HPRamper
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Alaska Flight 30 Declares Emergency, Diverts BIL

Sat Oct 06, 2012 4:51 pm

Was surprised to see an AS 738 land at BIL a few moments ago, apparently declared emergency over Wyoming because of smoke in the cabin. Now at a gate surrounded by airport fire response. Looks like things have been straightened out - where was this bird originally headed?

Sure was shocked to see it land - figure this is the only way I'll see AS mainline here!
 
ScarletHarlot
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RE: Alaska Flight 30 Declares Emergency, Diverts BIL

Sat Oct 06, 2012 4:58 pm

Looks like it was heading to Boston.

http://flightaware.com/live/flight/ASA30

Glad it's down safe!
But that was when I ruled the world
 
Coronado990
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RE: Alaska Flight 30 Declares Emergency, Diverts BIL

Sat Oct 06, 2012 5:05 pm

Quoting ScarletHarlot (Reply 1):
Looks like it was heading to Boston.

Ooops!...wrong Logan International. Just kidding!. Glad everyone is safe.
Uncle SAN at your service!
 
HPRamper
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RE: Alaska Flight 30 Declares Emergency, Diverts BIL

Sat Oct 06, 2012 5:18 pm

Quoting Coronado990 (Reply 2):
Ooops!...wrong Logan International. Just kidding!. Glad everyone is safe.

Heh, didn't think of that. Touche.
 
jporterfi
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RE: Alaska Flight 30 Declares Emergency, Diverts BIL

Sun Oct 07, 2012 6:32 am

Wouldn't JAC have been a closer diversion airport? It can handle bigger aircraft than a 738: Air Force Two used to land their when Cheney was VP. Or does BIL just have better fire response? I know that it has a longer runway than JAC, which is probably part of what influenced the crew to go there.
 
BoeingGuy
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RE: Alaska Flight 30 Declares Emergency, Diverts BIL

Sun Oct 07, 2012 6:46 am

Quoting jporterfi (Reply 4):
Wouldn't JAC have been a closer diversion airport? It can handle bigger aircraft than a 738: Air Force Two used to land their when Cheney was VP. Or does BIL just have better fire response? I know that it has a longer runway than JAC, which is probably part of what influenced the crew to go there.

Good question. The Boeing Smoke, Fire or Fumes checklist calls for landing at the nearest suitable airport anytime the crew cannot visually identify that the smoke source is out. I don't know exactly where they were, but apparently in the captain's judgement BIL, was the better choice. JAC is at altitude and is a fairly short runway. Maybe the weather was poor; maybe he could get down to BIL just as fast after descending. There are a lot of factors that the captain would take into account. If it were a more serious developing fire, I can guarantee the captain would have landing at a 5,000 general aviation strip if it were closest.
 
milesrich
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RE: Alaska Flight 30 Declares Emergency, Diverts BIL

Sun Oct 07, 2012 7:31 am

based on the location of the aircraft when it turned north, it does not appear that JAC was closer, plus there would be head winds turning around 180 degrees and flying west, rather than 90 degrees and flying north. JAC is very close to the Idaho border and south of the track that AS 30 was on. Look at the maps.

http://flightaware.com/live/flight/A...0/history/20121006/1435Z/KPDX/KBOS

http://flightaware.com/live/flight/UAL336
 
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HAWK21M
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RE: Alaska Flight 30 Declares Emergency, Diverts BIL

Mon Oct 08, 2012 12:00 pm

Any more details on the related snag.....
I may not win often, but I damn well never lose!!! ;)
 
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kgaiflyer
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RE: Alaska Flight 30 Declares Emergency, Diverts BIL

Mon Oct 08, 2012 12:55 pm

Quoting jporterfi (Reply 4):
Wouldn't JAC have been a closer diversion airport? It can handle bigger aircraft than a 738

QX having a station at BIL -- but not at JAC -- might have made the difference.
 
Passedv1
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RE: Alaska Flight 30 Declares Emergency, Diverts BIL

Mon Oct 08, 2012 1:23 pm

Quoting milesrich (Reply 6):
based on the location of the aircraft when it turned north, it does not appear that JAC was closer, plus there would be head winds turning around 180 degrees and flying west, rather than 90 degrees and flying north

Don't know if it applied here but chances are good that at least one of the flightcrew was former QX. Which would mean familiarity with BIL. It woud be a factor if two airports were close to being a tie.
 
CZ346
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RE: Alaska Flight 30 Declares Emergency, Diverts BIL

Mon Oct 08, 2012 1:40 pm

Quoting kgaiflyer (Reply 8):
Quoting jporterfi (Reply 4):
Wouldn't JAC have been a closer diversion airport? It can handle bigger aircraft than a 738

QX having a station at BIL -- but not at JAC -- might have made the difference.

I would tend to smirk in favor of this comment. If we're not looking at too much of a difference and the pilot deems it safe, this almost always plays a roll when we make these calls.
 
HPRamper
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RE: Alaska Flight 30 Declares Emergency, Diverts BIL

Mon Oct 08, 2012 5:37 pm

I think more a factor than anything else is that the flight had already passed over JAC and was over halfway across Wyoming. The closest suitable airports were BIL and maybe CPR although I don't know what the facilities at CPR look like.
 
BoeingGuy
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RE: Alaska Flight 30 Declares Emergency, Diverts BIL

Mon Oct 08, 2012 9:33 pm

Quoting kgaiflyer (Reply 8):
Quoting jporterfi (Reply 4):
Wouldn't JAC have been a closer diversion airport? It can handle bigger aircraft than a 738

QX having a station at BIL -- but not at JAC -- might have made the difference.

If you smell unidentified smoke, you land on the nearest concrete of sufficient length - period (or you should). In this case it sounds like BIL was the nearest airport anyway. JAC has full facilities for jet airplanes. UA and AA send 757s in there. The difference of minutes in a serious fire event could mean the difference in survival. Look at AC797. Fire flashed through the airplane during evacuation. If they'd landed at SDF it could have had a different outcome.

If this had been a potential catastrophic fire, flying a few extra minutes to a QX station (if that were the case) could have made the difference in survival.

Certainly, landing at a farther on-line should have no bearing in the decision of what airport to land at during a smoke or fire event.

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