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London ATC, Saturday Morning Diversion

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London ATC, Saturday Morning Diversion

Old 10th Jan 2010, 13:31
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London ATC, Saturday Morning Diversion

Yesterday morning I went onto a London frequency and heard an exchange that went along the following lines:

London: Turkish XYZ, Dublin is now closed. Where do you want to go?

Pause

Turkish: We will go to Heathrow.

London: Heathrow will not accept you. Nor will Gatwick or Manchester. What are your intentions?

Turkish: Errr, standby

Having just left Manchester I'm certain that the weather there was fine and there appeared to be plenty of free stands and ramp space available. No explanations or help were offered to the Turkish during my brief time on the frequency.

I'm guessing that in choosing Heathrow the Turkish chap was going to his company preferred alternate, probably his primary diversion. I'm also guessing that LGW and MAN were his plan B and C.

Does anyone know how this panned (!) out for him? He would have perceived himself to be pretty boxed in at this stage and I'd guess that the cockpit was a frenzy of charts and plates soon after. If I were heading into a foreign destination and were to be treated as this chap appeared to be, without explanation, I'd be pretty steamed up about it.

I'm well aware that I only have a very small part of the picture but it's left me wondering. Anyone amongst our ATC colleagues care to throw some light on this?

All the best for 2010.

Bernoulli
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Old 10th Jan 2010, 13:54
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Diverted to STN. MAN had a NOTAM for no diversions except in an emergency due weather disruption
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Old 10th Jan 2010, 14:16
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This raises one of my old fovourite airmanship issues. I have had a flight plan and operational plan filed by ops staff on many occassions using an airfield which has NOTAMed no diversions with fuel loaded only for that diversion. This is something that we should all check and plan for before departure.

The only thing that catches you out is the unexpected, try and think of the possible problems before departure and there is less chance of any situation being unexpected.

MM
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Old 10th Jan 2010, 14:31
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Only 1 alt planned/filed
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Old 10th Jan 2010, 14:33
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TC-JDJ arrived in DUB @ 15:10, Departed 16:40 to IST after lots of faffing about...

-jd
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Old 10th Jan 2010, 15:01
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To be fair to the TK ops staff, the MAN NOTAM was timed at 0918 so there's no way they would have known about it. But given that the "no div" NOTAM had been issued plenty of times already last week, perhaps they should have been more aware that something like that may have come into force given the forecasts for most UK and Ireland airports.
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Old 10th Jan 2010, 15:23
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Sounds like a non event to me. Lots of airports were open, sounds they had other options available, just had to decide where they wanted to go. Guess the crew wanted to consider best options prior to informing ATC. Normal practice surely. Ask ATC for diversion to planned alternates. None available, come up with a new plan. I wouldn't have expected them to come straight back with a new plan, I am sure they wanted to get some more info/ discuss it.

Why would he have been boxed in at this stage? Other airports available and sounds like they had enough fuel if they were asking for MAN.
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Old 10th Jan 2010, 15:45
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Having just left Manchester I'm certain that the weather there was fine and there appeared to be plenty of free stands and ramp space available. No explanations or help were offered to the Turkish during my brief time on the frequency.

Lack of De-Icing fluid and a lack of cleared stands had led to Manchester issuing the diversion Notam everytime somewhere looks like closing, from the whispers around the place the lack of stands came from cheap de-icing fluid being used about two weeks ago, which simply froze and hasnt thawed since.

I understand that we had heavy snowfall but that was last Monday the 04th, six days later and stands still are not clear, runway 2 is still 100% snow covered and many taxiways are still shut !!
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Old 10th Jan 2010, 16:27
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Not forgetting, of course, that when you get to emergency fuel levels you go where you want, regardless of NOTAM flow restrictions. It sounds as if the THY had loaded plenty to me.
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Old 10th Jan 2010, 19:51
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Nice people to do business with!

...when you get to emergency fuel levels you go where you want...
Totally true. But do you also realise that Heathrow charges you for the slot you have just used up? Recently, one of our aircraft very sensibly diverted there which meant that another of our aircraft had to return to stand. That flight had to be cancelled as its slot was "used up". I wonder what would have happened if it was in the air?

PM
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Old 11th Jan 2010, 05:26
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We had a similar one last week with a gulfstream from the Maldives to Luton. Luton, Gatwick, Bristol, Bournemouth, Birmingham were all closed and the message we received from London was that the only Airport accepting diversions and were willing to take him was Newcastle !!
He wasn't very happy when I relayed that message to him
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Old 11th Jan 2010, 06:27
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What exactly would you expect ATC to do, considering that they were probably working their socks off? I have been in a similar position, having to tell aircraft that particular airfields would not accept them due to numerous weather diversions. The facts were presented to the crew and they should have had time to calmly consider the situation. If they became desperately short of fuel there were "emergency" options open to them and they could have landed wherever the Captain decided.
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Old 11th Jan 2010, 11:46
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Was BHX closed as well?
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Old 12th Jan 2010, 08:23
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We had a similar one last week with a gulfstream from the Maldives to Luton. Luton, Gatwick, Bristol, Bournemouth, Birmingham were all closed and the message we received from London was that the only Airport accepting diversions and were willing to take him was Newcastle !!
He wasn't very happy when I relayed that message to him
He ended up getting into MAN on a pan call if it's the one that I heard and followed in at oh my God o'clock, although he didn't seem to want to call pan, but declared a fuel emergency????????
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Old 12th Jan 2010, 09:32
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Whats the fixation with going way north when the london area closes. Plenty of capacity at AMS BRU CDG, as well as facilities used to dealing with bad weather. Also the pax can move on wards with the brilliant Eurostar connection if needed
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Old 12th Jan 2010, 16:28
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<<brilliant Eurostar connection>>

Ho ho..... ha ha ha! Nice one.
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Old 12th Jan 2010, 18:51
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I can just imagine the screaming if ATC decided to tell the Captain how to operate his aircraft, and to where. ATC controls the aircraft, the Captain and his company operate them. There is a profound difference.


@ Johnny ... there is an unfortunate reluctance for pilots to declare "Pan" and use euphemisms instead. Fuel emergency = PAN, simples. i spent years drumming that into new USAF crews operating in UK.
And reminding them that PAN calls are Free!
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Old 12th Jan 2010, 19:08
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brilliant Eurostar connection if needed
Ehehe, in any case I would prefer to be a bit more to the north than to be closed in a tunnel
 
Old 12th Jan 2010, 22:57
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i spent years drumming that into new USAF crews operating in UK.
And reminding them that PAN calls are Free!
Note to self: Remind that when necessary!
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Old 14th Jan 2010, 15:41
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Interesting

To Johnny F@rt Pants

Maybe we did not say PAN according to procedures, but at least we landed on the only airport in UK airspace winning the fight against 5cm snow this night and with controllers on duty who "fully understood" that you do not have to many choices left at 3 o'clock a.m, closed destination, closed alternate, closed second alternate, closed everything - oh and did i mention the 12 hours flight before ?

best regards a global crew
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