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n797mx
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UA 737 Blown Into Fuel Truck In BUF

Sun Jan 20, 2013 5:22 pm

UA 737-924/ER, tail number N34460, hit a fuel truck this morning after being blown by a strong gust. Nose cone appears heavily damaged. Wind gusts were 35-45kts at the time.

http://www.weather.com/news/plane-hits-fuel-tank-wind-20130120

This is the second wind related accident in BUF this month, the first being a WN plane that turned 90° on Jan 4th.
Clear skies and strong tail winds.
 
mhkansan
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RE: UA 737 Blown Into Fuel Truck In BUF

Sun Jan 20, 2013 5:26 pm

I love that they didn't have any stairs around so they just put the belt loaded up to L1! On the 80, they just pull down the rear airstairs  
 
cornutt
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RE: UA 737 Blown Into Fuel Truck In BUF

Sun Jan 20, 2013 5:45 pm

Quoting mhkansan (Reply 1):
On the 80, they just pull down the rear airstairs

Back in the days of People's Express, on the FLL-EWR run, that was how pax boarded the aircraft!  Wow!
 
panam330
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RE: UA 737 Blown Into Fuel Truck In BUF

Sun Jan 20, 2013 6:28 pm

I'm surprised to see a 739 being used to BUF. At least it's 'just' the nose cone and the aircraft didn't contact the terminal building or something like that. As an aside, I love how UA can operate mainline to BUF/ROC/ALB, but still only manage CR7s to SYR. Kind of a bummer.
 
71Zulu
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RE: UA 737 Blown Into Fuel Truck In BUF

Sun Jan 20, 2013 6:35 pm

Quote:
More photos of the plane's unlikely accident, sent to The Weather Channel by a pilot who witnessed it, are shown below.

Hopefully not a UA pilot or thinking UA would not like that very much.
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HAWK21M
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RE: UA 737 Blown Into Fuel Truck In BUF

Sun Jan 20, 2013 6:55 pm

What about the 6 chocks......and parking brake set.
luckily it struck the radome, but considering it was a fuel truck could have been worse......
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cle757
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RE: UA 737 Blown Into Fuel Truck In BUF

Sun Jan 20, 2013 7:02 pm

The tow bar should have been hooked up to the push tractor and the aircraft should have been triple chocked..this is what we do in CLE when high winds happen.
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DocLightning
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RE: UA 737 Blown Into Fuel Truck In BUF

Sun Jan 20, 2013 7:51 pm

Quoting cle757 (Reply 6):

The tow bar should have been hooked up to the push tractor and the aircraft should have been triple chocked..this is what we do in CLE when high winds happen.

I was wondering about what the safety situation is in such conditions. Could you elaborate? 40kt winds are strong, but not extreme. I wonder if this was a freak gust or if they just got casual about procedure.
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flight152
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RE: UA 737 Blown Into Fuel Truck In BUF

Sun Jan 20, 2013 8:00 pm

Quoting panam330 (Reply 3):
I'm surprised to see a 739 being used to BUF.

They've been running it to ORD for some time now.
 
71Zulu
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RE: UA 737 Blown Into Fuel Truck In BUF

Sun Jan 20, 2013 8:05 pm

Why can't there just be a place to tie down the nosewheel at the gate?

Here's Pinnacle getting hit a few years back,

http://youtu.be/wDLyssxqabc?t=51s
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Francoflier
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RE: UA 737 Blown Into Fuel Truck In BUF

Sun Jan 20, 2013 9:10 pm

Quoting 71Zulu (Reply 9):

About. Face!

 
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platinumfoota
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RE: UA 737 Blown Into Fuel Truck In BUF

Sun Jan 20, 2013 9:25 pm

Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 5):
What about the 6 chocks......and parking brake set.

From the picture doesn't seem that the chocks helped. On UA's 737-7,8,and 9 it is Standard Operating Procedure to release brakes after the aircraft is choked on arrival. Towbar and pushback tractor would have helped.
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IBOAviator
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RE: UA 737 Blown Into Fuel Truck In BUF

Sun Jan 20, 2013 9:49 pm

Quoting n797mx (Thread starter):
UA 737-924/ER, tail number N34460, hit a fuel truck this morning after being blown by a strong gust. Nose cone appears heavily damaged. Wind gusts were 35-45kts at the time.
Quoting platinumfoota (Reply 11):
On UA's 737-7,8,and 9 it is Standard Operating Procedure to release brakes after the aircraft is choked on arrival.

