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Any Diversion Stories Out There?

Mon May 10, 2004 3:43 pm

I have been working in TYS for over a year now, and have had previous experience in CHS. I have witnessed a ton of diverted flights. Knoxville is a key diversion point for Delta, being only 152 nm from ATL and we get a ton here. In CHS I saw an Air Jamaica A310 , AA A300, and an AA 767 divert due to various reasons. The most nail biting one was the A300 for AA. They lost all hydraulics and still managed to land safely. AA ferried another A300 in and took the passengers on to their final destination. Has any one out there been on a diverted flight? If so, how was the experience?


Booooo Lois, Yaaaa Beer!!!
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RE: Any Diversion Stories Out There?

Mon May 10, 2004 3:59 pm

I took the last AM MEX-MTY (Monterrey) flight of the day. Shortly before landing, the captain announces MTY's runway has had a blackout - it seems the a/c directly ahead of us managed to land before the threshold and has caused an electric shortcircuit. So we go back all the way to MEX. Why MEX? I don't know. Shortly before landing landing back in MEX, captain again announces situation in MTY is back to normal, so we will refuel and depart immediately. So we did. A flight that normally takes 1:20 hrs. took close to 5 hrs... which took me to leave the a/c well past midnight... during all this time, there were absolutely no chances of calling the girlfriend to explain what was going on... Boy, did I get the dog house that night!

I've been diverted in several occasions, from GUA to SAL, from CDG to ORY, from MEX to ACA, from GDL to PVR, from MIA to FLL, and been in aborted landings twice... But the above story was by far the most ludicrous one.


[Edited 2004-05-10 09:03:09]
A300/18/19/20/21 B721/2 B732/3/G/8 B741/2/4 B752 B762/3/4 B772/3 DC8/9/10 MD11 TU134/154 IL62/86 An24 SA340/2000 E45/90
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Any Diversion Stories Out There?

Mon May 10, 2004 4:37 pm

Wow Adriaticus that sounds like one rough trip. Today in our operations on our company radio , I overheard US Air Flight 1601 inbound to ATL holding on MACEY. They held in the pattern for quite some time. I think it was late by over an hour or so. In my travels as a non-rev,I have been fortunate not experience such things..

Booooo Lois, Yaaaa Beer!!!
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RE: Any Diversion Stories Out There?

Mon May 10, 2004 4:54 pm

Only noteworthy "diversion" of sorts that I had was back in 1979 when my family was coming back to the states after spending 18 months in Okinawa as part of my dad's TDY assignment for the military. We waited all day in the Naha airport for our Northwest Airlines flight from Taiwan to arrive. But it didn't and we spent another night in Okinawa since the plane was held up by mechanical difficulties in Taiwan. My passport from back then has two departure stamps and one is marked "void" because we didn't leave the country. The airline trucked us back to Okinawa City (actually a fair drive from Naha and near where we lived while in Okinawa) and put us up in a hotel there. That night we enjoyed our last Japanese cuisine at a the restaurant below the hotel.

The plane did arrive the next day and a cheer went up in the room from all the servicemen heading home. Apparently though, the plane wasn't fully repaired, just patched. We boarded the 747 and then departed for a stop in Osaka, Japan. I can't recall if it was a scheduled stop or unscheduled (unscheduled I think, but we knew we were going when we left Naha). We stayed on the ground at Osaka for a couple hours while JAL and NW mechanics serviced all four engines. I remember it well (I was age 8 at the time) since I got to see a Mohican painted ANA 747 with GE powerplants up close for the first time as we taxied by. Naha airport also offered a nice view of some JSDF cargo planes and a couple of JAL's DC-8 cargo planes as well from the observation deck.

Finally we were ready to go and headed for Honalulu. The original plan for us in Hawaii was to change planes for a flight to Seattle, but since we arrived a day late, we had to get another flight. Imagine the irony when we learned that the new flight headed to Seattle was the same 747 we got off of. That leg of the trip was uneventful. That and the Pan Am trip we took over to Okinawa were the only two 747 flights I've had up to this point.
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RE: Any Diversion Stories Out There?

