Moderators: jsumali2, richierich, ua900, PanAm_DC10, hOMSaR

 
clrd4t8koff
Topic Author
Posts: 1806
Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2005 3:57 am

Odd diversion - AA5597 (DCA-TLH) April 23rd

Sun Apr 25, 2021 4:12 pm

Curious if anyone knows what happened with this flight. From what I can piece together AA5597 on Friday, April 23rd (DCA-TLH) was scheduled to leave at 4:25pm with a scheduled arrival of 6:34pm. What I've found so far:

*N500AE was the CR7 operating the flight and departed DCA on-time at 4:25pm. However, shortly after takeoff the flight did several loops over the southern DC metro area before finally diverting to IAD and landing at 5:26pm, 1-hour later - https://flightaware.com/live/flight/N50 ... /KDCA/KIAD

*At 8:44pm AA dispatched another CR7 from DCA-IAD, this time N706PS, arriving IAD 11-mins later at 8:55pm and then departed for TLH at 9:50pm and arrived a total of 5-hours late in Tallahassee at 11:35pm - https://flightaware.com/live/flight/N70 ... /KIAD/KTLH

The three questions I have are:
1). What caused the initial diversion
2). Why did they divert to IAD instead of back to DCA. Was it something mechanical that required a longer runway?
3). Why did they keep the 60 or so passengers at IAD for 3.5 hours instead of giving them taxi vouchers back to DCA where AA has a hub with other CR7's and crews. Surely that would have been quicker than waiting 3.5 hours for a new plane and then flying DCA-IAD, waiting another hour, and then on to TLH...no?
 
User avatar
adamblang
Posts: 1369
Joined: Sat Jul 19, 2008 5:47 pm

Re: Odd diversion - AA5597 (DCA-TLH) April 23rd

Sun Apr 25, 2021 4:23 pm

IAD has less restricted airspace and more runway, both things you want when something's going wrong.
 
User avatar
Polot
Posts: 12100
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 3:01 pm

Re: Odd diversion - AA5597 (DCA-TLH) April 23rd

Sun Apr 25, 2021 4:28 pm

How are diversions handled at slot controlled airports like DCA?
 
Cubsrule
Posts: 15270
Joined: Sat May 15, 2004 12:13 pm

Re: Odd diversion - AA5597 (DCA-TLH) April 23rd

Sun Apr 25, 2021 4:31 pm

clrd4t8koff wrote:
3). Why did they keep the 60 or so passengers at IAD for 3.5 hours instead of giving them taxi vouchers back to DCA where AA has a hub with other CR7's and crews. Surely that would have been quicker than waiting 3.5 hours for a new plane and then flying DCA-IAD, waiting another hour, and then on to TLH...no?


Without more information, it’s not clear how much - if any - time this would have saved. What if AA only knew 30 minutes before the departure from DCA that the rescue crew and aircraft would be able to perform the mission? In that scenario ground transport would have cost time, and if there was some question about sourcing a rescue aircraft from another hub it would have been best for everyone to stay on the secure side at IAD.
 
32andBelow
Posts: 5645
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2012 2:54 am

Re: Odd diversion - AA5597 (DCA-TLH) April 23rd

Sun Apr 25, 2021 5:17 pm

Polot wrote:
How are diversions handled at slot controlled airports like DCA?

An airplane that needs to divert for a mechanical is going to be allowed to do basically whatever they request.
 
formeraa
Posts: 41
Joined: Wed Apr 26, 2017 6:27 am

Re: Odd diversion - AA5597 (DCA-TLH) April 23rd

Sun Apr 25, 2021 5:56 pm

I'm not a pilot, but obviously there was some sort of mechanical issue. Given a choice between DCA and IAD, they would take the longer runway at IAD every single time (assuming they could make it there). As for ground handling, it sounds like AA did the right thing. When you consider that it took AA at least an hour to figure out what could be done, it sounds like they found a plane, a crew, and got the passengers home on the same night.
 
clrd4t8koff
Topic Author
Posts: 1806
Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2005 3:57 am

Re: Odd diversion - AA5597 (DCA-TLH) April 23rd

Sun Apr 25, 2021 6:31 pm

formeraa wrote:
I'm not a pilot, but obviously there was some sort of mechanical issue. Given a choice between DCA and IAD, they would take the longer runway at IAD every single time (assuming they could make it there). As for ground handling, it sounds like AA did the right thing. When you consider that it took AA at least an hour to figure out what could be done, it sounds like they found a plane, a crew, and got the passengers home on the same night.


I guess that’s my question. If we consider it took AA at least an hour to figure out what could be done and they realized the next plane they could dispatch wasn’t for another 3.5 hours that gives them 2.5 hours to get the passengers in taxis back to DCA. Then the flight could have departed for TLH at 8:44 instead of 9:55, reducing the delay by over an hour.

