Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Flight Deck Forums > Rumours & News
Reload this Page >

BA245 - Insufficient fuel to divert

Rumours & News Reporting Points that may affect our jobs or lives as professional pilots. Also, items that may be of interest to professional pilots.

BA245 - Insufficient fuel to divert

Old 4th Sep 2012, 20:25
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Florence, ITALY
Age: 40
Posts: 36
BA245 - Insufficient fuel to divert

A British Airways Boeing 777-200, registration G-YMMU performing flight BA-245 (dep Aug 30th) from London Heathrow,EN (UK) to Buenos Aires Ezeiza,BA (Argentina), was on approach to Buenos Aires at about 07:30L (10:30Z), but could not continue for a landing due to weather conditions being below minima and entered a hold at 5000 feet. After about 25 minutes in the hold the crew declared "Mayday, we have insufficient fuel to divert!" The aircraft landed safely on Ezeiza Airport's runway 11 at 08:07L (11:07Z) about 12 minutes later.
News: Fog in Buenos Aires on Aug 31st 2012, British Airways B772 has insufficient fuel to divert and other fuel emergencies

Another two flights also had fuel issues and made it down safely.
FLR-PSA is offline  
Old 4th Sep 2012, 22:02
  #2 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: UK
Posts: 415
This situation sounds significantly different. To be fair to Ryanair for a change, the Valencia emergencies were declared AFTER a significant amount of holding AND a diversion across half of Spain.
Perhaps the CAT 1 alternate was not CAT 1 as advertised and it wasn't worth diverting to.
Whatever the events leading up to this situation, you have to play the cards you have in your hand at the time. If getting on the ground means declaring a mayday and landing below minimums then so be it.
Job done. Everyone safe.
WHYEYEMAN is offline  
Old 5th Sep 2012, 02:24
  #3 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: In a far better place
Posts: 2,480
Air France and American Airlines too.

News: Fog in Buenos Aires on Aug 31st 2012, British Airways B772 has insufficient fuel to divert and other fuel emergencies
captjns is offline  
Old 5th Sep 2012, 05:09
  #4 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Dublin
Posts: 365
Presumably there's not a massive amount of scope for carrying extra fuel on LHR to EZE; it has to be fairly close to the maximum range of a B772, no...?
Noxegon is offline  
Old 5th Sep 2012, 06:01
  #5 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: The Winchester
Posts: 5,311
it has to be fairly close to the maximum range of a B772,
It's getting there but you've still usually got a little wriggle room, and there may be the option to trade payload for fuel if the bad weather is forecast and you know you may need the gas ( the only "close" in alternate for a 777 would be Montevideo - which shares EZE's weather. Failing that you're looking at alternates a significant distance away).

Whatever the alternate when making the fuel decision in London you're working on a forecast that will be well over 12 hours old by the time you get to EZE, and there's also the problem of the quality of the forecast.....and that's a problem not just confined to EZE.

Last edited by wiggy; 5th Sep 2012 at 06:06.
wiggy is offline  
Old 5th Sep 2012, 06:08
  #6 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Surrounding the localizer
Posts: 2,200
Wiggy, are the BA triples satcom enabled? is there any provision to get the latest metars enroute? or how about the flightwatch function back at mission control? just wondering....having been in similar circumstances I wonder if the crew were backed into a corner of sorts?
haughtney1 is offline  
Old 5th Sep 2012, 07:01
  #7 (permalink)  

DOVE
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Myself
Age: 72
Posts: 1,179
Noxegon
Presumably there's not a massive amount of scope for carrying extra fuel on LHR to EZE; it has to be fairly close to the maximum range of a B772, no...?
wiggy
Quote:
it has to be fairly close to the maximum range of a B772,
It's getting there but you've still usually got a little wriggle room, and there may be the option to trade payload for fuel if the bad weather is forecast and you know you may need the gas ( the only "close" in alternate for a 777 would be Montevideo - which shares EZE's weather. Failing that you're looking at alternates a significant distance away).

Whatever the alternate when making the fuel decision in London you're working on a forecast that will be well over 12 hours old by the time you get to EZE, and there's also the problem of the quality of the forecast.....and that's a problem not just confined to EZE.
Those are the reasons why flying from FCO to EZE with the MD11, many moons ago, when I saw that he burn off became more than expected (and we know that in certain seasons the headwind is very strong in those region) and/or the destination=alternate weather worsened next to the minima, I made more than once an intermediate stop at GIG to refuel.
DOVES is offline  
Old 5th Sep 2012, 07:10
  #8 (permalink)  
Per Ardua ad Astraeus
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 18,584
Before this thread runs to 100's of pages of speculation, we need more FACTS. The crew may well have said "MAYDAY we do not have enough fuel to divert" but it is certainly not in the BA book of words and I cannot see why it would have been said and thus I believe the reporting is (as always?) inaccurate.

MAYDAY is only required (as with Ryanair) when you EXPECT TO LAND with less than reserves and has nothing to do with diversion fuel. In this situation I guess a PAN would have been an option, or some other form of 'advice' to ATC that they were now 'committed' to the field.