 Wow! The aircraft was chocked and the parking break was engaged, I'm assuming. Would a 40kt wind actually have the force to move an aircraft of that size around like that? Since no towbar was used, it is safe to assume the parking brake was set. Seems to me that a wind would have to be significantly greater than 40kts to move an aircraft of that size around on the ramp?!

Quoting mhkansan (Reply 1):
I love that they didn't have any stairs around so they just put the belt loaded up to L1!

:D  haha, I can see them having some fun with that.. The belt loader was probably the most accessible piece of equipment avail at the time to get crew into the airplane fast.

Quoting cle757 (Reply 6):
the aircraft should have been triple chocked..

At my local facility, it is company policy to triple chock all aircraft when the wind exceeds 25kts. Now, those are largely in part business jets weighing a fraction of that of a B739 but still, aircraft being triple chocked in those conditions seems like a no brainer... common sense and in aviation, common sense is something that is surprisingly not universally shared.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 7):
I was wondering about what the safety situation is in such conditions. Could you elaborate? 40kt winds are strong, but not extreme. I wonder if this was a freak gust or if they just got casual about procedure.

When we get a B737 on our ramp and in those kinds of winds, triple chocking the aircraft is a must and with the parking brake on, that is all that is required. No infractions to date. I am thinking maybe a freak gust... My thoughts

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cle757
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RE: UA 737 Blown Into Fuel Truck In BUF

Sun Jan 20, 2013 9:50 pm

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 7):
I was wondering about what the safety situation is in such conditions. Could you elaborate? 40kt winds are strong, but not extreme. I wonder if this was a freak gust or if they just got casual about procedure.

We go into a program called SWAP (Severe Weather Action Program) aircraft are triple chocked (all wheels) and the tow bar and push back tractor are hooked up.
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IBOAviator
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RE: UA 737 Blown Into Fuel Truck In BUF

Sun Jan 20, 2013 9:58 pm

Quoting cle757 (Reply 13):
We go into a program called SWAP (Severe Weather Action Program) aircraft are triple chocked (all wheels) and the tow bar and push back tractor are hooked up.

Interesting. We only require a tow bar and tug to be hooked up to the aircraft if it's available. Granted, that's the procedures of my local Avitat. Are SWAP programs common to all airports? What constitutes "extreme weather?" Does BUF have a SWAP?
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yeelep
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RE: UA 737 Blown Into Fuel Truck In BUF

Sun Jan 20, 2013 10:25 pm

If the winds were actually gusting to 35kts-45kts, Boeing recommends that all main and nose gear tires be chocked and the parking brake set. To prevent the aircraft from pitching, set the horz. stab. to zero units, fuel the plane, extend the speedbrakes and ballast the plane to the forward C.G. limit.
 
platinumfoota
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RE: UA 737 Blown Into Fuel Truck In BUF

Sun Jan 20, 2013 10:51 pm

Quoting IBOAviator (Reply 14):
Are SWAP programs common to all airports?

Not here at LAX     
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KC135Hydraulics
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RE: UA 737 Blown Into Fuel Truck In BUF

Sun Jan 20, 2013 11:21 pm

Quoting yeelep (Reply 15):
If the winds were actually gusting to 35kts-45kts, Boeing recommends that all main and nose gear tires be chocked and the parking brake set. To prevent the aircraft from pitching, set the horz. stab. to zero units, fuel the plane, extend the speedbrakes and ballast the plane to the forward C.G. limit.

Definitely a lot of CYA by Boeing. I seriously doubt any operator would go to that extreme.
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jporterfi
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RE: UA 737 Blown Into Fuel Truck In BUF

Sun Jan 20, 2013 11:35 pm

Quoting mhkansan (Reply 1):

It would have been hilarious to see passengers (had there been any on board) deplaning via a beltloader.  That said, I'm glad no one was hurt in the incident.
 
KBUF
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RE: UA 737 Blown Into Fuel Truck In BUF

Sun Jan 20, 2013 11:37 pm

Here's WGRZ's article, with some closer up pics of the damage to the nose: http://www.wgrz.com/news/article/197...ed-Jet-into-Fuel-Tanker-at-Airport

The articles also notes that the fuel truck was owned by UA as well.

And a spare 739 was flown in from EWR: http://flightaware.com/live/flight/U...4/history/20130120/1330Z/KEWR/KBUF

[Edited 2013-01-20 15:40:26]
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KingAir200
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RE: UA 737 Blown Into Fuel Truck In BUF

Sun Jan 20, 2013 11:42 pm

Two sets of chocks are common in the RJ world, of course, but are there non-RJ airlines that don't triple chock their airplanes as a norm?
 
