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Viscount724
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EK Diversion DXB-SEA To YVR And Fuel Emergency

Tue Mar 15, 2016 4:52 am

EK 77W (EK229) DXB-SEA on Sunday (March 13) diverted to YVR due strong crosswinds at SEA and declared a fuel emergency approaching YVR. Seems to be cutting it rather fine if a 127 nm diversion would result in a fuel emergency.
http://flightaware.com/live/flight/U...9/history/20160313/0535Z/OMDB/KSEA

Following from Transport Canada daily occurrence reports:

An Emirates Boeing 777 300 (A6-ECE/UAE229) from Dubai, United Arab Emirates (OMDB) to Seattle, WA (KSEA) was unable to land at KSEA due to strong crosswinds and diverted to Vancouver, BC (CYVR). The aircraft declared an emergency due to low fuel and landed safely at 2103Z.

What would the legal minimum reserve fuel requirement be on a flight like DXB-SEA?

Regarding the crosswind, it's strange that SEA and YVR with quite similar weather conditions (not sure about prevailing winds but would doubt they're much different), have their primary runways oriented very differently. At YVR the two main parallel runways are east-west (08-26) plus a shorter 7,300 ft. crosswind runway (13-31), while all 3 runways at SEA are north-south (16-34). I expect that's because the SEA airport site didn't permit anything other than north-south runways, although when it first opened in propeller days and runways were shorter I believe it had a different runway layout.
 
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LAX772LR
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RE: EK Diversion DXB-SEA To YVR And Fuel Emergency

Tue Mar 15, 2016 5:05 am

Have pax flights ever diverted to Paine or Boeing fields, in emergencies?
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
ScottB
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RE: EK Diversion DXB-SEA To YVR And Fuel Emergency

Tue Mar 15, 2016 5:53 am

Quoting Viscount724 (Thread starter):
Regarding the crosswind, it's strange that SEA and YVR with quite similar weather conditions (not sure about prevailing winds but would doubt they're much different), have their primary runways oriented very differently. At YVR the two main parallel runways are east-west (08-26) plus a shorter 7,300 ft. crosswind runway (13-31), while all 3 runways at SEA are north-south (16-34). I expect that's because the SEA airport site didn't permit anything other than north-south runways, although when it first opened in propeller days and runways were shorter I believe it had a different runway layout.

Actually, it appears that the prevailing winds at SEA are mostly from the south or north: http://www.wrcc.dri.edu/htmlfiles/westwinddir.html There are very similar patterns of prevailing wind at both PAE & BLI which both also have their primary/only runway oriented north-south. BFI seems to see NW or SSE winds for a good part of the year which helps explain the orientation of its runway.

The most common wind directions at YVR, in order, are E, W, SE, and NW -- together accounting for 70% of the time (and winds are calm another 10%). That's a good fit for the orientation of the runways at YVR.

Quoting Viscount724 (Thread starter):
An Emirates Boeing 777 300 (A6-ECE/UAE229) from Dubai, United Arab Emirates (OMDB) to Seattle, WA (KSEA) was unable to land at KSEA due to strong crosswinds and diverted to Vancouver, BC (CYVR). The aircraft declared an emergency due to low fuel and landed safely at 2103Z.

Perhaps the METARs don't reflect the actual conditions on the field when they tried to land -- and the METAR after they diverted did show south winds at 30 kt gusting to 40 -- but the METARs from that afternoon don't show any conditions which would have been considered a strong crosswind for SEA's runways.
 
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RE: EK Diversion DXB-SEA To YVR And Fuel Emergency

Tue Mar 15, 2016 5:55 am

Quoting LAX772LR (Reply 1):
Have pax flights ever diverted to Paine or Boeing fields, in emergencies?

AC diverted to BFI several years ago. I think AA did recently too due to weather. NW used to divert to MWH sometimes with the old Cat 1 747-200 when minimums were low at SEA.

I'm not aware of any specific incidences of someone going to PAE but it's certainly viable. The 777 would know the way there.   The runways are oriented the same as SEA though.

I'm surprised EK didn't go to PDX or GEG and stay in the country. Also, the crosswind limit on a 777 is like 35 knots. Did anyone else divert?
 
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Amwest2United
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RE: EK Diversion DXB-SEA To YVR And Fuel Emergency

Tue Mar 15, 2016 7:46 am

Quoting LAX772LR (Reply 1):
Have pax flights ever diverted to Paine or Boeing fields, in emergencies?

Yes to both - UA used PAE as a diversion airport for their NRT-SEA flight, I know it was used a few times in the years before they stopped flying the route. BFI is used as well, although if SEA is below visibility, most likely BFI is as well.
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roseflyer
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RE: EK Diversion DXB-SEA To YVR And Fuel Emergency

Tue Mar 15, 2016 11:05 am

It is worth nothing that this was not just a simple diversion, they did a go around at SEA. The did an approach down to around 1,000ft or maybe less, so that would burn quite a bit of fuel. Weather on Sunday was quite bad in Seattle.

I am a bit surprised that they got down to a fuel emergency. A go around and diversion to an airport within 150 miles should not have caused that. Flight planning for a 15 hour flight can be difficult since weather can change while enroute. EK may have had a heavy load and been near MTOW at DXB on this flight so they may have tried to cut it as close as possible. SEA is one of the airports where you can cut it close on fuel because unless there is construction (NOTAMs would be out for that), the airport never has any holding in the afternoon. It would not surprise me if EK has never had to do a go around or hold for SEA before when all three runways were open.
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migair54
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RE: EK Diversion DXB-SEA To YVR And Fuel Emergency

Tue Mar 15, 2016 12:08 pm

It seems that they left Dubai with the minimum fuel, maybe lot of cargo and pax.

Declaring emergency due to low fuel is not as serious as it might look like, maybe the EK flight landed in YVR with 1 hour of fuel or more, but because of traffic they did not have time to hold more in YVR and had to declare emergency to get priority on landing.