Mon May 10, 2004 4:55 pm

I only had one almost-diversion, and I didn't find out about it until after we landed...

I flew from MUC to HAJ a while back, and that day it had been snowing in Hannover... weather was fine in MUC, but flying into HAJ, there was snow everywhere. After we landed, while we were waiting to leave the plane, I talked to the flight attendant at the back of the plane - and she said that, up until about 15 minutes prior to landing, we were actually headed towards Bremen, because HAJ was closed due to weather - it opened up again, fortunately enough, just in time for us to land there.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed - not a single diversion in 319 flights...

Smile - it confuses people!
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RE: Any Diversion Stories Out There?

Mon May 10, 2004 6:22 pm

Back in 1979, I was flying from HNL - LAX on a United 747. On approach to a foggy LAX, we reached Decision Height from where a missed approach was made and we diverted to Las Vegas.

On arrival at Las Vegas, the cabin crew announced that we would be staying on board the aircraft as we were expected to be on the ground for less than an hour before returning to LAX.

A number of passengers asked if they could leave the aircraft to play the slots in the gate area of the terminal. The cabin crew finally relented and allowed a number of passengers to leave. The passengers that did exit the aircraft were warned that when the aircraft was ready to depart, there would be no announcements made and if they were not back on board, the aircraft would depart without them.

Not sure how many 747s Las Vegas received in 1979, but as we parked on stand, the groundcrew were spray painting the outline of the engines on the stand (for calibration?)

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RE: Any Diversion Stories Out There?

Mon May 10, 2004 6:42 pm

Back in September 2000. I was on a DL flight from LAX to HNL with a stop in OGG. We descended, but due to bad weather/visibility, we went straight to HNL instead. It worked out for me as my final destination was HNL and getting in early meant I could beat the evening traffic home  Smile/happy/getting dizzy. For the passengers whose destination was OGG, DL put them on AQ & HA.
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RE: Any Diversion Stories Out There?

Mon May 10, 2004 8:41 pm

Only diversion I've had in more than 40 years of flying was in 1966. Was on an Eastern flight (can't recall aircraft type) MCO-ATL. Weather in ATL was terrible and flight was diverted to BHM. All the pax who were to leave the flight in ATL were put on a UAL Viscount and sent to ATL. Only Viscount ride I've had.
Illegitimus non carborundum
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RE: Any Diversion Stories Out There?

Mon May 10, 2004 9:15 pm

I have had two interesting diversions.

In the mid 80s on NW flight from MSP to LGA we were scheduled to arrive at LaGuardia at 9:45pm. As we approached NY the Captain advised that there were strong cross winds. We attempted to land 3 times, each time the landing was aborted and we did a go-around. After the third miss the Captain had to divert to Syracuse, for fuel. We sat there until about 3:30am. Back to LaGuardia for one final try. Cross winds still too strong so we ended up diverting to Newark where we landed at 5 25am.

The second memorable diversion had similar circumstances but in another part of the world. I work for a cruise line and was escorting a group of 175 people on a day tour from St. Petersburg, Russia to Moscow. We were aboard an IL-86 of Pulkovo Aviation.

Our destination was Moscow-Sheremetyevo Airport. The weather was very poor with strong cross winds and heavy rain. The approach was made in thick cloud and you could not see the ground. We finally broke out of the clouds at what seemed only 100 meters above the ground and then the Captain gunned the engines and we started climbing again. After circling for 30 minutes we tried again with the same results. Back above Moscow the decision was to either divert to Domodedovo Airport or return to St. Petersburg. As all of the people on board specifically booked the cruise to visit Moscow there was really no choice. As long as the crew thought it was safe we would try the alternate airport. The only problem with diverting was that we had 10 buses and tour guides waiting at Sheremetyevo and these would have to race across the city to meet us.

Our landing at Domodedovo was outstanding. The winds were very light but it was still raining and visibility was zero-zero. We descended gradually and could see nothing out of the windows. Then there was a slight trembling and I realized we were on the ground! The softest landing I have ever experienced. We still could not see the terminal from the runway!!