At 6:30pm on a Friday how long would it take in a cab to get from IAD to DCA...45 mins?
 
washingtonflyer
Posts: 1729
Joined: Sun Sep 08, 2013 9:45 pm

Re: Odd diversion - AA5597 (DCA-TLH) April 23rd

Sun Apr 25, 2021 6:54 pm

35 to 40 minutes. I drove to DCA on Friday about that time, and while traffic wasn't heavy, it wasn't light either. Flights have been -very- heavily loaded this past week and my bet is that Friday's flight was close to full if not sold out. That's going to be a significant expense in cab fares - 50 cabs at $55 each is $2700 in cabs...
 
32andBelow
Posts: 5645
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2012 2:54 am

Re: Odd diversion - AA5597 (DCA-TLH) April 23rd

Sun Apr 25, 2021 7:07 pm

clrd4t8koff wrote:
formeraa wrote:
I'm not a pilot, but obviously there was some sort of mechanical issue. Given a choice between DCA and IAD, they would take the longer runway at IAD every single time (assuming they could make it there). As for ground handling, it sounds like AA did the right thing. When you consider that it took AA at least an hour to figure out what could be done, it sounds like they found a plane, a crew, and got the passengers home on the same night.


I guess that’s my question. If we consider it took AA at least an hour to figure out what could be done and they realized the next plane they could dispatch wasn’t for another 3.5 hours that gives them 2.5 hours to get the passengers in taxis back to DCA. Then the flight could have departed for TLH at 8:44 instead of 9:55, reducing the delay by over an hour.

At 6:30pm on a Friday how long would it take in a cab to get from IAD to DCA...45 mins?

How do you know AA didn’t offer taxi vouchers?
 
clrd4t8koff
Topic Author
Posts: 1806
Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2005 3:57 am

Re: Odd diversion - AA5597 (DCA-TLH) April 23rd

Sun Apr 25, 2021 7:57 pm

32andBelow wrote:
clrd4t8koff wrote:
formeraa wrote:
I'm not a pilot, but obviously there was some sort of mechanical issue. Given a choice between DCA and IAD, they would take the longer runway at IAD every single time (assuming they could make it there). As for ground handling, it sounds like AA did the right thing. When you consider that it took AA at least an hour to figure out what could be done, it sounds like they found a plane, a crew, and got the passengers home on the same night.


I guess that’s my question. If we consider it took AA at least an hour to figure out what could be done and they realized the next plane they could dispatch wasn’t for another 3.5 hours that gives them 2.5 hours to get the passengers in taxis back to DCA. Then the flight could have departed for TLH at 8:44 instead of 9:55, reducing the delay by over an hour.

At 6:30pm on a Friday how long would it take in a cab to get from IAD to DCA...45 mins?

How do you know AA didn’t offer taxi vouchers?


They flew a new plane empty from DCA to IAD to pick everyone up. Why would AA do that if they offered taxi vouchers back to DCA and the passengers willingly turned them down?
 
Cubsrule
Posts: 15270
Joined: Sat May 15, 2004 12:13 pm

Re: Odd diversion - AA5597 (DCA-TLH) April 23rd

Sun Apr 25, 2021 8:54 pm

clrd4t8koff wrote:
formeraa wrote:
I'm not a pilot, but obviously there was some sort of mechanical issue. Given a choice between DCA and IAD, they would take the longer runway at IAD every single time (assuming they could make it there). As for ground handling, it sounds like AA did the right thing. When you consider that it took AA at least an hour to figure out what could be done, it sounds like they found a plane, a crew, and got the passengers home on the same night.


I guess that’s my question. If we consider it took AA at least an hour to figure out what could be done and they realized the next plane they could dispatch wasn’t for another 3.5 hours that gives them 2.5 hours to get the passengers in taxis back to DCA. Then the flight could have departed for TLH at 8:44 instead of 9:55, reducing the delay by over an hour.

At 6:30pm on a Friday how long would it take in a cab to get from IAD to DCA...45 mins?


The aircraft spent the day in DCA. DCA is a crew base, so if they used a crew on reserve it’s possible - perhaps likely - that they left as soon as they had a crew but didn’t know exactly when that would be.
 
USAirKid
Posts: 867
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2016 5:42 am

Re: Odd diversion - AA5597 (DCA-TLH) April 23rd

Sun Apr 25, 2021 9:06 pm

32andBelow wrote:
Polot wrote:
How are diversions handled at slot controlled airports like DCA?

An airplane that needs to divert for a mechanical is going to be allowed to do basically whatever they request.


As far a slot controlled airports go, I'm sure that a diversion for a mechanical issue doesn't count against the slot, and they can do whatever they request.

That being said with DCA, I could see there being special security requirements that any diversions or emergencies have to fly the prescribed flight paths, no matter what. If your emergency precludes you from flying that flight path you're directed to IAD. If not, that is a pretty big loophole to the security of DCA, declare an emergency and fly the plane into one of many buildings.
 
32andBelow
Posts: 5645
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2012 2:54 am

Re: Odd diversion - AA5597 (DCA-TLH) April 23rd

Sun Apr 25, 2021 10:22 pm

USAirKid wrote:
32andBelow wrote:
Polot wrote:
How are diversions handled at slot controlled airports like DCA?

