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4 Ryanair aircraft declare fuel emergency at same time

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4 Ryanair aircraft declare fuel emergency at same time

Old 27th Jul 2012, 11:18
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4 Ryanair aircraft declare fuel emergency at same time

4 Ryanair aircraft had to declare a fuel emergency last night at VLC on diversion from a thunderstorm struck MAD.
This is a proof that Minimum fuel policies are a safety risk that no PIC should accept. period.
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Old 27th Jul 2012, 11:31
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If the TS were forecast at MAD then the Captains concerned most probably did not uplift enough fuel. Not the company's fault! Minimum fuel has and always will be the Captain's decision (USA excluded, of course).
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Old 27th Jul 2012, 11:35
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Was the thunderstorm forecast? Did other aircraft divert or just Ryanair? Did they land safely?
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Old 27th Jul 2012, 11:49
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For the sake of completeness, it wasn't only Ryanair guys declaring fuel emergencies...
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Old 27th Jul 2012, 11:52
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1) MAD is a large airport with multiple arrivals. What did everyone else do?
Can you place an expected delay with such a weather phenomenon? Were there cases of some traffic arriving and departing prior to the Ryanair's approach time?

2) Under EU Ops for transient conditions such as TEMPO TS etc is there a requirement to take account for planning purposes? What was the TAF for LEMD yesterday?

3) So if you do take extra fuel, how much? Add the Madrid equation plus the weather then the traffic and that's anyone's guess?

4) Ryanair pilots would not be criticised for taking extra fuel to MAD in the event of such weather. Equally I doubt they would be criticised for not, considering IF the weather was localised and forecasted (if it was?) as a PROB30 or PROB40. However I would say that the vast majority, if not all, would

5) The Mayday follows regulatory requirements in the event that you will land with less than your final reserve. Again no criticism.

6) I'm doubting VLC was the first alternate on the OFP and I can't account for the reasons why the crews decided to divert here? There must have been a good one!

7) Ryanair crews don't fly around on fumes and I'm expecting yesterday to not have been something as straight forward as just that.

I reckon this is another case of smearing Ryanair pilots as cowboys. If it is, kindly do one.

Last edited by Callsign Kilo; 27th Jul 2012 at 11:58.
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Old 27th Jul 2012, 12:10
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Our company rather has us taking min fuel on regular basis as the cost saving far outweighs the odd diversion These guys took the gamble saw the Wx and diverted don't see the big issue here?
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Old 27th Jul 2012, 12:34
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Minimum fuel still has a safety margin build in, so no safety risk. It is up to the captain to take more. LVP's, bad weather, Olympic delays...etc. are good reasons. I take more fuel when needed, but quite often take flight plan fuel if I don't foresee any major delays. If you have landing assured at your destination you could use all your alternate fuel for holding, gives you quite often an extra 20-25 mins.

If flight plan fuel would be 'unsafe' the authorities wouldn't allow it.
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Old 27th Jul 2012, 12:50
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They might have taken extra fuel, but knowing MAD/ATCO they probably did not facilitate their arrival and maybe could have been overwhelmed? I would imaginge that VLC is an alternate as, maybe VLL or even ZAG. But, who knows, I was not there and am sure the lads from FR are more than capable. That 4 A/C found themselves in this situation is, because 4 A/C FR where flying into MAD that day and unfornuately found themselves with the WX not collaborating. The metar had 30-40 prob. which, would indicate that they did/should/could have taken that extra fuel. That these flights ended up in an emercency overhead their alternate is due to a sequence of factors. Once again, I am sure the SAIR´s/captains report and the subsequent investigation will reveal what actualy happened.
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Old 27th Jul 2012, 12:58
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It is also always worth remembering that if you KNOW several (company) aircraft will be arriving at a dodgy destination together, extra fuel is a good idea.
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Old 27th Jul 2012, 13:35
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No such thing as an assured landing - had heathrow close with both runways blocked - two in incidents within half an hour....daytime in good weather.
Burning alternate fuel at your destination always seemed a foolish gamble.
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Old 27th Jul 2012, 14:01
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I agree there is no such thing as an assured landing...

