badgervor
Topic Author
Posts: 139
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UAL Fuel Emergency

Mon Oct 12, 2015 4:27 pm

Didn't see this posted. Doesn't look like a fuel leak was found. Possible faulty gauge?

http://abc7news.com/travel/exclusive...at-sfo-over-fuel-concerns/1028353/
 
Sooner787
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RE: UAL Fuel Emergency

Mon Oct 12, 2015 4:32 pm

Why couldn't they have stopped in ANC or SEA to top off?   
 
hiflyeras
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RE: UAL Fuel Emergency

Mon Oct 12, 2015 4:37 pm

Quoting Sooner787 (Reply 1):
Why couldn't they have stopped in ANC or SEA to top off?

Good question...one that needs to be answered. SFO had better have been their closest option.
 
FlyHossD
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RE: UAL Fuel Emergency

Mon Oct 12, 2015 4:38 pm

For Sunday, 11 October?

United.com shows it as a gate return, then departing about 90 minutes late, arriving HKG about 2 hours late.
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Rdh3e
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RE: UAL Fuel Emergency

Mon Oct 12, 2015 4:42 pm

Quoting FlyHossD (Reply 3):

For Sunday, 11 October?

United.com shows it as a gate return, then departing about 90 minutes late, arriving HKG about 2 hours late

Arrived back at 3am on Sunday, therefore it would have been the Saturday departure from SFO.
 
badgervor
Topic Author
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RE: UAL Fuel Emergency

Mon Oct 12, 2015 4:42 pm

Here is the flightaware link

http://flightaware.com/live/flight/U...9/history/20151010/2030Z/KSFO/KSFO

Looks like SEA was an option at one point, at least according to the histroy. Wouldn't an emergency of this type require a land at nearest suitable?
 
MSJYOP28Apilot
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RE: UAL Fuel Emergency

Mon Oct 12, 2015 4:43 pm

FlightAware shows the flight flying up to near ANC before turning around. Likely went to SFO due to company maintenance being in SFO. Much easier to deal with a maintenance problem where you have company maintenance.

The emergency declaration was probably due to the fire hazard from a fuel leak or a potential overweight landing if the fuel gauge was just faulty.

If it was an issue that required immediate action then they would have landed in ANC or SEA. The fact they went to SFO shows that it wasn't a serious emergency.
 
SonomaFlyer
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RE: UAL Fuel Emergency

Mon Oct 12, 2015 4:47 pm

As always, I think there is more to this story. The pilots certainly knew they could've made a tech stop at ANC, ICN or NRT along their route to HKG for more fuel. However, the fact they returned tells us the pilots suspected something more such as a possible leak. Absent a hugely boneheaded mistake but several different people in a) not putting on enough fuel and 2) the pilots missing the fuel mistake, there was an issue with a leak.

SFO is UA's home base for this a/c type and the best equipped (allegedly) location for UA staff to enable assistance for their passengers. A 3 a.m. arrival of course doesn't help since UA has virtually no activity at that time of night.

This provides yet another example of how important it is to spend the money to have staff on-call to come in to help 300+ passengers who are stranded by the tech issue.
 
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ua900
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RE: UAL Fuel Emergency

Mon Oct 12, 2015 5:14 pm

Quoting Sooner787 (Reply 1):
Why couldn't they have stopped in ANC or SEA to top off?
Quoting SonomaFlyer (Reply 7):
SFO is UA's home base for this a/c type and the best equipped (allegedly) location

  

Quoting SonomaFlyer (Reply 7):
This provides yet another example of how important it is to spend the money to have staff on-call to come in to help 300+ passengers who are stranded by the tech issue.

Well someone must have been there else no meal vouchers. Is there any airport in the U.S. that would have been much better prepared?
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AIRWALK
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Joined: Fri Jun 06, 2014 9:33 am

RE: UAL Fuel Emergency

Mon Oct 12, 2015 5:45 pm

Quoting badgervor (Reply 5):
Wouldn't an emergency of this type require a land at nearest suitable?

Nearest suitable doesn't necessarily mean closest, neither does it mean most convenient. It is based on things like runway length, conditions (weather, winds etc.). If there is a requirement to land at nearest suitable, things like where a maintenance base is does not factor in.
I'm sure this thread will take off soon
 
910A
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RE: UAL Fuel Emergency

Mon Oct 12, 2015 5:51 pm

I just noticed the flight left for HKG seven hours late. was there a problem with the aircraft before the flight and sub the incoming FRA flight.
 
RDUDDJI
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RE: UAL Fuel Emergency

Mon Oct 12, 2015 6:00 pm

Quoting ua900 (Reply 8):
Well someone must have been there else no meal vouchers. Is there any airport in the U.S. that would have been much better prepared?

Probably not at 3am. Not many airports have activity (excl freight) at that hour.
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7BOEING7
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RE: UAL Fuel Emergency

Mon Oct 12, 2015 6:14 pm

Quoting badgervor (Reply 5):
Looks like SEA was an option at one point, at least according to the histroy. Wouldn't an emergency of this type require a land at nearest suitable?