Most probably they left Dubai quite heavy because I see the climb was not very fast, and they started the journey at FL290, maybe some not forecasted winds on the route, and the wind problems with go around, second try and diversion.

Quoting ScottB (Reply 2):
Perhaps the METARs don't reflect the actual conditions on the field when they tried to land -- and the METAR after they diverted did show south winds at 30 kt gusting to 40 -- but the METARs from that afternoon don't show any conditions which would have been considered a strong crosswind for SEA's runways.

Could be a storm cell around blowing strong winds for a couple of hours then dissipating. Any other diversion during that time of the day??

By the way, EK flight landed in YVR at around 1410 PDT, and stay on ground until 1844 PDT, a very long day for the crew and pax.

Quoting roseflyer (Reply 5):
It is worth nothing that this was not just a simple diversion, they did a go around at SEA. The did an approach down to around 1,000ft or maybe less, so that would burn quite a bit of fuel. Weather on Sunday was quite bad in Seattle.

In the tracker it seems they only did 1 approach then straight to YVR.
 
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AirPacific747
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RE: EK Diversion DXB-SEA To YVR And Fuel Emergency

Tue Mar 15, 2016 12:45 pm

Quoting Viscount724 (Thread starter):
What would the legal minimum reserve fuel requirement be on a flight like DXB-SEA?

It's normally the fuel required to the alternate, plus a final reserve of 30 minutes flight time (holding speed) at 1500 ft at the alternate for a jet aircraft.
 
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zkojq
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RE: EK Diversion DXB-SEA To YVR And Fuel Emergency

Tue Mar 15, 2016 12:58 pm

On the ground at YVR:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/25781506105/

Departing back to SEA:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/bombardierboy/25680675571

Quoting migair54 (Reply 6):
By the way, EK flight landed in YVR at around 1410 PDT, and stay on ground until 1844 PDT, a very long day for the crew and pax.

Yikes! I wonder if they got an extra rest day in SEA afterwards.
First to fly the 787-9
 
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ThrottleHold
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RE: EK Diversion DXB-SEA To YVR And Fuel Emergency

Tue Mar 15, 2016 1:11 pm

Quoting Viscount724 (Thread starter):
hat would the legal minimum reserve fuel requirement be on a flight like DXB-SEA?

About 3,500 kgs.
 
ahmetdouas
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RE: EK Diversion DXB-SEA To YVR And Fuel Emergency

Tue Mar 15, 2016 1:26 pm

Quoting ThrottleHold (Reply 9):

Wow that's quite low. Must have been scary for the crew. Who is to blame, the dispatcher? But there again the Captain must sign all these papers approving the route and fuel. Surely you can't declare fuel emergency after going around just once? You are supposed to have enough fuel at least for 3 landing attempts without reaching reserve fuel!

[Edited 2016-03-15 06:27:14]
 
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DolphinAir747
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RE: EK Diversion DXB-SEA To YVR And Fuel Emergency

Tue Mar 15, 2016 1:29 pm

DXB-YVR would be a very successful route for EK were the Canadian government not so protectionist.
 
roseflyer
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RE: EK Diversion DXB-SEA To YVR And Fuel Emergency

Tue Mar 15, 2016 1:53 pm

Quoting ahmetdouas (Reply 10):

Wow that's quite low. Must have been scary for the crew. Who is to blame, the dispatcher? But there again the Captain must sign all these papers approving the route and fuel. Surely you can't declare fuel emergency after going around just once? You are supposed to have enough fuel at least for 3 landing attempts without reaching reserve fuel!

The amount of fuel required for a diversion is not 3 landing attempts according to the regulations when there is an alternate. Maybe a dispatcher can clarify things, but I believe that there must be enough fuel to fly to the intended destination and then fly to the alternate without using the reserves. There could have been high winds enroute causing them to use more fuel than anticipated. If the pilot knew that he would not have enough fuel to make it to his alternate and if the weather in SEA was close to minimums or exceeding the limits then no they should not have attempted a landing. Any time an emergency is declared for fuel minimums, there is a lot of paperwork to figure out what happened.

On these ultra long haul flights where they takeoff at MTOW and are leaving cargo or passengers behind (which is possible, but I don't know if it happened on this flight), dispatchers are not going to want to put enough fuel for 3 landing attempts and diversion fuel. Every pound of fuel sacrifices cargo, so they will want to only put on the amount required. They should not have hit minimum fuel on a diversion like that, but having 3 approaches worth is probably too much.
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ThrottleHold
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RE: EK Diversion DXB-SEA To YVR And Fuel Emergency

Tue Mar 15, 2016 2:01 pm

Quoting ahmetdouas (Reply 10):

Wow that's quite low.

Just to clarify; that figure would be the Final Reserve. Landing below that, or anticipating such, would require a Mayday call.
Normal diversion figure for that range would be about 7,000 kgs.
 
Sooner787
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RE: EK Diversion DXB-SEA To YVR And Fuel Emergency

Tue Mar 15, 2016 2:01 pm

Quoting roseflyer (Reply 12):
On these ultra long haul flights where they takeoff at MTOW and are leaving cargo or passengers behind (which is possible, but I don't know if it happened on this flight), dispatchers are not going to want to put enough fuel for 3 landing attempts and diversion fuel. Every pound of fuel sacrifices cargo, so they will want to only put on the amount required. They should not have hit minimum fuel on a diversion like that, but having 3 approaches worth is probably too much.

Last week EK221 DXB- DFW approached DFW just as a storm front was moving over the airport.
The EK flight didn't even bother holding near the airport. They turned due south and headed
straight for IAH. I wonder how much fuel they had when they landed in Houston?
 
Context
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RE: EK Diversion DXB-SEA To YVR And Fuel Emergency

Tue Mar 15, 2016 2:08 pm

There was a storm that rolled through in Sunday with strong gusts. The forecast was poor, it missed the timing and predicted a less severe low pressure. I live in downtown Seattle and the power was flickering and a piece flew off my apartment building onto some guys car. Up in Bellingham, however, my dad was working outside where it was raining but there weren't as strong of gusts around that time. It makes sense that they went to YVR, it's the nearest airport that would have had better conditions. BLI can't handle a 777 and PDX, BFI, and PAE were just as bad or worse.

