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How Much Extra Fuel Is Really Carried?  
User currently offlineJcxp15 From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 997 posts, RR: 4
Posted (13 years 9 months 1 week 21 hours ago) and read 4095 times:

I know this topic was discussed before about whether or not the fuel tanks are filled up completely, and I know they aren't, but I was recently on a flight from CVG-JFK on a 767, and due to weather problems en route and in NYC, our flight crew took us south over Southern VA/Northern NC, and then up the coast to JFK. This was most likely an unforseen re-routing because after we had taken off, the pilot came one and told us he was gonna try to get us in earlier (we were already about an hour late). He then came on later and told us ATC was re-routing us. The weather in JFK wasn't too great either, in fact, about 10 minutes after touchdown, there was a fairly strong t-storm overhead.
Flying South first over VA and NC and then up the coast although not that long isn't a little re-routing either. Since the weather was already bad around NYC at our departure time (the reason we were delayed an hour), I'm sure the pilot and f/o opted to fill up the tanks probably a little more than they usually would, but my question is, does a track south over VA and NC and then up the coast drain a lot of fuel, how do you think we were on our fuel (we most likely weren't too low on fuel, but we could have been getting there) and do you think if we had arrived those 10-15 minutes later when there were some strong t'storms over JFK, we would have had to divert? If so, where do most diverts go to from JFK? I know there probably aren't "concrete" answers to my questions, but any insight into any question is appreciated...

5 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineB747skipper From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (13 years 9 months 1 week 18 hours ago) and read 4071 times:

If there is a storm over JFK, likely there is one near EWR as well, and all the traffic diverting to EWR - if so - will cause further delays...
Domestic flights in the USA carry fuel to destination, then to the alternate airport, the 45 minutes reserve... International flights have completely different ways to compute fuel reserves...
In real life, one of the best alternate for JFK is Newburgh, NY... long runway, but if the weather is bad at JFK, so it will be in EWR as well, Newbugh is far, but you will get safely on the ground... When I go to JFK, I want fuel reserves to cover me for a diversion to Newburgh...
(s) Skipper

User currently offlineMr.BA From Singapore, joined Sep 2000, 3423 posts, RR: 20
Reply 2, posted (13 years 9 months 1 week 15 hours ago) and read 4031 times:

What if you're flying to a city which does not have an airport in the vicnity to handle a B747?

Boeing747 万岁!
User currently offlineTulsarefueler From United States of America, joined Aug 2002, 41 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (13 years 9 months 1 week 15 hours ago) and read 4035 times:

Under normal circumstances ATC would not divert/send you to an airport
that can't handle your type of a/c. Now if the pilots diverted to their alternate
airport and the weather is really bad there also, ATC would find them an
airport suitable or if they are really low on fuel they will take the best that
they can get. I had a airline friend that told me about one of his buddies got
into this situation. They flew to their destination,weather was too bad,then
flew to their alternate, which the weather was unlandable their also. They
ended landing at a nearby airport which had a medium sized runway but
nothing that could handle a fully loaded DC-10. They managed to land but
ended up using the whole runway.The funniest part of all came when they
tried to leave the airport. The airline had to ferry a 737 and a 767 into the
airport to take the passengers to the destination, because the only way to
get the DC-10 out was to be empty and to do a performance takeoff.

User currently offlineOPNLguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (13 years 9 months 1 week 1 hour ago) and read 3956 times:

Back to the original question, I think it's quite likely that you had plenty of fuel on your CVG-JFK flight to handle the re-route *and* to have held at JFK (had it been necessary.

When we (dispatchers, here in the USA) plan fuel, one of the things we consider is fuel for possible re-routes. In many cases, they're not all that hard to figure out. One of the tools we use to generally anticipate where the weather will be X-hours in the future is over on the ATCSCC's web page. It's called the CCFP, and it's at: http://www.fly.faa.gov/Operations/Weather/CCFP/CCFP_Images/ccfp_dmz.html. ATCSCC will also use this to publish some re-routes in advance, so dispatchers will know precisely what to fuel for and file.

User currently offlineOPNLguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (13 years 9 months 1 week 1 hour ago) and read 3949 times:

Posted 2002-08-27 10:17:42 and read 78 times.

>>>Under normal circumstances ATC would not divert/send you to an airport that can't handle your type of a/c.

Unless SCATANA is active, ATC doesn't divert the flights, the PIC and/or dispatcher do. There is simply no way an ATC person can know what airport is (or is not) suitable for the flight, or if that airport is listed in that airline's Operations Specifications (Ops Specs.) One airline may have XYZ as an approved alternate, and another airline may not.

If that DC-10 incident you referred to was the one that ended up at DCA a few years ago, it may interest you to know that the flight's alternate for BWI was MDT (Harrisburg, PA), which was appropriate relative to the weather in the area. When BWI got smacked with weather, they tried for IAD, and when that got hammered, they went into DCA. I've never seen it reported who initiated the diversion to IAD (ATC or PIC) but I have it on good authority that it wasn't the dispatcher.

Must have been quite a sight to see a DC-10 yanking and banking down the River Visual... The aircraft did indeed ferry out empty...

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