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How Costly Can It Get For An Emergency Fuel Dump?  
User currently offlineflaps30 From United States of America, joined May 2009, 287 posts, RR: 0
Posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 3638 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


every day is a good day to fly
32 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinewingnutmn From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 640 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 3646 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



Any landing you can walk away from is a good landing! It's a bonus if you can fly the plane again!!
User currently offlinetb727 From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 1586 posts, RR: 9
Reply 2, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 3645 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.



Too lazy to work, too scared to steal!
User currently offlineHiJazzey From Saudi Arabia, joined Sep 2005, 866 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 3651 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.

User currently offlineTranspac787 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 3203 posts, RR: 13
Reply 4, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 3650 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.



A340-500: 4 engines 4 long haul. 777-200LR: 2 engines 4 longer haul
User currently offlineflaps30 From United States of America, joined May 2009, 287 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 3651 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.



every day is a good day to fly
User currently offlinefreakyrat From United States of America, joined Aug 2008, 849 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 3654 times:
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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.


User currently offlinetb727 From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 1586 posts, RR: 9
Reply 7, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 3647 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.



Too lazy to work, too scared to steal!
User currently offlineprebennorholm From Denmark, joined Mar 2000, 6417 posts, RR: 54
Reply 8, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 3645 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.



Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs, Preben Norholm
User currently offlinetdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 80
Reply 9, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 3645 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.


User currently offlinewingnutmn From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 640 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 3645 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



Any landing you can walk away from is a good landing! It's a bonus if you can fly the plane again!!
User currently offlineMaverick623 From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 5592 posts, RR: 6
Reply 11, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 3647 times:

The correct answer is: nothing.

The fuel was already paid for.


 



"PHX is Phoenix, PDX is the other city" -777Way
User currently offlineflaps30 From United States of America, joined May 2009, 287 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 3645 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?



every day is a good day to fly
User currently offlineAesma From France, joined Nov 2009, 6584 posts, RR: 9
Reply 13, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 4 days ago) and read 3647 times:

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


New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
User currently offlineLufthansa From Christmas Island, joined May 1999, 3207 posts, RR: 10
Reply 14, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 3649 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?


User currently offlinejayeshrulz From India, joined Apr 2007, 1027 posts, RR: 2
Reply 15, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 3648 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.


Keep flying, because the sky is no limit!
User currently offlineMaverick623 From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 5592 posts, RR: 6
Reply 16, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 3643 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.



"PHX is Phoenix, PDX is the other city" -777Way
User currently offlineflashmeister From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 2900 posts, RR: 6
Reply 17, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 3643 times:
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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]

User currently offlinequalitydr From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 117 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 3649 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...



All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence; then success is sure. -- Mark Twain
User currently offlineJAGflyer From Canada, joined Aug 2004, 3506 posts, RR: 4
Reply 19, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 3644 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.


Support the beer and soda can industry, recycle old airplanes!
User currently offlinerwessel From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 2338 posts, RR: 2
Reply 20, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 3644 times:
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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.


User currently offlineN766UA From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 8226 posts, RR: 23
Reply 21, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 3644 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...



This Website Censors Me
User currently offlineprebennorholm From Denmark, joined Mar 2000, 6417 posts, RR: 54
Reply 22, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 3644 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.



Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs, Preben Norholm
User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 25106 posts, RR: 22
Reply 23, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 3644 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.


User currently offlineairportugal310 From Palau, joined Apr 2004, 3608 posts, RR: 2
Reply 24, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 3644 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



I sell airplanes and airplane accessories
25 Post contains links Viscount724 : 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 websi
26 aviateur : MOST diversions are the result of inflight illnesses and medical emergencies. Anecdotally... Over the past five years or so I've diverted five times,
27 BreninTW : 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. Sh
28 N766UA : Fair enough, I assumed it was higher! Haha yep, a lot of crews thought so too. Unfortunately I didn't set the prices, I just charged their cards. It'
29 jetblueguy22 : 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
30 Flighty : For reference, if Delta burns 2 to 3 billion gallons per year, at $3 per, that is something over $20 million per day.
31 dkswim : are there any additional cost, EPA or any other angency for the clean up?
32 tdscanuck : 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. There's
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