BONUS: Just be glad you went on the San Juan Island ferry.
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migair54
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RE: EK Diversion DXB-SEA To YVR And Fuel Emergency

Tue Mar 15, 2016 4:19 pm

Quoting roseflyer (Reply 12):
The amount of fuel required for a diversion is not 3 landing attempts according to the regulations when there is an alternate. Maybe a dispatcher can clarify things,

If my memory doesn't fail the fuel calculation is as follow for commercial planes.

-Destination fuel. Trip fuel
-Alternative fuel. Diversion fuel to the farthest if 2 alternative are selected.
-Holding, 30 mins at 1500 feet at alternative.
-Contingency, usually 3% or 5% of trip
-Taxi fuel.
-Additional fuel, to be decided by crew.


All is regulated by ICAO annex 6, part I, Fuel requirements.

The minimum fuel an aircraft can have after landing is 30 mins, if you are below that you really need to do a lot of paperwork and most probably there'll be an investigation.

Quoting Sooner787 (Reply 14):
Last week EK221 DXB- DFW approached DFW just as a storm front was moving over the airport.
The EK flight didn't even bother holding near the airport. They turned due south and headed
straight for IAH. I wonder how much fuel they had when they landed in Houston?

Sometimes weather is so bad that it's not even worthy to try, same with wind, if the wind is above the limit of the plane no need to even try, just divert.

Quoting ThrottleHold (Reply 13):
Just to clarify; that figure would be the Final Reserve. Landing below that, or anticipating such, would require a Mayday call.

Correct, maybe the crew though they will be too low and they try to get priority, and if not given then you need to declare emergency.
 
bhill
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RE: EK Diversion DXB-SEA To YVR And Fuel Emergency

Tue Mar 15, 2016 6:13 pm

Well....the winds here in the Northwest in some of the recent weeks have been gusting to 60-70 mph....in the whole Puget Sound region....he would not have been able to divet to any of the local airfields...
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My16sidedoffice
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RE: EK Diversion DXB-SEA To YVR And Fuel Emergency

Tue Mar 15, 2016 6:34 pm

One thing I wondered about is that no one recalls them taking on any fuel while at YVR.

[Edited 2016-03-15 11:38:41]
 
airplanenut
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RE: EK Diversion DXB-SEA To YVR And Fuel Emergency

Tue Mar 15, 2016 6:35 pm

The winds in Seattle were extremely heavy on Sunday. A lot of people lost power, and they were strong enough to take down some big old-growth trees. I don't know what direction they were going, but if they weren't aligned with the runway, they could have been quite a challenge.

Quoting ScottB (Reply 2):
Actually, it appears that the prevailing winds at SEA are mostly from the south or north: http://www.wrcc.dri.edu/htmlfiles/westwinddir.html There are very similar patterns of prevailing wind at both PAE & BLI which both also have their primary/only runway oriented north-south. BFI seems to see NW or SSE winds for a good part of the year which helps explain the orientation of its runway.

In fact, almost all the airports in the Puget Sound have a 16/34 +/- 30 degrees. There are crosswinds on occasion, but usually the winds are pretty well aligned to the runways (a lot of the airports also don't have a crosswind runways).

Quoting LAX772LR (Reply 1):
Have pax flights ever diverted to Paine or Boeing fields, in emergencies?

I remember a few years ago seeing a Continental 757 come into PAE en route EWR-SEA after a thunderstorm came in over SEA. It sat for a little while before making the short hop when the weather passed.
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N1120A
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RE: EK Diversion DXB-SEA To YVR And Fuel Emergency

Tue Mar 15, 2016 6:41 pm

Quoting DolphinAir747 (Reply 11):

DXB-YVR would be a very successful route for EK were the Canadian government not so protectionist.

You mean smart? EK's behavior is akin to dumping.
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32andBelow
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RE: EK Diversion DXB-SEA To YVR And Fuel Emergency

Tue Mar 15, 2016 6:42 pm

Wouldn't PDX of been better so the pax were at least in the right country. It is 3 miles further than YVR
 
BoeingGuy
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RE: EK Diversion DXB-SEA To YVR And Fuel Emergency

Tue Mar 15, 2016 6:44 pm

Quoting Context (Reply 15):
BLI can't handle a 777 and PDX, BFI, and PAE were just as bad or worse.

BLI has a 6700 foot runway, which a 777 can land on (like OGG, for example). He had plenty of choices; MWH, GEG, FCA, PSC, etc.

I live near PAE and it was REALLY windy that day. One tragic fatality at Seward Park in Seattle.

Any other diversions of note that day?
 
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Web500sjc
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RE: EK Diversion DXB-SEA To YVR And Fuel Emergency

Tue Mar 15, 2016 6:58 pm

Quoting migair54 (Reply 16):

For that length of flight, Is an alternate required if the forecast is for good weather? Could they have used BFI as an alternate?

Quoting 32andBelow (Reply 21):

Don't think it really matters what country they are in I don't think EL was planing on having the pax clear customs. Just a fuel and go. As a bonus YVR has US pre clearance, if needed.
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Context
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RE: EK Diversion DXB-SEA To YVR And Fuel Emergency

Tue Mar 15, 2016 7:09 pm

Quoting BoeingGuy (Reply 22):
BLI has a 6700 foot runway, which a 777 can land on (like OGG, for example). He had plenty of choices; MWH, GEG, FCA, PSC, etc.

I think it's a weight thing at BLI. The resurface in 2010 allowed it to handle up to a 757 but in case of an emergency with no other options I'm sure ANY long flat strip would be a welcome sight to those pilots.  
 
migair54
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RE: EK Diversion DXB-SEA To YVR And Fuel Emergency

Tue Mar 15, 2016 7:20 pm

Quoting Web500sjc (Reply 23):
For that length of flight, Is an alternate required if the forecast is for good weather? Could they have used BFI as an alternate?

