip fuel anyway, as fuel in Scatsta was extremeley expensive.
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Old 8th Jun 2008, 09:29
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On PD approach the only info we have in that situation,is that the a/c is diverting back to us.It has worked the other end of the room,Sumburgh Approach,but then goes to Scottish.It then comes back to us,and we have to fit it in with all our traffic.If the pilot calls that they are short of fuel,we are required by Mats part 1 to ask if they are declaring an emergency.If not then no priority.
However in real life I have had this situation with this operator recently,and they did not declare an emergency.No priority but I swapped the order round a bit to help.However I was always aware,that this aircraft could declare an emergency anywhere round the radar circuit,and let the tower know as well.
I wonder if the 20mins holding is no delay,has anything to do with it.Perhaps crews operating into PD,see it as a sleepy hollow,and don't account for it.It always comes as a complete surprise to pilots,when I tell them take up the hold,delay less than 20 mins,number 10 or worse.
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Old 8th Jun 2008, 09:36
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Johnny

In that case, using Sumburgh as alternate doesn't strike me as a very good idea, but what do I know. I wasn't there.
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Old 8th Jun 2008, 10:11
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It is a very good idea, and you can then decide how much extra you think it prudent to carry that day. It was no great drama, just following procedure. I have operated many times into Wick, Kirkwall and Sumburgh, and i think the guys on the job know how to handle it. A small proportion of flights will inevitably end up short of fuel- this is unavoidable if you want the best efforts made to get in. The whole process was merely procedural. What needs examining is the emergency response to such situations which seems totally excessive at times.
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Old 8th Jun 2008, 22:53
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Not So,

You are an experienced pilot, I am an experienced atco, so we've both, with experience, gained a 3rd sense for how any given situation is going to pan out and I would wager that in 99% of situations we would concur with the final outcome and we would both be right.

However, with regard to the emergency turnout, we appear to differ.
I think the vast majority of Atcos, pilots and emergency services operators would rather the emergency services be there and be prepared to tackle an event which doesn't actually happen, than to turn up too late to do any good.

We can always send them home if they're not needed, getting them there before they are is the important bit.
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Old 9th Jun 2008, 08:08
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The Emergency Services would probably be grateful for a "real life" call....

Give them and everyone else on the ground the opportunity to do it for real...

No drama, there jsut in case.

Well done all.
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Old 9th Jun 2008, 09:58
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As far as the local police are concerened, only very scant details are known initially when the 'shout' comes in. The Police control room is advised by an alert alarm that a full scale emergency(as per any mayday call) has been issued. Its a case of all hands on deck and all available resources straight to the RVP asap. Its not until probably most units are at scene that eventually the actual finer details of the type of emergency are known. Once established, they can always stand units down and resume them to normal duties if necessary.
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