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Delta 747-400 takes a beating over China

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Delta 747-400 takes a beating over China

Old 29th Jun 2015, 04:36
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Delta 747-400 takes a beating over China

Delta 159 Detroit - Seoul, operated by N664US a B747-451 was initially unable to get clearance to deviate off track while over China (as usual), and ended up flying right through some major storm cells.

It is rumored that the aircraft will be written off, as Delta decided to re-activate N671US which has been sitting at Mojave in long term storage (along with two other Delta -451s). Cheaper to re-activate one of the three frames that were put into storage as they were approaching heavy maintenance.

Aircraft is still AOG at RKSI and Delta is working on a one time ferry permit with Boeing for a one-time ferry straight to Mojave. Rumored to be extensive to leading edges and wings in addition to what is visible in the pictures.

The norm in China is requests to deviate around weather denied, along with having to cruise 10,000 feet below optimum altitude due to airspace restrictions (use by the military).





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Old 29th Jun 2015, 06:43
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Bloody ridiculous. "Mayday Mayday - Delta 123 deviating 20 miles right of track due weather. Will call back on track". China has to get with the programme especially considering some of the appalling weather they have. The Captain of this flight shoul have been a lot more proactive and, yes I have insisted on deviating due weather and filing an ASR afterwards ( cover your a*se) - admittedly we didn't call Mayday but that was next.
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Old 29th Jun 2015, 07:17
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Originally Posted by B-HKD View Post
Delta 159 Detroit - Seoul, operated by N664US a B747-451 was initially unable to get clearance to deviate off track while over China (as usual), and ended up flying right through some major storm cells.
Just wondering what part of China it would have been flying over?

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Old 29th Jun 2015, 07:22
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Ultimate responsibility for safety of a/c and passengers lies with the Captain!! ATC WORK FOR YOU!.
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Old 29th Jun 2015, 07:37
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But fly off track and your in military airspace, in a communist countries with fast jets and dubious command and control, that also has to be taken into account when deciding to go your own way... Just saying
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Old 29th Jun 2015, 07:44
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ATC WORK FOR YOU
Yes absolutely, but ATC has to follow regulations too, if the military declares an airspace prohibited or restricted ( for instance due military excersice or else) do not expect any a controller to you give you a clearance to deviate in there. In some countries ( e.g China,or North and South Korea ) this is extreme and can be on both sides of the track/airway..
Of course when you are PIC you can always decide and take your chances.

But think this scenario: a US registered aircraft penetrating a North Korean military airspace to deviate from a CB against ATC instructions ? I think I would rather take the CB or make a 180.
But OK , we do not know (yet) the real situation in this case ,
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Old 29th Jun 2015, 07:55
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Just wondering what part of China it would have been flying over?
According to FlightAware, DL 159 on June 15 had the following polar routing:

LAYNE BNNET SSM 5000N 08500W 5500N 08700W AVOKU 6500N 09500W 7000N 10000W 7400N 11000W 7700N 12000W COALL NIKIN G226 TAKUN G226 RUTIN G226 RUNON G226 UTS B148 ROLBI B148 ODANA G494 OGTIN G494 SOVIK G494 BANIR G494 BLG G494 SIMLI A588 HEK A588 CHI W107 SANKO A326 DONVO G597 AGAVO Y644 REBIT
https://flightaware.com/live/flight/...942Z/KDTW/RKSI

The part from SIMLI to AGAVO is over China in the Shenyang and Shanghai FIR's.
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Old 29th Jun 2015, 08:44
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Originally Posted by ROSCO328 View Post
Ultimate responsibility for safety of a/c and passengers lies with the Captain!! ATC WORK FOR YOU!.
Exactly.
Easa rules state clearly that the PiC can deviate from a clearance for safety reasons.
I presume Chinese rules are different.
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Old 29th Jun 2015, 09:01
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How comforting to be able to quote the applicable EASA rule when a SAM hits your ass....
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Old 29th Jun 2015, 09:09
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Having flown the 747 in china for 7years the Mayday Mayday Mayday call is all that is required, anything less will be meet with silence.
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Old 29th Jun 2015, 09:37
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I went for a crew rest one time over China. About 30 minutes later we were into thunderstorms for about 10 minutes and ended up with six lighting strike locations and a severe turbulence check. The pilots said that they could not get a deviation around weather, But why not just enter a hold somewhere short of the thunderstorms(such as present position) and then decide the next course of action. No military airspace violated.
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Old 29th Jun 2015, 10:12
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Request a deviation as early as possible...left or right,if both sides not allowed,inform you will have to reverse your track...that works,while never had to actually do such manoeuvre.
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Old 29th Jun 2015, 10:45
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With all due respect and caveats to those who were operating the flight:

