sleekjet
Posts: 2006
Joined: Sat Jul 28, 2001 1:35 am

Fuel Burn Question

Tue Apr 04, 2006 10:58 am

I was monitoring the scanner today and heard an American Airlines pilot say this to the ATC: "Request flight level 200. We need to burn some fuel."

The a/c was not in distress. In these days where every drop of fuel is enormously valuable, what could this have been about?
II Cor. 4:17-18
 
2H4
Posts: 7960
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2004 11:11 pm

RE: Fuel Burn Question

Tue Apr 04, 2006 11:23 am



I would assume they needed to burn fuel to reduce their weight to a value at or below maximum landing weight. Why they had "too much" fuel is another question altogether. Perhaps they diverted to a closer airport than their original destination, due to weather, medical situation, etc...




2H4


Intentionally Left Blank
 
rsbj
Posts: 105
Joined: Sun Jan 29, 2006 4:49 am

RE: Fuel Burn Question

Tue Apr 04, 2006 11:26 am

First guess would be they would land over Max Landing Weight if they climbed to their originally planned flight level. It's happened to me twice, once because we were overfueled in JAX, and the other was a dispatch software fault where we realized at leveloff we would be very close and to be proactive about it and desend. Overweight landings are prohibited except for a medical emergency or something equally dire; the inspections can be lengthy.
I'm sure others will chime in with their experiences, it happens once in a great while.
I fly really fast and take a lot of chances.
 
Goldenshield
Posts: 5005
Joined: Sun Jan 14, 2001 3:45 pm

RE: Fuel Burn Question

Tue Apr 04, 2006 11:32 am

A lot of times, pilots in the U.S. will call up their dispatcher to see if they can get some more people (like those that show up at the last minute) on after an aircraft has already been fueled so that they can take those people and arrive below the maximum landing weight. The dispatcher will look over the situation, and if he finds no reason to preclude such a move, he will specifically authorize the lower altitude, and provide the the new numbers for that lower altitude.
Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun.
 
sleekjet
Posts: 2006
Joined: Sat Jul 28, 2001 1:35 am

RE: Fuel Burn Question

Tue Apr 04, 2006 11:32 am

Stupid civilian question: Is the problem with overweight landings what it does to the plane or what it does to the runway?
II Cor. 4:17-18
 
2H4
Posts: 7960
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2004 11:11 pm

RE: Fuel Burn Question

Tue Apr 04, 2006 11:37 am




Quoting Sleekjet (Reply 4):
Stupid civilian question: Is the problem with overweight landings what it does to the plane or what it does to the runway?

AFAIK, the concern is limited to the aircraft itself. Overweight landings are usually possible, but overweight inspections are typically required afterward.




2H4


Intentionally Left Blank
 
OPNLguy
Posts: 11191
Joined: Tue Jun 15, 1999 11:29 am

RE: Fuel Burn Question

Tue Apr 04, 2006 12:14 pm

Quoting Sleekjet (Reply 4):
Stupid civilian question: Is the problem with overweight landings what it does to the plane or what it does to the runway?

Doesn't affect the runway (the runway was able to handle takeoff weights, which are higher).

Landing overweight (not done except in emergencies) involves maintenance checking certain components for damage, and if they find any, repairing the aircraft. The amount of weight over the max, and how hard a landing are also factors.
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
User avatar
Starlionblue
Posts: 17058
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2004 9:54 pm

RE: Fuel Burn Question

Tue Apr 04, 2006 12:21 pm

Quoting OPNLguy (Reply 6):
Quoting Sleekjet (Reply 4):
Stupid civilian question: Is the problem with overweight landings what it does to the plane or what it does to the runway?

Doesn't affect the runway (the runway was able to handle takeoff weights, which are higher).

Landing overweight (not done except in emergencies) involves maintenance checking certain components for damage, and if they find any, repairing the aircraft. The amount of weight over the max, and how hard a landing are also factors.

It should be noted that all aircraft are certified to land up to Max TO weight. That is, the gear will not collapse or anything if they land overweight unless the pilots screw up or other factors are at play. However, overweight landings involve higher speeds than you would typically like to use, and thus are more risky.

As others have said though, even the best overweight landing can lead to (non catastrophic) damage, so an inspection is mandatory.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
sleekjet
Posts: 2006
Joined: Sat Jul 28, 2001 1:35 am

RE: Fuel Burn Question

Wed Apr 05, 2006 6:49 am

Thanks to Joe Statz...we now have the answer to the mystery. That flight experienced a cracked windshield and needed to return to DFW. That necessitated the burning off of fuel.
II Cor. 4:17-18

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: geologyrocks, zaphod42 and 14 guests