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capitalflyer
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The saga of AA431

Mon Dec 09, 2019 7:24 pm

AA 431 MCO-DCA has been circling south of DCA for over an hour. DCA has low ceilings, however a number of other flights are landing from the south, making their turn towards the airport for final approach just at the northern edge of AA 431 holding pattern. Any ideas as to why this particular flight would be held in purgatory for so long?

https://flightaware.com/live/flight/AAL431
 
F27500
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Re: The saga of AA431

Mon Dec 09, 2019 7:28 pm

.. .. The Russians.
 
mhkansan
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Re: The saga of AA431

Mon Dec 09, 2019 7:32 pm

Looks like its diverting to IAD now.
 
capitalflyer
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Re: The saga of AA431

Mon Dec 09, 2019 7:41 pm

mhkansan wrote:
Looks like its diverting to IAD now.


Thank goodness. No idea why it had to hold so long. Probably 20-30 flights have landed in last hour. I wondered how long the fuel would hold out, not to mention pilots bladders.

I agree, it was probably the Russians...
 
capitalflyer
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Re: The saga of AA431

Mon Dec 09, 2019 7:42 pm

Looks like they already filed flight plan to get back to DCA. Departure scheduled for 3:35.
 
kbmiflyer
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Re: The saga of AA431

Mon Dec 09, 2019 7:52 pm

Just listened to AA431 land at IAD. Nothing unusual about the landing. No emergency or anything.
 
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NWAESC
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Re: The saga of AA431

Mon Dec 09, 2019 8:05 pm

Maybe an MEL on the plane that prevented them from landing at DCA with low ceilings? Just a guess...
"Nothing ever happens here, " I said. "I just wait."
 
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American 767
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Re: The saga of AA431

Mon Dec 09, 2019 8:14 pm

kbmiflyer wrote:
Just listened to AA431 land at IAD. Nothing unusual about the landing. No emergency or anything.


Can the passengers, at least those whose final destination is DCA and without checked luggage, get off the plane in IAD and take a bus or rent a car? Or they have to wait till the pilots are cleared to fly back to DCA. I would think that they have to wait till the airplane is ready to fly back to DCA, unless the waiting time on the tarmac becomes too long.

Two years ago I was flying back to JFK from MIA, a 767. Because of a big storm over JFK, we diverted to BOS. The airplane rested in BOS all night long till the next morning before flying back to JFK so we were allowed to get off the plane, grab our luggage and be on our own to get to New York. But I chose to eat at my own expense and sleep overnight in the terminal for just four hours, and the next morning at 7.30 I got back on that same plane and flew back to JFK. It was almost empty, a lot of the passengers chose not to continue. At 8.30 I was in JFK. It worked out very well. This was June of 2017.
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KLMatSJC
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Re: The saga of AA431

Mon Dec 09, 2019 8:20 pm

American 767 wrote:
Can the passengers, at least those whose final destination is DCA and without checked luggage, get off the plane in IAD and take a bus or rent a car? Or they have to wait till the pilots are cleared to fly back to DCA. I would think that they have to wait till the airplane is ready to fly back to DCA, unless the waiting time on the tarmac becomes too long.

Unless they get a gate (which is unlikely), no one is getting off the plane.
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Murdoughnut
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Re: The saga of AA431

Mon Dec 09, 2019 8:20 pm

I suspect that terrorists have shut down runway lighting and taken over comms traffic from the tower, making it impossible for aircraft to land or divert. It's possible they may have also manipulated the ILS glideslope to an incorrect altitude. Possibly related to a banana republic dictator prisoner being flown in at the same time ...
 
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casinterest
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Re: The saga of AA431

Mon Dec 09, 2019 8:32 pm

Murdoughnut wrote:
I suspect that terrorists have shut down runway lighting and taken over comms traffic from the tower, making it impossible for aircraft to land or divert. It's possible they may have also manipulated the ILS glideslope to an incorrect altitude. Possibly related to a banana republic dictator prisoner being flown in at the same time ...


Was officer Mcclane on hand?
Where ever you go, there you are.
 
vjzalb
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Re: The saga of AA431

Mon Dec 09, 2019 8:47 pm

American 767 wrote:
kbmiflyer wrote:
Just listened to AA431 land at IAD. Nothing unusual about the landing. No emergency or anything.


