gilesdavies
Posts: 2280
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British Airways A320 Flight Diverted To Luton?

Sat Dec 15, 2007 8:50 pm

Just noticed a British Airways - A320 (G-EUUB), has landed at LTN at 8.12pm this evening.

It appears to be BA857, which has arrived from Prague and was scheduled to land at LHR 7.30pm. Interestingly it advises on BAA's website it landed at 8.15pm, and says nothing about a diversion.

Anyone know why it has arrived at LTN? Not that were complaining - BA's colours are always nice to see.

Thanks to Glenn (AKA - EZYAirbus), for the info.

[Edited 2007-12-15 13:02:50]
 
express1
Posts: 847
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RE: British Airways A320 Flight Diverted To Luton?

Sat Dec 15, 2007 9:02 pm

I just text a mate of mine who may put some light on this. will let you know,but someone here may beat me to it while i'm waiting for a reply.

dave
David.S cavanagh since 1961,if you can do better,then show me.
 
gilesdavies
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RE: British Airways A320 Flight Diverted To Luton?

Sat Dec 15, 2007 9:08 pm

Is now due to depart LTN at 9.10pm and arrive at LHR at 9.27pm...

Just heard it is currently being refuelled and will be on its way, no one has been taken off from what I have heard.

If its been diverted to LTN because it was short of fuel, this seems a little weird and would surprise me. Because I would expect them to have extra fuel onboard, especially only flying from PRG, as being stacked to land at LHR is not unusual and Saturday evenings is relatively quiet by LHR standards...
 
express1
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RE: British Airways A320 Flight Diverted To Luton?

Sat Dec 15, 2007 9:38 pm

Well someone cocked up at PRG then for that flight to be short of fuel,if that's what it was.

Surprised? yes i am.

dave
David.S cavanagh since 1961,if you can do better,then show me.
 
LHR777
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RE: British Airways A320 Flight Diverted To Luton?

Sat Dec 15, 2007 11:00 pm



Quoting Express1 (Reply 3):
Well someone cocked up at PRG then for that flight to be short of fuel,if that's what it was.

That's a bit of idle speculation, if ever I saw it!

A low-fuel emergency is entirely possible on a PRG-LHR service. Full payload (passengers/cargo/mail/baggage) plus headwind plus extended holding time can all necessitate a diversion to an alternate airfield. Remember, the aircraft has to land with a minimum amount of fuel in tanks, and if the holding time will mean this lower limit will be reached, then the aircraft must divert. Simple as that. We plan on trip fuel (TIF), diversion (DIV) and contingency (CGY), to make up total Fuel in Tanks (FIT).
 
EZYAirbus
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RE: British Airways A320 Flight Diverted To Luton?

Sat Dec 15, 2007 11:44 pm

Aircraft departed Luton at 2200 to LHR as BA857X interestingly in the departure lounge the boards read "BA857X London (Heathrow) - Wait in lounge" not sure why as no pax got off!

Glenn
http://www.glenneldridgeaviation.com
 
Leezyjet
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RE: British Airways A320 Flight Diverted To Luton?

Sun Dec 16, 2007 12:08 am



Quoting EZYAirbus (Reply 5):
interestingly in the departure lounge the boards read "BA857X London (Heathrow) - Wait in lounge" not sure why as no pax got off!

Usually alot of the airport systems are integrated, so if the stand planning dept for example added the flight as a movement in their system, this could cause it to automatically cut over onto the departure screens. This seems to be quite common at some airports.

Quoting Express1 (Reply 1):
I just text a mate of mine who may put some light on this. will let you know,but someone here may beat me to it while i'm waiting for a reply.

There was a runway closure at LHR earlier. Not sure what time or for how long though so with the extended holding times, this would cause the situation to develop like LHR777 said meaning a mandatory divert for a "splash and dash".

Quoting Express1 (Reply 3):
Well someone cocked up at PRG then for that flight to be short of fuel,if that's what it was.

Surprised? yes i am.

I'm surprised at you Express1. Normally an assumption like that with no facts what-so-ever comes from our 15y/o arm chair CEO's, not a gentleman such as yourself.


http://www.airliners.net/uf/536915396/1172592057V7pZn0.jpg

Quote:
while flying back on this Ryanair B738 i took this pic of its engine and wondered what is this bit of metal sticking out?

