Sponsor Message:
Aviation Technical / Operations Forum
My Starred Topics | Profile | New Topic | Forum Index | Help | Search 
Fuel Dump Query: AA 30 Return To LAX Med Emergency  
User currently offlineAirxliban From Lebanon, joined Oct 2003, 4511 posts, RR: 53
Posted (2 years 3 months 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 4218 times:

I was on AA 30 last night, red eye from LAX to JFK on a 762ER, N335AA, and I have a question regarding fuel calculations.

Shortly after takeoff from 25R (around 11:45pm local time) the purser (French) came on the PA system and asked if there was a doctor on board. This was followed, about 2 minutes later, by an announcement saying that we had a medical emergency and were going to return to LAX.

We turned west and headed out over the ocean then landed on 7L and taxied back to T4. I didn't time it, but the whole thing couldn't taken more than 10 minutes. The ill passenger disembarked and we refueled, completed paperwork, performed a walk around and then took off again, about 1:30am local time for a late arrival into JFK the next morning.

Question - the captain mentioned that we had landed about 5,000 lbs over weight. However, we still refueled. I assume this means that we dumped fuel, although I cannot be sure since I could not see in the dark of night. My question is how much fuel we'd have to dump and what altitude it is concerned safe to dump fuel at. We couldn't have been climbing for more than a few minutes when the decision was made to turn back.

Finally, will AA be sending a bill to the passenger in question? I can only assume this emergency made the flight unprofitable.


PARIS, FRANCE...THE BEIRUT OF EUROPE.
22 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinemaxpower1954 From United States of America, joined Sep 2008, 1090 posts, RR: 7
Reply 1, posted (2 years 3 months 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 4173 times:

Quoting Airxliban (Thread starter):
Question - the captain mentioned that we had landed about 5,000 lbs over weight. However, we still refueled. I assume this means that we dumped fuel, although I cannot be sure since I could not see in the dark of night. My question is how much fuel we'd have to dump and what altitude it is concerned safe to dump fuel at. We couldn't have been climbing for more than a few minutes when the decision was made to turn back.

The 767-200ERs I used to fly at US Airways had no fuel dump capability. I don't believe AAs have it either.

The takeoff and initial climb would have used enough fuel to necessitate re-fueling before departing again, since reserves and alternate fuel are down to the legal minimum these days.


User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21571 posts, RR: 55
Reply 2, posted (2 years 3 months 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 4173 times:

Quoting Airxliban (Thread starter):
Question - the captain mentioned that we had landed about 5,000 lbs over weight. However, we still refueled. I assume this means that we dumped fuel, although I cannot be sure since I could not see in the dark of night.

It's possible that you didn't. Airplanes are certified to land up to their MTOW, so if you have to do an overweight landing, you're not going into any unknown territory - it just means an inspection has to be done prior to the next flight (and it can be done fairly quickly). So if you have a situation where you need to get on the ground quickly (and a medical emergency would count as one of these), I probably would be inclined to just go right in and not bother with trying to dump anything - there are more important things to worry about.

Quoting Airxliban (Thread starter):
Finally, will AA be sending a bill to the passenger in question? I can only assume this emergency made the flight unprofitable.

It almost certainly made the flight unprofitable, but I doubt the passenger will get a bill for suddenly needing to go to the hospital. Stuff happens, and that's the cost of doing business.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlinejporterfi From United States of America, joined Feb 2012, 443 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (2 years 3 months 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 4115 times:

I don't believe that the AA 762s have the fuel dump capability. 767s can land at their MTOW, and the aircraft probably wasn't at its MTOW as the 2,475 miles between LAX and JFK isn't anywhere near the maximum range of the aircraft, so it probably didn't have a full load of fuel onboard. The plane probably refueled to make up for the fuel that was burned while you taxied, took off, and then turned around and landed. I imagine that AA only put enough fuel to make it to JFK, plus required reserves for a diversion and the required hold time (45 minutes?). I highly doubt that AA will send a bill to the passenger: it's not like he or she purposefully disrupted the flight. They will probably just swallow the lost money if there is any.

User currently offlineatcsundevil From Germany, joined Mar 2010, 1199 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (2 years 3 months 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 3878 times:

Quoting Airxliban (Thread starter):
Finally, will AA be sending a bill to the passenger in question? I can only assume this emergency made the flight unprofitable.

No. This made the flight unprofitable, but the lawsuit and media backlash would do a little bit more damage. I wonder if they have insurance to cover this? They definitely would not bill the passenger though.



