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Topic: How Costly Can It Get For An Emergency Fuel Dump?
Username: flaps30
Posted 2012-11-05 16:28:32 and read 3574 times.

I ask this question because I have been curious to know approximately how much it costs an airline when one of its aircraft has to dump fuel in order to land when dealing with an emergency. Obviously it depends on the aircraft and the situation, but for arguments sake, lets say that a fully loaded 744 departs on a long haul flight from city x and shortly after departure, they are presented with a mechanical failure of some sort and must return to the airport. Now in order for the plane to land at a safe weight, they must dump thousands of pounds of fuel. This must cost a small fortune in lost fuel. Are the airlines insured against a situation like this or do they have to eat this loss and just chalk it up as the cost of doing business? Do the pilots get any sort of flak from the airline for all the lost fuel? Maybe some of the Anet pilots can chime in with some insightful info.

Thanks

Topic: RE: How Costly Can It Get For An Emergency Fuel Dump?
Username: wingnutmn
Posted 2012-11-05 17:26:48 and read 3582 times.

I believe a 747 carries roughly 48000 gal of gas fully loaded. If you assume a 2/3 load dump in an emergency, that means you are dumping 32000 gal of jet A at market price of $3/gal means $96k in fuel alone. Through in replacement crew, pax cost for delays and meals and this goes north of 100 to 120k and this is best case of a hub return with a crew base. If this happens at an out station with no mx, now you are renting hotel rooms and this cost goes much higher.

Wingnut

Topic: RE: How Costly Can It Get For An Emergency Fuel Dump?
Username: tb727
Posted 2012-11-05 18:14:33 and read 3581 times.

Quoting flaps30 (Thread starter):
Do the pilots get any sort of flak from the airline for all the lost fuel? Maybe some of the Anet pilots can chime in with some insightful info.

I've heard of a little flak for some guys that have done it but in the end if the PIC deems it necessary, that's good enough in my book. We brief it during our takeoff brief every departure whether or not we will even need it and for how long to expect it to take to get to landing weight. A few guys are of the thought that the plane took off that way, it will land that way in the case of the 727. Overweight landing inspection's are cheaper if nothing breaks. Generally losing 1 engine isn't a huge ordeal, losing 2, yeah, we are dumping. There are other cases to dump but usually it's in the event of an engine failure requiring an immediate return/terrain issues.

Topic: RE: How Costly Can It Get For An Emergency Fuel Dump?
Username: HiJazzey
Posted 2012-11-05 18:34:17 and read 3587 times.

However expensive jetfuel is, it is nothing compared to the potential cost of a heavy landing. Airlines would be foolish to discourage pilots from dumping fuel before landing.

Topic: RE: How Costly Can It Get For An Emergency Fuel Dump?
Username: Transpac787
Posted 2012-11-05 18:46:41 and read 3586 times.

Quoting wingnutmn (Reply 1):

I believe a 747 carries roughly 48000 gal of gas fully loaded. If you assume a 2/3 load dump in an emergency, that means you are dumping 32000 gal of jet A at market price of $3/gal means $96k in fuel alone.

These numbers are quite a bit off.

The 747-400 carries 383,000# of gas, with a MGTOW of 875,000# and a MLW of 652,000#. If you lose an engine at MGTOW and have to dump fuel and return to the airport for an emergency landing, you have to dump 223,000# of gas, which is in the ballpark of 32,000 gallons.

Topic: RE: How Costly Can It Get For An Emergency Fuel Dump?
Username: flaps30
Posted 2012-11-05 18:53:35 and read 3587 times.

Quoting HiJazzey (Reply 3):
Airlines would be foolish to discourage pilots from dumping fuel before landing.


Im not saying airlines should discourage this practice, but considering the cost of the lost fuel, maybe they ask the pilots to only consider doing this if it is absolutely, positively necessary and not because the pilots are being overly cautious. I know there is a fine line between necessity and being cautious but with the airlines squeezing every penny these days, this must be a very expensive for them.

Topic: RE: How Costly Can It Get For An Emergency Fuel Dump?
Username: freakyrat
Posted 2012-11-05 18:59:53 and read 3590 times.

I experienced it this summer. I was on a B767-400 IAH-AMS that was about two hours out of IAH and just south of DC when the Captains PFD went out and wouldn't restart. We dumped fuel in order to land at EWR to get the display replaced.
Now everyone on that flight paid a fuel surcharge fee on their ticket and I remarked during this event that there goes the fuel surcharges off the wing. I'm sure we dumped a lot of fuel because we were still quite heavy.