I fly over and through Chinese Airspace ALL the time, well a great many times!

And yes there can be problems with getting wx avoidance clearances. To wit I have employed a rather different approach to gaining the required track.

1. Call as early as possible. "XXX requires yy NM L/R of track due weather, safety of flight"

To be fair this produces the required result and off we go.

However, if
"xxx negative remain 3 miles rht of track"

Apply method 2) XXX unable to proceed along cleared track due safety of flight,we are commencing a right hand orbit this position. Standing by for further clearance.

I have applied this method only once and the effect was immediate and wx deviation was immediately granted.

The difference between "I request" and "I require" is the same as "I would like" and "I need".

I would need a Chinese speaker to tell me if the translations are significant.

Bottom line, if it IS THAT bad don't fly through it! Orbit!
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Old 29th Jun 2015, 10:49
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was initially unable to get clearance to deviate off track
Recollect westbound, HK>?? somewhere about Nanning at night and told ATC diverting left (because, on wx radar, that looked the better option - it wasn't great and we had to keep diverting left).
The Chinese ATCO was getting more and more agitated demanding that we turn back which I did not consider an option because we'd then definitely have gone into a Cb. As we, ahem, brushed Viet airspace, the poor guy was almost apoplectic.
When we could turn right I thanked him profusely and apologised for the inconvenience. I heard no more of the incident so guess that he, like me had decided least said soonest mended.
Being in a HK reg aircraft probably helped a bit
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Old 29th Jun 2015, 12:07
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I know China is particularly bad at this, but it's hardly unique to them. It's your call but militaries tend to be tight lipped on exactly what they're doing in there, if they're training with SAMs or AAMs well.....

They might only be using primary radar too, so 7700 would do FA for you.
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Old 29th Jun 2015, 12:33
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Remember training Chinese Tower controllers to be radar controllers en behalf of Lufthansa(track shortening deal I think) at the DFS school nearly 20 years ago and the LH Captain who gave a presentation on the day focused on one main topic - that of weather avoidance and the need for off track approval when requested. Not sure that the message got through though! Looking back, whilst trigonometry was a student strong point, flexibility was not!

BD

Last edited by BurglarsDog; 29th Jun 2015 at 12:34. Reason: spellin
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Old 29th Jun 2015, 12:44
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What a weak Commander. Unable to get clearance he decided to endanger the safety of his aircraft and endanger the safety of it's contents. I thought that we were charged with avoiding that very scenario. And this Bloke winds up writing off his aircraft !
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Old 29th Jun 2015, 13:15
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what a weak commander

They landed safely, no one was harmed. So, let's turn this into a willy waving contest about who is "strongest". You weren't there, but as the stronger guy, can I assume you would fly into a missile test range without clearance? Blame the "weak commander" for all the holes in the cheese that lead to a damaged airframe...end of discussion, move on, and hope that "there but for the grace of God" applies to you too.
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Old 29th Jun 2015, 13:51
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Again after-the-fact hindsight is so very clear.

Of course safety comes first when requesting deviations, but if the info available at the time of the ATC call is does not indicate a known risk as defined by training, then blame should not be part of this.

What does ATC or Delta have to say about this?
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Old 29th Jun 2015, 14:33
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I would not think any Delta 747 captain would be "weak" , I guess it's the last promotion - the last plane to command after a long career allready.

Quite interesting to see what the plane and its wings can take , must have been a hell of a ride after the wx radar went inop after the first hits ...
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