Can the passengers, at least those whose final destination is DCA and without checked luggage, get off the plane in IAD and take a bus or rent a car? Or they have to wait till the pilots are cleared to fly back to DCA. I would think that they have to wait till the airplane is ready to fly back to DCA, unless the waiting time on the tarmac becomes too long.


I've was actually in this situation on an AA flight from SDF to DCA and the answer, then (2018), was yes. Passengers who where terminating in DCA could get off at IAD (as long as they only had carry-on bags). The rest of us stayed on until we departed for DCA about 45min to an hour after landing. The reason for the diversion in my case was all traffic at DCA was stopped for "VIP" movement. We didn't have enough fuel to continue to circle so IAD it was.
 
D L X
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Re: The saga of AA431

Mon Dec 09, 2019 8:51 pm

The weather here has been particularly soupy today. Not stormy, just a lot of rain and low fog all day. It's not even 4pm, and it looks like dusk.
 
71Zulu
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Re: The saga of AA431

Mon Dec 09, 2019 8:52 pm

High minimum Captain?

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TEMPO
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Joined: Wed May 01, 2019 2:34 am

Re: The saga of AA431

Mon Dec 09, 2019 8:55 pm

Smoke emergency evacuation.

At approximately 9:40 a.m. Mon, American flight 5082, CRJ-200 jet aircraft from Tallahassee, landed at DCA then declared an emergency due to reports of smoke in the cabin. The aircraft came to a stop and evacuated passengers onto the airfield via the aircraft’s stairs.

— Charlie Bragale (@charlienbc) December 9, 2019

https://www.arlnow.com/2019/12/09/devel ... -of-plane/
 
capitalflyer
Topic Author
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Re: The saga of AA431

Mon Dec 09, 2019 8:57 pm

Murdoughnut wrote:
I suspect that terrorists have shut down runway lighting and taken over comms traffic from the tower, making it impossible for aircraft to land or divert. It's possible they may have also manipulated the ILS glideslope to an incorrect altitude. Possibly related to a banana republic dictator prisoner being flown in at the same time ...


Funny you should say that, earlier in the day the tower did warn an inbound arrival of an "altitude alert". You never know...

DCA is on ground stop for another five minutes. It does look like AA 431 got to B gates. Probably enough time to grab some 5 Guys and a beer before getting back on. Scheduled depart is 4pm.
 
rbavfan
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Re: The saga of AA431

Mon Dec 09, 2019 8:59 pm

vjzalb wrote:
American 767 wrote:
kbmiflyer wrote:
Just listened to AA431 land at IAD. Nothing unusual about the landing. No emergency or anything.


Can the passengers, at least those whose final destination is DCA and without checked luggage, get off the plane in IAD and take a bus or rent a car? Or they have to wait till the pilots are cleared to fly back to DCA. I would think that they have to wait till the airplane is ready to fly back to DCA, unless the waiting time on the tarmac becomes too long.


I've was actually in this situation on an AA flight from SDF to DCA and the answer, then (2018), was yes. Passengers who where terminating in DCA could get off at IAD (as long as they only had carry-on bags). The rest of us stayed on until we departed for DCA about 45min to an hour after landing. The reason for the diversion in my case was all traffic at DCA was stopped for "VIP" movement. We didn't have enough fuel to continue to circle so IAD it was.


If this was for VIP traffic they would not be holding at a low altitude.
 
capitalflyer
Topic Author
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Re: The saga of AA431

Mon Dec 09, 2019 9:01 pm

TEMPO wrote:
Smoke emergency evacuation.

At approximately 9:40 a.m. Mon, American flight 5082, CRJ-200 jet aircraft from Tallahassee, landed at DCA then declared an emergency due to reports of smoke in the cabin. The aircraft came to a stop and evacuated passengers onto the airfield via the aircraft’s stairs.

