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Erau82
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FDX 872 Diverts to EWR

Sun Dec 02, 2018 4:23 pm

FedEx flight 872 from MHT to MEM today diverted over Harrisburg PA to EWR. The 767 is now parked at the FedEx ramp. Standard descent enroute to EWR but given priority to land. Anyone have details?
 
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chrisnh
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Re: FDX 872 Diverts to EWR

Sun Dec 02, 2018 5:00 pm

This time of year there are ‘sweep’ flights that intend to go from (say) MHT-MEM But Get ‘diverted’ to another city to pick up stranded freight. A plane might have gone tech at EWR and dispatch told the MHT flight to drop in to get it.
 
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Spacepope
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Re: FDX 872 Diverts to EWR

Sun Dec 02, 2018 5:15 pm

Here's a typical sweep flight from DEN-MEM. Direct flight 872 miles, as flown 1864 miles. Hasn't been called in to divert yet since it was activated, but that may change later in the surge as volumes increase and maint hiccups happen.

https://flightaware.com/live/flight/FDX ... /KDEN/KMEM
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7673mech
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Re: FDX 872 Diverts to EWR

Sun Dec 02, 2018 5:29 pm

Skeptical about sweep flight when he said it was given landing priority, however now after 2 hours it's airborne again.
 
lavalampluva
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Re: FDX 872 Diverts to EWR

Sun Dec 02, 2018 6:17 pm

Most likely swung by EWR to pick up cargo. EWR is a FedEx hub.
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LimaFoxTango
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Re: FDX 872 Diverts to EWR

Sun Dec 02, 2018 6:55 pm

Im curious about these "sweep flights". Tell me more.
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blueflyer
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Re: FDX 872 Diverts to EWR

Sun Dec 02, 2018 7:31 pm

The DEN-MEM sweep flight is the best known, if only because it is obvious and consistent, but there are plenty of less obvious examples. A sweep flight is a flight that is lightly loaded and timed so that it can be diverted to pick up stranded freight because another aircraft took a mechanical, or because a shipper sent an unusually large volume and forgot to tell FedEx (it happens...). The DEN-MEM sweep flight can cover most airport FedEx flies to in New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana with a 30-minute diversion. Other sweep flights fly a more direct route but are scheduled to be the last flights out of the area. For instance, at times, FedEx operates a late, lightly loaded MCO-MEM flight, so the plane can stop elsewhere in Florida and Georgia and rescue stranded flight if necessary.

Years ago when jet fuel was cheap, UPS had airborne rescue flights flying empty for the same purpose. I think now they sit at a hub, crewed and fueled, ready to start the engines at a moment's notice.

in Europe, DHL used to load less-common spare parts along with freight in some of their aircraft so they could be rerouted to rescue another aircraft stuck at an airport where the needed part was not available.

That said, nowadays, with aircraft loads and routings processed in real-time, just about any flight can become a sweep flight, even if it didn't start as one. It doesn't take long to identify a less-than-full plane flying close to an airport with a stranded aircraft, and figure out whether that plane has the time, fuel, and available volume to divert and rescue the stranded freight.
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flyiguy
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Re: FDX 872 Diverts to EWR

Sun Dec 02, 2018 7:56 pm

WN had flights divert from ISP due to fog and EWR is on a GDP.

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FlyinRabbit88
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Re: FDX 872 Diverts to EWR

Sun Dec 02, 2018 11:11 pm

I remember jumpseating on one of these “sweep” flights back in 2008. Was flying from DLH(Duluth,MN) to MEM and after a few hours I noticed we weren’t in Memphis but at O’hare. The pilots told me that it was a rescue to get more cargo and then fly to ewr due to a mechanical. I jumped off and got on a MD11 that was heading to MEM. Have to say jumpseating on fedex is the most interesting ride even if you are just a little “avgeek”.
 
HPRamper
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Re: FDX 872 Diverts to EWR

Mon Dec 03, 2018 10:15 pm

FlyinRabbit88 wrote:
I remember jumpseating on one of these “sweep” flights back in 2008. Was flying from DLH(Duluth,MN) to MEM and after a few hours I noticed we weren’t in Memphis but at O’hare. The pilots told me that it was a rescue to get more cargo and then fly to ewr due to a mechanical. I jumped off and got on a MD11 that was heading to MEM. Have to say jumpseating on fedex is the most interesting ride even if you are just a little “avgeek”.

Back when DLH had a trunk aircraft and not just an ATR, that was the Midwest regional sweep airplane I believe. I think it's at ATW now although that might have changed in the past several years.
 
BoeingGuy
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Re: FDX 872 Diverts to EWR

Tue Dec 04, 2018 12:56 am

Since when is FedEx entitled to priority handling by ATC just because they want to do a “sweep” for their own business reasons.

Not sure I believe it was just a sweep.

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