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Why Do Some Planes Divert And Others Don't?  
User currently offlineKLM672 From United States of America, joined Oct 1999, 2488 posts, RR: 3
Posted (4 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 11017 times:

Hey,
Recently got a job working the ramp and today we had three flights divert. One EMB-170 tried 3 times to land, then diverted yet our next flight, due in a half hour after came right in. The weather was unchanged (to my eye). Meanwhile, another airline's EMB-190 came in 2 minutes after the diverted aircraft. Later our two other flights diverted, one ended up canceling about an hour after it diverted while the other one finally made it in. From what I can see, other airline's were coming and going. What are the factors/rules/regulations regarding diversions due to weather?
Thanks!

17 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15812 posts, RR: 27
Reply 1, posted (4 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 10987 times:

In quite a few cases, flights will take on extra fuel if they anticipate bad weather so they can hold longer if needed.


Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineCWAFlyer From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 669 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (4 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 10975 times:

What airport do you work at? Are your airplanes and crews certified to land at CAT II or CAT III miniumums? Without knowing what the weather was at the time your airplanes diverted, I can only guess why yours diverted and others landed.

The regulations basicially require landing miniumums (visibility or RVR) prior to going beyond the final approach fix. Whether a plane diverts after missing an approach or several, it depends on how much fuel they had on board to allow holding and trying again.


User currently offlineKLM672 From United States of America, joined Oct 1999, 2488 posts, RR: 3
Reply 3, posted (4 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days ago) and read 10894 times:

BTV and USAirways Express (Republic)

User currently offlinePWMRamper From United States of America, joined Jul 2009, 643 posts, RR: 3
Reply 4, posted (4 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days ago) and read 10662 times:

It's also possible the Pilot may have been a high mins guy, and couldn't land where others could.

User currently offlinebahadir From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 1824 posts, RR: 10
Reply 5, posted (4 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 10566 times:

Republic is CAT I , that might have to do with it. Also, the indifference to your eye doesn't mean anything. It 's what looks like to the eyes of the pilots.

Looks like visibility was pretty poor at some portion of the day today..

KBTV 061554Z 02005KT 1SM R15/6000VP6000FT RA BR BKN004 BKN034 OVC048 13/13 A2942

KBTV 061545Z 01005KT 1SM R15/6000VP6000FT RA BR BKN004 OVC036 13/12 A2943 RMK AO2 VIS 7/8V11/4 P0025



Earthbound misfit I
User currently offlinepnwtraveler From Canada, joined Jun 2007, 2280 posts, RR: 12
Reply 6, posted (4 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 10436 times:

It is the pilots call on recommendations from ATC and airline operations. ATC can close an airport which takes the decision away from the pilots, unless they declare and emergency. On the day Air France crashed at YYZ, the KLM 747 just before them diverted, while Air France continued and we know the outcome. Other aircraft also continued and landed safely. A lot goes into the decision. Fuel, duty hours, pilot experience, comments from other aircraft, etc.

User currently offlineapodino From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 4304 posts, RR: 6
Reply 7, posted (4 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 10289 times:

BTV currently has ILS outages to both 15 and 33, making the airport basically a VFR airport, which means you need 1000 feet for a ceiling and 3 miles visibility to land. GPS approaches can lower the minimums if the airlines ops specs allows it. However one of the other diversions you speak of was an Air Wisconsin CRJ, and Air Wisconsin is not certified to fly GPS approaches.

User currently offlinePH-TVH From Netherlands, joined May 2001, 115 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (4 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 9829 times:

I think this is one of the most difficult questions you can ask here on the board....

Every case stands on itsself. I all comes down to decision making in the cockpit
based on a wide variaty of know and unknown factors. Think about weather,
fuel status, aircraft status etc... the obvious things.

But also consider: where does the company wants you to go? If everyone's diverting
to a small regional airfield... is it wise to go there as well? maybe save some feul and
divert to an airfield, maybe not specified on your flightplan but more convienent at that
moment?

And this is just a handfull of countless factors you have to consider when you are even
thinking about diverting....

Being a pilot is not that much exiting most of the time... But these are the moments
pilots have to perform to their limit to end the flight in the best interest of everyone,
flight safety upfront, but also for the company and the passengers.

Just my 2 cents


User currently offlineRiddlePilot215 From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 318 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (4 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 9263 times:
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Quoting KLM672 (Thread starter):
Hey,
Recently got a job working the ramp and today we had three flights divert. One EMB-170 tried 3 times to land, then diverted yet our next flight, due in a half hour after came right in. The weather was unchanged (to my eye). Meanwhile, another airline's EMB-190 came in 2 minutes after the diverted aircraft. Later our two other flights diverted, one ended up canceling about an hour after it diverted while the other one finally made it in. From what I can see, other airline's were coming and going. What are the factors/rules/regulations regarding diversions due to weather?
Thanks!