An airplane that needs to divert for a mechanical is going to be allowed to do basically whatever they request.


As far a slot controlled airports go, I'm sure that a diversion for a mechanical issue doesn't count against the slot, and they can do whatever they request.

That being said with DCA, I could see there being special security requirements that any diversions or emergencies have to fly the prescribed flight paths, no matter what. If your emergency precludes you from flying that flight path you're directed to IAD. If not, that is a pretty big loophole to the security of DCA, declare an emergency and fly the plane into one of many buildings.

You’d likely only have to stay out of prohibited areas and other special use airspace. No one is going to want the fall out out of unabeling a request if the airplane winds up crashing
 
digitalcloud
Posts: 176
Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2018 10:03 am

Re: Odd diversion - AA5597 (DCA-TLH) April 23rd

Sun Apr 25, 2021 10:35 pm

FR24 shows a long final approach and high approach speed which suggests a slat/flap issue which would warrant the diversion to IAD.
 
User avatar
dennypayne
Posts: 371
Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2012 3:38 am

Re: Odd diversion - AA5597 (DCA-TLH) April 23rd

Sun Apr 25, 2021 11:21 pm

clrd4t8koff wrote:
formeraa wrote:
I'm not a pilot, but obviously there was some sort of mechanical issue. Given a choice between DCA and IAD, they would take the longer runway at IAD every single time (assuming they could make it there). As for ground handling, it sounds like AA did the right thing. When you consider that it took AA at least an hour to figure out what could be done, it sounds like they found a plane, a crew, and got the passengers home on the same night.


I guess that’s my question. If we consider it took AA at least an hour to figure out what could be done and they realized the next plane they could dispatch wasn’t for another 3.5 hours that gives them 2.5 hours to get the passengers in taxis back to DCA. Then the flight could have departed for TLH at 8:44 instead of 9:55, reducing the delay by over an hour.

At 6:30pm on a Friday how long would it take in a cab to get from IAD to DCA...45 mins?


You're still glossing over the fact that everyone would have to clear security again if they did that. And transfer bags back to another airport and re-check those in. That one hour reduced delay would quickly vanish. Why add all that extra complexity and risk into the equation?

Sent from my SM-N970U using Tapatalk
 
TUSAirliner
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Aug 21, 2020 2:38 pm

Re: Odd diversion - AA5597 (DCA-TLH) April 23rd

Mon Apr 26, 2021 1:07 am

Looks like AA did everything right here. Getting crews and an aircraft at the end of the day is a feat itself and keep in mind they (crews) have minimum call outs and usually do their best to get their as fast as possible or a volunteer. I worked ops for SkyWest at a pilot and FA Base and I’m sure many here have seen how things play out in this scenario. FA management would preflight whenever onsite too.

As someone mentioned above the delay was realistic and moved PAX to their destination without a forced overnight quite possible at IAD
 
crj900lr
Posts: 499
Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2011 1:44 am

Re: Odd diversion - AA5597 (DCA-TLH) April 23rd

Mon Apr 26, 2021 1:35 am

Technically this was PSA operating as American Eagle, not American mainline. PSA dispatch with the help of maintenance control would be making the decisions about getting another plane and crew and determining which location would be acceptable to go for the diversion based on the severity of it. Then they would dispatch the replacement aircraft to the diversion site. Its all about communication when something like this happens, everyone needs to be on the same page so it can go as smoothly as possible. Overall from what it looks like everything turned out fine with a few extra hours added onto the passengers trip.
 
Wingtips56
Posts: 1374
Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2010 1:26 am

Re: Odd diversion - AA5597 (DCA-TLH) April 23rd

Mon Apr 26, 2021 1:52 am

I don't know the full story, but I can think (from my years at the airport baby sitting creeping delays) that the diverted airplane was probably checked by maintenance to see if it could be fixed and continue well before the decision to take it out of service and send a rescue flight.
 
SkyLife
Posts: 36
Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2020 1:45 pm

Re: Odd diversion - AA5597 (DCA-TLH) April 23rd

Mon Apr 26, 2021 1:58 am

The issue with DCA isn’t just runway length or airspace it’s also that it’s basically a single runway operation. If you bring in an emergency aircraft and stop on the runway the whole airport is shut down. A lot of times things like a nosewheel steering EICAS message or some other Amber message drive these diversions and IAD is a much better choice to divert to unless you just wont make it to IAD. Logistically DCA is not a great place to bring an emergency due to its single runway shutting down the entire airport. Most of the aircraft at DCA only use 1/19.
 
LCDFlight
Posts: 1211
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2020 9:22 pm

Re: Odd diversion - AA5597 (DCA-TLH) April 23rd

Mon Apr 26, 2021 2:40 am

as others said, this was a good rescue given that they apparently had a spare CR7 with crew available at DCA. That's the interesting part of the story for me IMO.

