WILCO737 From Greenland, joined Jun 2004, 9263 posts, RR: 76 Posted (10 years 8 months 2 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 7828 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW HEAD MODERATOR
here another trip report out of the view of the cockpit!
Have fun reading it!
It should all started like a usual day flying from Hannover (HAJ) to Catania (CTA) in south italy.
I was sleeping in my hotel room and I had to get up at about 1:30 am to get ready for my flight departing at 3 am. At about 1:10 am my cell phone was ringing and the company: good morning, sorry to wake you up, but the flight will be delayed for an hour, so you can sleep an hour more! I just said thank you, and fell back to sleep! So I got up at 2:30 am and the flight should depart now on 4 am!
I got dressed and walked over to meet the captain and the Cabin Crew. All pretty tired but in a really good mood and it seemed to be a lot of fun today.
I was pilot flying on the way down to CTA and we talked about how much fuel we need. I decided to take about 600kgs extra fuel down there to fly faster to catch up the delay or maybe due to the traffic down there!
So we were brought out to the aircraft and we prepared everything to get ready. The passengers arrived and we wanted to leave, but there was no Push back truck. So we waited another 15 minutes until it was there and we left Hannover at around 4:15 am….
The flight itself was pretty uneventful. When we got the weather of CTA it just said: Severy thunderstorm, heavy rain really bad winds. So, no chance to land there… We entered a holding pattern near the airport where we could see that huge thunderstorm cloud right over the airport! The captain looked at me and asked me what I plan to do now! He said: “You are pilot flying, you tell me what we gonna do!” I just said: “Okay!”
So I thought about how much fuel we have to stay in the holding pattern and how much fuel we need if we have to divert to Malta or to Palermo. I calculated a moment and then told the captain that we can stay in that holding for about 15 minutes and then we have to make a decision. He just said, okay, that’s what I was thinking of, too. So we talked to the cabin crew and made an announcement to the passengers.
On the frequency there were 2 other aircrafts who wanted to go to CTA, too. They were in a holding pattern, too, but some miles away from us.
The 15 minutes passed and we got an actual weather report of CTA and it was not really better now. So I said: “Let’s go to Palermo!” The captain said: “Yes!” and I turned into the direction of Palermo and entered that all into the FMS while the captain was talking to ATC to tell them that we have to divert to Palermo! Then we made a normal approach (ILS RWY25) and landed there. On the apron the captain called the company, because we need a new flight plan and fuel figures for the flight to CTA. The captain was outside talking to the ground staff and the refuller and I was on the phone with the company, getting the data for the flight to CTA. We got in a pretty hurry, because now we got a slot we had to accept otherwise we had to wait for 2 hours in Palermo! So, we refuelled and I was preparing the cockpit again. Then the captain was back and we received a new loadsheet. We now had 7 tons of fuel on board and we started the engines. This fuel is enough to go to CTA, hold there for a long time and just in case come back AGAIN to Palermo.
So, we took off and the huge Thunderstorm cloud was not anymore over CTA so we made a normal approach to CTA and landed there. After 60 minutes of turn around time there on the Ground, we flew back to Stuttgart (STR) and the Captain was Pilot flying now. This flight also was uneventful and finally we landed in STR with a delay of 4 hours and 3 minutes pretty good, huh?
Then I just relaxed on my Lufthansa flight (as passenger( back home to Frankfurt (FRA) where I live. I came back home and just went to bed to take a nap
Leviticus From New Zealand, joined Oct 2007, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (10 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 7128 times:
Hello Wilco !
Thank you for giving us this great report, it is very appreciated. Always interesting to read a trip report from a different point of view. Could you perhaps elaborate some more about how a diversion decision is made, in this case why did you chose Palermo instead of Malta ? As far as I know there is not a big difference in distance between those airports and Catania, maybe 50 km, so maybe you (Lufthansa that is)have better relations with the Palermo airport ?
WILCO737 From Greenland, joined Jun 2004, 9263 posts, RR: 76
Reply 12, posted (10 years 8 months 1 week 14 hours ago) and read 6385 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW HEAD MODERATOR
we decided to go to Palermo, because it was closer to our present position and Malta was on the other site of the huge thunderstorm! And we really didnt want to fly through it...
Usually you have one alternate, but you have 3 other alternates listed on your flight plan with the informations you need: time to go there, fuel you need to get there, elevation...
The fuel is calculated after a missed approach at the destination and then to the alternate... So, most of the time you have enough fuel if you divert before you do the missed approach, that saved about 200-400 kgs (B737) and then you have more chance to hold longer in a holding...
So, there are a lof of factors you have to consider before you decide...