From what most of my airline pilot buddies tell me it seems to me as though most airlines also have their own set of flight limitations depending on the weather conditions, AND both pilots have to be in agreeance that what both of them are looking at are indeed approach lights/ runway surface for the transition from instrument to visual flight during landing . Also, both the flightcrew and the airplane have to be certified for Cat II/ III operation. Third, weather is a very dynamic thing, what one pilot sees 2 minutes before the other is irrelevant other than for planning purposes. It could have very much been that the E170's pilots either didn't see the approach lights/ runway at all, they BOTH couldn't determine they were looking at the same thing and called TOGA, the tower instructed them to go missed, the pilot flew the ILS wrong (ie. too low/ too high/ too fast/ too slow/ not stabilized for the approach), the plane or the flight crew was not properly certified and current for the type of conditions encountered...etc., etc. Compared to the E190 crew that may have been all those things, or they caught a break in the clouds or visibility that allowed them to complete the approach.

Gotta love aviation.



God is good, all the time. All the time, God is good.
User currently offlineGoldenshield From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 6101 posts, RR: 14
Reply 10, posted (4 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 9002 times:

Quoting pnwtraveler (Reply 6):
It is the pilots call on recommendations from ATC and airline operations. ATC can close an airport which takes the decision away from the pilots, unless they declare and emergency.

I can't say for Canada, but in the states, ATC doesn't close airports; airport operations does. As for diversion airports, the only time ATC would offer something is in an emergency; otherwise, the crew has already arranged something with his dispatcher.

----------------------------------------------------

As others have stated, it's what the pilot sees as he makes the approach that counts, not what the ASOS is reporting. It could be reported well above minimums; however, as an example, the pilot might have to make an approach through a fog bank and end up never seeing the airport.



Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun.
User currently offlineisitsafenow From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 4984 posts, RR: 23
Reply 11, posted (4 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 6305 times:

I was told its usually WITH EXECEPTIONS, pilot discretion on the diversion.
I was told by.............pilots.
safe



If two people agree on EVERYTHING, then one isn't necessary.
User currently offlinemigair54 From Spain, joined Jun 2007, 1856 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (4 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 6028 times:

Quoting Goldenshield (Reply 10):
I can't say for Canada, but in the states, ATC doesn't close airports; airport operations does. As for diversion airports, the only time ATC would offer something is in an emergency; otherwise, the crew has already arranged something with his dispatcher.

Whan an airport is officially below the minimums for landing with the RVR pilots are not allow to try to land......the airport is not close but is below minimums only planes who at that moment pass the IAF are allow to continue the approach....

Quoting KLM672 (Thread starter):
Hey,
Recently got a job working the ramp and today we had three flights divert. One EMB-170 tried 3 times to land, then diverted yet our next flight, due in a half hour after came right in. The weather was unchanged (to my eye). Meanwhile, another airline's EMB-190 came in 2 minutes after the diverted aircraft. Later our two other flights diverted, one ended up canceling about an hour after it diverted while the other one finally made it in. From what I can see, other airline's were coming and going. What are the factors/rules/regulations regarding diversions due to weather?
Thanks!

I´m sure they did the App when they reach the minimums for landing some of them see the runway and some didn´t, banks of fog move and horizontally and vertically, so it could be a big diff in a few minutes....

Last weed I was behind a EK B773 approaching DAR rwy 23 they went around and I landed 3 minutes after, just becuase the cloud move a bit and I was able to see the runway EK plane 10 min later landed as well.....storms develop very fast and in 1 hour weather could be very different.....

As comented before fuel is important some planes have more reserves than other so they can try more times or they can hold for longer.....but when a plane reach the minimum diversion fuel they must divert.......


User currently offlineGoldenshield From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 6101 posts, RR: 14
Reply 13, posted (4 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 5869 times:

Quoting migair54 (Reply 12):
Quoting Goldenshield (Reply 10):
I can't say for Canada, but in the states, ATC doesn't close airports; airport operations does. As for diversion airports, the only time ATC would offer something is in an emergency; otherwise, the crew has already arranged something with his dispatcher.

Whan an airport is officially below the minimums for landing with the RVR pilots are not allow to try to land......the airport is not close but is below minimums only planes who at that moment pass the IAF are allow to continue the approach....

