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SIA Low Fuel at LHR

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SIA Low Fuel at LHR

Old 1st Mar 2002, 21:44
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Post SIA Low Fuel at LHR

First we had Malaysian, and now its SQ, both running their tanks on dry to LHR. The latest incident took place towards the end of last year, the SIA 747-400 landed at LHR with 2.3 tonnes of fuel remaining. Although this was reported back to SIA management (SIA engineering), at the time, the offending captain was cautioned, but otherwise survived unscathed. The "Malaysian" Singaporean captain, who has a history of foul ups, still flies the line on a regular basis.An accident waiting to happen?? I think we all need to give SIA a miss, or it may it hit you hard.
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Old 2nd Mar 2002, 03:19
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Exclamation

Perhaps one of our Fleet Street (sorry Wapping!) friends would like to ponder the consequences of one of these operators running out of fuel over central London.

Probably somewhere down a straight line between Wapping and Kew actually! <img src="eek.gif" border="0">
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Old 2nd Mar 2002, 05:28
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G.Khan
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Great little story, considering it is completely out of context!

Could we have the rest of the details please Sniffer, (I am assuming you have them, otherwise why post), then we can all make our own minds up about who we fly with. Seem to remember Concorde landed VERY short of fuel once at LHR, did you suggest we all left BA alone then?
 
Old 2nd Mar 2002, 06:50
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Sniffer could you give us some more information and more details on your story.I have heard several variations on it, some with even lower final fuel figures quoted.
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Old 2nd Mar 2002, 10:25
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"I think we all need to give SIA a miss, or it may it hit you hard. "

Sniffer, what sort of claptrap is this. You have a grudge against them - failed the interview or something along those lines???

Luckily most (not all) of the readers of this can see your not giving all the facts. Get a grip.
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Old 2nd Mar 2002, 13:50
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Yes this was true. The excuse was he was given early descent and hold and instead of good airmanship dictating he divert to Stansted because like the Captain of SQ6 he was afraid of bucking the system and afraid of facing those on the 4th Floor who under De Vaz and now ex Generals use fear and intimidation which makes SIA an inherently unsafe Airline but of course the passengers love the IFE etc etc.

The culture of loss of face rules.

Just look at how the CEO still tries to justify losing $2Billion on reckless investments in Virgin and Air New Zealand saying they must not let this loss affect future minority equity stakes in other Airlines which have proved disastrous for Swissair and now SIA. Cannot lose face lah!!
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Old 2nd Mar 2002, 15:48
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G.Khan
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OK, it was true, you say, so let us have all the facts then.

What was the weather at Dest. and Alt?

Had he advised ATC of his situation?

Had he declared an emergency?

How much fuel did he really have on touchdown?

Did it really happen?
 
Old 2nd Mar 2002, 21:35
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The business of low fuel at destination is nothing new to SQ. In 1979, the company introduced a new fuel policy which required minimum fuel on all sectors...with the predictable result that one SIN-BAH flight landed BAH and on taxi to the parking bay, two engines flamed out due to fuel starvation. The PM was on board...so the policy was changed a short while later.. .Some never learn.
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Old 2nd Mar 2002, 22:13
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Why do we all jump to conclusions that our fellow pilots are prats, idiots or unsafe. I cannot think of any other profession that is so keen to condemn their fellows. . .I don’t know the facts however if I had full reserves during the last hour, then was sent down early, then held provided I knew that I would go to destination and the weather was fine why not? There are 2 runways at Heathrow and a PAN is always available if fuel drops further. My company allows us to continue down to Final Reserve Fuel if a landing is assured. Provided what he did was safe I cannot see any objections.
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Old 2nd Mar 2002, 22:14
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Doesn't the JAA have rules on IFR fuel reserves? I thought it was mandatory that an aircraft fuel requirements be made with 45 minutes of reserve fuel on arrival at the destination. <img src="confused.gif" border="0">
 
Old 2nd Mar 2002, 22:41
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What if the landing isn't assured?? There is no such thing as a guaranteed landing at Heathrow. . .What about factors beyond the pilots control?? If he'd come all the way down the approach and for whatever reason one of us had sent him around, then what?? Scraping bits of SIA B744 of NW London is the answer!!

I find it extremely disturbing that airlines even contemplate chancing their arm at this sort of thing. Yes, it costs them more in the long run. But which is better? The bad press from a crash due fuel shortage, or the extra cost of fuel?

Answers on a postcard!
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Old 2nd Mar 2002, 22:48
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There but for the grace of God, go we. (Due to the pressure of Management.......)