T5towbar
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RE: UA 737 Blown Into Fuel Truck In BUF

Mon Jan 21, 2013 12:20 am

It is normal procedure to triple chock any mainline aircraft. Especially on a RON. We usually don't triple chock RJ's, but on wind and adverse weather, all M/L gets triple chocked. No ballast or other special procedures are done, except moving he warning comes (which they will be blown away).

The wind can be a nightmare during ops. Try hooking up air during a windy turn. Not a easy task.
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trent1000
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RE: UA 737 Blown Into Fuel Truck In BUF

Mon Jan 21, 2013 12:33 am

Quoting francoflier (Reply 10):
About. Face!

No - a loss of face!  
 
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antoniemey
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RE: UA 737 Blown Into Fuel Truck In BUF

Mon Jan 21, 2013 1:42 am

Quoting jporterfi (Reply 18):
It would have been hilarious to see passengers (had there been any on board) deplaning via a beltloader.

You will never see that. Safety concerns.

Quoting KingAir200 (Reply 20):
Two sets of chocks are common in the RJ world, of course, but are there non-RJ airlines that don't triple chock their airplanes as a norm?

I believe in normal wind conditions, most airlines only require two sets of chocks... but in most cases three is S.O.P. anyway.

Quoting T5towbar (Reply 21):
It is normal procedure to triple chock any mainline aircraft. Especially on a RON. We usually don't triple chock RJ's, but on wind and adverse weather, all M/L gets triple chocked.

We chock all gears on RJs...
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tb727
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RE: UA 737 Blown Into Fuel Truck In BUF

Mon Jan 21, 2013 1:46 am

Quoting 71Zulu (Reply 4):
Hopefully not a UA pilot or thinking UA would not like that very much.

No the Weather Channel said it was a Southwest pilot when I saw it this morning.
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HermansCVR580
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RE: UA 737 Blown Into Fuel Truck In BUF

Mon Jan 21, 2013 2:11 am

I did not know that United did any of their own fueling anymore, I thought it was all contracted out?
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RE: UA 737 Blown Into Fuel Truck In BUF

Mon Jan 21, 2013 3:22 am

Quoting yeelep (Reply 15):
ballast the plane to the forward C.G. limit

What would an airline use as ballast? Especially if they had a ramp full of aircraft needing to be ballasted.
 
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tb727
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RE: UA 737 Blown Into Fuel Truck In BUF

Mon Jan 21, 2013 3:38 am

Quoting DeltaB717 (Reply 26):
What would an airline use as ballast? Especially if they had a ramp full of aircraft needing to be ballasted.

Fuel in my airplanes case.
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RE: UA 737 Blown Into Fuel Truck In BUF

Mon Jan 21, 2013 4:02 am

Quoting mhkansan (Reply 1):

On some 80s there were some airstairs under L1.
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traindoc
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RE: UA 737 Blown Into Fuel Truck In BUF

Mon Jan 21, 2013 4:18 am

Is it just me, but the pictures from the Buffalo TV station look like the nose is up against a jetway and not a fuel truck?
 
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RE: UA 737 Blown Into Fuel Truck In BUF

Mon Jan 21, 2013 4:57 am

Quoting traindoc (Reply 29):

It's just you.
My post is my ideas and my opinions only, I do not represent the ideas or opinions of anyone else or company.
 
KBUF
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RE: UA 737 Blown Into Fuel Truck In BUF

Mon Jan 21, 2013 5:04 am

It WAS sitting at a gate when the incident occurred, though.
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Yakflyer
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RE: UA 737 Blown Into Fuel Truck In BUF

Mon Jan 21, 2013 5:35 am

Quoting n797mx (Thread starter):
UA 737-924/ER, tail number N34460, hit a fuel truck this morning after being blown by a strong gust. Nose cone appears heavily damaged.

I don't know what your definition of heavily damaged means, but I don't think this measures up to that description for me. The only thing damaged was the radome and possibly the radar antenna which we can't see. All that would be required to put this 737 back into service would be changing the radome which is a matter of 8 or 10 fasteners.
 
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RE: UA 737 Blown Into Fuel Truck In BUF

Mon Jan 21, 2013 6:59 am

Tail 0460, that plane can't be that old right? Nice way to baptize the poor girl!
 
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HAWK21M
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RE: UA 737 Blown Into Fuel Truck In BUF

Mon Jan 21, 2013 10:31 am

How much distance did the Aircraft swing/move......approx.Any diagram.....

