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AAL 996 Diverted To IAH - Fuel Issues?

Mon May 20, 2013 11:37 am

I had a friend on AA996 last night EZE-DFW, 767-300ER. This flight is well within the range of a 767-300ER, with enough reserve fuel. The flight track looks normal, but the flight was diverted to IAH for refueling. That doesn't make much sense to me. Even with strong headwinds (which this is a North/South flight, so it doesn't make complete sense to me either), the 767-300ER would have the range. Any ideas on the issue?

The flight track was pretty much a straight shot to DFW. I have flown this route where we flew from EZE, straight out over Miami, then made a left turn to DFW to avoid weather. No issues.

[Edited 2013-05-20 04:39:48]
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RE: AAL 996 Diverted To IAH - Fuel Issues?

Mon May 20, 2013 12:30 pm

Well, just because a plane has the range to make a particular flight, doesn't mean it can't encounter a shortage of fuel.

If they did experience stronger than planned headwinds, they would have burned more than planned and thus needed to divert to avoid falling below minimum required fuel levels.

I don't know that this happened, but it happens all the time around the world so this is the likely scenario.
Christopher W Slovacek
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RE: AAL 996 Diverted To IAH - Fuel Issues?

Mon May 20, 2013 12:57 pm

It looks like its for fuel due to higher than expected winds aloft and therefore a higher than planned fuel burn enroute.

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RE: AAL 996 Diverted To IAH - Fuel Issues?

Mon May 20, 2013 2:16 pm

It may be within the range but IIRC most airlines usually fill her up just enough to get there (with reserves for unplanned go-arounds, etc)
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RE: AAL 996 Diverted To IAH - Fuel Issues?

Tue May 21, 2013 8:03 pm

Aircraft range capability and available fuel on a given flight are two different things.  
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