Topic: RE: How Costly Can It Get For An Emergency Fuel Dump?
Username: tb727
Posted 2012-11-05 19:04:14 and read 3583 times.

Quoting flaps30 (Reply 5):
I know there is a fine line between necessity and being cautious but with the airlines squeezing every penny these days, this must be a very expensive for them.

I don't think it matters when it comes to safety. Honestly, when it comes down to saving my butt versus saving some money for the company by not dumping, I can tell you what I'm gonna do. I'd rather be able to look for another job than bend metal or worse and have that on my record.

It is pretty rare and it's not going to make or break the company if it happens. It's expensive to run an airline regardless, stuff happens sometimes.

Topic: RE: How Costly Can It Get For An Emergency Fuel Dump?
Username: prebennorholm
Posted 2012-11-05 19:04:31 and read 3581 times.

Very seldom will a crew choose to dump more than down to max landing weight. For a high gross weight 744 (not -ER) the MLW is 223klbs less than MTOW. So the theoretically maximum fuel dump should be those 223klbs when landing is decided right after rotation. That corresponds to roughly 33,800 gallons.

That's the fuel quantity which will be lost at a MTOW takeoff and return to base. Depending on circumstances a minor or major part will be burned during flight, while the rest has to be dumped.

For the insurance part, I have no idea, but I doubt that any airlines has such an insurance. At the end of the day the airline will always pay. No insurance company makes business without having calculated that in the long run they will have their costs covered and have a profit on top of that. That's their way to get butter on the bread.

Topic: RE: How Costly Can It Get For An Emergency Fuel Dump?
Username: tdscanuck
Posted 2012-11-05 19:14:04 and read 3581 times.

Quoting flaps30 (Thread starter):
Are the airlines insured against a situation like this or do they have to eat this loss and just chalk it up as the cost of doing business?

There is no need for insurance. Insurance is for when you have a very large and unpredictable expense. Although unpredictable, and large in absolute $ terms relative to what you and I deal with on a daily basis, a single flight of fuel is a very small piece an airline's overall expenses. Spare parts expenses totally dwarfs the cost of dumping even a 747-400 of fuel.

Quoting flaps30 (Thread starter):
Do the pilots get any sort of flak from the airline for all the lost fuel?

Not at a good airline, assuming it was justifiable.

Quoting flaps30 (Reply 5):
Im not saying airlines should discourage this practice, but considering the cost of the lost fuel, maybe they ask the pilots to only consider doing this if it is absolutely, positively necessary and not because the pilots are being overly cautious.

Pilots already only do it if it is absolutely, positively necessary. They don't need to be asked. You need to think about the situation in which fuel gets dumped...it means the flight crew has *already* decided to not continue the flight and to land. Dumping fuel forces them to stay up in the air considerably longer. The flight crew already wants to be on the ground to get whatever the problem is fixed, so they are already biased to not dump fuel. They're only going to do it if they really believe it is necessary.

Quoting flaps30 (Reply 5):
I know there is a fine line between necessity and being cautious but with the airlines squeezing every penny these days, this must be a very expensive for them.

In an airline's overall operating budget, fuel dumping probably costs them less than toilet paper. Certainly less than in-flight magazines. It's a "big" one-off expense but it's very rare and it's not particularly large in the scheme of operations. The airline already spent the money to fill the plane with the fuel for the flight; don't think of it as dumping a bunch of money, think about it as having to fly one extra flight that day (the cost impact is comparable).

Tom.

Topic: RE: How Costly Can It Get For An Emergency Fuel Dump?
Username: wingnutmn
Posted 2012-11-05 19:18:04 and read 3581 times.

Quoting Transpac787 (Reply 4):
The 747-400 carries 383,000# of gas, with a MGTOW of 875,000# and a MLW of 652,000#. If you lose an engine at MGTOW and have to dump fuel and return to the airport for an emergency landing, you have to dump 223,000# of gas, which is in the ballpark of 32,000 gallons.

I will admit that I under estimated the total fuel for a 747-400, but was right about the amount that would be dumped in an emergency. I also pulled $3 for a gal of gas off Delta's 3rd Quarter 2012 facts sheet. Actual avg. price was $3.14/gal of Jet A. Fuel is purchased in Gallons, not pounds for aircraft and a weight of 6.7 lbs/gal is industry standard. So to be exact, 223,000# divided by 6.7 equals 33,283 gal at $3.14 equals $104,510 to get under max landing weight. Will every fuel dump be like this? no, but it is a worst case scenario for a 747.