I was very grateful to the cockpit crew from Pulkovo Aviation. They did an excellent job. I still don't know if they were just using instruments or if the IL-86 had auto-land capability. I think it must have because I have experienced a similar landing in almost zero-zero conditions at St. Petersburg.

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RE: Any Diversion Stories Out There?

Mon May 10, 2004 11:49 pm

My MIA-DUS flight was diverted to CGN some years ago due to the big fire at DUS aiport...
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RE: Any Diversion Stories Out There?

Mon May 10, 2004 11:56 pm

I have had two diversions that I can remember, both due to weather. The first time was on a United 727 from La Guardia to Denver (Stapleton). There was a big snowstorm in Denver, so we diverted to Omaha, sat on the ground for an hour or two--they didn't open the doors, but they were letting people walk around and visit the cockpit--then took off and continued on our way.

The second time was on an Icelandair 737-400 from Keflavik to Amsterdam. We could see from the plane that there was a thick layer of fog over the North Sea, and the captain announced that we would be in a holding pattern for a while, hoping conditions would improve enough that we could land. We circled for maybe an hour or so, then I heard the engines spool up and we started to climb. I figured that couldn't possibly be a good thing, and sure enough the captain told us we were running low on fuel and would have to divert to Cologne.

Initially I thought we would wait there until the weather improved at Amsterdam, but as it turned out they unloaded the plane and put us all on buses for the 3-hour drive to Schiphol (without even a bathroom break!), which was not much fun after flying all night from New York. When we finally arrived, though, it was pretty obvious why we couldn't land--I have rarely seen such thick "pea soup."
Common sense is not so common. -Voltaire
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RE: Any Diversion Stories Out There?

Tue May 11, 2004 12:05 am

In September of 1999, I was on a flight from SFO to HKG, on SQ. The flight left late at night, but on time. The captain remarked on the p.a. during boarding time, that they were topping off the fuel tanks, and the plane might have to divert due to Typhoon York expected to hammering down on Hong Kong.
Well, the flight went pretty smoothly for the near 15 or so hours it takes. As we were flying just south of Taiwan,as I was looking at the air show on the ptv, and the plane started to make a 90 degree course change.

The pilot came on and said, "We'll as you might of noticed, we are not heading to Hong Kong, as Typhoon York is at level 8 category right now. These 747 are strong aircraft, and could certainly land in this type of weather, but our company has decide to divert to Manila"

Well, it was about another hour or so and we landed in Manila. And parked there were a bunch of CX planes.
We ended up spending 2 days in Manila.
But I certainly was not complying, as SQ put me up in a 4 star hotel, and provided all the meals. So I got an unexpected time in Manila to explore, on SQ dime.

When I was finally able to get to Hong Kong, SQ put me on a Swissair MD-11 flight!

So to sum up, free trip to Manila, and a flight on European airline in Asia!

[Edited 2004-05-10 17:06:20]
Cookies are the Gateway pastry. They lead to Éclairs and Bear Claws.
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RE: Any Diversion Stories Out There?

Tue May 11, 2004 12:10 am

I've had two diversions, both weather related...One was on an ATL-ORD UA flight on a 732 back in the mid-90s. There was heavy snow in ORD so the captain made the decision to divert to GRR. We just sat on the tarmac at GRR for about an hour before the captain announced that the snow had cleared, and we were cleared for a departure into ORD.

The other flight was in 1997, ATL-DFW on an AA MD-80. There were severe thunderstorms in the Dallas area, so after holding for about 45 minutes, the captain decided to divert to Little Rock. We stayed on the ground in LIT for two hours until the weather system passed, and we made it to DFW just in time to make our connecting flight to LAX--got there right as the gate agent was closing the door.

America's chickens are coming home to rooooost!
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RE: Any Diversion Stories Out There?

Tue May 11, 2004 12:12 am

When I was 13 years old, I flew from Pittsburgh to Madison, WI to see my Uncle for a weekend. My Allegheny Airlines flight (okay, it's been a while since I was 13) from PIT was delayed due to traffic in Chicago at ORD. We took off an hour late and then circled for hours. Finally, thunderstorms shut down ORD and blocked our path to MDW, and we were low on fuel, so we diverted to Indianapolis!

