mandargb
Topic Author
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UA58, Dec 14 (SFO-FRA) Diverted to ORD

Sun Dec 15, 2019 12:49 am

Last edited by SQ22 on Mon Dec 16, 2019 5:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Title updated
 
adamant365
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Re: UA58 )(Dec 14) (SFO-FRA) Diverted to ORD

Sun Dec 15, 2019 1:16 am

Just speculating. Maybe a non-emergent tech issue that disallows ETOPS? It certainly wasn't an engine failure or depressurization since they stayed at FL330 for about 20 minutes. I wouldn't think it's medical since they are flying so far from the diversion point to land. Also, ORD makes sense for a tech issue since they may be able to address whatever it is quickly and be on their way.
 
buhzilly
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Re: UA58 )(Dec 14) (SFO-FRA) Diverted to ORD

Sun Dec 15, 2019 1:30 am

Medical.
 
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DocLightning
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Re: UA58 )(Dec 14) (SFO-FRA) Diverted to ORD

Sun Dec 15, 2019 3:27 am

buhzilly wrote:
Medical.


That's an awfully long diversion for a medical emergency. They overflew four states, all of which have hospitals. What really puzzles me is that DEN, also a UA base, was closer than ORD when they started their diversion, so even if it were a non-emergency mechanical issue, why divert all the way to ORD?

adamant365 wrote:
Maybe a non-emergent tech issue that disallows ETOPS?


http://www.gcmap.com/mapui?P=SFO-FRA&MS ... 410&EU=kts

That route doesn't even cross ETOPS 60 territory. It's strange, but TATL routes, especially from the West Coast, rarely venture into ETOPS territory.
-Doc Lightning-

"The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars."
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mandargb
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Re: UA58 )(Dec 14) (SFO-FRA) Diverted to ORD

Sun Dec 15, 2019 3:44 am

Looks like it was medical.
Would they be much heavy to land ? Understandably they had to dump fuel also ? And if so then over what (over lakes) ?
 
CriticalPoint
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Re: UA58 )(Dec 14) (SFO-FRA) Diverted to ORD

Sun Dec 15, 2019 4:02 am

DocLightning wrote:
buhzilly wrote:
Medical.


That's an awfully long diversion for a medical emergency. They overflew four states, all of which have hospitals. What really puzzles me is that DEN, also a UA base, was closer than ORD when they started their diversion, so even if it were a non-emergency mechanical issue, why divert all the way to ORD?

adamant365 wrote:
Maybe a non-emergent tech issue that disallows ETOPS?


http://www.gcmap.com/mapui?P=SFO-FRA&MS ... 410&EU=kts

That route doesn't even cross ETOPS 60 territory. It's strange, but TATL routes, especially from the West Coast, rarely venture into ETOPS territory.


They may not be over water but all flights at UA are dispatched ETOPS over the Atlantic. The reason being is that airports are limited. ETOPS is used in class II airspace as well. We are usually filed with an airport in Canada then Iceland/azores then Ireland.

We don’t use any airports in Greenland as alternates.
 
CriticalPoint
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Re: UA58 )(Dec 14) (SFO-FRA) Diverted to ORD

Sun Dec 15, 2019 4:04 am

mandargb wrote:
Looks like it was medical.
Would they be much heavy to land ? Understandably they had to dump fuel also ? And if so then over what (over lakes) ?


If you are over 5,000 ft the fuel will evaporate before it hits the ground.

They may not have had to dump fuel. By the time they got to ORD they were already a third of the way there.
 
CriticalPoint
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Re: UA58 )(Dec 14) (SFO-FRA) Diverted to ORD

Sun Dec 15, 2019 4:07 am

DocLightning wrote:

That's an awfully long diversion for a medical emergency. They overflew four states, all of which have hospitals. What really puzzles me is that DEN, also a UA base, was closer than ORD when they started their diversion, so even if it were a non-emergency mechanical issue, why divert all the way to ORD?


