AFGMEL
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Tech Stop Question

Mon Nov 23, 2009 11:59 pm

Hi,

I was thinking about tech stops and why airlines avoid them. I am sure the bean counters have done the maths and worked out it's not economical.

I was musing and thought I would ask. If a route is pushing an aircraft's range, would a tech stop be so bad? If it were somewhere in the middle of an Asia-Europe flight for example.

As I understand it, the aircraft would take off with less fuel and burn less fuel because it is lighter. It could cruise slightly faster which would make up a lot of time over a long haul. If the stop was just for fuel it could be less than an hour and if they used out of the way airports, ATC wouldn't cause delays.

Obviously expensive landing fees and ATC would deter airlines, but there are airports who encourage airlines. Flying near the edge of your range would possibly involve a unscheduled stop in any case.

I don't know the answer to these questions but was just musing. Thoughts?
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thegeek
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RE: Tech Stop Question

Tue Nov 24, 2009 12:55 am

Pax hate them. While your costs are reduced, also by not needing relief pilots (or less of them) in addition to the points you note, your revenue is also reduced.
 
tdscanuck
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RE: Tech Stop Question

Tue Nov 24, 2009 2:13 am



Quoting AFGMEL (Thread starter):
If a route is pushing an aircraft's range, would a tech stop be so bad?

No. There are a couple of scheduled commercial flights that use them now (e.g. BA's London City - NYC route), and almost all long-haul freighters do this.

Quoting AFGMEL (Thread starter):
As I understand it, the aircraft would take off with less fuel and burn less fuel because it is lighter.

Correct. Total fuel burn for the trip is lower.

Quoting AFGMEL (Thread starter):
It could cruise slightly faster which would make up a lot of time over a long haul.

This isn't much of a factor...slightly faster = slightly less time...suppose you gain 0.05 Mach (a pretty descent change in cruise speed)...that would shave about 30 minutes off a 10 hour flight.

Quoting AFGMEL (Thread starter):
If the stop was just for fuel it could be less than an hour and if they used out of the way airports, ATC wouldn't cause delays.

The turn itself could be under an hour, but you need to factor in the extra time for descent to the airport and back out. Passengers have clearly voted with their wallets that, unless there's some overriding benefit (like a quick ground trip at London City), they don't like the extra time.

Tom.
 
BMI727
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RE: Tech Stop Question

Tue Nov 24, 2009 2:34 am



Quoting Thegeek (Reply 1):
Pax hate them.

This is probably the biggest reason, because remember that freight carriers regularly use tech stops. They do this for other reasons as well, but the biggest factor is that it is better for them to load up the plane and make the stop since the packages don't care.
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dispatchguy
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RE: Tech Stop Question

Tue Nov 24, 2009 9:54 am



Quoting Thegeek (Reply 1):
also by not needing relief pilots (or less of them) in

Not necessarily. When I worked for UAL Pilot Scheduling, our international max duty times were based on the crewmember working a single flight segment during an operational day; the trans-oceanic segment.

So if I have a crew of 4 (2 working pilots and 2 relief pilots) working the ORD-HKG nonstop, and a tech stop say to TPE is decided on pre-departure, once you start adding the times for the tech stop, they may no longer be legal for the operation. If I remember correctly, double augmented crews were only good for an 18-hour operational day; with a 16-hr flight, you only have 2 hours of available delay before the crew can walk.

For example, the ORD B767 international operations were covered by another domicile (usually IAD) because when I was there, ORD wasnt an international domicile for the B767. So, our trips would be built for the crewmember to deadhead into ORD the day before their TATL segment; fly their transatlantic segment, come back, then the day after their arrival back in the states, they would deadhead back to their domicile.
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oly720man
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RE: Tech Stop Question

Tue Nov 24, 2009 10:11 am

It does depend on the plane. As noted, most scheduled airlines have the planes for the job and don't need to do it. Your're more likely to see such stops with charter airlines which use smaller, and generally more packed, aircraft. So, historically, and perhaps even now, charter flights from the UK to the US with B757s have stopped in Bangor. When BY flew B767s to Australia they stopped in BAH and SIN (I think).