Traveling by myself, Allegheny put me up at the Airport Hilton (now a Radisson) and gave me a ticket to Madison via Milwaukee the next morning. My mom nearly had a heart attack at the thought of her son being in a strange hotel by himself, but I thought it was a great adventure. Plus, I got to fly Ozark from IND-MKE, who I'd never flown before.

Dave in Orlando
Too many types flown to list
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RE: Any Diversion Stories Out There?

Tue May 11, 2004 12:13 am

Only one diversion here...

August of 1988 I was flying LGA-DFW-BFL. I thought the trip would be no problem as the DC-10 pulled out of the gate at LGA at exactly the time it was supposed to. Arrived in DFW no problem.

The MD-80 to BFL left the gate at exactly the scheduled time as well. But just about at the end of dinner, we felt the plane suddenly start a VERY quick descent, followed two seconds later by the flight attendants scurrying through the cabin quickly picking up our dinner trays as fast as they could.

Realizing this might be serious, we all wondered what was going on. The captain came on the intercom and told us that an oil filter had clogged and one of the engines was not getting oil and could very possibly overheat and catch fire, so we were diverting immediately to PHX.

Smooth, quick, and uneventful landing in PHX, but AA couldn't figure out what to do with us. At that time, nobody flew PHX-BFL, and other than another carrier flying through LAX (with Swearingen Metroliner service LAX-BFL), we were stuck there until they knew what to do. At first, they thought they could fix the problem, but after three hours, no luck. Finally, they brought a different MD-80 out for us.

Have to give credit to the great flight attendant - as we reboarded the broken plane to get our stuff, she got on the intercom and shouted instructions - "Get to your seat and STAY THERE until everyone is on - ONLY THEN will you be allowed to get off!!". She was terrific.

We arrived in BFL about four hours late - always have been grateful that the diversion was on the connecting flight, not the first one!
Pan Am:The World's Most Experienced Airline - P(oor) S(ailor's) A(irline): San Diego's Hometown Airline-Catch Our Smile!
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RE: Any Diversion Stories Out There?

Tue May 11, 2004 12:14 am

I think it was October 2000 when this happened. I was on DLX from MCO to ALB. The capt. anounced that we were right over ATL, then something happened and the pilot said their were strange noises and we diverted to SAV...I thought it was odd that we would go to SAV, when we were right over ATL, that would have been a breeze for DL to check the a/c in ATL.
It wasnt until later we noticed some sort of bomb (I hesitate with that word and the airline industry) squad entering the cargo hold. Then it made sense why they would send us to little remote SAV away from millions at ATL....anway, Dl ferried over a new a/c the next morning and got us home. Dl never found the cause of the strange noises. It was definately a rough night, and passengers nervers were high due to the creepy events. Glad to get home the next morning, that was for sure.
"If it was cool to be a fool, I'd be the hippest guy around"
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RE: Any Diversion Stories Out There?

Tue May 11, 2004 1:54 am

This was late March this year. We were on Emirates A332 night flight from MUC to DXB, the scheduled arr time was 0645 in the morning. About an hour before landing the captain announced that DXB was covered with morning fog (which happens quite often I have later heard) and we would have to go into holding pattern, but he didn´t expect the for to last for more than half an hour until sunrise. After circling for some time came another announcement, the visibility had deteriorated even further, there were 15 other planes in holding and if the fog wouldn´t clear in 30mins we would have to divert to Muscat, Oman. We were planning to change plane in DXB to EK A345 bound for Sydney, with a transfer time of 3,5hours so at this point we thought we had no problem.

When the decision time came we didn´t head south but west, as we saw on the Airshow map. No announcement was made until some time later, and it turned out we were heading for Doha, Qatar, as Muscat ramp was already full of planes diverted from DXB. After landing there we taxied to a remote parking stand and started to wait for fuel, two other EK planes following us a few minutes later. Fueling took a long, long time to finish and after it had been done we heard that a DXB-DOH-DXB flight was cancelled and we would be filling our plane with the pax booked on that flight.

