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AF Flight To Beirut Diverted To Damascus  
User currently offlineManuCH From Switzerland, joined Jun 2005, 3007 posts, RR: 48
Posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 9 hours ago) and read 9889 times:
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An Air France flight from Paris to Beirut had to be diverted because of security issues in Lebanon. Apparently there were riots on the road connecting the airport to downtown Beirut. It did a fuel stop in Damascus, Syria, then continued to Larnaca, Cyprus.

Quote:

The Airbus A330 plane first landed at Damascus airport to refuel and then went on to Larnaca in Cyprus. It will return to Paris Thursday afternoon, the airline said.


Source: http://www.foxbusiness.com/news/2012...-jet-to-beirut-diverted-to-cyprus/

I find it a bit ironic that, of all places, it did the fuel stop in DAM before continuing to LCA.

I'm sure AF did their homework, but how safe can DAM be considered nowadays? Are scheduled flights going in and out of Damascus regularly at the moment?

[Edited 2012-08-16 01:08:46]

[Edited 2012-08-16 04:08:44]


Never trust a statistic you didn't fake yourself
35 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineht From Germany, joined May 2005, 6525 posts, RR: 25
Reply 1, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 6 hours ago) and read 9869 times:

The difference is distance between BEY-DAM and BEY-LCA is only roughly 60 mi ( 66 mi to DAM vs. 129 mi to LCA).
Indeed a bit strange that the a/c first flew to DAM first and not directly to LCA.
OTOH it is not known where exactly the a/c was flying holding patterns off BEY, so DAM might have been even closer.
Any flightradar24-coverage ? (Can't look into it at work).

When I was on a stopover at BEY (the airport) a year and a half ago also riots erupted somewhere downtown (but not near the airport) and people in the know were happy that they were onboard our flight to LCA that night.
Still I would not hesitate to visit the city.
-HT



Carpe diem ! Life is too short to waste your time ! Keep in mind, that today is the first day of the rest of your life !
User currently offlineblueflyer From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 3709 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 2 hours ago) and read 9836 times:
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Quoting ManuCH (Thread starter):
I find it a bit ironic that, of all places, it did the fuel stop in DAM before continuing to LCA.

All the more ironic since the protests (not riots, but in Lebanon, one can quickly lead to another) were over the situation in Syria...



I've got $h*t to do
User currently offlinePHX787 From Japan, joined Mar 2012, 6944 posts, RR: 18
Reply 3, posted (1 year 8 months 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 9821 times:

Quoting ManuCH (Thread starter):
I find it a bit ironic that, of all places, it did the fuel stop in DAM before continuing to LCA.

Yeah it is a bit ronic. Security issue in Lebanon...Oh, let's go to Syria where there's a civil war   

Surprised that DAM is still operating anyway.



One of the FB admins for PHX Spotters. "Zach the Expat!"
User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 26506 posts, RR: 58
Reply 4, posted (1 year 8 months 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 9800 times:

You would be surprised but having been to BEY a good few times myself and spending time there with the locals the security situation can change in under an hour . Once Hezbollah walked into the Airport and took over the Terminal and the army and security could do nothing about it .

Gulf States are pulling their citizens out of Lebanon at the moment and the country is braced for the spill over from Syria . Ironically DAM was and probably is still well protected by the current regime so still safer than BEY if civil unrest it going on . For those unaware of the location of BEY its surrounded by neighborhoods that can best be described as housing some very dangerous people .

Such a shame really . It holds the whole country back , Lebanon always seems to be a battle ground for everything including their neighbours disputes.



AEGEAN-OLYMPIC AIR - ΟΛΥΜΠΙΑΚΗ " μέλος στη Star Alliance
User currently offlineRoseflyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9378 posts, RR: 52
Reply 5, posted (1 year 8 months 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 9746 times:

How much of a fuel crisis did they have to choose Damascus over Larnaca? I wonder if it was a fuel crisis or poor planning on where to divert. With the political conflict in Syria, I don’t believe there is any service between the EU and Syria. Fortunately politics didn’t stop AF from getting fuel there.


If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
User currently offlineBasilFawlty From Netherlands, joined Jun 2009, 1301 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (1 year 8 months 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 9736 times:

I find it very hard to believe that the only option was DAM, instead of diverting to LCA, AMM or TLV.


'Every year donkeys and mules kill more people than plane crashes'
User currently offlineusdcaguy From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 871 posts, RR: 2
Reply 7, posted (1 year 8 months 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 9565 times:

Perhaps it was a language issue? The Syrians often speak excellent French, much better than all but a select handful of Cypriots. I'm just half joking, but it does make you wonder...