ORD is a 777 pilot base DEN is not. Not all medical issues require an immediate landing. If the crew needed to be replaced they could do that in ORD.
 
jayunited
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Re: UA58 )(Dec 14) (SFO-FRA) Diverted to ORD

Sun Dec 15, 2019 4:08 am

DocLightning wrote:
buhzilly wrote:
Medical.


That's an awfully long diversion for a medical emergency. They overflew four states, all of which have hospitals. What really puzzles me is that DEN, also a UA base, was closer than ORD when they started their diversion, so even if it were a non-emergency mechanical issue, why divert all the way to ORD?


It was a medical diversion nothing life threatening (at least there is nothing I can see right now) however both an onboard doctor and MedLink recommended a diversion instead of continuing on to FRA. From the limited resources I have away from work it seem like the decision to divert was made while the aircraft was in the vicinity of FSD airport. With this being an international flight there is a high probability of both the flight crew and flight attendants exceeding their duty time which would require a full recrew, ORD was better positioned to handle a full recrew if it became necessary. Even now at 21:48 local time in Chicago while I'm typing this UA58 is still on the ground at ORD.

If this was a life or death situation the flight would have diverted to the nearest suitable airport but with the passenger stable and a doctor onboard attending ,UA in addition to attending to the needs of the passenger in distress has to also think about the other 349 passengers onboard UA58 who need to get to FRA by tomorrow.

Don't take offense to this next statement but what puzzles me is when people who are on the ground with limited information feel like they have the right to second guess the captains decision on where to set the aircraft down. It is the captain who is being given the most up to date information and recommendation from the onboard doctor and MedLink why not trust that he or she has made the right decision.
 
CriticalPoint
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Re: UA58 )(Dec 14) (SFO-FRA) Diverted to ORD

Sun Dec 15, 2019 4:16 am

jayunited wrote:
Don't take offense to this next statement but what puzzles me is when people who are on the ground with limited information feel like they have the right to second guess the captains decision on where to set the aircraft down. It is the captain who is being given the most up to date information and recommendation from the onboard doctor and MedLink why not trust that he or she has made the right decision.


Thank you Jay well said.
 
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stl07
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Re: UA58 )(Dec 14) (SFO-FRA) Diverted to ORD

Sun Dec 15, 2019 4:41 am

CriticalPoint wrote:
jayunited wrote:
Don't take offense to this next statement but what puzzles me is when people who are on the ground with limited information feel like they have the right to second guess the captains decision on where to set the aircraft down. It is the captain who is being given the most up to date information and recommendation from the onboard doctor and MedLink why not trust that he or she has made the right decision.


Thank you Jay well said.

I don't think anyone was trying to 2nd guess the captain, they were simply curious as to why ORD was chosen by the captain and were trying to figure it out.
Instead of typing in "mods", consider using the report function.
Love how every "travel blogger" says they will never fly AA/Ethihad again and then says it again and again on subsequent flights.
 
alfa164
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Re: UA58 )(Dec 14) (SFO-FRA) Diverted to ORD

Sun Dec 15, 2019 5:04 am

jayunited wrote:
DocLightning wrote:
buhzilly wrote:
Medical.

That's an awfully long diversion for a medical emergency. They overflew four states, all of which have hospitals. What really puzzles me is that DEN, also a UA base, was closer than ORD when they started their diversion, so even if it were a non-emergency mechanical issue, why divert all the way to ORD?

It was a medical diversion nothing life threatening (at least there is nothing I can see right now) however both an onboard doctor and MedLink recommended a diversion instead of continuing on to FRA. From the limited resources I have away from work it seem like the decision to divert was made while the aircraft was in the vicinity of FSD airport. With this being an international flight there is a high probability of both the flight crew and flight attendants exceeding their duty time which would require a full recrew, ORD was better positioned to handle a full recrew if it became necessary. Even now at 21:48 local time in Chicago while I'm typing this UA58 is still on the ground at ORD.
If this was a life or death situation the flight would have diverted to the nearest suitable airport but with the passenger stable and a doctor onboard attending ,UA in addition to attending to the needs of the passenger in distress has to also think about the other 349 passengers onboard UA58 who need to get to FRA by tomorrow.
Don't take offense to this next statement but what puzzles me is when people who are on the ground with limited information feel like they have the right to second guess the captains decision on where to set the aircraft down. It is the captain who is being given the most up to date information and recommendation from the onboard doctor and MedLink why not trust that he or she has made the right decision.


