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Hawaiian763
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YYC Storm Diversion Questions

Wed Jun 06, 2012 1:27 pm

Last night (June 5) was a crazy night for weather in YYC from Severe Thunderstorm warnings in the city to Tornado's touching down in Southern Alberta. The weather didn't help passengers trying to fly into YYC with many flights arriving at 2, 3 am because of the weather. The Alaska/Horizon flight from SEA (AS 2114) ended up turning back to SEA even though it had almost made it to YYC. I'm just wondering if that's common for airlines to turn back to their point of departure even though they have almost reached their destination?

Also just curious to know what are the alternate airports for flights to land if for some reason (like last night's storms for example) couldn't land in YYC?
 
rfields5421
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RE: YYC Storm Diversion Questions

Wed Jun 06, 2012 1:37 pm

Quoting Hawaiian763 (Thread starter):
I'm just wondering if that's common for airlines to turn back to their point of departure even though they have almost reached their destination?

Yes, No, Maybe.

An airline having to divert a flight due to weather at the destination bases the decision of alternate airport on several factors - a key one of which is the fuel on board and the estimated duration of the storm.

Airlines extremely dislike having to put passenger aircraft down at relatively small airports without regular services for that size aircraft. That leads to stories about trapped passengers, and delays in getting enough fuel to resume the flight if necessary.

Airlines prefer to put diversions into airports where they have regular service so that they can more easily deal with service issues, overnight delays if necessary, etc.

Returning to a major hub airport like SEA for provides the passengers and the airline with the most options for dealing with the diversion delays.

For Calgary, I would think Edmonton, Great Falls and Spokane would be the closest diversion points - so going back to Seattle wouldn't be a big deal if the aircraft had plenty of fuel for the return.
Not all who wander are lost.
 
flyb
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RE: YYC Storm Diversion Questions

Wed Jun 06, 2012 2:28 pm

YEG is usually used, as most airlines like United, Alaska, Delta...have operations there.
 
tymnbalewne
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RE: YYC Storm Diversion Questions

Wed Jun 06, 2012 3:11 pm

Quoting Hawaiian763 (Thread starter):
I'm just wondering if that's common for airlines to turn back to their point of departure even though they have almost reached their destination?

Well, certainly for BDA it is...after all, there's usually no place else to go!
Dewmanair...begins with Dew
 
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rikkus67
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RE: YYC Storm Diversion Questions

Wed Jun 06, 2012 4:18 pm

My old hometown of Lethbridge (YQL) has been used many times as a WX diversion airport. It is only about 120 miles (appx. 200 km) SE of Calgary. In this case though, Tornado warnings were issued just East of Lethbridge, so I don't believe it would have been an alternate.

We had a system stall over Calgary last night. The amount of lightning we had made me think of Southern Arizona and sheet lightning. The light and sound show were spectacular here! I live downtown, and thought my house had been hit, the thunder was the loudest and sharpest I have ever experienced, and shook pictures and chinaware!!
AC.WA.CP.DL.RW.CO.WG.WJ.WN.KI.FL.SK.ACL.UA.US.F9
 
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c172akula
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RE: YYC Storm Diversion Questions

Wed Jun 06, 2012 6:29 pm

A buddy of mine flew in from YVR last night, and in his words it was "severe turbulence", after landing they spent 5 wonderful hours on Charlie taxiway due to the red alert. Booze was free and they played some scrabble with an FA on her iPad.
 
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rikkus67
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RE: YYC Storm Diversion Questions

Wed Jun 06, 2012 6:53 pm

C172...

YVR to YYC and "Severe" turbulence.... Considering that turbulence is a regular occurence on this route, and if your friend is a regular traveller on it... I am sure it made for an interesting ride...
AC.WA.CP.DL.RW.CO.WG.WJ.WN.KI.FL.SK.ACL.UA.US.F9
 
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c172akula
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RE: YYC Storm Diversion Questions

Wed Jun 06, 2012 7:06 pm

Yup, he is a very frequent flier (and fellow avgeek and spotter like us here). So him saying it was the worst he's ever had and definitely severe puts it into perspective. He was saying there was screaming, puking, and the guy next to him praying. He goes on to say he has a new found respect for the A320's.  
 
txkf2010
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RE: YYC Storm Diversion Questions

Wed Jun 06, 2012 10:52 pm

Maybe they should expand YQF for just such events...
 
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kgaiflyer
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RE: YYC Storm Diversion Questions

Wed Jun 06, 2012 11:19 pm

Quoting Hawaiian763 (Thread starter):
The Alaska/Horizon flight from SEA (AS 2114) ended up turning back to SEA even though it had almost made it to YYC. I'm just wondering if that's common for airlines to turn back to their point of departure even though they have almost reached their destination?

Even though it's an QX Q400 turboprop, it's still an international flight involving the CBSA and immigration. And the fact that on the SEA-YYC route, they overfly YLW which they also serve is not really helpful since Kelowna does not have customs and immigration. Given that fact, and the fact that the *whole flight* is only 406 nm, turning back to Seattle makes sense.
 
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kgaiflyer
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RE: YYC Storm Diversion Questions

Wed Jun 06, 2012 11:26 pm

Quoting kgaiflyer (Reply 9):
YLW which they also serve is not really helpful since Kelowna does not have customs and immigration.

I stand corrected.

YLW does indeed have customs and immigration.
 
Viscount724
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RE: YYC Storm Diversion Questions

Wed Jun 06, 2012 11:34 pm

Quoting kgaiflyer (Reply 9):
Quoting Hawaiian763 (Thread starter):
The Alaska/Horizon flight from SEA (AS 2114) ended up turning back to SEA even though it had almost made it to YYC. I'm just wondering if that's common for airlines to turn back to their point of departure even though they have almost reached their destination?

Even though it's an QX Q400 turboprop, it's still an international flight involving the CBSA and immigration. And the fact that on the SEA-YYC route, they overfly YLW which they also serve is not really helpful since Kelowna does not have customs and immigration. Given that fact, and the fact that the *whole flight* is only 406 nm, turning back to Seattle makes sense.

But why does returning all the way back to SEA make more sense than diverting to YEG which is miuch closer (133 nm) and would mean much less disruption for YYC-bound passengers? Or was YEG affected by the same weather issues as YYC?
 
Hawaiian763
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RE: YYC Storm Diversion Questions

Thu Jun 07, 2012 12:30 am

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 11):
But why does returning all the way back to SEA make more sense than diverting to YEG which is miuch closer (133 nm) and would mean much less disruption for YYC-bound passengers? Or was YEG affected by the same weather issues as YYC?

It was just YYC and YQL were the only airports affected by the storms last night. YEG would make more sense distance wise, but like it was pointed out early because SEA is an AS base, it would be easier to get passengers re-booked on new flights.
 
9252fly
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RE: YYC Storm Diversion Questions

Thu Jun 07, 2012 12:37 am

Quoting C172Akula (Reply 7):
He was saying there was screaming, puking, and the guy next to him praying.

Now one of the three would have been bad enough,but all three?
 
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c172akula
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RE: YYC Storm Diversion Questions

Thu Jun 07, 2012 1:11 pm

Quoting 9252fly (Reply 13):
Now one of the three would have been bad enough,but all three?

Haha, well played. Different passengers doing different things, although I bet one or two had done all three by the time they landed.

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