User currently offlineAesma From France, joined Nov 2009, 6109 posts, RR: 9
Reply 8, posted (1 year 8 months 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 9507 times:

On the evening news they said that passengers were asked for money but that in the end it wasn't needed.

About the diversion they said they flew to AMM but the fuel situation made them change to DAM



New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
User currently offlineOD720 From Lebanon, joined Feb 2003, 1924 posts, RR: 33
Reply 9, posted (1 year 8 months 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 9354 times:

It's strange that the plane was diverted in the first place.

Protestors had blocked the road leading to the airport and not the runways of the airport so it could have landed and waited. Unless they had worries about the delays of the outbound flight.


User currently onlinePihero From France, joined Jan 2005, 4161 posts, RR: 76
Reply 10, posted (1 year 8 months 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 9185 times:
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Quoting francoflier (Reply 3):
This whole affair is either completely laughable or pathetic, possibly both..
.

Viewed from a totally uninformed point of view, it could look that way

Quoting francoflier (Reply 3):
Deciding to Gallically ignore the irony of diverting a plane from an airport subject to 'minor' disturbances to one dead in the middle of a country in the midst of a full blown civil war, one with which diplomatic tensions are stretching sympathies thin, they further add insult by not even bothering to check whether appropriate ground servicing would be available when they get there?



Have you ever been in a situation of forced diversion ? The answer must be "'no", otherwise you wouldn't be commenting in this way.

You certtainly do not have the first gen on the local situation :
1/- The aircraft was fueled normally, with AMM / LCA as alternate.
2/- Hold over BEY ,waiting for the riots to fade off or to move somewhere else.
3/- As disturbance goes on, decision is taken to divert
4/- Negociations with Israeli authorities who refuse the transit over their airspace ( as they do quite often for flights not scheduled for said transit (to Amman ), and the transit necessitates a southeren route, basically over the sea from Tel Aviv before turning east to TLV - AMM.
5/- Fuel situation getting worse ; No response from TLV : decision to divert to DAM.
Why ?
- The country may be in the middle of a civil war, butt the airport area certainly wasn't dangerous at all, controlled as it is by the army.
- The ICAO different conventions, of which Syria is a signatory state stiupulate a total cooperation with the aircraft commander, should he/she require any sort of assistance (in this case, the Syrian authorities were a bit more respectful of the convention than the Israeli were )
- Larnaca was, as the main diversion for the Middle East destinations, saturated.




Quoting SOBHI51 (Reply 12):
The plane should have enough fuel to hold for a while near the destination ie BEY then enough fuel to divert to a nearby airport Larnaca is the nearest one to come in mind. To fly to DAM you need a special authorization then you need to fly North near Latakkia , East to near Iraqi border, South to the Jordanian border then North again to DAM, how the AF pilot could do all that and not fly direct to Larnaca is beyond me.


NO ! To go to DAM from France, it's Latakieh, the airway and direct DAM. From BEY, you could fly direct.

Now, the passengers paying for the fuel ! That is a situation that comes every now and then : Comes to mind the evacuation of foreign nationals from Iran in 1979 The Iranians decided not to recognise the fuel credit cards we were cxarrying. Quite regularly, some African states decide on asking for cash, situation that is generally solved by the local station manager... but not always... BTW, we do not carry "normal" credit cards, but blanket payment cards for the major fueling companies.



Contrail designer
User currently offlineht From Germany, joined May 2005, 6525 posts, RR: 25
Reply 11, posted (1 year 8 months 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 9102 times:

Quoting Pihero (Reply 10):
Quoting francoflier (Reply 3):

Are these quotes and the others in Pihero's reply coming from a different thread about the same flight ?

Quoting Pihero (Reply 10):
- Larnaca was, as the main diversion for the Middle East destinations, saturated.

Good point.
-HT



Carpe diem ! Life is too short to waste your time ! Keep in mind, that today is the first day of the rest of your life !
User currently offlineManuCH From Switzerland, joined Jun 2005, 3007 posts, RR: 48
Reply 12, posted (1 year 8 months 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 8984 times:
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Quoting ht (Reply 11):
Are these quotes and the others in Pihero's reply coming from a different thread about the same flight ?

Yes, they are coming from this thread, now locked and redirected here:

Air France Passengers Asked For Cash To Fuel Plane (by frenchpilot Aug 16 2012 in Civil Aviation)



Never trust a statistic you didn't fake yourself
User currently offlinelightsaber From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12421 posts, RR: 100
Reply 13, posted (1 year 8 months 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 8655 times:
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From the other locked thread, DocLightning:
"One tank of fuel for an aircraft, $25,000
Landing fees for an airport, $2,500
Landing in the middle of a civil war, Priceless.