Wingnut

Topic: RE: How Costly Can It Get For An Emergency Fuel Dump?
Username: Maverick623
Posted 2012-11-05 19:24:08 and read 3583 times.

The correct answer is: nothing.

The fuel was already paid for.


 

Topic: RE: How Costly Can It Get For An Emergency Fuel Dump?
Username: flaps30
Posted 2012-11-05 19:44:29 and read 3581 times.

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 11):

The correct answer is: nothing.

The fuel was already paid for.

Not necessarily, dont some airlines pay for fuel on credit?

Topic: RE: How Costly Can It Get For An Emergency Fuel Dump?
Username: Aesma
Posted 2012-11-05 20:02:45 and read 3583 times.

You're all talking about mechanical failures but aren't many diversions caused by sick passengers ?

Topic: RE: How Costly Can It Get For An Emergency Fuel Dump?
Username: Lufthansa
Posted 2012-11-05 21:23:38 and read 3585 times.

Quoting Aesma (Reply 13):
You're all talking about mechanical failures but aren't many diversions caused by sick passengers ?

True but in both cases, the cost is nothing compared to somebody's or potentially everybody's life. Turning back isn't a decision any pilot will take lightly.
Interesting some aircraft types don't need to dump fuel. I believe the MD-80 is one of these, and possibly even the 332 if i remember correctly?

Topic: RE: How Costly Can It Get For An Emergency Fuel Dump?
Username: jayeshrulz
Posted 2012-11-06 06:16:25 and read 3584 times.

There is Insurance to cover up any unforseen incidents, like Mechanical Failure, Diversion due to any reason like sick passenger, failure and this insurance company covers up the cost of such incidents, including this such as fuel dump,the hotel costs for the pax,food, transport etc, that occurs during such incidents.

Topic: RE: How Costly Can It Get For An Emergency Fuel Dump?
Username: Maverick623
Posted 2012-11-06 12:14:21 and read 3579 times.

Quoting jayeshrulz (Reply 15):
There is Insurance to cover up any unforseen incidents, like Mechanical Failure, Diversion due to any reason like sick passenger, failure and this insurance company covers up the cost of such incidents, including this such as fuel dump,the hotel costs for the pax,food, transport etc, that occurs during such incidents.

Actually, there isn't. The only thing insurance covers is passenger injuries/death and the aircraft itself in an accident.

The airline eats the cost of the mechanical issue and the associated costs including fuel, hotel rooms, meal vouchers, and rebooking.

Topic: RE: How Costly Can It Get For An Emergency Fuel Dump?
Username: flashmeister
Posted 2012-11-06 12:54:43 and read 3579 times.

Quoting Lufthansa (Reply 14):
I believe the MD-80 is one of these, and possibly even the 332 if i remember correctly?

Add 717, 737 family, 757, A319/20/21, and some 767, A300, A310, and A330. Basically all types where maximum landing weight is at least equal to maximum takeoff weight.

[Edited 2012-11-06 12:56:21]

Topic: RE: How Costly Can It Get For An Emergency Fuel Dump?
Username: qualitydr
Posted 2012-11-06 13:30:14 and read 3585 times.

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 11):
The fuel was already paid for.

Yep, but the trip didn't happen. Time to buy a new bunch of fuel to go forward. Or cancel, and pay all those costs...

Topic: RE: How Costly Can It Get For An Emergency Fuel Dump?
Username: JAGflyer
Posted 2012-11-06 14:20:24 and read 3580 times.

In the grand scheme of things $100,000 in dumped fuel is not a lot of money. Simply mechanical and routine maintenance can cost several $100K. An engine repair on a CFM56-7B I saw recently was upwards of $600,000. A repair to the skin of an aircraft was $200,000+. For an airline that operates aircraft which would be dumping fuel, it's not a huge expense.

Topic: RE: How Costly Can It Get For An Emergency Fuel Dump?
Username: rwessel
Posted 2012-11-06 14:32:32 and read 3580 times.

Quoting flashmeister (Reply 17):
Add 717, 737 family, 757, A319/20/21, and some 767, A300, A310, and A330. Basically all types where maximum landing weight is at least equal to maximum takeoff weight.

Not really - most (all?) of those have MTOWs higher than their max landing weights. The 737-900ER, for example, has a MTOW of 188,200lbs and a MLW of 157,300lbs.

All aircraft can be landed at their MTOW, although the risk of damage increases as the weight increases above MLW. So if an aircraft is on fire, you're not going to waste time dumping fuel, your going to land, *now*.