The "Fuel Leak" checklist notes that a diversion may be necessary but there is no wording relative to "land immediately" or "nearest suitable airport". Depending on what the nature of the fuel problem was, if it was a fuel leak, an emergency may have only been declared just prior to landing because of the possibility of the fuel igniting after the airplane came to a stop.
 
SonomaFlyer
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RE: UAL Fuel Emergency

Mon Oct 12, 2015 6:29 pm

Quoting RDUDDJI (Reply 11):

Quoting ua900 (Reply 8):
Well someone must have been there else no meal vouchers. Is there any airport in the U.S. that would have been much better prepared?

Probably not at 3am. Not many airports have activity (excl freight) at that hour.

Hindsight is always 20/20 but UA would have plenty of lead time to get customer service folks called in to help with the passengers. Meal vouchers are nice but this was not something that was going to be resolved in a couple of hours so hotel vouchers and transport would be necessary. If there were passengers with visa issues, UA should contact Immigration to assist in sorting this out since this was a UA issue.

A 3 a.m. arrival and they needed to wait roughly 20 hours before their next flight, that sounds like a no brainer for hotel vouchers/assistance barring every hotel in the area being full.
 
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ua900
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RE: UAL Fuel Emergency

Mon Oct 12, 2015 8:20 pm

Quoting 910A (Reply 10):
I just noticed the flight left for HKG seven hours late. was there a problem with the aircraft before the flight and sub the incoming FRA flight.

Heard Fleet Week had a 767 on Sunday, assuming the 747 got pulled to sub. Anyone know whether the Fleet Week ship ended up doing HKG or some other 747 route like FRA?

Quoting SonomaFlyer (Reply 13):
UA would have plenty of lead time to get customer service folks called in to help with the passengers.

One would think so. Not sure how their ground staff at SFO is structured these days. Sounds to me like the regular late evening shift could have printed out hotel vouchers in advance and then have a couple people distribute them at the gate.

Quoting SonomaFlyer (Reply 13):
A 3 a.m. arrival and they needed to wait roughly 20 hours before their next flight, that sounds like a no brainer for hotel vouchers/assistance barring every hotel in the area being full.

It was a no brainer for elites last time my China bound flight went tech at SFO. Maybe they banked on it leaving sooner than it did, figuring people wouldn't get eight hours of sleep anyway.
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Okie
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RE: UAL Fuel Emergency

Mon Oct 12, 2015 8:34 pm

Quoting badgervor (Reply 5):
Looks like SEA was an option at one point, at least according to the histroy. Wouldn't an emergency of this type require a land at nearest suitable

We really do not know much.
This could have been a fuel transfer issue with a stuck/failed valve that overfilling one of the wing tanks and overflowing while transferring fuel from the center tank.

There are just too many possibilities. They could of had a lot of fuel left in the wing tanks at that point just not enough to get them to the destination.

Okie
 
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LatAmFlyer
Posts: 143
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RE: UAL Fuel Emergency

Tue Oct 13, 2015 5:11 am

Quoting 7BOEING7 (Reply 12):
Probably not at 3am. Not many airports have activity (excl freight) at that hour.

Been to Delhi lately?  
 
catiii
Posts: 3188
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RE: UAL Fuel Emergency

Wed Oct 14, 2015 2:35 am

Quoting LatAmFlyer (Reply 16):

Or DXB...
 
hohd
Posts: 785
Joined: Sat May 17, 2008 1:03 am

RE: UAL Fuel Emergency

Thu Oct 15, 2015 2:38 pm

If UA can fly 4 hours back to SFO, they could have landed at NRT where they have some sort of a base or assistance from ANA their partner. Arranging for passengers to continue their journey from NRT to HKG would be relatively easy than from SFO. I think pilots or the dispatch at SFO made a mistake.
 
motif1
Posts: 281
Joined: Fri Sep 23, 2005 3:31 am

RE: UAL Fuel Emergency

Thu Oct 15, 2015 3:10 pm

Quoting hohd (Reply 18):
If UA can fly 4 hours back to SFO, they could have landed at NRT where they have some sort of a base or assistance from ANA their partner. Arranging for passengers to continue their journey from NRT to HKG would be relatively easy than from SFO. I think pilots or the dispatch at SFO made a mistake.

The whole flight was 4 hours. When they turned back they were 2h out of SFO.

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n6238p
Posts: 426
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RE: UAL Fuel Emergency

Thu Oct 15, 2015 3:54 pm

If you guys do the math a normal flight to ANC from SFO is almost 4 hours long. The map on flightaware is a misrepresentation of the actual length of the flight. In a straight line SFO-ANC is 1750nm. Last time I checked a 747 doesn't do this trip breaking the sound barrier. The crew made the safest and best decision to return to SFO. There is better maintenance and support for this situation in SFO. A fuel leak is nothing to mess around with and that crew doesn't know what mx will find on the ground. There is a great chance that plane gets grounded in ANC and pax are stranded. There's no "just top it off and continue" crap.
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hohd
Posts: 785
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RE: UAL Fuel Emergency

Thu Oct 15, 2015 11:49 pm

If it was only 2 hours away from SFO, then I completely understand, unless there was an emergency then they would have to land in YVR or SEA.

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