But what is wrong with burning your alternate fuel @ your destination, if the weather is fine and its not mega busy?

If you divert to your alternate you will get there with less fuel and whats to stop that runway getting blocked?????

At least if you stay @ your destination you have more fuel to play around with if anything happens
Thats just my opinion anyway...
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Old 27th Jul 2012, 14:22
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Blind pew,

What if someone used Heathrow as an alternate on your day. Would he be classed as foolish? As spamcandriver puts it, what if someone would block the runway at your alternate, just when you are diverting to it.

You never have a definite landing assured. But if you have been given an ETA and weather conditions are good than I don't see any objection of burning your alternate fuel at your destination.
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Old 27th Jul 2012, 15:04
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Spamcandriver


At last a man who see's sense. These guys who think using div fuel(commit to stay) can't see the tree's for the woods. The amount of guys I have spoke to about this just don't get it. Better to be at a field with 2 runways than a diversion field with min fuel.

They only think of the part A and protecting their licenses(what from I don't know).

Bring back decision making, I think
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Old 27th Jul 2012, 15:17
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What have 'assured landings' and burning fuel at dest got to do with this thread?
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Old 27th Jul 2012, 15:19
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No such thing as an assured landing - had heathrow close with both runways blocked - two in incidents within half an hour....daytime in good weather. Burning alternate fuel at your destination always seemed a foolish gamble.
You're piling one inference atop another for planing purposes. Are you scared?

"In daytime in good weather" as you say. . . during your emergency, (declaring MAYDAY), how much fuel would you need to fly 23 nautical miles for a straight-in visual to LGW or LTN...?
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Old 27th Jul 2012, 16:37
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100% agree Tillingdale, certain base captains wish to create their own version of part A. Using the words 'safety' 'legally obliged as the aircraft commander' or God forbid 'airmanship' will leave them with no confusion. I know what part A says Mr bc, do you? There seems to a widely different set of opinions depending on the base in question. I wouldn't tar them all with the same brush.

binzer

it's all very well burning into your reserve in order to commit to a nice destination with a few big runways and nice approach aids, however in the case of MAD with a fecking great big TS overhead, traffic arriving from all points of the compass, over 50% of the r/t in Spanish and possibly some of the worst controlling in Europe then everything points to plan B. I believe the first and second alternates for MAD (as per FR ops) are Valladolid and Zaragoza.

Last edited by Callsign Kilo; 27th Jul 2012 at 16:39.
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Old 27th Jul 2012, 16:50
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I was speaking to friends on one of the diverted flights ,one is a Twotter pilot and the other a glider..WX was apparrently pretty rotten ,, felt like him to windshear and all sorts on short final before go around ( I dropped in today to see if any incident had been reported based on his account of how hairy the approach got ) . They held for about 30 minutes and legged it for Valencia eventually. Know its beside the point in terms of fuel and whatever but thought i would post.
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Old 27th Jul 2012, 18:24
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But what is wrong with burning your alternate fuel @ your destination, if the weather is fine and its not mega busy?
Err...how about it being illegal and you might go to jail?
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Old 27th Jul 2012, 18:42
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Callsign just for info VLC IS the first alternate from Madrid after 2000z each day. Prior to this time it is VLD.
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Old 27th Jul 2012, 20:10
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I was there.
The weather was bad, the controllers wern't of any help, BUT it was so pedictable.
You need 15-20 min extra anyhow at that time and with the forecast it was clear you needed another 45min for weather.
I was amazed when I heard (amongst others) a KLM arriving on the approach frequency with 5 (yes 5 min) of extra fuel... Do you continue to your destination with 5 min extra when the ATIS says "heavy TS overhead, airport closed"???
People started diverting to ALC and VLC. After a while VLC was not available anymore because it was saturated. People had to divert as far as BCN.
When the airport reopened there was a nice tailwind causing some go arounds, so they changed runways.
We held for 1 hour and landed.

Last edited by sarah737; 27th Jul 2012 at 20:12.
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