It's a vortex generator. It generates vortexes over the wing when the a/c is in a bank so that a portion of the wing is not blanked off by the engine from the airflow and doesn't loose any lift.

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davescj
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RE: British Airways A320 Flight Diverted To Luton?

Sun Dec 16, 2007 4:40 pm

How far is Luton to Heathrow? Obviously being in London, they aren't far from each other.

And if the flight was low on fuel, wouldn't LHR give him a priority approach? Or is it possible he was already to low on fuel?

Thanks!

Dave
Can I have a mojito on this flight?
 
LHR777
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RE: British Airways A320 Flight Diverted To Luton?

Sun Dec 16, 2007 4:58 pm



Quoting Davescj (Reply 7):
How far is Luton to Heathrow? Obviously being in London, they aren't far from each other.

And if the flight was low on fuel, wouldn't LHR give him a priority approach? Or is it possible he was already to low on fuel?

There are four 'stacks' (holding areas where inbound planes are queued in a spiralling pattern) serving Heathrow - Bovingdon (NW London), Lambourne (Essex), Biggin Hill (SE London) and Ockham (Surrey).

Bovingdon is closer to LTN than LHR - 12.8 miles (as the crow flies) from Bovingdon to LHR, 20 miles (again, as the crow flies) from Bovingdon to LHR. Bear in mind that the aircraft would need to enter the pattern from the stack, this could mean flying across north London again, to join the arrival track as far out as LCY, or heading West, joining the arrivals track west of Windsor. Either way, LTN is substantially closer.

LTN to LHR, as the A320 flies (in a straight line) is around 31 miles.
 
davescj
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RE: British Airways A320 Flight Diverted To Luton?

Sun Dec 16, 2007 5:02 pm

Thanks LHR777 for the fast response! I didn't realize the distance was that great or that LHR had so many holding areas. Is that common, or unique to LHR? For example, would ORD or LAX do something similar?

Growing up in LAW, waiting to land/circling was non issue. We had only 14 flights a day in the 80's......all to DFW......7 on American Eagle and 7 on ASA (when DL had a hub there). Oddly, the same company (Metro) ran all 14 flights.

Dave
Can I have a mojito on this flight?
 
LHR777
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RE: British Airways A320 Flight Diverted To Luton?

Sun Dec 16, 2007 5:20 pm



Quoting Davescj (Reply 9):
I didn't realize the distance was that great or that LHR had so many holding areas. Is that common, or unique to LHR? For example, would ORD or LAX do something similar?

Ooh, I don't know that answer to that one, sorry Dave! I do know other European airports have stacks, but then, considering that LHR has only 2 runways and 4 (soon to be 5) terminals, I guess you have to 'stack' the aircraft somewhere before they land!

Quoting Davescj (Reply 9):
We had only 14 flights a day in the 80's......all to DFW......7 on American Eagle and 7 on ASA (when DL had a hub there). Oddly, the same company (Metro) ran all 14 flights.

Wow. BA alone operates around 340 departures per day from LHR, so consider a similar amount of arrivals, just from one carrier. LHR total movements (departures and arrivals) is between 1200-1300 per day. you have to put those aircraft somewhere!
 
N1120A
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RE: British Airways A320 Flight Diverted To Luton?

Mon Dec 17, 2007 6:09 am



Quoting Gilesdavies (Reply 2):

If its been diverted to LTN because it was short of fuel, this seems a little weird and would surprise me. Because I would expect them to have extra fuel onboard, especially only flying from PRG, as being stacked to land at LHR is not unusual and Saturday evenings is relatively quiet by LHR standards...

This is a bit surprising. The airports are so close that this type of diversion seems strange.

Quoting Gilesdavies (Reply 2):
Is now due to depart LTN at 9.10pm and arrive at LHR at 9.27pm...



Quoting Davescj (Reply 7):
How far is Luton to Heathrow? Obviously being in London, they aren't far from each other.

Luton is not in London, Heathrow is. Anyway, the 17 minute flight time should be an indicator.
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
nosedive
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RE: British Airways A320 Flight Diverted To Luton?

Mon Dec 17, 2007 6:24 am



Quoting N1120A (Reply 11):

This is a bit surprising. The airports are so close that this type of diversion seems strange.