. .Fill 'em up, lads!! Gauge error, anti-ice, more headwind expected, etc. There is no excuse for not carrying extra fuel, if you can get it onboard.
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Old 3rd Mar 2002, 12:32
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I do not know the facts,still waiting to hear them from Sniffer but there is absolutely no excuse to land a 400 with 2300 kg of fuel. This is asking for very very serious trouble.
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Old 3rd Mar 2002, 13:30
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Thumbs down

sniffer very rarely posts facts. Like his mate titan - let's just drop a couple of half truths in a futile attempt to throw mud on SQ.. ...............and these guys talk about the everlasting threads on '89!!. .. .Keep the faith:]
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Old 3rd Mar 2002, 16:53
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Halo. .. .&lt;&lt;What if the landing isn't assured?? There is no such thing as a guaranteed landing at Heathrow. . .What about factors beyond the pilots control?? If he'd come all the way down the approach and for whatever reason one of us had sent him around, then what?? &gt;&gt;. .. .Our "Ops Manual" uses the very words "A landing is "assured" if,....". Were you to "send the aircraft around", and no PAN had been made to this point, the aircraft may now have just the 30 mins holding fuel aboard (to tanks DRY). The next radio call will be Mayday, and the aircraft will have the fuel to fly a visual circuit / tight radar circuit (a go around will use 10-15 mins "holding fuel" in 2-3 mins if you get my drift). An extended radar circuit, diversion or further go-around is not an option.... .. .NoD
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Old 3rd Mar 2002, 18:45
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I fly into Heathrow relatively regularly. For those who don’t, two points may be of interest before you start hanging anyone out to dry:. .(1) The British CAA, (at the major London airports at least), do not recognise the term ‘fuel emergency’ – (ie, if you’re running short of fuel coming into LHR, you divert to your nominated alternate at or before you reach your min divert fuel – end of story. ATC are not interested in changing the approach sequence in what must be one of busiest terminal areas in the world unless it is for an aircraft with a genuine emergency. If that ‘genuine’ emergency is a shortage of fuel, you declare a Mayday, get the priority to land that this affords you, and you and your company can then explain to the British CAA the circumstances that led you into the emergency situation – [and take your licence with you, ’cos you might be required to leave it with the CAA when they’ve finished interviewing you].) . .(2) The term ‘no holding’ when approaching to land at Heathrow actually means ‘no more than 20 minutes of holding is expected’. (This not some airey fairy rule of thumb gained from local knowledge, but information clearly written in black and white in AIC 28/1993 (Pink 77) dated 4 March 93.). .. .With those two points in mind, and adding favourable weather conditions that allow the nomination of Heathrow’s second runway as an alternate, an aircraft can quite legally cross over threshold (note the emphasis) with as little as its Final Reserve fuel in the tanks, which for a jet is 30 minutes of fuel at 1500’ based upon the expected landing weight. In a 74-4, (I don’t fly them, and I’m sure someone will correct me if I’m too far wrong), I’d be guessing that that figure would be in the order of 5 to 6 tonnes.. .. .I think any action that is to be taken against the pilot concerned – that’s if he broke any rules, which has not been definitely established yet – is up to the CAA and Singapore Airlines management, and not us in this very public forum.
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Old 3rd Mar 2002, 19:42
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Is it possible that they were held on the ground for a long time after landing resulting in 2.3tons at chocks in?
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Old 3rd Mar 2002, 20:38
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MTOW. .. .&lt;&lt;ie, if you’re running short of fuel coming into LHR, you divert to your nominated alternate at or before you reach your min divert fuel – end of story&gt;&gt;. .Not so for us... Provided you meet the Ops Manual (approved by the CAA) criteria for the Captain to decide "Landing is 'assured'", then as you fly around the hold using fuel, you do not have to divert, but can "commit" to destination. By using the "Diversion Fuel" you can continue to hold for a longer period.. .. .When the Fuel gets to a state where you may now land with less than "Reserve" (30 mins holding), you make a PAN call. When you will land with less than Reserve, it becomes a Mayday.. .. .&lt;&lt;adding favourable weather conditions that allow the nomination of Heathrow’s second runway as an alternate&gt;&gt;. .2 corrections (for us).... .1. &lt;&lt;adding favourable weather conditions &gt;&gt;. .The example in the Ops Manual quotes CAT 2 conditions as being sufficient to "commit" to your destination airfield.... .2. &lt;&lt;nomination of Heathrow’s second runway &gt;&gt;. .Once "maximum delay known" or an EAT received, you can "commit" regardless of the number of runways i.e. to a single runway destination.. .. .That is what the Ops Manual permits. My experience is that not many Captains would "commit" to land (i.e. give away the option to divert) at a single runway destination in CAT2 conditions.... .. .NoD. . . . <small>[ 03 March 2002, 15:40: Message edited by: NigelOnDraft ]</small>
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Old 4th Mar 2002, 00:35
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The AIC mentioned by MTOW has been re-isssued.. .. .You can read the current one <a href="http://www.ais.org.uk/Uk_aip/pdf/aic/4P170.PDF" target="_blank">here</a>.. .. .WF.
 
Old 4th Mar 2002, 03:34
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Halo - for your info. I know of at least three major long haul carriers who, as a part of their fuel policy, allow the pilot to make decisions based on number of runways available, weather above certain minima at ETA, no anticipated delays on arrival in the TMA, (but including the 20 mins. at LHR), etc. etc. and if every box gets a tick then the aircraft will continue to destination, this decision will be taken at the point at which a diversion would otherwise be required in order to have sufficient fuel to reach the alternate, hold and land.. .Obviously some companies are juggling with the diversion to alternate and holding part of that fuel and an unexpected hold over twenty minutes will certainly put the cat amongst the pigeons.. .It comes down to decision making at the time and place in question.. . . . <small>[ 03 March 2002, 22:37: Message edited by: G.Khan ]</small>
 

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