There are some things money can't buy
For every thing else, there's MasterCard. "

   Reading through, I realize there wasn't much choice, but still... And then it was 'cash on the barrel' for the fuel.

Lightsaber



I've posted how many times?!?
User currently onlineSOBHI51 From Saudi Arabia, joined Jun 2003, 3241 posts, RR: 17
Reply 14, posted (1 year 8 months 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 8597 times:
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Quoting Pihero (Reply 10):
NO ! To go to DAM from France, it's Latakieh, the airway and direct DAM. From BEY, you could fly direct.

Sorry but no you can not, due to the air defense system near the Israeli border, no plane is allowed to fly over Lebanon direct to DAM, have done it few times before. Civilian planes can either enter via the Jordanian airspace if arriving from the south, or near Latakia if arriving from the North or west.



I am against any terrorist acts committed under the name of Islam
User currently offlineheysfo From United States of America, joined Jul 2009, 47 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (1 year 8 months 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 8566 times:

Whats the basic procedure in the area when diverting ....

I find it odd

1. IDF said no to flying via Israeli airspace, why ... its a French plane , are FRANCE & Israel at odd?
2. DAM ? , hum lets land in a civil war.... who makes the final call on that?
3. How did the AF crew pay for fuel its got to be a few thousand euros.... ?
4. anyone have a visual picture of the route ? BEY-DAM?


User currently onlinePihero From France, joined Jan 2005, 4161 posts, RR: 76
Reply 16, posted (1 year 8 months 6 days ago) and read 8336 times:
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Quoting SOBHI51 (Reply 14):
Sorry but no you can not, due to the air defense system near the Israeli border, no plane is allowed to fly over Lebanon direct to DAM, have done it few times before. Civilian planes can either enter via the Jordanian airspace if arriving from the south, or near Latakia if arriving from the North or west.

Let's be more precise,, then.
For someone who diverts from BEY to DAM, the normal routing would be North KAD, CAK, East to Lateb and Lotax, and South to DAM : that's 112 Nm. I have been cleared direct Lateb / Lotax / Maloua and DAM for 92 Nm. The really direct BOD / Dakwe / DAM ( awy R 219 /G 202)h as been closed for some time. The distance is 70 Nm.
Please note that AMM ( Queern Alia ) is a further 116 Nm on the same routing.m

Quoting heysfo (Reply 15):
1. IDF said no to flying via Israeli airspace, why ... its a French plane , are FRANCE & Israel at odd?

Not necessarily. Everyone knows how much into security the Israeli are... and I daresay for a reason... That's all.

Quoting heysfo (Reply 15):
2. DAM ? , hum lets land in a civil war.... who makes the final call on that?

As usual, it's captain's final decision. With a lot of advising from OCC.

Quoting heysfo (Reply 15):
3. How did the AF crew pay for fuel its got to be a few thousand euros.... ?

They didn't. The AF regional manager did it.

Quoting heysfo (Reply 15):
4. anyone have a visual picture of the route ? BEY-DAM?

Try some Jepps old charts. Can't copy mine.



Contrail designer
User currently offlineODAFZ From Afghanistan, joined Jul 2004, 356 posts, RR: 5
Reply 17, posted (1 year 8 months 6 days ago) and read 8332 times:

Quoting heysfo (Reply 15):
IDF said no to flying via Israeli airspace, why ... its a French plane , are FRANCE & Israel at odd

No France and Israel are not at odds but Lebanon and Israel are. Plane was carrying a lot of Lebanese a potential recipe for disaster. I am sure though and it happened once in the past that in case of serious emergency the plane would have landed in TLV.
I wonder when the decision was taken to fly thru AMM ( not enough fuel) then re-routed to DAM (really). Alternate airports could have been Adana and Paphos. What is more startling is to know how much fuel they were carrying to find themselves in such a dire situation. According to L'Orient le Jour newspaper the pilot envisaged to ditch the plane.....


User currently offlinenitefury From United States of America, joined Nov 2010, 6 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (1 year 8 months 6 days ago) and read 8279 times:

Ass, Gas or Grass...nobody rides for free

User currently onlineSOBHI51 From Saudi Arabia, joined Jun 2003, 3241 posts, RR: 17
Reply 19, posted (1 year 8 months 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 8145 times:
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Quoting Pihero (Reply 16):
For someone who diverts from BEY to DAM, the normal routing would be North KAD, CAK, East to Lateb and Lotax, and South to DAM : that's 112 Nm. I have been cleared direct Lateb / Lotax / Maloua and DAM for 92 Nm. The really direct BOD / Dakwe / DAM ( awy R 219 /G 202)h as been closed for some time. The distance is 70 Nm.
Please note that AMM ( Queern Alia ) is a further 116 Nm on the same routing.m

Great, thanks. How far is Larnaca from BEY?



