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rph99
Topic Author
Posts: 127
Joined: Wed May 13, 2015 3:27 am

Weird Flight Plan? FDX 1311

Fri Jul 24, 2020 1:20 am

Was watching some flight activity on Flightradar24 and noticed a 757 from Denver to Memphis taking an interesting route to Memphis. No other flights headed to that part of country are following such a plan.

Thoughts?

https://flightaware.com/live/flight/FDX ... /KDEN/KMEM
 
joeblow10
Posts: 415
Joined: Mon Jun 04, 2018 11:58 pm

Re: Weird Flight Plan? FDX 1311

Fri Jul 24, 2020 1:26 am

rph99 wrote:
Was watching some flight activity on Flightradar24 and noticed a 757 from Denver to Memphis taking an interesting route to Memphis. No other flights headed to that part of country are following such a plan.

Thoughts?

https://flightaware.com/live/flight/FDX ... /KDEN/KMEM


No intel from me, but interestingly, looks like it did the exact same thing last Thursday
 
Dominion301
Posts: 2809
Joined: Wed Jul 20, 2016 1:48 pm

Re: Weird Flight Plan? FDX 1311

Fri Jul 24, 2020 1:31 am

joeblow10 wrote:
rph99 wrote:
Was watching some flight activity on Flightradar24 and noticed a 757 from Denver to Memphis taking an interesting route to Memphis. No other flights headed to that part of country are following such a plan.

Thoughts?

https://flightaware.com/live/flight/FDX ... /KDEN/KMEM


No intel from me, but interestingly, looks like it did the exact same thing last Thursday


There was a thread about these types of flights, including this particular flight about a week ago. It’s apparently a sweep flight to pick up any overflow cargo on the way to MEM or to cover IROPS. As such, it takes “the scenic route” to get there.
 
B6JFKH81
Posts: 2169
Joined: Thu Mar 16, 2006 6:35 am

Re: Weird Flight Plan? FDX 1311

Fri Jul 24, 2020 1:34 am

Sweep flights discussed here:

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1448621
"If you do not learn from history, you are doomed to repeat it"
 
BTVB6Flyer
Posts: 528
Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2008 3:20 am

Re: Weird Flight Plan? FDX 1311

Fri Jul 24, 2020 1:34 am

It’s called a sweep route or sweep run. It purposely goes out of the way and over cities. So if they have to ‘divert’ and pick up packages from cities along the way from airports that have aircraft go tech, they can.

For example here they can hit PHX, ABQ, ELP, DFW/AFW, IAH, OKC, MSY etc leading all the way to MEM.

Pretty common and lots of threads about it here on A.net
 
slcguy
Posts: 419
Joined: Wed Jul 09, 2008 12:09 pm

Re: Weird Flight Plan? FDX 1311

Mon Jul 27, 2020 7:18 pm

Flight 1311 has been known to divert as far west as SLC once in awhile! Usually operated by a 757 or maybe A306, now they may have 763 in the mix too on the sweep flights. Never seen DC/MD10 ,MD11 or 777 used on sweeps, probably too much airplane(expensive) to fly on long roundabout routes not knowing if they will be needed.
Last edited by slcguy on Mon Jul 27, 2020 7:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
dfwjim1
Posts: 2439
Joined: Fri Sep 09, 2011 8:46 pm

Re: Weird Flight Plan? FDX 1311

Mon Jul 27, 2020 7:27 pm

Interesting discussion...is there an "assigned" crew that handles these type of flights or are they just randomly assigned to them?
 
slcguy
Posts: 419
Joined: Wed Jul 09, 2008 12:09 pm

Re: Weird Flight Plan? FDX 1311

Mon Jul 27, 2020 7:33 pm

dfwjim1 wrote:
Interesting discussion...is there an "assigned" crew that handles these type of flights or are they just randomly assigned to them?


The flights are probably bid by pilot senority like any other, the pilots that want them get them. Sounds like a more fun day (or night in this case) than just routine out and backs from MEM.
 
mhockey31091
Posts: 70
Joined: Mon Apr 12, 2010 8:05 am

Re: Weird Flight Plan? FDX 1311

Tue Jul 28, 2020 1:18 am

dfwjim1 wrote:
Interesting discussion...is there an "assigned" crew that handles these type of flights or are they just randomly assigned to them?

I've been jumpseating on FedEx one night when the flight was a sweep flight, I think it was just the designated city pairing. I would assume they pick the flights with relatively light loads and those are the "lucky" crews.
 
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aemoreira1981
Posts: 3573
Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2017 12:17 am

Re: Weird Flight Plan? FDX 1311

Tue Jul 28, 2020 12:49 pm

FedEx sweep flights---in the event that one plane goes tech at an outstation, the sweep flight can divert to that airfield. The Boeing 757/767 or Airbus A300 are most ideal for sweep flights. UPS does something similar called "hot spares"...where aircraft are pre-flighted and fueled ahead of time, so that if a plane goes tech on the ground at an outstation, the spare is in the air within 30 minutes to rescue the packages.
 
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ssteve
Posts: 1394
Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2011 8:32 am

Re: Weird Flight Plan? FDX 1311

Tue Jul 28, 2020 4:23 pm

It really makes fiscal sense for this to loiter in the air and not on the ground? Must be a pretty tight window in which they determine whether it needs to divert.
 
wn676
Posts: 1747
Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2005 5:33 am

Re: Weird Flight Plan? FDX 1311

Tue Jul 28, 2020 6:55 pm

ssteve wrote:
It really makes fiscal sense for this to loiter in the air and not on the ground? Must be a pretty tight window in which they determine whether it needs to divert.


I’m guessing that the cost of missing a delivery guarantee more than justifies the cost of flying an aircraft that is already carrying a revenue load on a more circuitous route, and also saves the time it would take to get a hot spare off the ground and to a station.
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