While I understand what you are saying---as I deal with it every day---what you quoted from me, and what you mentioned, are not related in any way. The ability to Close an airport has nothing to do with the airport being below minimums, ATC, or regulations (NOTAMs non-withstanding.)



Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun.
User currently offlineDashTrash From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 1550 posts, RR: 2
Reply 14, posted (4 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 5620 times:

Quoting RiddlePilot215 (Reply 9):
From what most of my airline pilot buddies tell me it seems to me as though most airlines also have their own set of flight limitations depending on the weather conditions, AND both pilots have to be in agreeance that what both of them are looking at are indeed approach lights/ runway surface for the transition from instrument to visual flight during landing .

Both pilots would be in agreement of what they're seeing by default. The non-flying pilot is looking outside the whole time and will call approach lights, or runway in sight. The flying pilot has his eyes in the cockpit until that call. When he hears it, he looks up, sees the runway calls "landing" and lands, or doesn't see it and goes missed.

Quoting RiddlePilot215 (Reply 9):
the tower instructed them to go missed, the pilot flew the ILS wrong (ie. too low/ too high/ too fast/ too slow/ not stabilized for the approach),

You'll get a "go around" call, but not a "go missed" call from the tower. ATC isn't going to send you missed for an unstable approach either. When the weather is that low 99% of us will let Capt. Collins (or Honeywell) fly the approach. All we do is control the speed (unless you have an autothrottle) and monitor the autopilot's performance. The autopilot doesn't fly unstable approaches in most conditions.

Quoting Goldenshield (Reply 13):
While I understand what you are saying---as I deal with it every day---what you quoted from me, and what you mentioned, are not related in any way. The ability to Close an airport has nothing to do with the airport being below minimums, ATC, or regulations (NOTAMs non-withstanding.)

The only time I've ever heard of ATC "closing" an airport was for an aircraft emergency. Weather won't do it.

To the original question, with everyone flying VOR or RNAV / GPS approaches, I imagine the JetBlue? E-190 is certified to use VNAV on the approach giving them much lower minimums than the E-170s who aren't certified for it. With the VNAV, the FMS will fly a computer / GPS generated glideslope turning a non-precision approach into a precision approach. In some cases the approach minimums are as low as a conventional ILS.

[Edited 2010-06-07 20:53:56]

User currently offlinebri2k1 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 988 posts, RR: 4
Reply 15, posted (4 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 5418 times:

Quoting migair54 (Reply 12):
Whan an airport is officially below the minimums for landing with the RVR pilots are not allow to try to land

Not exactly, at least, not in the US. While a transmissometer can be used to measure actual RVR, the visibility limit is flight visibility, not ground visibility. There are no flying ATC towers, so only pilots can determine flight visibility. (How they actually do this is another matter.) But when flying under Part 91 (private), it doesn't matter what the ground conditions are reporting; technically, you can legally start the approach, and when you arrive at the MAP or the time expires (non-precision), if you don't have the runway environment in sight, you go missed. Most Part 135 and Part 121 (commercial and air carrier ops) rules do require the reported visibility to be above minimums before the approach can be attempted. Practically, if the report is 0/0, it's not likely to change in the few minutes it takes to fly a glideslope. But the airport isn't closed just because of low 1visibility.



Position and hold
User currently offlineDashTrash From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 1550 posts, RR: 2
Reply 16, posted (4 years 5 months 3 weeks 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 5351 times:

Quoting bri2k1 (Reply 15):
Not exactly, at least, not in the US. While a transmissometer can be used to measure actual RVR, the visibility limit is flight visibility, not ground visibility. There are no flying ATC towers, so only pilots can determine flight visibility. (How they actually do this is another matter.) But when flying under Part 91 (private), it doesn't matter what the ground conditions are reporting; technically, you can legally start the approach, and when you arrive at the MAP or the time expires (non-precision), if you don't have the runway environment in sight, you go missed. Most Part 135 and Part 121 (commercial and air carrier ops) rules do require the reported visibility to be above minimums before the approach can be attempted. Practically, if the report is 0/0, it's not likely to change in the few minutes it takes to fly a glideslope. But the airport isn't closed just because of low 1visibility.

Mostly, but RVR is controlling. If it's below mins, you can't fly the approach (121/135).


User currently offlinebri2k1 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 988 posts, RR: 4
Reply 17, posted (4 years 5 months 3 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 5332 times:

Quoting DashTrash (Reply 16):

Very true.. The key point I'm making is that just because *you* can't attempt an approach doesn't render the field closed.



Position and hold
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