The airline has spare mainline and a spare RJ at major hubs (maybe just a CRJ at DCA?). They even have a spare widebody at major hubs for the evening push to Europe. This is part of the fleet rotation, they plan this out.

Yes, the passengers got to TLH as planned that night. AND. The next morning's departure from TLH will also depart on schedule. Thus the operational failure is contained. (If the flight didn't get to TLH that night, then what are the passengers at 6am next morning supposed to do). Anyway, sorry if any specifics here are wrong, I am just having fun going thru some basics about schedule recovery, I worked in the field long time ago.
 
32andBelow
Posts: 5645
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2012 2:54 am

Re: Odd diversion - AA5597 (DCA-TLH) April 23rd

Mon Apr 26, 2021 2:54 am

SkyLife wrote:
The issue with DCA isn’t just runway length or airspace it’s also that it’s basically a single runway operation. If you bring in an emergency aircraft and stop on the runway the whole airport is shut down. A lot of times things like a nosewheel steering EICAS message or some other Amber message drive these diversions and IAD is a much better choice to divert to unless you just wont make it to IAD. Logistically DCA is not a great place to bring an emergency due to its single runway shutting down the entire airport. Most of the aircraft at DCA only use 1/19.

Dude if AA said they wanted to go back to DCA. They would have been sent to DCA
 
User avatar
dennypayne
Posts: 371
Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2012 3:38 am

Re: Odd diversion - AA5597 (DCA-TLH) April 23rd

Mon Apr 26, 2021 3:02 am

32andBelow wrote:
SkyLife wrote:
The issue with DCA isn’t just runway length or airspace it’s also that it’s basically a single runway operation. If you bring in an emergency aircraft and stop on the runway the whole airport is shut down. A lot of times things like a nosewheel steering EICAS message or some other Amber message drive these diversions and IAD is a much better choice to divert to unless you just wont make it to IAD. Logistically DCA is not a great place to bring an emergency due to its single runway shutting down the entire airport. Most of the aircraft at DCA only use 1/19.

Dude if AA said they wanted to go back to DCA. They would have been sent to DCA


No one is disputing that, but these guys had a choice and likely made it because of some of the factors that SkyLife mentions.

Sent from my SM-N970U using Tapatalk
 
mhockey31091
Posts: 83
Joined: Mon Apr 12, 2010 8:05 am

Re: Odd diversion - AA5597 (DCA-TLH) April 23rd

Mon Apr 26, 2021 3:15 am

clrd4t8koff wrote:
Curious if anyone knows what happened with this flight. From what I can piece together AA5597 on Friday, April 23rd (DCA-TLH) was scheduled to leave at 4:25pm with a scheduled arrival of 6:34pm. What I've found so far:

*N500AE was the CR7 operating the flight and departed DCA on-time at 4:25pm. However, shortly after takeoff the flight did several loops over the southern DC metro area before finally diverting to IAD and landing at 5:26pm, 1-hour later - https://flightaware.com/live/flight/N50 ... /KDCA/KIAD

*At 8:44pm AA dispatched another CR7 from DCA-IAD, this time N706PS, arriving IAD 11-mins later at 8:55pm and then departed for TLH at 9:50pm and arrived a total of 5-hours late in Tallahassee at 11:35pm - https://flightaware.com/live/flight/N70 ... /KIAD/KTLH

The three questions I have are:
1). What caused the initial diversion
2). Why did they divert to IAD instead of back to DCA. Was it something mechanical that required a longer runway?
3). Why did they keep the 60 or so passengers at IAD for 3.5 hours instead of giving them taxi vouchers back to DCA where AA has a hub with other CR7's and crews. Surely that would have been quicker than waiting 3.5 hours for a new plane and then flying DCA-IAD, waiting another hour, and then on to TLH...no?

I think you're thinking things happen at airlines a lot faster than they do. Sometimes we can sit on the ground waiting for the powers to be to make decisions for hours. Even if they knew that they had an available plane in DCA, they'd have to get a crew with their respective call out times and make sure that that's actually what American wanted them to do.
 
FGITD
Posts: 1700
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 1:44 pm

Re: Odd diversion - AA5597 (DCA-TLH) April 23rd

Mon Apr 26, 2021 4:12 am

dennypayne wrote:
clrd4t8koff wrote:
formeraa wrote:
I'm not a pilot, but obviously there was some sort of mechanical issue. Given a choice between DCA and IAD, they would take the longer runway at IAD every single time (assuming they could make it there). As for ground handling, it sounds like AA did the right thing. When you consider that it took AA at least an hour to figure out what could be done, it sounds like they found a plane, a crew, and got the passengers home on the same night.


I guess that’s my question. If we consider it took AA at least an hour to figure out what could be done and they realized the next plane they could dispatch wasn’t for another 3.5 hours that gives them 2.5 hours to get the passengers in taxis back to DCA. Then the flight could have departed for TLH at 8:44 instead of 9:55, reducing the delay by over an hour.

At 6:30pm on a Friday how long would it take in a cab to get from IAD to DCA...45 mins?