1954 1974 1990 2014 -- Los geht's!
User currently offlinegigneil From United States of America, joined Nov 2002, 16347 posts, RR: 85
Reply 5, posted (2 years 3 months 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 3812 times:

Quoting atcsundevil (Reply 4):
I wonder if they have insurance to cover this?

They ABSOLUTELY do.

NS


User currently offlineAA737-823 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 5771 posts, RR: 11
Reply 6, posted (2 years 3 months 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 3667 times:

Quoting Mir (Reply 2):
Airplanes are certified to land up to their MTOW

Your statement here is misleading. While it's true that a plane can land at MTOW without shattering to the ground in a million pieces, it's absolutely a terrible idea to land over the Max Landing Weight.
It does happen, which is why this aircraft had to undergo an overweight landing inspection after the event.

"Doable" and "good idea" are two very different things.

In this case, the crew evidently decided that it was in the best interest of the passenger to land as soon as practical, and that's their call to make.


User currently offlineatcsundevil From Germany, joined Mar 2010, 1199 posts, RR: 2
Reply 7, posted (2 years 3 months 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 3589 times:

Quoting gigneil (Reply 5):
They ABSOLUTELY do.

Thanks for clarifying. I figured as much, but I guess my airline management classes didn't touch on that in college (or it did but I was "sick" that day). I can understand how it would be important for those losses to be covered because if they aren't, safety might not end up being the number one priority.



1954 1974 1990 2014 -- Los geht's!
User currently offlinetdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 80
Reply 8, posted (2 years 3 months 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 3336 times:

Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 6):
While it's true that a plane can land at MTOW without shattering to the ground in a million pieces, it's absolutely a terrible idea to land over the Max Landing Weight.

It's not that bad if you know the correct limits...however, those limits typically aren't provided to line crews. If you land above MLW you do the inspection.

Physically, the airplane is happy to land up to MTOW but you need to control the sink rate or you can do permanent damage. For schedule efficiency reasons, flight test aircraft frequently land above MLW but they have extra instrumentation and special limits to control the sink rate at touch down as a function of airplane weight.

Tom.


User currently offlinebueb0g From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2010, 642 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (2 years 3 months 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 3289 times:

Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 6):
"Doable" and "good idea" are two very different things.

Yes, but Mir never said that it was a good idea, simply that if the situation requires - e.g a medical emergency - you can land over MLW.



Roger roger, what's our vector, victor?
User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 19576 posts, RR: 58
Reply 10, posted (2 years 3 months 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 3215 times:

Quoting gigneil (Reply 5):
They ABSOLUTELY do.

Would they? Such diversions are relatively uncommon, so would it be cost-effective to pay an insurance premium for an event that occurs rarely and doesn't cost that much (in the grand scheme of the day-to-day operation of an airline the size of AA)?


User currently offlineSlamClick From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 10062 posts, RR: 68
Reply 11, posted (2 years 3 months 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 3172 times:

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 8):
those limits typically aren't provided to line crews.

In what country?

In the USA MGTOW, MGLW, MZFW and others were memory items until they stated placarding each airplane with its own weight limits.

Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 6):
the crew evidently decided that it was in the best interest of the passenger to land as soon as practica

Not an AA employee but I'll bet that the decision was pre-made per their Ops Manual based on the advice of MedLink.



Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
User currently offlinetdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 80
Reply 12, posted (2 years 3 months 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 3153 times:

Quoting SlamClick (Reply 11):
Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 8):
those limits typically aren't provided to line crews.

In what country?

In the USA MGTOW, MGLW, MZFW and others were memory items until they stated placarding each airplane with its own weight limits.

I've never seen an AFM or placard in line service with the sink rate limits for landing above MLW without having to do an inspection. It takes a special exemption to even do that in flight test because you're outside the (future) AFM limits.

In the USA all the weights are available, the sink rate limits to trigger a hard landing inspection are available, and the AMM contains the sink rate limits for overweight landings to define the scope of the inspection required, but I've never seen data to the flight crews to define the sink rate limits that don't require an inspection if you land over MLW.

Tom.


User currently offlineBoeingGuy From United States of America, joined Dec 2010, 3069 posts, RR: 7
Reply 13, posted (2 years 3 months 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 3145 times:

Quoting SlamClick (Reply 11):
Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 6):
the crew evidently decided that it was in the best interest of the passenger to land as soon as practica

Not an AA employee but I'll bet that the decision was pre-made per their Ops Manual based on the advice of MedLink.

No, the crew decided. The other inputs are taken into strong consideration, but the Captain always has ultimate authority over the airplane. If the captain decides that they must land immediately due to a medical emergency, or to follow a regulation, or the QRH says to (in the case of unidentified smoke, for example), then they land overweight.