The major reason for a fuel dumping capability is to make it possible to get down to the normal MLW in a reasonable period of time for situations which are not immediately critical. In those situations, you don't really want to risk bending the airplane (or even just putting it of service for the required heavy landing inspection). For short range aircraft, the tanks are not that big, and even a maximum overweight landing is not going to be that huge an overage. Further, with the small tanks, fuel can be burned off through the engines in a reasonable amount of time. For long range aircraft, the amount of fuel needing to be disposed of at the beginning of a (long) flight is very large, and running it through the engines could take many hours.

Topic: RE: How Costly Can It Get For An Emergency Fuel Dump?
Username: N766UA
Posted 2012-11-06 15:39:09 and read 3580 times.

Quoting wingnutmn (Reply 1):
that means you are dumping 32000 gal of jet A at market price of $3/gal means $96k in fuel alone.

3 dollars a gallon?? I worked at an FBO last year and we were selling jet-A for 7.80/gallon. We saw private 747's every couple of weeks and they regularly took 30 to 50 thousand dollars worth of fuel at a clip.

I'm sure fuel heading to the airlines is contracted at a far lower rate, but 3 dollars? I'm thinking more like 5...

Topic: RE: How Costly Can It Get For An Emergency Fuel Dump?
Username: prebennorholm
Posted 2012-11-06 16:28:48 and read 3580 times.

Quoting N766UA (Reply 21):
3 dollars a gallon?? I worked at an FBO last year and we were selling jet-A for 7.80/gallon.

When accidentally jumping on a US airfield and asking for 200 gallons on your Kin Air, then $5 or 6 is a frequent price. 7.80 seems like a theft. Contract prices at large international airports with pipeline to refinery or large shipping harbor, then we are near $3 or just over.

http://www.airnav.com/fuel/local.html

Quoting N766UA (Reply 21):
We saw private 747's every couple of weeks and they regularly took 30 to 50 thousand dollars worth of fuel at a clip.

$30,000 and at 7.80/gal, that's 3,846 gallons. I wonder if that will even bring a 747 to cruising altitude. It will, however, bring it 100 or 200 miles to an airport with more sensible fuel prices.

Topic: RE: How Costly Can It Get For An Emergency Fuel Dump?
Username: Viscount724
Posted 2012-11-06 16:52:23 and read 3580 times.

Quoting Transpac787 (Reply 4):
Quoting wingnutmn (Reply 1):

I believe a 747 carries roughly 48000 gal of gas fully loaded. If you assume a 2/3 load dump in an emergency, that means you are dumping 32000 gal of jet A at market price of $3/gal means $96k in fuel alone.

These numbers are quite a bit off.

The 747-400 carries 383,000# of gas, with a MGTOW of 875,000# and a MLW of 652,000#. If you lose an engine at MGTOW and have to dump fuel and return to the airport for an emergency landing, you have to dump 223,000# of gas, which is in the ballpark of 32,000 gallons.

Why do you say those numbers are quite a bit off? They look almost the same as your numbers when you convert gallons to pounds? And your final figure of 32,000 gal. dumped is identical.

Topic: RE: How Costly Can It Get For An Emergency Fuel Dump?
Username: airportugal310
Posted 2012-11-06 16:59:48 and read 3580 times.

Quoting prebennorholm (Reply 22):
3 dollars a gallon?? I worked at an FBO last year and we were selling jet-A for 7.80/gallon. We saw private 747's every couple of weeks and they regularly took 30 to 50 thousand dollars worth of fuel at a clip.

I'm sure fuel heading to the airlines is contracted at a far lower rate, but 3 dollars? I'm thinking more like 5...

Nope. $3-issssh

Quoting prebennorholm (Reply 22):
When accidentally jumping on a US airfield and asking for 200 gallons on your Kin Air, then $5 or 6 is a frequent price. 7.80 seems like a theft. Contract prices at large international airports with pipeline to refinery or large shipping harbor, then we are near $3 or just over.

Yup.

Quoting flaps30 (Reply 12):
Not necessarily, dont some airlines pay for fuel on credit?

Very few suppliers offer net-x terms...most are weekly prepay for a week in advance. Lots of $$$ = lots of risk

Topic: RE: How Costly Can It Get For An Emergency Fuel Dump?
Username: Viscount724
Posted 2012-11-06 17:18:09 and read 3789 times.

Quoting airportugal310 (Reply 24):
Quoting prebennorholm (Reply 22):
3 dollars a gallon?? I worked at an FBO last year and we were selling jet-A for 7.80/gallon. We saw private 747's every couple of weeks and they regularly took 30 to 50 thousand dollars worth of fuel at a clip.