You're still glossing over the fact that everyone would have to clear security again if they did that. And transfer bags back to another airport and re-check those in. That one hour reduced delay would quickly vanish. Why add all that extra complexity and risk into the equation?

Sent from my SM-N970U using Tapatalk


that's also an awful lot of money and effort to shave one hour off the travel time for pax.

In order for this to work, everything had to go into action instantly. Disembark pax/baggage, into taxis, through check in and security, and board...all while ops gets an airplane and crew ready to go. Sorry for the wait, but that's literally never going to happen.

As far as diversions go, I'd say this one is a great example of an operational success.
 
bigb
Posts: 1417
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2003 4:30 pm

Re: Odd diversion - AA5597 (DCA-TLH) April 23rd

Mon Apr 26, 2021 4:20 am

Maintenance issue, my guess would be a flaps/slats issue and the need for a longer runway.
 
drmlnr1
Posts: 157
Joined: Mon Jun 06, 2011 7:16 pm

Re: Odd diversion - AA5597 (DCA-TLH) April 23rd

Mon Apr 26, 2021 5:06 am

clrd4t8koff wrote:
Curious if anyone knows what happened with this flight. From what I can piece together AA5597 on Friday, April 23rd (DCA-TLH) was scheduled to leave at 4:25pm with a scheduled arrival of 6:34pm. What I've found so far:

*N500AE was the CR7 operating the flight and departed DCA on-time at 4:25pm. However, shortly after takeoff the flight did several loops over the southern DC metro area before finally diverting to IAD and landing at 5:26pm, 1-hour later - https://flightaware.com/live/flight/N50 ... /KDCA/KIAD

*At 8:44pm AA dispatched another CR7 from DCA-IAD, this time N706PS, arriving IAD 11-mins later at 8:55pm and then departed for TLH at 9:50pm and arrived a total of 5-hours late in Tallahassee at 11:35pm - https://flightaware.com/live/flight/N70 ... /KIAD/KTLH

The three questions I have are:
1). What caused the initial diversion
2). Why did they divert to IAD instead of back to DCA. Was it something mechanical that required a longer runway?
3). Why did they keep the 60 or so passengers at IAD for 3.5 hours instead of giving them taxi vouchers back to DCA where AA has a hub with other CR7's and crews. Surely that would have been quicker than waiting 3.5 hours for a new plane and then flying DCA-IAD, waiting another hour, and then on to TLH...no?


Just so happens i am former aa csa at both airports
1. It was probably a mechanical issue and wanted to land it at an airport that had runway length in case and space to service the aircraft.
2. Having worked at iad for aa, iad is the designated divert alert station for everything from dca all the way up to jfk. So if an issue arises let’s say weather or in this case mx they have staff on ground ready to handle the plane no matter the size. Ive handled diversions from a 737 up to a 777 when i was there.
3. The reason why is probably aa decided to continue the flight with delay instead of cancel the flight which would have then cost them more money in terms of shuttle service and hotels than it would to delay. When i was at iad and if a flight diverted to iad bound for dca would divert to us and stop, it costs alot for ground transportation to dca from iad and one reason is because of the dulles toll road.
Hope that helps
 
Roots1
Posts: 70
Joined: Sun Jul 02, 2017 7:38 am

Re: Odd diversion - AA5597 (DCA-TLH) April 23rd

Mon Apr 26, 2021 6:49 am

It was a flaps issue and the crew requested IAD.
 
SkyLife
Posts: 36
Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2020 1:45 pm

Re: Odd diversion - AA5597 (DCA-TLH) April 23rd

Tue Apr 27, 2021 12:40 pm

32andBelow wrote:
SkyLife wrote:
The issue with DCA isn’t just runway length or airspace it’s also that it’s basically a single runway operation. If you bring in an emergency aircraft and stop on the runway the whole airport is shut down. A lot of times things like a nosewheel steering EICAS message or some other Amber message drive these diversions and IAD is a much better choice to divert to unless you just wont make it to IAD. Logistically DCA is not a great place to bring an emergency due to its single runway shutting down the entire airport. Most of the aircraft at DCA only use 1/19.

Dude if AA said they wanted to go back to DCA. They would have been sent to DCA


I am well aware of when I will request DCA and when I need to request IAD. I’m an airline pilot for a 121 carrier who regularly operates in and out of DCA. We have simulator sessions with DCA specifically built into them. Most of these result in diversions into IAD, shutting down DCA for something minor when you could easily take the plane 15 mins over to IAD allows the airline to keep functioning. Unless this was an immediate emergency, seems like it wasn’t, IAD will most likely be the desired alternate for an airplane near DCA due to the factors I listed.
 
IFlyVeryLittle
Posts: 200
Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2018 7:31 pm

Re: Odd diversion - AA5597 (DCA-TLH) April 23rd

Tue Apr 27, 2021 1:11 pm

Imagine you're a passenger and you just took off from DCA, now you've landed at IAD a short time later and your airline passes out, wait for it, a taxi voucher to get you across northern virginia back at the height of rush hour (OK, admittedly you're going against the flow out of the city, but still). I'd say under the circumstances, AA did what needed to be done.
 