Is it also possible than a DEN stop would have found an almost-fully-fueled plane excessively heavy, especially considering the airport's altitude?
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mandargb
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Re: UA58 )(Dec 14) (SFO-FRA) Diverted to ORD

Sun Dec 15, 2019 6:17 am

it airborne again on its way to FRA
 
CriticalPoint
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Re: UA58 )(Dec 14) (SFO-FRA) Diverted to ORD

Sun Dec 15, 2019 7:07 am

alfa164 wrote:
jayunited wrote:
DocLightning wrote:
That's an awfully long diversion for a medical emergency. They overflew four states, all of which have hospitals. What really puzzles me is that DEN, also a UA base, was closer than ORD when they started their diversion, so even if it were a non-emergency mechanical issue, why divert all the way to ORD?

It was a medical diversion nothing life threatening (at least there is nothing I can see right now) however both an onboard doctor and MedLink recommended a diversion instead of continuing on to FRA. From the limited resources I have away from work it seem like the decision to divert was made while the aircraft was in the vicinity of FSD airport. With this being an international flight there is a high probability of both the flight crew and flight attendants exceeding their duty time which would require a full recrew, ORD was better positioned to handle a full recrew if it became necessary. Even now at 21:48 local time in Chicago while I'm typing this UA58 is still on the ground at ORD.
If this was a life or death situation the flight would have diverted to the nearest suitable airport but with the passenger stable and a doctor onboard attending ,UA in addition to attending to the needs of the passenger in distress has to also think about the other 349 passengers onboard UA58 who need to get to FRA by tomorrow.
Don't take offense to this next statement but what puzzles me is when people who are on the ground with limited information feel like they have the right to second guess the captains decision on where to set the aircraft down. It is the captain who is being given the most up to date information and recommendation from the onboard doctor and MedLink why not trust that he or she has made the right decision.


Is it also possible than a DEN stop would have found an almost-fully-fueled plane excessively heavy, especially considering the airport's altitude?



You are either over Max Landing Weight or you aren’t. Altitude makes no difference.
 
mmo
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Re: UA58 )(Dec 14) (SFO-FRA) Diverted to ORD

Sun Dec 15, 2019 8:00 am

CriticalPoint wrote:


You are either over Max Landing Weight or you aren’t. Altitude makes no difference.


In an emergency situation, the aircraft is certified to land at MTOW. No fuel dump would be required and just a little paperwork for the Captain who exercised his emergency authority to land over MLW. Since the aircraft would be serviced an overweight landing inspection would need to be performed. As long as the landing parameters are within limits, as taken from the CMC, central maintenance computer, a quick visual inspection would be performed.

Having been involved as PIC on several medical emergencies, the normal sequence is somewhat time consuming. By the time a medical professional is found, an examination performed and perhaps some medication given to stabilize the patient a good 30 minutes has passed. Then the relay of information begins to the Captain and Medlink who always has more questions, there is a good 15 more minutes have gone by. All this time you are heading in the along on the flight plan. You are not going to head to the nearest suitable airport because you may not end up diverting. So, I am sure ORD was the best place given their position when the decision was made.

Personally, once an emergency has been declared, I would not dump any fuel. The aircraft lands just fine heavy and it's not a big deal, plus you aren't wasting fuel, killing the mosquitoes and you make servicing time quicker as a result of the diversion.
If we weren't all crazy we'd all go insane!
 
jumpseat67
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Re: UA58 )(Dec 14) (SFO-FRA) Diverted to ORD

Sun Dec 15, 2019 9:44 am

So this is actually what DID happen...this was a NON life threatening medical situation. IF it had been life threatening, the aircraft would have diverted to SLC and landed overweight.

