pietpaflsun From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 106 posts, RR: 0 Posted (3 years 7 months 1 week 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 5439 times:
BA 2166 that operates to LGW went tech tonight in TPA. It appears they did a ferry flight as BA61T back to the UK. Is this normal to fly a tech all the way back home or have maintenance done at a Pemco or so? Also, would anyone have the aircraft registration operating this 777 service tonight ?
VV701 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 7737 posts, RR: 17
Reply 1, posted (3 years 7 months 1 week 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 5315 times:
I notice the question mark in the title of this thread. It seems you may have some doubt as to whether the aircraft did go tech. So do I. Let me try and explain.
The BA LGW-TPA flight on 16 May WAS flown by 772 G-VIIR. The flight number WAS BA2167. Its call sign WAS BAW17PA.
The flight number and call sign for BA ferry flights is usually BA915xP and BAW915xP where 'x' is a numeral (0 to 9) (and 'P' is for 'Position'). However BA flights made for engineering purposes - that is test flights, flights to and from the BA engineering base at CWL and usually ferry flights instigated as the result of some engineering problem - usually have a flight number BA91abE and call sign BAW91abE where 'a' is usually '7' (but could be '8') and 'b' is any numeral (0 to 9). BA training flight numbers are similarly constructed and in the same sort of numeric sequence but with the suffix letter 'T' (instead of 'P' or 'E').
The TPA-LGW flight is flight number BA2166. I believe it usually uses the call sign BAW2166. But it is possible that it could use an alpha numeric call sign such as BAW61Tc where 'c' is any letter. In this instance this seems to me more likely than the flight being an engineering ferry flight.
However whether or not 'BA61T' was an engineering ferry flight or a scheduled revenue flight, if it was flown by the aircraft that flew LGW-TPA on 16 May then it was definitely flown by G-VIIR.
At the moment 'BAW61T' or 'Speedbird 61T' is the callsign used for the BAW2166 service TPA-LGW, so there is nothing unusual about the callsign in this case. The usage of this type of callsign is to de-conflict it with other similar sounding callsigns from either BA or other operators. There will almost certainly have been a reported callsign confusion case in the past for this change to have taken place.
Quoting pietpaflsun (Thread starter): Is this normal to fly a tech all the way back home or have maintenance done at a Pemco or so?
No, it is not normal. Very occasionally it will happen in exceptional circumstances, such as a damage incident where a temporary repair is carried out. Usually this will entail the passengers travelling on other flights etc and then the aircraft being 'positioned' empty using a engineering callsign as VV701 explained. Occasionally also, an aircraft can be stuck for a day or so waiting for a spare part. The aircraft would be termed 'AOG' awaiting spares on ground. Whether the aircraft would then carry passengers after the spare is fitted depends on passenger/crew disposition after the delay.
On the 747 fleet and again only occasionally, an aircraft can be 3-engine ferried either back to base or to a convenient location for an engine change. You are not permitted to carry commercial passengers on such a flight. However, obviously you wouldn't do this on a 777 anyway as single engine ferrying is not permitted!