User currently offlineSlamClick From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 10062 posts, RR: 68
Reply 14, posted (2 years 3 months 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 3064 times:

Quoting BoeingGuy (Reply 13):
the crew decided

Without either of us offering the current, applicable page of the AA FOM this is a very theoretical discussion. As a former captain I am well aware of the limitations on the "captain has authority over..." Fact is, unless there was some operational reason that airplane could not land at LAX or any other nearby airport, the captain would be on very shaky grounds making a decision that the passenger was better off proceeding somewhere else. The operational factors would have to CLEARLY outweigh the medical ones, which the captain was not qualified to judge.



Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 19576 posts, RR: 58
Reply 15, posted (2 years 3 months 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 3008 times:

Quoting SlamClick (Reply 14):
The operational factors would have to CLEARLY outweigh the medical ones, which the captain was not qualified to judge.

I will also point out that, as a physician, if I am called to assist, I am going to be VERY strongly leaning towards getting that plane on the ground ASAP. An airplane is a horrible place to manage a medical emergency, not just due to isolation from emergency medical services, but also due to pure space constraints. Also, you do not want to find yourself doing CPR while the plane is landing. So imagine that you're a captain and a physician on board has evaluated the patient and says: "I want this guy on the ground five minutes ago." You decide to dump fuel instead and then the patient dies. The investigators aren't going to look very kindly on the captain who ignored the doctor who was actually with the patient.

The only time I've ever been called to assist on an airplane was actually a case that I was comfortable managing in flight. Oddly, on boarding, I noticed a very elderly woman who seemed to be pretty gorked out at baseline and was on O2. I wasn't shocked when they called for a doctor over Utah (JFK-SFO). I was all ready to tell the captain to land us ASAP since I'm a pediatrician, but it turned out that the patient was an 18mo boy who had developed aggressive vomiting and diarrhea. I had the F/A mix up an improvised oral rehydration solution (a salt packet and six sugar packets in one liter of water) and had the parents drip-hydrate the baby using a 5cc syringe from the onboard med kit. That temporized the situation long enough for us to get to SFO without the baby going into florid dehydration, at which point, I recommended that the family be allowed to disembark first, collect their bags, and proceed to the nearest pediatric emergency room for further treatment.

THe only other time I've been called was on the AVE high-speed train in Spain. That was for a very elderly lady who had had a sudden alteration in consciousness. Fortunately, there were about eight other doctors on the train, all Spanish (I speak fluent Spanish, but I'm not licensed in Spain), two of whom were neurologists and one of whom was a geriatrician. I excused myself and told them I'd be in car 7 if they needed me for anything.  


User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 25170 posts, RR: 22
Reply 16, posted (2 years 3 months 13 hours ago) and read 2828 times:

Quoting Airxliban (Thread starter):
Finally, will AA be sending a bill to the passenger in question? I can only assume this emergency made the flight unprofitable.
Quoting DocLightning (Reply 10):
Quoting gigneil (Reply 5):
They ABSOLUTELY do.

Would they? Such diversions are relatively uncommon, so would it be cost-effective to pay an insurance premium for an event that occurs rarely and doesn't cost that much (in the grand scheme of the day-to-day operation of an airline the size of AA)?

That was also my thought. How would an insurance company even establish premiums for something that's so unpredictable? I would have expected most airlines to just treat those expenses as one of their many unpredictable operating costs, the same as the costs for much more frequent diversions for other reasons (mechanical problems, weather, etc. etc.)


User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17030 posts, RR: 67
Reply 17, posted (2 years 3 months 13 hours ago) and read 2824 times:

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 16):
How would an insurance company even establish premiums for something that's so unpredictable?

You are probably right about companies just taking it on the nose. However my thought was that insurance companies can actually do the math based on historical occurrences.



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 19576 posts, RR: 58
Reply 18, posted (2 years 3 months 11 hours ago) and read 2793 times:

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 17):

You are probably right about companies just taking it on the nose. However my thought was that insurance companies can actually do the math based on historical occurrences.

An insurance company needs to make a profit. The point of insurance is to protect against LARGE expenses that would be at major variance with the day-to-day operating budget of a large airline like AA. Such sudden large expenses would include accident/hull loss or damage to multiple aircraft and/or facilities (tornado strikes an airport). On the other hand, a tank of fuel and an overweight landing inspection is not a sudden large expense with respect to the daily operating budget of a major international airline. The risk is low, so the cost of insurance would probably not be worth it.


