|Quoting Daleaholic (Reply 11):|
Presuming it was a BA aircraft... Is it possible that the aircraft was 'too' heavy and was struggling to climb (if heading North) or would be descending too quickly? Hence the fuel dump?
eh? Pilots aren't guesstimating their fuel and payloads. No plane takes off with too much fuel to fly. For one thing, it'd crash just after takeoff - that's when margins are slimmest, not after gaining speed and altitude. Anyway, fuel and payload are an exact science - they're fairly simple calculations, and are usually handled these days by the FMC (I don't know what model 747 this is, so not sure if it has an engineer or not).
It would be a huge waste of money - not to mention a big environmental no-no - for pilots to be taking off thinking "maybe we've got too much fuel, but eh, we'll just dump some if we have to." Ensuring the proper fuel load and takeoff weight is SOP at every airline (cargo and pax) before taxi; it has to be, for safety reasons.
also has blue bellies on their 747 (old c/s). Not sure who else does.
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