— Charlie Bragale (@charlienbc) December 9, 2019

https://www.arlnow.com/2019/12/09/devel ... -of-plane/


Wow. A messy day to say the least. Looks like in news reports no problems were found. I wonder if this was the usual fog out the vents issue that happens on humid days that pax got up in arms about? Better safe than sorry though.
 
maxholstemh1521
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Re: The saga of AA431

Mon Dec 09, 2019 9:05 pm

They are landing runway 1 at DCA, with an approximately 9 knot tailwind on a wet runway. Landing an A321 with those conditions probably isn't the most prudent decision given the short runways.
It's not a Beaver
 
Airbuser
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Re: The saga of AA431

Mon Dec 09, 2019 9:28 pm

Even at max landing weight and 10 knots tailwind wet runway it’s still legal. Only need 1200rvr for high mins Captain as long as it’s autolanded or hud landed.
 
capitalflyer
Topic Author
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Re: The saga of AA431

Mon Dec 09, 2019 9:58 pm

maxholstemh1521 wrote:
They are landing runway 1 at DCA, with an approximately 9 knot tailwind on a wet runway. Landing an A321 with those conditions probably isn't the most prudent decision given the short runways.


Still on the ground at IAD at the moment.

AA5242 and AA2139 also still waiting to head to DCA from IAD.
 
D L X
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Re: The saga of AA431

Mon Dec 09, 2019 11:08 pm

maxholstemh1521 wrote:
They are landing runway 1 at DCA, with an approximately 9 knot tailwind on a wet runway. Landing an A321 with those conditions probably isn't the most prudent decision given the short runways.

7100 feet is short?

I mean, i guess that would explain it, but I didn’t think the “short DCA runways” thing was still a thing since the extension.
 
Cubsrule
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Re: The saga of AA431

Tue Dec 10, 2019 12:23 am

D L X wrote:
maxholstemh1521 wrote:
They are landing runway 1 at DCA, with an approximately 9 knot tailwind on a wet runway. Landing an A321 with those conditions probably isn't the most prudent decision given the short runways.

7100 feet is short?

I mean, i guess that would explain it, but I didn’t think the “short DCA runways” thing was still a thing since the extension.


With a tailwind and a heavy airplane, yes. The LL 738 overrun in Jacksonville a little while back was an 8,000 foot wet runway with a tailwind.
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
D L X
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Re: The saga of AA431

Tue Dec 10, 2019 4:10 am

Cubsrule wrote:
D L X wrote:
maxholstemh1521 wrote:
They are landing runway 1 at DCA, with an approximately 9 knot tailwind on a wet runway. Landing an A321 with those conditions probably isn't the most prudent decision given the short runways.

7100 feet is short?

I mean, i guess that would explain it, but I didn’t think the “short DCA runways” thing was still a thing since the extension.


With a tailwind and a heavy airplane, yes. The LL 738 overrun in Jacksonville a little while back was an 8,000 foot wet runway with a tailwind.

That plane had no thrust reversers.
 
MSJYOP28Apilot
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Re: The saga of AA431

Tue Dec 10, 2019 6:59 am

A 9 knot tailwind on a relatively short wet runway in an A321 may be legal but legal does not mean safe nor does it mean that every crew will be comfortable accepting such an approach.

Just because other crews decided it was safe doesn't mean this crew should have attempted the approach. Every pilot has to decide whether an approach is something they are comfortable with.

Every pilot has a comfort zone. Some are more conservative than others in deciding whether to attempt an approach or divert.

Yes, a diversion is inconvenient for passengers but it is sometimes the price to pay for the safety record we enjoy. If every flight attempted an approach just because it was legal, there would be more accidents and deaths.
 
Cubsrule
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Re: The saga of AA431

Tue Dec 10, 2019 1:07 pm

D L X wrote:
Cubsrule wrote:
D L X wrote:
7100 feet is short?

I mean, i guess that would explain it, but I didn’t think the “short DCA runways” thing was still a thing since the extension.


With a tailwind and a heavy airplane, yes. The LL 738 overrun in Jacksonville a little while back was an 8,000 foot wet runway with a tailwind.

That plane had no thrust reversers.


I hear you. My point was simply that a legal tailwind landing on a wet runway may require a lot more runway than folks expect.
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
ericm2031
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Re: The saga of AA431

Tue Dec 10, 2019 2:06 pm

I don’t think it matters if you have checked bags or not. If they get to a gate and offer egress, they can’t force you to get back on or stay on just because you checked a bag. You’re probably just responsible for getting your bag once the plane gets to the final destination if the airline isn't capable of getting the bag off at the diversion city, but the flight is still continuing on and you chose to get off.

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