User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17030 posts, RR: 67
Reply 19, posted (2 years 3 months 10 hours ago) and read 2782 times:

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 18):
An insurance company needs to make a profit. The point of insurance is to protect against LARGE expenses that would be at major variance with the day-to-day operating budget of a large airline like AA. Such sudden large expenses would include accident/hull loss or damage to multiple aircraft and/or facilities (tornado strikes an airport). On the other hand, a tank of fuel and an overweight landing inspection is not a sudden large expense with respect to the daily operating budget of a major international airline. The risk is low, so the cost of insurance would probably not be worth it.

Yepp. Methinks you have it right. And as a physician in the US you live in insurance-land much of the time right?  



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21571 posts, RR: 55
Reply 20, posted (2 years 3 months 8 hours ago) and read 2762 times:

Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 6):
While it's true that a plane can land at MTOW without shattering to the ground in a million pieces, it's absolutely a terrible idea to land over the Max Landing Weight.

It's not a terrible idea. It's a tool that you have. You don't want to use it if you don't have to, but in some cases it's the absolute right thing to do. I can think of a number of circumstances where I'd do it without a second thought.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 19576 posts, RR: 58
Reply 21, posted (2 years 3 months 7 hours ago) and read 2750 times:

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 19):
And as a physician in the US you live in insurance-land much of the time right?  

Yeah. For example, I am insured against malpractice and I am also insured against liability for accidents. For example, a patient is injured by a lighting grille falling out of the ceiling (happened in our office, actually, but fortunately missed the 4yo girl by a few inches... one of the only times I've actually been outright frightened at work).

I am not, however, insured against losing the occasional dose of an expensive vaccine because the nurse dropped it on the floor and the syringe broke. In the grand scheme of things, that is a rare occurrence (


User currently offlineSlamClick From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 10062 posts, RR: 68
Reply 22, posted (2 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 2665 times:

Quoting Mir (Reply 20):
It's not a terrible idea. It's a tool that you have.

You are absolutely correct. Think of it this way: An airplane has a maximum certificated RAMP gross weight but we all know it has been engineered and tested to greater loads. We just took off at some weight at or below MGTOW at which it was acceptable for the weight to be on the wheels. One consideration for MGLW is the impact with the ground at X weight. Keeping your F=MA in mind, if we can reduce the vertical velocity at touchdown to near zero we've done nothing bad to the airframe at all. The inspection is not just a formality but it is close to that if the overweight landing procedure was done correctly.

Keep in mind also that another factor in MGLW might me engine-out rejected landing performance. That is not structural at all. In fact many aircraft types can be purchased from the manufacturer with higher allowable gross weights than those you are used to. Mostly this is about performance charts and inspection schedules.



Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
Top Of Page
Forum Index

Reply To This Topic Fuel Dump Query: AA 30 Return To LAX Med Emergency
Username:
No username? Sign up now!
Password: 


Forgot Password? Be reminded.
Remember me on this computer (uses cookies)
  • Tech/Ops related posts only!
  • Not Tech/Ops related? Use the other forums
  • No adverts of any kind. This includes web pages.
  • No hostile language or criticizing of others.
  • Do not post copyright protected material.
  • Use relevant and describing topics.
  • Check if your post already been discussed.
  • Check your spelling!
  • DETAILED RULES
Add Images Add SmiliesPosting Help

Please check your spelling (press "Check Spelling" above)


Similar topics:More similar topics...
Fuel Dump Facilities On Commercial A/C-Required? posted Fri Oct 22 2010 02:07:36 by RTWflyer
AA 991 Diverted To AUA - Why? posted Sun Sep 13 2009 14:09:37 by Tonytifao
Fuel Dump - Environmentally Hazardous? posted Tue Aug 4 2009 23:09:20 by MidEx216
CO 738 Picture Question (Fuel Dump) posted Tue Oct 21 2008 11:57:43 by Typhaerion
How Would A DC10 30 Strech To A 742 Length Perform posted Wed Jan 30 2008 09:05:08 by 747400sp
380 Engine.Is This A Fuel Dump Or Another Test posted Wed Apr 25 2007 19:36:07 by Relic
Do Flights From Europe To LAX/SFO Use The NATs? posted Sat Mar 17 2007 06:40:58 by Haggis79
Is Fuel Dump Before Landing Common? posted Wed Mar 7 2007 08:20:41 by SSTsomeday
Why Not The Fuel Dump Option In The B6 A320? posted Thu Sep 22 2005 17:37:21 by Bongo
AA Maintenance Base To Get Avianca Work posted Wed May 18 2005 10:28:18 by Summa767

Sponsor Message:
Printer friendly format