I am against any terrorist acts committed under the name of Islam
User currently onlinePihero From France, joined Jan 2005, 4161 posts, RR: 76
Reply 20, posted (1 year 8 months 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 8110 times:
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Quoting SOBHI51 (Reply 19):

Great, thanks. How far is Larnaca from BEY?

It's 108 Nm



Contrail designer
User currently onlineSOBHI51 From Saudi Arabia, joined Jun 2003, 3241 posts, RR: 17
Reply 21, posted (1 year 8 months 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 7752 times:
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Quoting Pihero (Reply 20):
It's 108 Nm

Pihero i presume it will be a shorter flight to Larnaca, then, and i am sure it's not like you get an immediate response from DAM to divert there. There must have been a lot of wasted time between holding over BEY, for no real reason, then contacting TLV for a permission to divert there, refused, contacting Syrian FAA for approval to divert, his first choice should have been Larnaca.



I am against any terrorist acts committed under the name of Islam
User currently offlineraffik From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2006, 1707 posts, RR: 4
Reply 22, posted (1 year 8 months 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 7716 times:

Quoting ODAFZ (Reply 17):

That is outrageous. The plane should have landed in Beirut. These blockades of the airport road are not a new thing.
To ditch a 777 because th airport road is shut? Unbelievable. The protestors usually get moved on quite swiftly and th passengers would have been able to wait in the airport until it was safe to move on.

Landing in Tel Aviv would have been a logistical nightmare in terms of visa and entry requirements.

The lebanese government have voiced the need for a second operating airport in the country, Renee Mouwad near Tripoli being a preferred airport.

I have flown from Beirut to Damascus with JAT in 2001 and we went north towards Byblos and then east across the Bekaa valley. There is a towering mountain range that runs parallel to the coast and I assumed the flight path is to be able to gain altitude to cross this.

Glad everyone got to Beirut safely but I cannot help but feel that the matter was made worse when they diverted to a potentially more dangerous destination..



Happy -go- lucky kinda guy!
User currently offlinegoldorak From France, joined Sep 2006, 1778 posts, RR: 4
Reply 23, posted (1 year 8 months 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 7607 times:

Quoting ODAFZ (Reply 17):
According to L'Orient le Jour newspaper the pilot envisaged to ditch the plane.....

Can you really believe this a single second ?


User currently offlineFlySSC From France, joined Aug 2003, 7379 posts, RR: 57
Reply 24, posted (1 year 8 months 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 7588 times:

Quoting ODAFZ (Reply 17):
According to L'Orient le Jour newspaper the pilot envisaged to ditch the plane.....

        

I always loved the Lebanase propensity to dramatize each and every situation ...


25 Mozart : JUst discovered that Pihero is participating in this thread, good, we cannot get any closer to what was probably going on in an Air France cockpit and
26 Pihero : Company policy, mainly Quite early, when transit was denied. At that time, they had to consider out of hours crew. The relief would have been easioer
27 hanuise : The diversion to Damas is becoming a huge affair in France. Here is a translation of a paper on the Liberation newspaper website: 'French minister of
28 Pihero : The stupidity is in Fabius himself : Doesn't even know the first thing about the event when AF has communicated during the whole incident with his ser
29 SOBHI51 : It is not beyond Syrian authorities to ignore any convention or treaty.
30 goldorak : +1. If AF got wrong information about the situation in BEY, Fabius should first investigate in his ministry who gave the info.
31 Mozart : Thanks a lot Pihero, informative as ever. Do I take from that that *everything else being equal* Amman is preferable to Larnaca because it is an Air F
32 OD720 : Still, I don't understant why it didn't land at BEY, as all other ailines did that night except AF!
33 Pihero : Correct. Add to that the very particular situation of this region : four countries in a state of mild-to-strong antagonism : Israel, Syria, Lebanon a
34 Mozart : Thanks Pihero. I had the info about the landing at 22h local time in Damascus from the corporate AF website. When you say "65 minutes after reaching B
35 SN-MD11 : I have just read an article on this famous flight in a magazine (l'Express). Apparently, after take-off from CDG, the crew discovered a malfunction wi
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