MAN has been used occasionally by the likes of Condor on their return services from LAS to Germany when transatlantic winds have been too high. AI have also, occasionally, refuelled B772s in MAN or DUB when the headwinds have been too strong on the service to JFK.
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CosmicCruiser
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RE: Tech Stop Question

Tue Nov 24, 2009 1:04 pm



Quoting BMI727 (Reply 3):
remember that freight carriers regularly use tech stops

This was covered on a recent post but we almost never have flights with fuel only stops.
big delay and hurts the tight schedules. If a jet can'y do it we use a different jet type.
 
B727LVR
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RE: Tech Stop Question

Tue Nov 24, 2009 2:24 pm

Quoting CosmicCruiser (Reply 6):
Quoting BMI727 (Reply 3):
remember that freight carriers regularly use tech stops

This was covered on a recent post but we almost never have flights with fuel only stops.
big delay and hurts the tight schedules. If a jet can'y do it we use a different jet type.

I think what was mean by his post was that using an A300 of 767-300 from LAX-PHX-ABQ-SDF (just an example) when they could go non stop, could be cinsidered a "tech stop" to some. During this stop they can and do unload/load cargo. I agree however that in the sense of the meaning this is probally not the right choice of words to use here. Also a tech stop for the cabin crew is kind of a pain. In my case the passengers are always wanting off, then they take their sweet time getting back to the aircraft... Just easier to keep going if its possible.

[Edited 2009-11-24 06:49:19]
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thegeek
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RE: Tech Stop Question

Wed Nov 25, 2009 1:58 am



Quoting Dispatchguy (Reply 4):
Not necessarily. When I worked for UAL Pilot Scheduling, our international max duty times were based on the crewmember working a single flight segment during an operational day; the trans-oceanic segment.

So if I have a crew of 4 (2 working pilots and 2 relief pilots) working the ORD-HKG nonstop, and a tech stop say to TPE is decided on pre-departure, once you start adding the times for the tech stop, they may no longer be legal for the operation. If I remember correctly, double augmented crews were only good for an 18-hour operational day; with a 16-hr flight, you only have 2 hours of available delay before the crew can walk.

For example, the ORD B767 international operations were covered by another domicile (usually IAD) because when I was there, ORD wasnt an international domicile for the B767. So, our trips would be built for the crewmember to deadhead into ORD the day before their TATL segment; fly their transatlantic segment, come back, then the day after their arrival back in the states, they would deadhead back to their domicile.

True, it doesn't necessarily work that way. But taking your first example of ORD-TPE-HKG, ORD-TPE would probably be a 4 pilot sector, but they could rest there and only 2 pilots who operated an flight a day or 2 earlier into TPE could continue on to HKG. Of course, on low frequency routes it can be better to just continue with the 4 pilots.

On your other example, does that mean, then that you had domestic only 767 pilots? My understanding is that QF doesn't do it that way, even for 737 ops. An alternative might have been to have the 767 pilots fly to the international destination from IAD and then operate to ORD. Perhaps there were other reasons not to do it that way.
 
dispatchguy
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RE: Tech Stop Question

Wed Nov 25, 2009 4:36 am



Quoting Thegeek (Reply 8):
On your other example, does that mean, then that you had domestic only 767 pilots? My understanding is that QF doesn't do it that way, even for 737 ops. An alternative might have been to have the 767 pilots fly to the international destination from IAD and then operate to ORD. Perhaps there were other reasons not to do it that way

Yes, at the time, ORD was a domestic 767 only domicile, so all of the ORD trans-atlantic originators (CDG, LHR, etc), all had to be crewed from other domiciles.

Some 777s operated on a W-type pattern like u discuss; ORD-CDG-LAX-CDG-ORD; some 767s also operated on a W with an ORD in the middle.

Quoting Thegeek (Reply 8):
but they could rest there and only 2 pilots who operated an flight a day or 2 earlier into TPE could continue on to HKG.