LHR was stacked and they couldn't get him down quick enough, probably.
 
N1120A
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RE: British Airways A320 Flight Diverted To Luton?

Mon Dec 17, 2007 6:44 am



Quoting Nosedive (Reply 12):

LHR was stacked and they couldn't get him down quick enough, probably.

That seems to be the issue, though it is still quite interesting. I guess it is a good think that London has so many potential diversion points.
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
gilesdavies
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RE: British Airways A320 Flight Diverted To Luton?

Mon Dec 17, 2007 8:50 am



Quoting N1120A (Reply 11):
Luton is not in London, Heathrow is. Anyway, the 17 minute flight time should be an indicator.

I think you should get your facts right!

Luton is considered to be a London airport and about 25 miles north of Central London, which is about the same distance LGW is from London.

LHR to LTN is about 22 miles in the way the bird flies, which is about 3 mins flying times. But because of the busy airspace, around this area the aircraft will obviously have to fly a set route and not directly there. It is also likely it would have to stack for landing too...
 
theginge
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RE: British Airways A320 Flight Diverted To Luton?

Mon Dec 17, 2007 9:12 am

Heard it was a problem with the lighting on 09L so it went to single runway ops for a short time. Hence the BA probably didn;t have enough fuel for an extended time round the hold so had to go to Luton for some gas.

Quoting Gilesdavies (Reply 14):
LHR to LTN is about 22 miles in the way the bird flies, which is about 3 mins flying times. But because of the busy airspace, around this area the aircraft will obviously have to fly a set route and not directly there. It is also likely it would have to stack for landing too...

That is 3 mins flying time at cruise speed. In the London TMA they won;t be going faster than 250 Kts so it will take a little longer.
 
ncelhr
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RE: British Airways A320 Flight Diverted To Luton?

Mon Dec 17, 2007 10:00 am



Quoting Davescj (Reply 7):

And if the flight was low on fuel, wouldn't LHR give him a priority approach?

Possibly because there were also several other aircraft in the same position. When one runway has to be closed at LHR, things become complete chaos. Imagine having to juggle with more balls than you can handle. Well, ATC is well qualified to juggle with so many balls, but every minute that goes by makes those balls even more unstable, so it's often a case of "divert all lo-fuel" as a precautionary measure than as a last ditch scenario (no pun intended)

For many flights, the diversion is often as far North as Manchester.
 
express1
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RE: British Airways A320 Flight Diverted To Luton?

Mon Dec 17, 2007 10:09 am



Quoting Leezyjet (Reply 6):
I'm surprised at you Express1. Normally an assumption like that with no facts what-so-ever comes from our 15y/o arm chair CEO's, not a gentleman such as yourself.

Well let me explain to the reason why i said that.

I thought that when pilots plan their flight plan for getting from A to B,they have to calculate on how much fuel to load,weight pending. also calculate for delays and holding,that's why i was surpised being a short trip that it ended up at LTN and not LHR.

dave
David.S cavanagh since 1961,if you can do better,then show me.
 
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GCT64
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RE: British Airways A320 Flight Diverted To Luton?

Mon Dec 17, 2007 10:10 am



Quoting Gilesdavies (Reply 2):
Is now due to depart LTN at 9.10pm and arrive at LHR at 9.27pm...

It appears that it didn't actually depart LTN for LHR until 2202 - giving 2 hours on the ground at LTN.
I can imagine that some passengers (esp. those on hand baggage) might have been getting slightly annoyed about being kept at LTN for two hours when they may actually been as close (or closer) to their destination while sat at LTN.
Flown in: A30B,A306,A310,A319,A320,A321,A332,A333,A343,A346,A359,A388,BA11,BU31,B190,(..54 more types..),VC10,WESX
 
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SKAirbus
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RE: British Airways A320 Flight Diverted To Luton?

Mon Dec 17, 2007 11:28 am



Quoting GCT64 (Reply 18):
It appears that it didn't actually depart LTN for LHR until 2202 - giving 2 hours on the ground at LTN.
I can imagine that some passengers (esp. those on hand baggage) might have been getting slightly annoyed about being kept at LTN for two hours when they may actually been as close (or closer) to their destination while sat at LTN.