No, the no alternate policy is used for isolated airfields only, on top of that with so many options around in case of emergency they can divert to almost any other place.
I think the minimum distance to be consider suitable alternative aerodrome is 50NM or clearly differentiate weather conditions, but for that they need to obtain pre approval. like for example some of the London airports being used to cover the others.

Quoting BoeingGuy (Reply 22):
BLI has a 6700 foot runway, which a 777 can land on (like OGG, for example). He had plenty of choices; MWH, GEG, FCA, PSC, etc.

More issues to consider are an engineer to dispatch the plane, to refuel, handling company to service the plane if necessary, inmigration facilities, emergency category of the airport, PCN of runway and taxiways, customs....

Quoting My16sidedoffice (Reply 18):
One thing I wondered about is that no one recalls them taking on any fuel while at YVR.

They must have done, otherwise why did they declare emergency if they have so much fuel left?? Diverting to YVR requires less fuel than departing from YVR to SEA.
 
airplanenut
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RE: EK Diversion DXB-SEA To YVR And Fuel Emergency

Tue Mar 15, 2016 7:29 pm

Quoting Web500sjc (Reply 23):
For that length of flight, Is an alternate required if the forecast is for good weather? Could they have used BFI as an alternate?

I don't know the regulations per se about when they need an alternate (I'm only familiar with the FARs that require one based on ceiling and visibility), but keep in mind that to an extent, alternates are just for planning. It's true that many airports have their own forecast minimums to be allowed to be used as an alternate, but once it's time to divert, you can go anywhere that works.

Here's an extreme (and totally unrealistic) example. A flight from JFK-LAX has BOS as the alternate. The flight has to plan to have enough fuel to get from LAX back to BOS and then additional reserves. Of course, as they're coming into LAX, the pilots will discuss alternates that are sensible, and would determine there are better airports to use than BOS.

In this case, suppose YVR was the official alternate. The pilots could have just said they wanted to come into BFI, and that would be that. Of course, with the wind being an issue, that wouldn't be practical here, but the point is that there's no requirement to use the filed alternate in lieu of a different, better option.
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flybynight
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RE: EK Diversion DXB-SEA To YVR And Fuel Emergency

Tue Mar 15, 2016 8:08 pm

Didn't all other flights land at SEA on Sunday? I know it was windy, but all those AS 737's and Q400's made it down. I guess the 777 isn't as good in heavy winds?
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VCEflyboy
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RE: EK Diversion DXB-SEA To YVR And Fuel Emergency

Tue Mar 15, 2016 8:21 pm

It's bitter sweet. My prayers have finally been answered. EK has landed at YVR.
Be careful what you wish! Well damn AC anyways!!
 
BoeingGuy
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RE: EK Diversion DXB-SEA To YVR And Fuel Emergency

Tue Mar 15, 2016 8:22 pm

Quoting flybynight (Reply 27):
Didn't all other flights land at SEA on Sunday? I know it was windy, but all those AS 737's and Q400's made it down. I guess the 777 isn't as good in heavy winds?

As I said earlier, the 777 has been demonstrated to something like 38 knot crosswinds. If anything, it's better than most models in crosswinds.
 
747megatop
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RE: EK Diversion DXB-SEA To YVR And Fuel Emergency

Tue Mar 15, 2016 8:29 pm

Quoting roseflyer (Reply 12):
but I believe that there must be enough fuel to fly to the intended destination and then fly to the alternate without using the reserves.

What happens in the unlikely event of bad weather etc. in the alternate as well (Avianca 52 comes to mind, that's the reason for my question)?
 
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RE: EK Diversion DXB-SEA To YVR And Fuel Emergency

Tue Mar 15, 2016 8:58 pm

Quoting migair54 (Reply 16):
If my memory doesn't fail the fuel calculation is as follow for commercial planes.

-Destination fuel. Trip fuel
-Alternative fuel. Diversion fuel to the farthest if 2 alternative are selected.
-Holding, 30 mins at 1500 feet at alternative.
-Contingency, usually 3% or 5% of trip
-Taxi fuel.
-Additional fuel, to be decided by crew.

The American regulations are similar except that the reserve fuel is 30 mins plus fuel for 10% of total time with no requirement for contingency or extra fuel though usually some is carried depending on what the dispatcher and flight crew decide. Some American carriers can reduce the 10% down to 5% reserves and almost every flag carrier can use re-dispatch.

Emirates did not do anything here that any other carrier wouldnt do. On long haul flights at or close to MTOW or tankage, you sacrifice extra fuel for payload. The caveat to this is that its the job of the dispatcher and captain to make a judgment call and cut payload and take extra fuel when it is needed.

It could easily be that when the flight was dispatched, the SEA forecast was different and deteriorated in flight. When this happens, the dispatcher and flight crew are supposed to decide whether its safe to continue or whether to divert enroute. The 777 does have a 38 knot demonstrated crosswind limitation and it is pretty rare for crosswinds to be sustained at such a high velocity. If a 777 is diverting for crosswinds, it was either a fluke of a sudden strong gust or all other aircraft will likely be also diverting.

If you try the approach a second time and fail, you have just possibly burnt through your alternate fuel and maybe even into your reserve fuel so now you need to declare an emergency to land at the nearest piece of concrete long enough to handle your aircraft. That is when fuel emergencies get serious. The question that needs to be asked is was this fuel emergency a true fuel emergency or the all too common practice of declaring to get priority from ATC. If it was a true fuel emergency, big questions need to be asked of the flight crew and their fuel management and the dispatcher/captain on the fuel that was uploaded.

What this shows is what airlines need to do on a regular basis to make long haul flights work. Emirates just got unlucky in this circumstance. It happens to every airline at some point.