VZLA787
Posts: 67
Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2009 1:43 am

Re: Odd diversion - AA5597 (DCA-TLH) April 23rd

Tue Apr 27, 2021 1:19 pm

Quick question. If they already had the spare aircraft at DCA, why not send the crew from the original flight from IAD back to DCA and get the flight going quicker instead of waiting for an alternate crew? Time limits?
 
GalaxyFlyer
Posts: 8085
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:44 am

Re: Odd diversion - AA5597 (DCA-TLH) April 23rd

Tue Apr 27, 2021 1:33 pm

It’s not sitting there running—crew has to sent out, if they’re sitting in Ops. Flight plan package put together and filed, pre-flight, taxi out, fly over, park it, prep for the continuing. Very likely quicker to drive the pax over to DCA
 
32andBelow
Posts: 5645
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2012 2:54 am

Re: Odd diversion - AA5597 (DCA-TLH) April 23rd

Tue Apr 27, 2021 2:09 pm

VZLA787 wrote:
Quick question. If they already had the spare aircraft at DCA, why not send the crew from the original flight from IAD back to DCA and get the flight going quicker instead of waiting for an alternate crew? Time limits?

It’s impossible to know. Maybe they were waiting for the plane to come back from somewhere before they could do the rescue.
 
Cubsrule
Posts: 15270
Joined: Sat May 15, 2004 12:13 pm

Re: Odd diversion - AA5597 (DCA-TLH) April 23rd

Tue Apr 27, 2021 2:12 pm

32andBelow wrote:
VZLA787 wrote:
Quick question. If they already had the spare aircraft at DCA, why not send the crew from the original flight from IAD back to DCA and get the flight going quicker instead of waiting for an alternate crew? Time limits?

It’s impossible to know. Maybe they were waiting for the plane to come back from somewhere before they could do the rescue.


The aircraft spent the day at DCA. But, we can't know whether there were other reasons it couldn't be dispatched right away.
 
washingtonflyer
Posts: 1729
Joined: Sun Sep 08, 2013 9:45 pm

Re: Odd diversion - AA5597 (DCA-TLH) April 23rd

Tue Apr 27, 2021 4:46 pm

Lets think about the mechanics of what was being suggested. In sending people back to DCA and then onto a new aircraft at DCA, you have to 1) unload all the bags (which has to be done either way), spit the out the bags onto a IAD baggage carrousel, have the passengers pick up the bags, get the passengers to take vouchers, arrange for wheelchair assist for any passengers who need it at the curbs, have the passengers walk out with bags in hand, hail taxis, drive the 31 ground miles from IAD to DCA, hope that you don't have a cab driver that tries to cheat you / insist on a tip / tell you he doesn't take vouchers / say that the voucher doesn't cover the cost / etc., make the passengers drop off their bags (a second time), make them reclear security (a second time), rescreen all the bags, and then reload all the bags (which was to be done either way).

Make the passengers miserable or keep them snug in a hold room until you reposition a plane for the 11 minute flight from DCA to IAD.

AA (PSA) made the correct call here.
 
capitalflyer
Posts: 676
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 2:43 am

Re: Odd diversion - AA5597 (DCA-TLH) April 23rd

Fri Apr 30, 2021 3:44 pm

If the flight was arriving at DCA, then ground transportation would be an option perhaps for those folks not connecting to another flight. The rest could be put on a bus and taken to DCA to arrange their (likely missed) connection flight. This flight departed DCA, so you still have to fly them to their destination. If you put everyone in taxis, no doubt you would be still be waiting 3 hours later for two people who didn't get in a taxi quick enough, wanted to drive by the cherry blossoms, wandered around at DCA, got a drink, etc. Not to mention having to recheck luggage, reclear security, etc. MUUUCCCHH easier for folks to sit at a gate and wander around at IAD while they wait for replacement plane. Just much simpler.
 
User avatar
T18
Posts: 809
Joined: Sat Jan 31, 2009 12:28 am

Re: Odd diversion - AA5597 (DCA-TLH) April 23rd

Fri Apr 30, 2021 4:39 pm

Not sure about PSA but the charts I have have a remark for DCA of "Emergency Diversions to DCA prohibited, but you may continue if it is the original destination." So I will almost always have IAD on a DCA dept as a take-off altn.
 