Two hours on the ground, plus lets say 35 minutes from gate to gate, passport control (as they didnt deplane at LTN), which lasts forever at LHR... baggage reclaim and customs... it will probably be a lot easier and quicker to deplane at LTN, and get a bus to Heathrow...
Next Flights: LHR-OSL (738), OSL-CPH (320), CPH-LHR (321), LHR-HEL (359), HEL-LHR (359)
 
David L
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RE: British Airways A320 Flight Diverted To Luton?

Mon Dec 17, 2007 11:57 am



Quoting Express1 (Reply 17):
I thought that when pilots plan their flight plan for getting from A to B,they have to calculate on how much fuel to load,weight pending. also calculate for delays and holding,that's why i was surpised being a short trip that it ended up at LTN and not LHR.

When you do see diversions like that due to a "shortage" of fuel, I think it's usually the case that the aircraft might not have enough fuel to hold, perform a missed approach, divert to an alternate airport and still land with more than the legal minimum fuel. It's not necessarily the case that the aircraft is in danger of not making the airport.

If the wind, traffic and holding times all conspire against you and there's also a problem at your destination, I'm not sure you can necessarily call the fuel situation a "cock-up".  Smile
 
gilesdavies
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RE: British Airways A320 Flight Diverted To Luton?

Mon Dec 17, 2007 12:15 pm

Here is the real reason for the delay!

I have had an email and from the First Officer of this flight and is happy for me to post the email and wants to clear up there was "NO COCK UP" at PRG, and to stop the speculation...

"Unknown lighting issues on 09L at LHR caused a normal 10-15 min delay to build up to about 30 mins very quickly.
We had about 40 mins holding fuel on top of min reserves (30 mins) however we were issued an EAT from the LAM hold of 45 min after we arrived. Therefore we were not going to 'hope for it to improve' as some airlines do. We elected as a crew to divert for a 'splash and dash'. Paperwork issues held us at LTN longer than we wanted to be there. We explained the situation to the pax who were very patient and understood the reasons.

To answer this from one of the posts....

Well someone cocked up at PRG then for that flight to be short of fuel,if that's what it was.
Surprised? yes i am.

Nobody cocked up. The Captain and myself put a sensible ammount of fuel on for the weather (lovely evening) and for the 'Heathrow factor'. (A bit more just in case). However this was completely out of our control. I, and every pilot I fly with would never skimp on fuel if we had a good reason for extra. Again, unlike some airlines, we can, and do put whatever (within reason) ammount of fuel on that we like. No questions asked. Its part of a very good and open safety culture."


Im very grateful for the First Officer taking the time to read my thread and emailing me a response!

[Edited 2007-12-17 04:16:07]
 
express1
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RE: British Airways A320 Flight Diverted To Luton?

Mon Dec 17, 2007 2:12 pm



Quoting Gilesdavies (Reply 21):
if that's what it was.

Note on what i said,i said "if that's what it was"

dave
David.S cavanagh since 1961,if you can do better,then show me.
 
davescj
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RE: British Airways A320 Flight Diverted To Luton?

Mon Dec 17, 2007 3:59 pm

Just a couple curiosity questions.

Quoting Gilesdavies (Reply 21):
The Captain and myself put a sensible ammount

Do the FO and Captain BOTH have to sign off on the fuel amount? As in both do a calculation (2 seperate for security, the just in case issue) and AGREE as a crew to load XXX fuel? Or is it the Captain alone who decides?

Quoting Gilesdavies (Reply 21):
owever we were issued an EAT from the LAM hold of 45 min after we arrived

What is EAT? What is LAM?

Thanks!

Dave
Can I have a mojito on this flight?
 
Tristarsteve
Posts: 3372
Joined: Tue Nov 22, 2005 11:04 pm

RE: British Airways A320 Flight Diverted To Luton?

Mon Dec 17, 2007 6:01 pm



Quoting Davescj (Reply 23):
What is EAT? What is LAM?

EAT Estimated approach time
LAM Lambourne, one of the LHR holding patterns.

Quoting Davescj (Reply 23):
Do the FO and Captain BOTH have to sign off on the fuel amount?

No, but they check the flight plan and weather together. The sector ramp fuel is already calculated for them.
The PF decides if they need any extra, and will always ask the PNF if he agrees.

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