[Edited 2016-03-15 14:03:20]
 
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sunrisevalley
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RE: EK Diversion DXB-SEA To YVR And Fuel Emergency

Tue Mar 15, 2016 9:35 pm

Quoting DolphinAir747 (Reply 11):
DXB-YVR would be a very successful route for EK were the Canadian government not so protectionist.

Nothing to stop EK flying out of YVR, they prefer to use YYZ instead. Don't forget that Etihad also flies out of YYZ and is part of the UAE and thus its flights are counted towards the number allowed in the bilateral agreement.
 
hivue
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RE: EK Diversion DXB-SEA To YVR And Fuel Emergency

Tue Mar 15, 2016 9:39 pm

Quoting BoeingGuy (Reply 29):
Quoting flybynight (Reply 27):Didn't all other flights land at SEA on Sunday? I know it was windy, but all those AS 737's and Q400's made it down. I guess the 777 isn't as good in heavy winds?
As I said earlier, the 777 has been demonstrated to something like 38 knot crosswinds. If anything, it's better than most models in crosswinds.

If they were squeezed for fuel it's good they didn't hang around just to try to prove it can be done.
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rendezvous
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RE: EK Diversion DXB-SEA To YVR And Fuel Emergency

Tue Mar 15, 2016 10:54 pm

That amount of crosswind could easily results in windshear on approach. If you receive a windshear warning you have to go around. At that point there might not have been sufficient fuel to go to the back of the queue for a second approach? If that's the case, then you'd divert. A fuel emergency indicates that there is sufficient fuel to complete the divert, but not with additional mucking around, such as holding. It's not scary for the crew, all the fuel figures and divert figures are known.
 
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gunsontheroof
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RE: EK Diversion DXB-SEA To YVR And Fuel Emergency

Wed Mar 16, 2016 12:14 am

Quoting LAX772LR (Reply 1):
Have pax flights ever diverted to Paine or Boeing fields, in emergencies?

January 2015: http://www.king5.com/story/news/loca.../seatac-flights-diverted/21377671/

August 2008: http://mynorthwest.com/11/82243/Low-...led-landing-for-Continental-flight

August 1977:
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Photo © Bob Harrington - Bobqat Photographs

Quoting ScottB (Reply 2):
BFI seems to see NW or SSE winds for a good part of the year which helps explain the orientation of its runway.

BFI is subject to more or less the same wind patterns as SEA. The runways are oriented the way they are because, well, you wouldn't be able to orient them any other way in that location (hills to the east and west and a river running right through the middle of the area).

Quoting DolphinAir747 (Reply 11):
DXB-YVR would be a very successful route for EK were the Canadian government not so protectionist.

From what I've heard, there's a lot of connecting traffic to YVR on DXB-SEA.>
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RE: EK Diversion DXB-SEA To YVR And Fuel Emergency

Wed Mar 16, 2016 3:03 am

Quoting gunsontheroof (Reply 35):
From what I've heard, there's a lot of connecting traffic to YVR on DXB-SEA.

EK codeshares on AS SEA-YVR-SEA and their website also shows numerous connections on AC (Jazz) so they obviously have an interline agreement with AC.
 
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ThrottleHold
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RE: EK Diversion DXB-SEA To YVR And Fuel Emergency

Wed Mar 16, 2016 3:08 am

Quoting BoeingGuy (Reply 29):

As I said earlier, the 777 has been demonstrated to something like 38 knot crosswinds. If anything, it's better than most models in crosswinds.

45kts on a dry runway
 
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RE: EK Diversion DXB-SEA To YVR And Fuel Emergency

Wed Mar 16, 2016 4:46 am

Quoting amwest2united (Reply 4):
BFI is used as well, although if SEA is below visibility, most likely BFI is as well.

Actually there are many times that SEA is below visibility and BFI is not -- with a ceiling at BFI of about 500ft you're in the clouds at SEA. There are many days a year that BFI is clear and there's a fog bank over SEA.
 
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RE: EK Diversion DXB-SEA To YVR And Fuel Emergency

Wed Mar 16, 2016 6:02 am

I was on this flight. There was a missed approach, and the pilot said as much and said that they will attempt again shortly. However, after 15-20 mins, they announced they are diverting to YVR due to weather conditions at SEA. At YVR, when we landed, there were fire engines on the standby (with lights flashing) and they followed our plane as we taxied to a remote stand, and finally left. I was wondering why the fire engines were there and assumed there was some issues with the engine or landing gears that the pilots didn't inform us. The pilot announced that they will refuel and wait from information from ATC before leaving for SEA. We finally left after more than four hours after they said that the SEA ATC has given permission. There was nothing additional to eat provided, which I can understand as the supplies on board was probably exhausted.
 
baw716
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RE: EK Diversion DXB-SEA To YVR And Fuel Emergency

Wed Mar 16, 2016 6:02 am

OFF 0600Z ON YVR 2108Z (15:08 ATE)
ETD 0539Z ETA SEA 1957Z (14:18 ETE) Actual arrival at KSEA (2026Z)

The following is the Seattle weather for the time period from 1 hr prior to 2 hrs after departure (actual)
KSEA WX 1950-2150Z
METAR KSEA 132253Z 20030G39KT 10SM BKN022 BKN028 OVC038 08/04
A2934 RMK AO2 PK WND 20042/2225 RAE46 SLP944 P0000
T00830044=
SPECI KSEA 132208Z 20024G33KT 10SM -RA SCT025 BKN029 OVC038
09/05 A2932 RMK AO2 PK WND 21041/2156 P0000 T00890050=

METAR KSEA 132153Z 20022G34KT 8SM -RA FEW031 BKN039 OVC048
09/04 A2931 RMK AO2 PK WND 20048/2132 RAB48 SLP934
P0000 T00890044=
METAR KSEA 132053Z 19030G40KT 10SM FEW030 BKN046 OVC110 11/03
A2926 RMK AO2 PK WND 20049/2038 SLP916 60005 T01110033
55012=


METAR KSEA 131953Z 14013KT 10SM FEW030 BKN055 BKN070 11/06
A2924 RMK AO2 SLP907 T01060061=

Forecast for Seattle weather during entire period of flight and for at least two hours prior....flight would have been released in the 60-90 min prior to departure window...possibly a bit longer if Russia required longer advance filing.