[Edited 2013-01-21 02:31:42]
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antoniemey
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RE: UA 737 Blown Into Fuel Truck In BUF

Mon Jan 21, 2013 11:44 am

Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 34):
How much distance did the Aircraft swing/move

Looks like it turned about 45 degrees from the parking line, so, about 50 feet, give or take?
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DarkSnowyNight
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RE: UA 737 Blown Into Fuel Truck In BUF

Mon Jan 21, 2013 11:56 am

Quoting mhkansan (Reply 1):
I love that they didn't have any stairs around so they just put the belt loaded up to L1! On the 80, they just pull down the rear airstairs  

Sure. I use those a lot to board AC that are out by Remote, or when stairs are not available. It's pretty common for MX on the 80s.

Quoting cornutt (Reply 2):
Back in the days of People's Express, on the FLL-EWR run, that was how pax boarded the aircraft!  

Now that's awesome. And as for using the aft stairs to come off an 80... I can't be the only who loves the whole Millennium Falcon feeling you get coming out that way...
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RE: UA 737 Blown Into Fuel Truck In BUF

Mon Jan 21, 2013 1:57 pm

Quoting KBUF (Reply 19):
Here's WGRZ's article, with some closer up pics of the damage to the nose: http://www.wgrz.com/news/article/197...ed-Jet-into-Fuel-Tanker-at-Airport

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71Zulu
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RE: UA 737 Blown Into Fuel Truck In BUF

Mon Jan 21, 2013 2:18 pm

Quoting cotparampguy (Reply 33):
Tail 0460, that plane can't be that old right? Nice way to baptize the poor girl!

Delivered March 11, 2012.
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United_fan
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RE: UA 737 Blown Into Fuel Truck In BUF

Mon Jan 21, 2013 2:49 pm

Quoting panam330 (Reply 3):
I'm surprised to see a 739 being used to BUF.

According to the Star Alliance timetable,we're supposed to start getting UA 737's in ROC from ORD starting in March or April. Also,BUF has,in the past gotten UA 757-200's to ORD.

[Edited 2013-01-21 06:49:36]
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calpsafltskeds
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RE: UA 737 Blown Into Fuel Truck In BUF

Mon Jan 21, 2013 3:11 pm

The aircraft is sked to ferry back to EWR today. Obviously with a new radome - question is if radar is damaged. Expect it back in service soon.

It could have been a lot worse. Without being stopped by the fuel truck, it could have hit the jetway with a wing, causing more extensive damage.

Back in the 1970's I saw a NW 747 do a 90 degree right turn at ORD during a thunderstorm, ending up with wing damage and almost hitting another NW 747. Pretty scary as the plane rocked for maybe 15 seconds before breaking loose.

[Edited 2013-01-21 07:13:37]

[Edited 2013-01-21 07:14:09]
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tommy767
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RE: UA 737 Blown Into Fuel Truck In BUF

Mon Jan 21, 2013 3:27 pm

UA 737s to BUF is new. By March it seems ROC gets 737s in addition to BUF.
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jayunited
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RE: UA 737 Blown Into Fuel Truck In BUF

Mon Jan 21, 2013 4:02 pm

United has been flying a 737 on the ORD-BUF route for some time now and although it is SOP to chock the mains and the nose gear on all aircraft the tractor and tow bar would have never been hooked up because the sustained wind speed was only 20-30 mph.

On a side note a few years back United had 3 A320's place out of service 2 with sever damage to the nose gear in ORD during a freak summer storm all the mains and the nose were chocked the breaks were set and the tow bar and push tractor were hook up. A mirco-burst blew threw the airport and the wind was so strong that it turned the aircraft and push tractor so much that it snapped the tow bar at the locking point and the aircraft nose gear ended up hitting the push tractor.

Hooking up a tow bar and a push tractor my seem like a great idea but the problem is SOP states before you hook up a tow bar you must first insert the bypass pin (which disengages the nose gear steering hydraulics). When that hydraulic system is disengaged the aircraft turns very easily, In fact if you don't insert the bypass pin you can turn the nose gear at all the pressure is too great.

Im sure we all have been on an airplane and hear a loud bang during push back followed by along waiting period that loud bang was the shear pins breaking on the tow bar because the bypass pin was not installed and its designed to be loud so that it gets the attention of the push operator and the the pilots in the flight deck.
 
yeelep
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RE: UA 737 Blown Into Fuel Truck In BUF

Mon Jan 21, 2013 4:19 pm

Quoting KC135Hydraulics (Reply 17):
Quoting yeelep (Reply 15):
If the winds were actually gusting to 35kts-45kts, Boeing recommends that all main and nose gear tires be chocked and the parking brake set. To prevent the aircraft from pitching, set the horz. stab. to zero units, fuel the plane, extend the speedbrakes and ballast the plane to the forward C.G. limit.

