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Fuel Burn Question  
User currently offlineSleekjet From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 2048 posts, RR: 22
Posted (8 years 7 months 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 3221 times:

I was monitoring the scanner today and heard an American Airlines pilot say this to the ATC: "Request flight level 200. We need to burn some fuel."

The a/c was not in distress. In these days where every drop of fuel is enormously valuable, what could this have been about?


II Cor. 4:17-18
8 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offline2H4 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 8956 posts, RR: 60
Reply 1, posted (8 years 7 months 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 3216 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
DATABASE EDITOR



I would assume they needed to burn fuel to reduce their weight to a value at or below maximum landing weight. Why they had "too much" fuel is another question altogether. Perhaps they diverted to a closer airport than their original destination, due to weather, medical situation, etc...




2H4





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User currently offlineRsbj From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 152 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (8 years 7 months 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 3216 times:

First guess would be they would land over Max Landing Weight if they climbed to their originally planned flight level. It's happened to me twice, once because we were overfueled in JAX, and the other was a dispatch software fault where we realized at leveloff we would be very close and to be proactive about it and desend. Overweight landings are prohibited except for a medical emergency or something equally dire; the inspections can be lengthy.
I'm sure others will chime in with their experiences, it happens once in a great while.



I fly really fast and take a lot of chances.
User currently offlineGoldenshield From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 6085 posts, RR: 14
Reply 3, posted (8 years 7 months 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 3209 times:

A lot of times, pilots in the U.S. will call up their dispatcher to see if they can get some more people (like those that show up at the last minute) on after an aircraft has already been fueled so that they can take those people and arrive below the maximum landing weight. The dispatcher will look over the situation, and if he finds no reason to preclude such a move, he will specifically authorize the lower altitude, and provide the the new numbers for that lower altitude.


Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun.
User currently offlineSleekjet From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 2048 posts, RR: 22
Reply 4, posted (8 years 7 months 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 3209 times:

Stupid civilian question: Is the problem with overweight landings what it does to the plane or what it does to the runway?


II Cor. 4:17-18
User currently offline2H4 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 8956 posts, RR: 60
Reply 5, posted (8 years 7 months 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 3203 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
DATABASE EDITOR




Quoting Sleekjet (Reply 4):
Stupid civilian question: Is the problem with overweight landings what it does to the plane or what it does to the runway?

AFAIK, the concern is limited to the aircraft itself. Overweight landings are usually possible, but overweight inspections are typically required afterward.




2H4





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User currently offlineOPNLguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (8 years 7 months 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 3192 times:

Quoting Sleekjet (Reply 4):
Stupid civilian question: Is the problem with overweight landings what it does to the plane or what it does to the runway?

Doesn't affect the runway (the runway was able to handle takeoff weights, which are higher).

Landing overweight (not done except in emergencies) involves maintenance checking certain components for damage, and if they find any, repairing the aircraft. The amount of weight over the max, and how hard a landing are also factors.


User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17081 posts, RR: 66
Reply 7, posted (8 years 7 months 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 3189 times:

Quoting OPNLguy (Reply 6):
Quoting Sleekjet (Reply 4):
Stupid civilian question: Is the problem with overweight landings what it does to the plane or what it does to the runway?

Doesn't affect the runway (the runway was able to handle takeoff weights, which are higher).

Landing overweight (not done except in emergencies) involves maintenance checking certain components for damage, and if they find any, repairing the aircraft. The amount of weight over the max, and how hard a landing are also factors.

It should be noted that all aircraft are certified to land up to Max TO weight. That is, the gear will not collapse or anything if they land overweight unless the pilots screw up or other factors are at play. However, overweight landings involve higher speeds than you would typically like to use, and thus are more risky.

As others have said though, even the best overweight landing can lead to (non catastrophic) damage, so an inspection is mandatory.



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineSleekjet From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 2048 posts, RR: 22
Reply 8, posted (8 years 7 months 2 days ago) and read 3150 times:

Thanks to Joe Statz...we now have the answer to the mystery. That flight experienced a cracked windshield and needed to return to DFW. That necessitated the burning off of fuel.


II Cor. 4:17-18
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