Go to bottom of wx information for discussion...

TAF AMD KSEA 132101Z 1321/1424 18028G46KT P6SM -SHRA SCT018 BKN030
FM140100 20015G25KT P6SM -SHRA SCT018 BKN035 FM140600
19011G20KT P6SM VCSH BKN035 FM141800 19011KT P6SM -SHRA
BKN030=

TAF KSEA 131726Z 1318/1424 12020G30KT 5SM -RA OVC025
FM132100 18028G46KT P6SM -SHRA SCT018 BKN030


FM140100 20015G25KT P6SM -SHRA SCT018 BKN035
FM140600 19011G20KT P6SM VCSH BKN035
FM141800 19011KT P6SM -SHRA BKN030=

FT 13/03/2016 15:07-
TAF AMD KSEA 131507Z 1315/1418 11011KT P6SM -RA OVC040
FM131700 12014G22KT 5SM -RA OVC025
FM131900 14020G30KT P6SM -RA OVC030
FM132100 17028G50KT 6SM -SHRA SCT018 BKN030
FM140100 20015G25KT P6SM -SHRA SCT018 BKN035=

FT 13/03/2016 11:20-
TAF KSEA 131120Z 1312/1418 10006KT P6SM -RA OVC025
FM131700 11014G22KT 5SM -RA OVC025
FM132000 14018G26KT P6SM -RA OVC030
FM132200 17020G30KT 6SM -SHRA SCT018 OVC030
FM140100 20015G23KT P6SM -SHRA SCT018 BKN035=

FT 13/03/2016 05:39- 21 MIN PRIOR TO WHEELS UP
TAF KSEA 130539Z 1306/1412 18014G24KT P6SM VCSH FEW022 BKN028 OVC040
FM131300 14009KT P6SM -RA SCT040 OVC060
FM131700 09016G23KT P6SM -RA SCT040 OVC060
FM132000 11023G32KT P6SM -RA OVC030
FM132200 16022G31KT P6SM -SHRA SCT018 BKN030
FM140000 19016G23KT P6SM -SHRA SCT018 OVC035
FM140500 19011KT P6SM -SHRA SCT018 BKN030=

FT 13/03/2016 03:11- FORECAST USED FOR PLANNING

TAF AMD KSEA 130311Z 1303/1406 20008KT P6SM -SHRA FEW026 BKN040
OVC080

FM130500 15008KT P6SM -SHRA SCT035 BKN060
FM131200 11014G20KT P6SM -RA SCT040 OVC060
TEMPO 1319/1322 4SM RA BR SCT025 OVC040
FM132200 20030G45KT P6SM -SHRA SCT018 BKN030=


The forecast for planning would indicate expected winds of 110 at 14 gusting 20kts, flipping around to 200 at 30G45 at 2200z (note arrival time actual was 1326L (2026Z). The actual winds at arrival were closer to 180 35G46 30 minutes after departure. What was happening (without asking people in the tower) was that the low moved in faster than forecast and the winds were shifting from 110 to 180 moving toward 200. If the winds were very gusty in the approach (and if they were blowing 30kts at the surface, at 1000ft? much higher)..not good. From what I can see from FW, he executed the go around at about 1200ft (800AGL) at 2026Z.

The winds reported at SEA just prior to his go around were 170-28G47 with a 20kt loss or gain on short final, which I am certain caused his GPWS to trigger the windshear alert and the subsequent go around.

He then executed left traffic and decided to divert to Vancouver instead of attempting another landing at Seattle.

The conditions at YVR:
METAR CYVR 132200Z 07018G28KT 12SM -RA SCT025 BKN036 OVC051
06/04 A2913 RMK SF3SC3SC2 PRESFR SLP865=

13/03/2016 21:00->
METAR CYVR 132100Z 08022G30KT 7SM -RA FEW022 BKN027 OVC040
06/04 A2921 RMK CF1SC4SC3 SLP893=
13/03/2016 20:00->
METAR CYVR 132000Z 10013KT 12SM -RA SCT028 OVC040 07/03 A2925
RMK SF4SC4 SLP906=
13/03/2016 19:00->
METAR CYVR 131900Z 06006KT 040V130 15SM -RA SCT032 BKN047
OVC090 07/04 A2926 RMK SF3SC4AS1 SLP911=
13/03/2016 18:56->
SPECI CYVR 131856Z 12008KT 15SM -RA SCT032 BKN045 OVC090
07/04 A2925 RMK SF3SC4AS1 SLP908

The winds were blowing out of the east at YVR, so it make better sense to go there than anywhere else that had a north-south orientation. In fact, CYVR is closer to KSEA than KPDX (the other airport that has a E-W oriented runway), so this made good sense. I went to LiveATC to get more information about the actual wind conditions at the time of landing at SEA and just before EK executed the go around, the winds were reported 160-170 at 28G47 with a 20kt gain/loss at about 1000 ft AGL. A Skywest CRJ and the EK executed go arounds due to LLWS alerts.

With SEA center, he was min fuel status. He was min fuel initially reporting to YVR app at 2042Z, then declaring MAYDAY fuel at 2043Z, and was offered Victoria or Abbotsford which were closer, but the EK captain stated he wanted Vancouver. At 2052Z he reported 367 souls onboard and 30 min of fuel remaining. He landed on 08R at 2103Z. In listening to the tapes, it appeared that the captain had saved enough fuel for one go around at YVR in the event he went missed, the winds at touchdown were reported 060 at 24G29. He landed with approximately 19 minutes of fuel left. Executing a right 360 circuit off of 08R would have taken about 8 minutes, so I'm thinking that he has the fuel to land with about 10 minutes remaining if he had to do a second approach. Tight fuel planning.