Definitely a lot of CYA by Boeing. I seriously doubt any operator would go to that extreme.

None that I know of. The furthest I've gone is everything but fully fueling and ballasting to fwd C.G.

Quoting DeltaB717 (Reply 26):
What would an airline use as ballast? Especially if they had a ramp full of aircraft needing to be ballasted.

That would be up to the airline, if they chose to do so.

Quoting tb727 (Reply 27):
Fuel in my airplanes case.

That will add weight on wheels, it won't move the C.G. to the forward limit.

Quoting traindoc (Reply 29):
Is it just me, but the pictures from the Buffalo TV station look like the nose is up against a jetway and not a fuel truck?

That picture is of the plane after it was returned to the gate.

Quoting Yakflyer (Reply 32):
Quoting n797mx (Thread starter):
UA 737-924/ER, tail number N34460, hit a fuel truck this morning after being blown by a strong gust. Nose cone appears heavily damaged.

I don't know what your definition of heavily damaged means, but I don't think this measures up to that description for me. The only thing damaged was the radome and possibly the radar antenna which we can't see. All that would be required to put this 737 back into service would be changing the radome which is a matter of 8 or 10 fasteners.

He said the nose cone (radome) appeared heavily damaged. It meets my definition of completely destroyed.
 
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tb727
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RE: UA 737 Blown Into Fuel Truck In BUF

Mon Jan 21, 2013 4:26 pm

Quoting yeelep (Reply 43):
That will add weight on wheels, it won't move the C.G. to the forward limit.

Yeah on the 737 it probably won't help much. We try and put at least 30k on the 727 and triple chalk it, if we are there watching it, we leave the parking brake set.
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khpn
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RE: UA 737 Blown Into Fuel Truck In BUF

Mon Jan 21, 2013 4:30 pm

at least it wasnt like this

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cHhZwvdRR5c

a side not on SWAP, its also used in ATC as severe weather avoidance program.. very common in the nyc airports.

also, i was actually spotting at BUF 2 days ago, and let me tell you, it has been VERY windy.
 
cornutt
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RE: UA 737 Blown Into Fuel Truck In BUF

Mon Jan 21, 2013 4:37 pm

Quoting Darksnowynight (Reply 36):

Now that's awesome. And as for using the aft stairs to come off an 80... I can't be the only who loves the whole Millennium Falcon feeling you get coming out that way...

Oh yeah, it was a bit like being in a '60s-era spacecraft before you entered the cabin. It actually surprised me the first time I did it, since up until then I didn't know those aircraft had that stairway. People's Express had one gate at FLL that had no jetway... the door and the stand were there. You walk out the door, onto the stand, and down the aux stairway to the tarmac. The first time I did it, I expected to see an airstair next to the L1 door, but no... we're walking towards the rear of the aircraft... where are we going? I wondered if we were going to have to climb a ladder or something. (Actually, that does sound like something that People's Express might have done.  Wow! )
 
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mayor
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RE: UA 737 Blown Into Fuel Truck In BUF

Mon Jan 21, 2013 4:59 pm

Quoting tb727 (Reply 44):
We try and put at least 30k on the 727 and triple chalk it, if we are there watching it, we leave the parking brake set.

In SLC, before we merged with WA, on the overnight 727s, instead of fueling the a/c, we would drop the rear airstairs, lock the inside access door and hook up the jet tug and towbar and of course, chock the mains and nose gear.


AA, on the other hand, used to leave their stairs up and fuel it up for ballast. One night during stormy weather, they apparently didn't fuel it up and a wind gust came up, picked up the nose and swung it into the jetway. This was with a 727, also. Next morning, the plane was still there, nose in the air, up against the jetway.
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AirframeAS
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RE: UA 737 Blown Into Fuel Truck In BUF

Mon Jan 21, 2013 6:52 pm

Quoting cle757 (Reply 6):

The tow bar should have been hooked up to the push tractor and the aircraft should have been triple chocked..this is what we do in CLE when high winds happen.

We do the exact same thing in DEN, regardless of weather. It's a safety thing.

Fir rampers: To prevent tail tipping on the 738's and 739's, we unload the aft pit first and then the fwd pit. When loading the outbound, fwd pit loaded first then the overflow in the aft pit.
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HAWK21M
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RE: UA 737 Blown Into Fuel Truck In BUF

Mon Jan 21, 2013 7:36 pm

Quoting Antoniemey (Reply 35):

Looks like it turned about 45 degrees from the parking line, so, about 50 feet, give or take?

With 6 chocks on the wheels.....still it moved 45 deg........
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