I'm sure fuel heading to the airlines is contracted at a far lower rate, but 3 dollars? I'm thinking more like 5...

Nope. $3-issssh

Average worldwide jet fuel price (at the refinery) for the week ending October 26 was $3.06/gal. IATA publishes weekly fuel price data on their website.
http://www.iata.org/whatwedo/economics/fuel_monitor/Pages/index.aspx

It varies somewhat by region.
http://www.iata.org/whatwedo/economi..._monitor/pages/price_analysis.aspx

Topic: RE: How Costly Can It Get For An Emergency Fuel Dump?
Username: aviateur
Posted 2012-11-06 18:26:27 and read 3794 times.

Quoting Lufthansa (Reply 14):
You're all talking about mechanical failures but aren't many diversions caused by sick passengers ?

MOST diversions are the result of inflight illnesses and medical emergencies.

Anecdotally... Over the past five years or so I've diverted five times, I think. Four of those five were for medical issues.


PS

[Edited 2012-11-06 18:27:00]

Topic: RE: How Costly Can It Get For An Emergency Fuel Dump?
Username: BreninTW
Posted 2012-11-06 18:36:52 and read 3888 times.

Quoting aviateur (Reply 26):
Anecdotally... Over the past five years or so I've diverted five times, I think. Four of those five were for medical issues.

I was chatting to the cabin crew on a recent JNB - HKG flight, which was expected to be a little rough due to a tropical storm heading to Vietnam. She mentioned that the flight had recently been much more bumpy than usual -- and in fact had diverted to CMB the week before due to a passenger sustaining an open fracture of his arm during turbulence.

Topic: RE: How Costly Can It Get For An Emergency Fuel Dump?
Username: N766UA
Posted 2012-11-07 04:37:56 and read 3808 times.

Quoting prebennorholm (Reply 22):
Contract prices at large international airports with pipeline to refinery or large shipping harbor, then we are near $3 or just over.
Quoting airportugal310 (Reply 24):
Nope. $3-issssh

Fair enough, I assumed it was higher!

Quoting prebennorholm (Reply 22):
7.80 seems like a theft.

Haha yep, a lot of crews thought so too. Unfortunately I didn't set the prices, I just charged their cards. It's all the way down to $7.40 as of this morning.

Quoting prebennorholm (Reply 22):
$30,000 and at 7.80/gal, that's 3,846 gallons. I wonder if that will even bring a 747 to cruising altitude. It will, however, bring it 100 or 200 miles to an airport with more sensible fuel prices.

I know they'd tanker in fuel frequently for the above reasons, but I can remember a couple of times they took 10,000 and once they did 13,000+ gallons. That's what, 100 grand in fuel? Then gain, what's 100 grand to a billionaire casino magnate?

Topic: RE: How Costly Can It Get For An Emergency Fuel Dump?
Username: jetblueguy22
Posted 2012-11-07 12:56:57 and read 3775 times.

Is there anything that protects the PIC in case of a fuel dump? Obviously the PIC according to the FARs is the final authority but does that mean the airline can't do anything to reprimand him?
Blue

Topic: RE: How Costly Can It Get For An Emergency Fuel Dump?
Username: Flighty
Posted 2012-11-07 13:30:15 and read 3779 times.

Quoting airportugal310 (Reply 24):
Very few suppliers offer net-x terms...most are weekly prepay for a week in advance. Lots of $$$ = lots of risk

For reference, if Delta burns 2 to 3 billion gallons per year, at $3 per, that is something over $20 million per day.

Topic: RE: How Costly Can It Get For An Emergency Fuel Dump?
Username: dkswim
Posted 2012-11-07 14:22:57 and read 3758 times.

are there any additional cost, EPA or any other angency for the clean up?

Topic: RE: How Costly Can It Get For An Emergency Fuel Dump?
Username: tdscanuck
Posted 2012-11-07 17:53:09 and read 3756 times.

Quoting jetblueguy22 (Reply 29):
Obviously the PIC according to the FARs is the final authority but does that mean the airline can't do anything to reprimand him?

No, that doesn't mean the airline can't reprimand him. The FAR's give the pilot authority to do what is necessary but it's not a blank check.

Quoting dkswim (Reply 31):
are there any additional cost, EPA or any other angency for the clean up?

There's usually nothing to clean up. At normal dump altitudes it all evaporates before it reaches the ground. When it doesn't, yes, there are big fines.

Tom.


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