Much easier to keep the crew together, as if you split the crew in TPE, you now have a crew out of position that has flying out of HKG still to do...
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thegeek
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RE: Tech Stop Question

Mon Nov 30, 2009 10:12 pm



Quoting Dispatchguy (Reply 9):
Much easier to keep the crew together, as if you split the crew in TPE, you now have a crew out of position that has flying out of HKG still to do...

Don't economic considerations override these sorts of considerations? Just because a given 4 man crew leaves ORD together doesn't really mean that they have to arrive back in ORD together. And even if you disagree, and they wait in TPE for the 2 man crew to arrive, you'd still at least save the operating wages for the relief crew.
 
dispatchguy
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RE: Tech Stop Question

Tue Dec 01, 2009 3:45 am



Quoting Thegeek (Reply 10):
Just because a given 4 man crew leaves ORD together doesn't really mean that they have to arrive back in ORD together.

True, crew A, the prime crew, the takeoff/landing crew, would usually do a SIN or BKK layover, then back to HKG, then back to ORD. I wanna say they had a 6-day trip worth around 36 hours; do it twice for the month and they would meet their monthly max.

Crew B, the relief crew dozing for dollars, would turn around and after a layover, go back to ORD on the HKGORD, UA896.

Quoting Thegeek (Reply 10):
you'd still at least save the operating wages for the relief crew.

Not necessarily, as they also draw a monthly guarantee of X hours per month, or the value of their monthly line (whichever was greater). So, even if their monthly credit was, say 65 hours reduced by no fault of their own (dropping trips, trading trips, etc), they would still be paid their guarantee time; lets say 78 hours. If the company did something to their trip which would reduce their credit time, the guarantee would insure that they were pay protected.

PLUS, if they were below guarantee, and lineholders, they were higher in the order of open time assignment for any open time in domicile and seat.

Its just easier to keep the crews together to their planned layover point.
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lowrider
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RE: Tech Stop Question

Tue Dec 01, 2009 6:19 am



Quoting CosmicCruiser (Reply 6):
This was covered on a recent post but we almost never have flights with fuel only stops.

Big Brown and Purple might not, but plenty of others do. Over here on the non-sched side, we use them quite frequently. Sometimes it is to accommodate a customers requested airports, other times it is because we cannot carry the required weight non-stop. Sometimes the customer will request a tech stop if they are covering the cost of fuel because they have access to low cost fuel at a particular location. Since we don't have much of a fixed route structure, you sometimes find yourself making fuel stops in some of the oddest places.
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bananaboy
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RE: Tech Stop Question

Wed Dec 02, 2009 7:52 am



Quoting Oly720man (Reply 5):
When BY flew B767s to Australia they stopped in BAH and SIN (I think).

For most of their years, I believe they actually used BTH (Batam) as it was cheaper than SIN.


Mark
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bwaflyer
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RE: Tech Stop Question

Wed Dec 02, 2009 11:32 am

I'm working a flight tomorrow where we're taking an empty A321 from LHR to JED. We'll make a fuel stop in ATH on the way, and do it in reverse in a couple of days time with a full load of Hajj pilgrims returning home. A fuel stop should 30-45 mins depending on how slick the ground handling contractors and fuel companies are.
 
thegeek
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RE: Tech Stop Question

Thu Dec 03, 2009 9:45 am



Quoting Bwaflyer (Reply 14):
I'm working a flight tomorrow where we're taking an empty A321 from LHR to JED. We'll make a fuel stop in ATH on the way, and do it in reverse in a couple of days time with a full load of Hajj pilgrims returning home. A fuel stop should 30-45 mins depending on how slick the ground handling contractors and fuel companies are.

An A321 can't make LHR-JED eastbound while empty, why not? I'd think it could do it with a full pax load westbound. What am I missing, derated engines or something?
 
dispatchguy
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RE: Tech Stop Question

Thu Dec 03, 2009 6:28 pm



Quoting Thegeek (Reply 15):
An A321 can't make LHR-JED eastbound while empty, why not? I'd think it could do it with a full pax load westbound.

Keep in mind that if they were to do nonstop, they may not be able to have the required reserves on board at arrival after a nonstop leg.
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