As a dispatcher, I would have been passing this information to the captain over ACARS during the periods of the flight over which ACARS coverage would have existed and via SATCOM if ACARS was not available...because clearly, the forecast was changing during the 14 hours enroute (not a complete surprise) and I don't think it was a huge surprise to the captain when he got to Seattle and the conditions were crap....and on Saturday, the conditions were CRAP.

While this appears to be a big deal and yes, because of the length of the flight, it's a concern, all parties handled this appropriately from what I can see. The big issue was the rapidly deteriorating conditions at SEA (in the 30 minutes I had been listening the winds had increased from 160-23G29 to 170 at 28-G47 in the span of about 10 minutes.

From my armchair perspective, the captain did exactly what he needed to do as did the dispatcher. In the TAF at 1507Z the conditions were deteriorating rapidly and at that point, I would have imagined that the captain would have done everything possible to conserve fuel (slow down, optimize altitude) so that he would have the ability to at least shoot one approach before diverting to YVR.

It COULD be argued that he should have diverted direct to YVR to fuel up and continue. The problem becomes one of duty time. A direct divert would have resulted in a full stop diversion (not that this wasn't the result anyway with the weather conditions the way they were at SEA), I wouldn't have recommended a direct divert unless there was insufficient fuel to make at least one approach at SEA. I am certain these calculations were performed even before the aircraft reached abeam Vancouver. The good news about Vancouver is that using buses, getting people down to Seattle would have taken at the most five hours (assuming all transit passengers were sent directly to US customs in Vancouver and then pre-cleared to enter using the Pacific border crossing (not Peace Arch). Outbound passengers would have been bused to YVR (the crew would have DHed up). Remember, AS handles EK at SEA and would have provided that assistance to them at YVR, so the cross border arrangements could have been handled very quickly...and the Canadians are VERY good at keeping passengers sterile until they would have arrived in Seattle.

Hindsight is always 20/20, but being a dispatcher and understanding the dynamics of these situations, getting the correct information to the crew so they have the time to do something about it (aka conserve fuel)...is critical to operating safely. The captain had a plan B in his pocket when he shot the approach at SEA and he went straight to Vancouver with sufficient fuel to execute a go around if necessary, knowing the winds were far more favorable at YVR than at SEA.

Excellent job all around by the EK crew and dispatchers. ULH flights are a bitch to plan for exactly this reason...you plan based on the forecast and add sufficient contingency fuel to cover "likely" contingencies and without delving into their manuals to find out what their absolute minimum fuel to land with that payload, my sense is that all was done that could be done to get to destination and when unable to do so, they bugged out and got themselves to YVR as quickly as possible (the wind at their backs all the way), then turned a 9 mi final, landed on the longest runway...

Like I said, nice job EK!
David L. Lamb, fmr Area Mgr Alitalia SFO 1998-2002, fmr Regional Analyst SFO-UAL 1992-1998
 
MSJYOP28Apilot
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RE: EK Diversion DXB-SEA To YVR And Fuel Emergency

Wed Mar 16, 2016 1:18 pm

Quoting baw716 (Reply 40):
With SEA center, he was min fuel status. He was min fuel initially reporting to YVR app at 2042Z, then declaring MAYDAY fuel at 2043Z, and was offered Victoria or Abbotsford which were closer, but the EK captain stated he wanted Vancouver. At 2052Z he reported 367 souls onboard and 30 min of fuel remaining.

This is either piss poor fuel management or the flight wasnt carrying enough fuel. If you are down to 30 minutes of fuel remaining and all you did was a single attempt to land at your destination before diverting to your alternate then something is wrong. The only time you should be down to 30 minutes remaining fuel is if your alternates went down hill and you are struggling to find a legal airport to land at.

Something tells me that either Emirates is cutting things way too close on the fuel or this flight crew did not properly manage the fuel. You should NEVER land with 19 minutes of remaining fuel.

I would like to know why the Emirates captain insisted on YVR instead of other closer options when he was in such a fuel critical condition. 19 minutes of fuel remaining on landing is NOT normal or good planning.

Safety of flight is the first concern. Passenger handling second. If you are burning through your reserve fuel the closest piece of concrete that your plane is legal to land on should be where you are landing.

[Edited 2016-03-16 06:30:42]
 
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RE: EK Diversion DXB-SEA To YVR And Fuel Emergency

Wed Mar 16, 2016 2:24 pm

Quoting MSJYOP28Apilot (Reply 41):
Something tells me that either Emirates is cutting things way too close on the fuel or this flight crew did not properly manage the fuel. You should NEVER land with 19 minutes of remaining fuel.

19 minutes of fuel remaining only doing 1 approach and no holding is just way too low, but if you see that they left Dubai with 367 on board is almost a full plane, so I am sure the crew took the minimum fuel, another thing to consider in this kind of sectors is the cruise altitude while in the polar region, if it's very cold maybe they have to fly lower than planned for the fuel temperature.

Quoting MSJYOP28Apilot (Reply 41):
Safety of flight is the first concern. Passenger handling second. If you are burning through your reserve fuel the closest piece of concrete that your plane is legal to land on should be where you are landing.

Maybe crew was not familiar at all with the area and Vancouver sounded like a much safer alternative than any other place.

Quoting baw716 (Reply 40):
With SEA center, he was min fuel status. He was min fuel initially reporting to YVR app at 2042Z, then declaring MAYDAY fuel at 2043Z, and was offered Victoria or Abbotsford which were closer, but the EK captain stated he wanted Vancouver. At 2052Z he reported 367 souls onboard and 30 min of fuel remaining

I don't think CYY can handle the B77W or even land safely there, runways are too short. And Abbotsford seems not very good suited for the B77W also, maybe in case of real emergency like a fire on board or something like that is ok, but not in this case, I'd have gone to VYR also.
 
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RE: EK Diversion DXB-SEA To YVR And Fuel Emergency

Wed Mar 16, 2016 2:38 pm

Quoting baw716 (Reply 40):
Like I said, nice job EK!