FlyingElvii
Posts: 1605
Joined: Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:53 pm

Re: Odd diversion - AA5597 (DCA-TLH) April 23rd

Fri Apr 30, 2021 5:41 pm

mhockey31091 wrote:
clrd4t8koff wrote:
Curious if anyone knows what happened with this flight. From what I can piece together AA5597 on Friday, April 23rd (DCA-TLH) was scheduled to leave at 4:25pm with a scheduled arrival of 6:34pm. What I've found so far:

*N500AE was the CR7 operating the flight and departed DCA on-time at 4:25pm. However, shortly after takeoff the flight did several loops over the southern DC metro area before finally diverting to IAD and landing at 5:26pm, 1-hour later - https://flightaware.com/live/flight/N50 ... /KDCA/KIAD

*At 8:44pm AA dispatched another CR7 from DCA-IAD, this time N706PS, arriving IAD 11-mins later at 8:55pm and then departed for TLH at 9:50pm and arrived a total of 5-hours late in Tallahassee at 11:35pm - https://flightaware.com/live/flight/N70 ... /KIAD/KTLH

The three questions I have are:
1). What caused the initial diversion
2). Why did they divert to IAD instead of back to DCA. Was it something mechanical that required a longer runway?
3). Why did they keep the 60 or so passengers at IAD for 3.5 hours instead of giving them taxi vouchers back to DCA where AA has a hub with other CR7's and crews. Surely that would have been quicker than waiting 3.5 hours for a new plane and then flying DCA-IAD, waiting another hour, and then on to TLH...no?

I think you're thinking things happen at airlines a lot faster than they do. Sometimes we can sit on the ground waiting for the powers to be to make decisions for hours. Even if they knew that they had an available plane in DCA, they'd have to get a crew with their respective call out times and make sure that that's actually what American wanted them to do.

Per flightaware, it looks like PSA ferried a CRJ-7 over from DCA as AA9950, to cover the trip. Departed DCA at 844pm, which IMHO means that Scheduling did a hell of a job finding a crew to operate on a Friday Night.

With a long delay the original crew probably pumpkin’d at IAD.
 
FlyingElvii
Posts: 1605
Joined: Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:53 pm

Re: Odd diversion - AA5597 (DCA-TLH) April 23rd

Fri Apr 30, 2021 5:48 pm

capitalflyer wrote:
If the flight was arriving at DCA, then ground transportation would be an option perhaps for those folks not connecting to another flight. The rest could be put on a bus and taken to DCA to arrange their (likely missed) connection flight. This flight departed DCA, so you still have to fly them to their destination. If you put everyone in taxis, no doubt you would be still be waiting 3 hours later for two people who didn't get in a taxi quick enough, wanted to drive by the cherry blossoms, wandered around at DCA, got a drink, etc. Not to mention having to recheck luggage, reclear security, etc. MUUUCCCHH easier for folks to sit at a gate and wander around at IAD while they wait for replacement plane. Just much simpler.

Kind of off-topic, but with SuperShuttle now gone, who is running an IAD-DCA shuttle these days?
 
LCDFlight
Posts: 1211
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2020 9:22 pm

Re: Odd diversion - AA5597 (DCA-TLH) April 23rd

Fri Apr 30, 2021 5:53 pm

FlyingElvii wrote:
mhockey31091 wrote:
clrd4t8koff wrote:
Curious if anyone knows what happened with this flight. From what I can piece together AA5597 on Friday, April 23rd (DCA-TLH) was scheduled to leave at 4:25pm with a scheduled arrival of 6:34pm. What I've found so far:

*N500AE was the CR7 operating the flight and departed DCA on-time at 4:25pm. However, shortly after takeoff the flight did several loops over the southern DC metro area before finally diverting to IAD and landing at 5:26pm, 1-hour later - https://flightaware.com/live/flight/N50 ... /KDCA/KIAD

*At 8:44pm AA dispatched another CR7 from DCA-IAD, this time N706PS, arriving IAD 11-mins later at 8:55pm and then departed for TLH at 9:50pm and arrived a total of 5-hours late in Tallahassee at 11:35pm - https://flightaware.com/live/flight/N70 ... /KIAD/KTLH

The three questions I have are:
1). What caused the initial diversion
2). Why did they divert to IAD instead of back to DCA. Was it something mechanical that required a longer runway?
3). Why did they keep the 60 or so passengers at IAD for 3.5 hours instead of giving them taxi vouchers back to DCA where AA has a hub with other CR7's and crews. Surely that would have been quicker than waiting 3.5 hours for a new plane and then flying DCA-IAD, waiting another hour, and then on to TLH...no?

I think you're thinking things happen at airlines a lot faster than they do. Sometimes we can sit on the ground waiting for the powers to be to make decisions for hours. Even if they knew that they had an available plane in DCA, they'd have to get a crew with their respective call out times and make sure that that's actually what American wanted them to do.

Per flightaware, it looks like PSA ferried a CRJ-7 over from DCA as AA9950, to cover the trip. Departed DCA at 844pm, which IMHO means that Scheduling did a hell of a job finding a crew to operate on a Friday Night.

With a long delay the original crew probably pumpkin’d at IAD.


Exactly, that seems to be the real story here. Fleet scheduling/dispatch and crew scheduling both saved this flight (and onward flight line). Pax got to their destination same day, network was kept up. This is a win for the airline. One of the benefits of flying a serious airline (speaking of AA as a whole).
 