By now we had been about an hour on the Doha ramp. Next thing we saw happening (after some more waiting) was that we were being pushed back from our stand, starting the engines and then headed for the terminal on the other side of the airport. Engines were then shut down, doors opened and then started the waiting for the new passengers, after the crew had moved the original c-cl pax to first class. The passengers came in several small groups, containers were hauled in and out then we just waited. Finally, we were ready to take off for another try to Dubai, where we landed about two hours after the scheduled departure time of the Sydney flight. We were traveling with stand-by tickets, and the next days flight was full. Plus we didn´t have any reserve tickets back to Europe form DXB, so the feeling was not very high when after landing we taxied again to a most remote parking stand.

But, Lady Luck was on our side as the SYD flight was also heavily delayed and final call was flashing on the monitors when we finally entered the terminal. We ran to the gate where the Emirates agent first said to us that the flight is closed and we would not be accepted. After some pleading he agreed to take us, as they were offloading some other passengers whose inbound flights were even more delayed. He even made a joke by saying to us "you were late" with a grin on his face, so a funny guy after all!

EK A345 was great and Sydney even better, but the Doha-diversion was an experience I could have lived without.
Long Beach Iron Works - still going strong!
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RE: Any Diversion Stories Out There?

Tue May 11, 2004 2:04 am

Back in 95, my wife and I were returning to LIM from MIA. It was a UA 757 and we were taking advantage of an inaugural fare of $999 R/T LIM-SFO, FOR TWO PEOPLE. We couldn't pass it up. So, as we are entering airspace into Peru, the captain announces that we are going to be diverted to Chiclayo (not sure what the airport code is there) because of fog in LIM, a common occurrence. We sat in Chiclayo for a couple of hours (remember, it's in international flight so we cannot deplane). This break allowed me to go and mingle with the F/As, who were super nice. Then the pilot announces that we needed to get back to our seats because we were going to continue on to LIM. One of the flight attendants approaches my wife and I and tells us that we needed to "balance the load" a little so she needed us to move up to first class. So, we flew on United Airlines from Chiclayo to Lima in first class. How many people can claim that? No, there was no service on that leg as it is only about 55 minutes. We might have been served a drink or something. But still, a funny situation. Of course, we didn't buy the argument about "balancing the load". She was just very nice to us, we think.
Faucett. La primera linea aerea del Peru.
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RE: Any Diversion Stories Out There?

Tue May 11, 2004 6:12 am

Several times on Aeroflot domestic flights because of weather conditions; once there were two diversions on the same flight, making it 4 stop-overs instead of scheduled 2.
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RE: Any Diversion Stories Out There?

Tue May 11, 2004 8:45 am

I have two stories, both amazingly uneventful...

First was a WN flight, from SLC to STL. The weather in STL was pretty bad, and we circled for a few minutes, until the captain came on the intercom and said we were diverting to IND for fuel, then return to STL. So we landed at IND, where the weather was perfect, then headed back to STL where I experienced the worst turbulence I've ever felt. Even though we were hours late getting back to STL, we still made our connecting flight to BWI. This trip was also one of the few times, that my baggage was lost  Sad

Second was DL flight 10 from ATL to LGW. This was on an MD11, that had mechanical problems mid flight - something to do with the refridgerator for the food. The captain told us we would be diverting to JFK for repairs. This trip was in June of 2002, so, when we landed, I noticed a unknown 747 surrounded by flashing lights, and I thought Oh no, not again(9/11). But we headed to the terminal, where we got repaired and sent on our way. The only bad thing about it was, that we were not allowed to get off the plane to stretch our legs or whatever, since it was an international flight.
Yay Pudding!
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RE: Any Diversion Stories Out There?

Tue May 11, 2004 10:50 am

Back in '95, I was on a DL MD-11 LAX-HKK. Diverted to Taipei for additional fuel then took off again for HKK. We broke off the approach into HKK at the last moment and diverted again to Shenzen (sp?) China. Due to fog at HKK. Remained on the tarmac for some 3 hours before taking off again for HKK. FA thanked the pax for being on "Delta's continuing tour of Pacific Rim nations". By the time we deplaned, had been on the plane for just under 23 hours! Thankfully, I was in Business Class that day!

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