As to why they APPEAR to have 'committed' to an airfield that did not APPEAR to meet the EUOPS rules for such we will have to wait and see.
BOAC is offline  
Old 5th Sep 2012, 07:13
  #9 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: In front of a computer
Posts: 1,814
Wiggy, are the BA triples satcom enabled? is there any provision to get the latest metars enroute?
Yes, crews routinely use ACARS to update the weather picture. What is being allluded to here (and at GRU) is that the info obtained often bears no relation to the "ground truth" when you arrive.
ETOPS is offline  
Old 5th Sep 2012, 10:25
  #10 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Europe
Posts: 625
FACTS

One FACT is that economical pressure increases, ammount of extra fuel carried decreases. Flight planning is more accurate the last decade.

FICTION is that environmental forcecasts are always predictable, they aren´t.

There are and will be day´s where my guts feeling tells me to take another zip out of the hose to have something at the other end. It paid off most of the time. In some cases to have the Supersavers going ahead as they where so short you can hear the tension in the voice on the radio, for what reason?

It takes balls and bones to sustain the Beancounters, we are sure not wasters in our profession. The guys who are next generation managers are not the same breed anymore. They jump ship tomorrow for a better candy..... Loyalty to themselves and nothing more.
B737NG is offline  
Old 5th Sep 2012, 11:48
  #11 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Surrey, UK ;
Age: 66
Posts: 876
A question.

If EZE was below minima for a BA 777 and they'd been going round the hold (presumably in the expectation of an improvement) for 25 minutes; what happened to allow them to land 12 minutes later ?

Was there an improvement ? what would have happened if the weather had got worse ?

Last edited by Dave Gittins; 5th Sep 2012 at 11:48.
Dave Gittins is offline  
Old 5th Sep 2012, 11:59
  #12 (permalink)  
Per Ardua ad Astraeus
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 18,584
Have you looked at the actuals on the link?
what would have happened if the weather had got worse
- well, what would you have done?
BOAC is offline  
Old 5th Sep 2012, 13:05
  #13 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Surrey, UK ;
Age: 66
Posts: 876
Yes ... the METAR immediately before they landed was 175FG .... and it was 1100FG a half hour after they landed. it seemed that 200FG had been the thing driving it below minima which is what my tiny PPL brain is pondering over.

Nobody else landed for another 20 mins which tells me that the improvement was pretty sudden about 11.20 Z and the it was still below or close to minima when the BA landed.

This is more confused because an AF was happy to land CATIII at about 10.30 Z but told it was below minima.

Why AA came in as an emergency at 11.49Z after things were starting to get back to normal isn't explained.

What would I have done ? suffered the same dilema of an approach ban, holding time getting shorter but a forecast for rapid improvement.

Last edited by Dave Gittins; 5th Sep 2012 at 13:06.
Dave Gittins is offline  
Old 5th Sep 2012, 13:10
  #14 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: The Home of the Gnomes
Posts: 358
In this situation I guess a PAN would have been an option...
I wouldn't bet the farm on anything other than "Mayday" working in that part of the world.
Tay Cough is offline  
Old 5th Sep 2012, 15:12
  #15 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: ME
Posts: 31
...And the sky opened all of a sudden for them.

Gentlemen,
Sorry to speak about the many unknowns, but let's admit the fact.

Emergency because low on fuel, so...."command A, B, C, D", and all you have to land, otherwise, say good bye.

Nothing else they could do, I guess. Once inside the trap, try the best you can.
What about the old re-dispatch practice? You guys think would work here in this scenario? Just asking.

Thanks.
KOLDO is online now  
Old 5th Sep 2012, 15:42
  #16 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: East Yorkshire
Posts: 454
I can not believe the BA guy, did not divert straight away, going round in circles just hoping the weather improves and then declaring he did not have enough fuel to divert, he should be arrested for endangering peoples lives, he had how long from London to Buenos Aires to have come up with a plan just in case this happens.

probably more interested in Lobster or Beef for dinner!

How many airports did he pass which were OK weather wise before reaching Buenos Aires?

2 things going to kill you cumulus granitas and fuel, how many stories recently have we heard.

Dont blame Commercial pressures, you sign the bloody tech log and fuel receipts, you have a duty of care for every passenger on board, that takes precedence over every thing, commercial not happy, you go fly the plane
Wellington Bomber is offline  
Old 5th Sep 2012, 16:21
  #17 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: world
Posts: 92
I agree with you Wellington. Why did they hang around for so long burning all
the fuel?
NordicMan is offline  
Old 5th Sep 2012, 16:35
  #18 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Aberdeen
Posts: 160
I can not believe the BA guy, did not divert straight away..........
Looking at the TAFs/METARs for Montevideo in the same period, I see that it had very similar weather (as would be expected), but both airports had actuals that deteriorated to significantly worse than their quite acceptable forecasts (as far as I can see). I do not know if Montevideo was his alternate - I do not know all the details of the case, as I suspect you also do not - but I would not be so quick to judge without full knowledge of all the facts. - Maybe he did not divert because his (originally fully acceptable) alternate had also deteriorated below minimums........

Last edited by farsouth; 5th Sep 2012 at 16:37.
farsouth is offline  
Old 5th Sep 2012, 17:33
  #19 (permalink)  
e28 driver
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: UK
Age: 50
Posts: 209
I see the skygods have arrived to condemn the crew and tell us how they would never have allowed it to happen. Guess it's easy to do that when you're retired - or fly a computer.
TDK mk2 is offline  
Old 5th Sep 2012, 17:51
  #20 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: world
Posts: 92
I did not mean to condemn the crew and don't have the facts either. Would be
interesting to see what the wx was at the alternate.
NordicMan is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.