Nice job baw716 in explaining in great detail exactly what happened. Thanks for the two or three hours spent piecing it altogether and putting us in the loop.
 
ScottB
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RE: EK Diversion DXB-SEA To YVR And Fuel Emergency

Wed Mar 16, 2016 3:27 pm

Quoting gunsontheroof (Reply 35):
BFI is subject to more or less the same wind patterns as SEA. The runways are oriented the way they are because, well, you wouldn't be able to orient them any other way in that location (hills to the east and west and a river running right through the middle of the area).

The wind patterns and the topography go hand-in-hand to some degree; prevailing winds at the bottom of a valley will often be longitudinal along the valley. And with Puget Sound and nearby mountains running north-south, the prevailing winds often follow the topography. The Strait of Georgia is more NW-SE, which helps explain the different patterns at YVR.

Quoting baw716 (Reply 40):
The winds reported at SEA just prior to his go around were 170-28G47 with a 20kt loss or gain on short final, which I am certain caused his GPWS to trigger the windshear alert and the subsequent go around.

That may well be true, but the reported reason for the go-around at SEA was crosswinds and that doesn't appear to be accurate given that the reported meteorological conditions showed the wind fairly well-aligned with the runway.

Quoting baw716 (Reply 40):
It COULD be argued that he should have diverted direct to YVR to fuel up and continue. The problem becomes one of duty time. A direct divert would have resulted in a full stop diversion (not that this wasn't the result anyway with the weather conditions the way they were at SEA), I wouldn't have recommended a direct divert unless there was insufficient fuel to make at least one approach at SEA.

I don't think there's any question that they should have diverted direct to YVR; crew duty time or inconvenience isn't an excuse for compromising safety. If you review the track log for the flight, they weren't required to hold on their way into SEA -- it was pretty much straight in. They had a single go-around, diverted to YVR 9 minutes later, declared an emergency due to low fuel, and landed about 40 minutes after their go-around with 19 minutes of fuel remaining, as reported.

They obviously didn't have the required fuel to divert to the alternate and hold there for 30 minutes (not to mention contingency fuel).

Quoting MSJYOP28Apilot (Reply 31):
Emirates did not do anything here that any other carrier wouldnt do. On long haul flights at or close to MTOW or tankage, you sacrifice extra fuel for payload. The caveat to this is that its the job of the dispatcher and captain to make a judgment call and cut payload and take extra fuel when it is needed.

That's very true -- but if they're declaring a fuel emergency due to a diversion after a single missed approach, they're cutting it way too close.
 
BA
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RE: EK Diversion DXB-SEA To YVR And Fuel Emergency

Wed Mar 16, 2016 6:06 pm

Why were other flights able to land in SEA and not divert? Or were they all in a holding pattern for an extended period of time while the EK flight couldn't hold due to coming close to fuel exhaustion?
"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
 
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flybynight
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RE: EK Diversion DXB-SEA To YVR And Fuel Emergency

Wed Mar 16, 2016 9:05 pm

Quoting BoeingGuy (Reply 29):
As I said earlier, the 777 has been demonstrated to something like 38 knot crosswinds. If anything, it's better than most models in crosswinds.

Which is exactly why I wonder why they couldn't land when everyone else did. Was the pilot not comfortable? 777's aren't that common at SEA, but there should be at least a few landing everyday (BA and DL come to mind)
Heia Norge!
 
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RE: EK Diversion DXB-SEA To YVR And Fuel Emergency

Wed Mar 16, 2016 10:04 pm

Quoting ScottB (Reply 44):
That's very true -- but if they're declaring a fuel emergency due to a diversion after a single missed approach, they're cutting it way too close.

This is correct. When I stated cutting it close, I meant very little extra fuel if any on top of fuel requirements. This Emirates flight should have had enough fuel to get to an alternate airport included in the minimum trip fuel. If you burn through that as well as into your reserve fuel then you are just not properly managing your fuel and taking way too little fuel especially if all you do is try an approach once and then divert without holding.

Your alternate fuel is supposed to include enough fuel to divert there from a missed approach at the destination.
 
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RE: EK Diversion DXB-SEA To YVR And Fuel Emergency

Wed Mar 16, 2016 10:08 pm

Quoting blrsea (Reply 39):

I was on this flight. There was a missed approach, and the pilot said as much and said that they will attempt again shortly. However, after 15-20 mins, they announced they are diverting to YVR due to weather conditions at SEA. At YVR, when we landed, there were fire engines on the standby (with lights flashing) and they followed our plane as we taxied to a remote stand, and finally left. I was wondering why the fire engines were there and assumed there was some issues with the engine or landing gears that the pilots didn't inform us. The pilot announced that they will refuel and wait from information from ATC before leaving for SEA. We finally left after more than four hours after they said that the SEA ATC has given permission. There was nothing additional to eat provided, which I can understand as the supplies on board was probably exhausted.

So after a 15 hour flight, you were on the ground for 4+ hours, then a 30 minute flight to SEA, and the aircraft was nearly full (367 pax + crew). And I believe that EK's 77Ws are 3-4-3 in Y class.
Wow, I would have crawled our of my skin by the end with that density!
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PlanesNTrains
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RE: EK Diversion DXB-SEA To YVR And Fuel Emergency

Wed Mar 16, 2016 11:22 pm

Quoting BA (Reply 45):
Why were other flights able to land in SEA and not divert? Or were they all in a holding pattern for an extended period of time while the EK flight couldn't hold due to coming close to fuel exhaustion?

I would assume that being so low on fuel, they didn't want to risk going back into the pattern and repeating the same outcome.

Quoting flybynight (Reply 46):
777's aren't that common at SEA, but there should be at least a few landing everyday (BA and DL come to mind)

777's have been frequent visitors at SEA for many years. DL, AA, UA, BA, NH, OZ, and I'm sure plenty I'm forgetting. EK alone flies twice daily.

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