SkyLife
Posts: 36
Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2020 1:45 pm

Re: Odd diversion - AA5597 (DCA-TLH) April 23rd

Sat May 01, 2021 1:25 am

FlyingElvii wrote:
mhockey31091 wrote:
clrd4t8koff wrote:
Curious if anyone knows what happened with this flight. From what I can piece together AA5597 on Friday, April 23rd (DCA-TLH) was scheduled to leave at 4:25pm with a scheduled arrival of 6:34pm. What I've found so far:

*N500AE was the CR7 operating the flight and departed DCA on-time at 4:25pm. However, shortly after takeoff the flight did several loops over the southern DC metro area before finally diverting to IAD and landing at 5:26pm, 1-hour later - https://flightaware.com/live/flight/N50 ... /KDCA/KIAD

*At 8:44pm AA dispatched another CR7 from DCA-IAD, this time N706PS, arriving IAD 11-mins later at 8:55pm and then departed for TLH at 9:50pm and arrived a total of 5-hours late in Tallahassee at 11:35pm - https://flightaware.com/live/flight/N70 ... /KIAD/KTLH

The three questions I have are:
1). What caused the initial diversion
2). Why did they divert to IAD instead of back to DCA. Was it something mechanical that required a longer runway?
3). Why did they keep the 60 or so passengers at IAD for 3.5 hours instead of giving them taxi vouchers back to DCA where AA has a hub with other CR7's and crews. Surely that would have been quicker than waiting 3.5 hours for a new plane and then flying DCA-IAD, waiting another hour, and then on to TLH...no?

I think you're thinking things happen at airlines a lot faster than they do. Sometimes we can sit on the ground waiting for the powers to be to make decisions for hours. Even if they knew that they had an available plane in DCA, they'd have to get a crew with their respective call out times and make sure that that's actually what American wanted them to do.

Per flightaware, it looks like PSA ferried a CRJ-7 over from DCA as AA9950, to cover the trip. Departed DCA at 844pm, which IMHO means that Scheduling did a hell of a job finding a crew to operate on a Friday Night.

With a long delay the original crew probably pumpkin’d at IAD.


PSA has a crew base at DCA which allowed this to all come together. I imagine they had a crew waiting on the call and just ran the airplane over.
 
FlyingElvii
Posts: 1605
Joined: Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:53 pm

Re: Odd diversion - AA5597 (DCA-TLH) April 23rd

Sat May 01, 2021 2:12 am

SkyLife wrote:
FlyingElvii wrote:
mhockey31091 wrote:
I think you're thinking things happen at airlines a lot faster than they do. Sometimes we can sit on the ground waiting for the powers to be to make decisions for hours. Even if they knew that they had an available plane in DCA, they'd have to get a crew with their respective call out times and make sure that that's actually what American wanted them to do.

Per flightaware, it looks like PSA ferried a CRJ-7 over from DCA as AA9950, to cover the trip. Departed DCA at 844pm, which IMHO means that Scheduling did a hell of a job finding a crew to operate on a Friday Night.

With a long delay the original crew probably pumpkin’d at IAD.


PSA has a crew base at DCA which allowed this to all come together. I imagine they had a crew waiting on the call and just ran the airplane over.

On a Friday night?
Unlikely, especially that late in the day.
I have no insight into PSA ops, but It was probably a combination of hots, reassignment extensions, and flat out begging. Crew operates the reposition, then to the destination, overnights, then dead heads back in the morning.
Two days pay min hours, probably flag pay, as well.
Better than taking a cancel, especially in these days. Been there, done that....

On an average Friday, the phone starts ringing off the hook for early releases at about 4pm.
 
SkyLife
Posts: 36
Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2020 1:45 pm

Re: Odd diversion - AA5597 (DCA-TLH) April 23rd

Sat May 01, 2021 8:23 pm

FlyingElvii wrote:
SkyLife wrote:
FlyingElvii wrote:
Per flightaware, it looks like PSA ferried a CRJ-7 over from DCA as AA9950, to cover the trip. Departed DCA at 844pm, which IMHO means that Scheduling did a hell of a job finding a crew to operate on a Friday Night.

With a long delay the original crew probably pumpkin’d at IAD.


PSA has a crew base at DCA which allowed this to all come together. I imagine they had a crew waiting on the call and just ran the airplane over.

On a Friday night?
Unlikely, especially that late in the day.
I have no insight into PSA ops, but It was probably a combination of hots, reassignment extensions, and flat out begging. Crew operates the reposition, then to the destination, overnights, then dead heads back in the morning.
Two days pay min hours, probably flag pay, as well.
Better than taking a cancel, especially in these days. Been there, done that....

On an average Friday, the phone starts ringing off the hook for early releases at about 4pm.


PSA keeps airport reserve hots until the last departure, sometimes even later, to include both pilots and FAs at crew bases. DCA is a crew base and thus I imagine it was filled by these, standard short callout is 2hrs. PSA’s last flight out last night (a Friday night, was approx 10pm) I’d expect hot reserves to be there until that flight was off the ground.

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos