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20+ hours delay on QF flagship flight

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20+ hours delay on QF flagship flight

Old 31st Oct 2022, 09:32
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It's by no means unknown, and has been for decades, that where the longest-haul flights of the era get a delay, particularly at the remote spoke end of their network, you get a 24-hour delay. I certainly recall LHR-LAX in the 1970s, where a fuellers sudden strike at Heathrow meant after just a couple of hours that the crew were no longer in hours, and it was held over to the next day. Such is life on long haul, as those who have long experience of it know only too well. It's one of those costs of (normally) being able to shoot from one end of the world to the other.

Credit to Qantas for running both aircraft the following day, and not just rebooking everyone squashed in to other flights and carriers, which many others will do.
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Old 31st Oct 2022, 13:42
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I had c.24hr delay with Air Canada out of MAN quite a few years ago. Aircraft pushed back and a problem materialised, so back to the gate. Engineers spent a couple of hours looking at it, and thought they'd fixed it. Pushed back a second time, the problem reoccurred. They spent another hour looking at it before calling it a day. Everyone back to a hotel, and we eventually got away the following morning.
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Old 31st Oct 2022, 15:44
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Originally Posted by Pinkman
if you are going to have a 17 hour ULH flight that turns into a 37 hour journey (40 hours + door to door) you’re going to have to get sharper with contingency planning; and from the replies it looks like spares inventory and crewing need to be looked at too. It’s been interesting- thanks everyone.
To reiterate the point megan made: how much are you prepared to pay for this increased inventory and crewing?

Providing dedicated standby crews at outstations, by perhaps increasing slip durations beyond the required minimum so you have more than minimum crew on site, will cause the bean counters will have apoplexy (due increased the increased fleet pilot and cabin crew establishment you'll need to cover it, plus hotel costs, plus allowances, plus plus etc...). They'll look at cost v benefit and say "no thanks, we'll accept the odd delay".

As others have said there's nothing really extra extra special about the QF ULH LHR-PER flight that hasn't applied to many a Long Haul sector over the years...there's no magic solution if things or people go T U, and regardless of contingency plans, be they sharp or blunt, you sometimes can't avoid substantial delays.
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Old 31st Oct 2022, 17:02
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Originally Posted by Hartington
It's all very well suggesting ULH should not operate from somewhere like Perth but even when Sydney/London starts Sydeney might well be the Qantas home base but Heathrow is an outstation. The likelihood is that any ULH will use an outstation.
​​​​​​
LHR might very well be an outstation for Qantas but the availability of parts and engineering services dwarfs Perth. There is no comparison.
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Old 2nd Nov 2022, 09:25
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I was on that flight with my wife so let me inform you that after a 20 hour delay QF 10 did not take off at 8:30 but 9:40 so a further over hour delay making another hour in the aircraft. Yes we were business class. I personally found the cabin crew very friendly and helpful during the 17 hour flight

My wife had discussions with the cabin crew who told her the initial problem was a major fault in the air conditioning but that then blew the pilot rostering, resulting in a substantial delay getting the four pilots necessary for the flight.

Now in Oz many people tell me that Qantas suffers many long delays and cancellations.


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Old 2nd Nov 2022, 15:36
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Waiting for a flight to Africa once at. Paris CDG.
Capt and co-pilot emerge from the jetway screaming at one another and exit the lounge.
Cabin attendants show up next.
Aircraft ( B 747 named Big Boss ) is towed away.
Turned out there had been a fist fight in the cockpit.
Off to a very nice hotel. ( luckily we were sitting with the country’s ambassador to the UN and he wanted us to go to to the same hotel as himself.)
After a very pleasant evening we departed the next afternoon with an Air France crew.
Just as an aside it was also the day that Sodamn Insane invaded Kuwait.


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Old 5th Nov 2022, 21:34
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Perth is not a little GA FBO. There are plenty of wide bodies fly into it not just C150's, which a lot of you have us believe. QF flies a mixture of wide and narrow bodies from SYD and MEL and same to south east asia. I have flown both 737 and 747 SYD-PER depending on time of day. So I would imagine PER has a large inventory of spares. It's ridiculous to think that every spare needs to be flown from Seattle every time a boeing goes tech. The spares are made in factories all around the world and even so there will be spares locally at most large airports.

Last edited by Senior Pilot; 6th Nov 2022 at 23:58. Reason: Gratuitous insult removed
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Old 5th Nov 2022, 23:04
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Originally Posted by MichaelOLearyGenius
Perth is not a little GA FBO. There are plenty of wide bodies fly into it not just C150's, which a lot of you have us believe. QF flies a mixture of wide and narrow bodies from SYD and MEL and same to south east asia. I have flown both 737 and 747 SYD-PER depending on time of day. So I would imagine PER has a large inventory of spares. It's ridiculous to think that every spare needs to be flown from Seattle every time a boeing goes tech. The spares are made in factories all around the world and even so there will be spares locally at most large airports.
A Qatar B777 went tech in PER last week. It was mentioned on social media that it was due to a cracked windscreen, and the replacement part arrived on the next days scheduled service. So, it needs to be understood that a spare pool of parts wont always save the day. An alternative would be to have a spare Aircraft at each port. That's not going to happen.

Last edited by Senior Pilot; 6th Nov 2022 at 23:58. Reason: Quote edited
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Old 6th Nov 2022, 00:58
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Originally Posted by 717tech
A Qatar B777 went tech in PER last week. It was mentioned on social media that it was due to a cracked windscreen, and the replacement part arrived on the next days scheduled service. So, it needs to be understood that a spare pool of parts wont always save the day. An alternative would be to have a spare Aircraft at each port. That's not going to happen.
A windscreen change is hardly a common occurrence that you would keep a spare in a line station. For one thing, you probably need to put the aircraft into a hangar for 12 hours for the sealant to come up.
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Old 6th Nov 2022, 06:32
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Originally Posted by MichaelOLearyGenius
The spares are made in factories all around the world and even so there will be spares locally at most large airports.
In your dreams.

Last edited by Senior Pilot; 6th Nov 2022 at 23:58. Reason: Quote edited
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Old 6th Nov 2022, 06:42
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Originally Posted by MichaelOLearyGenius
It's ridiculous to think that every spare needs to be flown from Seattle every time a boeing goes tech. The spares are made in factories all around the world and even so there will be spares locally at most large airports.
As DaveReid UK says, "in your dreams"....

Personally, twice upon a time ....

24 hour delay eastern seaboard of the US getting a small spare bit (Flight Deck display component) for a Boeing.....another time 48 hour plus delay on the west Coast (SFO to be exact) waiting for a spare for a fuel system component, again for a Boeing....
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Old 6th Nov 2022, 19:06
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Even if you keep an extensive spares inventory at outstation, great chance it will not save the day for ULH. Troubleshooting the problem, getting the spare (which could be 30 min drive airside one way in large airports), replacement, testing, paperwork - and the crew is out of duty. The way to go almost bulletproof is to keep a hot standby aircraft for departure but if I am not mistaken only BA (and possibly AF) did it in JFK for Concord operation. It is simply way too expensive for the normal business.
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Old 6th Nov 2022, 21:09
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Originally Posted by CargoOne
Even if you keep an extensive spares inventory at outstation, great chance it will not save the day for ULH. Troubleshooting the problem, getting the spare (which could be 30 min drive airside one way in large airports), replacement, testing, paperwork - and the crew is out of duty.
If I am not mistaken a windscreen is unlikely to crack on the ground, but would give trouble on the previous sector, likewise many other items. Reported directly, hopefully the engineer and likely parts will be awaiting the inbound arrival on stand.
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Old 6th Nov 2022, 21:24
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Originally Posted by WHBM
If I am not mistaken a windscreen is unlikely to crack on the ground, but would give trouble on the previous sector, likewise many other items. Reported directly, hopefully the engineer and likely parts will be awaiting the inbound arrival on stand.
The windscreen has a sealant curing time when replaced. Also when the outside temperatures are low and/or drizzle/rain/snow it has to be done in a hangar. I vividly remember a 5 hours waiting to get a clearance to cross the active runway in order to tow the aircraft to a hangar the other side of runway at one congested EU airport…
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Old 11th Nov 2022, 12:19
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Originally Posted by wiggy
To reiterate the point megan made: how much are you prepared to pay for this increased inventory and crewing?

Providing dedicated standby crews at outstations, by perhaps increasing slip durations beyond the required minimum so you have more than minimum crew on site, will cause the bean counters will have apoplexy (due increased the increased fleet pilot and cabin crew establishment you'll need to cover it, plus hotel costs, plus allowances, plus plus etc...). They'll look at cost v benefit and say "no thanks, we'll accept the odd delay".

As others have said there's nothing really extra extra special about the QF ULH LHR-PER flight that hasn't applied to many a Long Haul sector over the years...there's no magic solution if things or people go T U, and regardless of contingency plans, be they sharp or blunt, you sometimes can't avoid substantial delays.
They will have PER based crews, not rocket science. I live in GLA Scotland and a friend of mine is QF cabin crew based at LHR. I’m sure there was a ton of staff at PER to their disposal. Bean counters can relax.
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Old 11th Nov 2022, 14:56
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Originally Posted by MichaelOLearyGenius
They will have PER based crews, not rocket science. I live in GLA Scotland and a friend of mine is QF cabin crew based at LHR. I’m sure there was a ton of staff at PER to their disposal. Bean counters can relax.
Thanks again for your helpful insight into how airlines operate.
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Old 11th Nov 2022, 17:41
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Originally Posted by DaveReidUK
Thanks again for your helpful insight into how airlines operate.
You said the delayed and scheduled flight would NOT,NOT,NOT run on the same day. Guess what, THEY DID, three hours apart!!! Like to see your insights are more accurate than mine,
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Old 12th Nov 2022, 03:43
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Originally Posted by wiggy

24 hour delay eastern seaboard of the US getting a small spare bit (Flight Deck display component) for a Boeing.....another time 48 hour plus delay on the west Coast (SFO to be exact) waiting for a spare for a fuel system component, again for a Boeing....
We often don't get the full details on this sort of thing. Sure, the spare may be on a shelf in the stores within sight, but are we waiting for an authorisation from HQ ? Does the cost of it require more than one authorisation there ? Have we maxed out our credit limit ? Do any funds have to be wired through ? Has the bill from two months ago still not been paid yet ?
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