The event began entering Idaho, MEDLINK was consulted on multiple occasions over the course of an hour. There was a Nurse onboard only, not a Doctor. MEDLINK advised medical direction only for the condition at hand and did not suggest or recommend diversion as being necessary or required.

Operational control is of the Captain and Dispatcher, with the Captain of course having final authority. Due to the continued and ongoing discomfort of the passenger and the environment onboard, the decision was made to divert out of abundance of both caution and care. Continuing for 8+ hours to Frankfurt would have been miserable for all.

The first 30 minutes was spent assessing the situation while evaluating options. Not every airport is authorized for a B773 in a non-emergency event. The next 15-20 minutes allowed to allign the operation for the situation with consultation of the NOC. There were/are 357 other passengers to consider.

The nearest "suitable" airport was chosen for all factors. ORD is a 777 pilot base, not DEN. Over 100,000 lbs. of fuel had to be dumped and time was required to do so. Many many items need to be coordinated both on the ground and in the air. This is not as simple as stopping at the rest area to use the restroom, stretch your legs and change drivers before moving on. ORD was reached in about 90 minutes after the final decision was made.

The entire flight crew was changed for human factor reasons at ORD. The aircraft was on the ground just under 3 hours. Passenger had to be deplaned, aircraft serviced, refueled and the new crew briefed as they walked into the situation.

Hopefully this will clear up any speculation, unanswered questions or wonderment on how and why things happen the way they do.
 
jumpseat67
Posts: 67
Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2007 3:07 pm

Re: UA58 )(Dec 14) (SFO-FRA) Diverted to ORD

Sun Dec 15, 2019 10:00 am

CriticalPoint wrote:
DocLightning wrote:
buhzilly wrote:
Medical.


That's an awfully long diversion for a medical emergency. They overflew four states, all of which have hospitals. What really puzzles me is that DEN, also a UA base, was closer than ORD when they started their diversion, so even if it were a non-emergency mechanical issue, why divert all the way to ORD?

adamant365 wrote:
Maybe a non-emergent tech issue that disallows ETOPS?


http://www.gcmap.com/mapui?P=SFO-FRA&MS ... 410&EU=kts

That route doesn't even cross ETOPS 60 territory. It's strange, but TATL routes, especially from the West Coast, rarely venture into ETOPS territory.


They may not be over water but all flights at UA are dispatched ETOPS over the Atlantic. The reason being is that airports are limited. ETOPS is used in class II airspace as well. We are usually filed with an airport in Canada then Iceland/azores then Ireland.

We don’t use any airports in Greenland as alternates.



While we no longer use Thule AFB...technically we can use BGSF, but not without approval, permission and absolute operational need or requirement. It would be our absolute last choice.
 
TSA125
Posts: 112
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Re: UA58 )(Dec 14) (SFO-FRA) Diverted to ORD

Sun Dec 15, 2019 9:17 pm

Does anyone know what the process is like for getting crew for the ORD-FRA sector of such a flight? Are there UA 777 crew on standby around the clock at their base? Or do they ring some people and take volunteers to go on a spontaneous trip to Europe within a few hours?
No not that TSA.
 
CriticalPoint
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Re: UA58 )(Dec 14) (SFO-FRA) Diverted to ORD

Sun Dec 15, 2019 9:53 pm

TSA125 wrote:
Does anyone know what the process is like for getting crew for the ORD-FRA sector of such a flight? Are there UA 777 crew on standby around the clock at their base? Or do they ring some people and take volunteers to go on a spontaneous trip to Europe within a few hours?


There are crews on standby around the clock. If they have the crews on short call it’s a 2.5 hour call out. If they don’t have people on standby it’s a 13 hour call out.

They also have a list that pilots volunteer to be on for extra pay. When called they can accept or deny the trip. If they accept they are expected to get to the airport a soon as they can.

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