sho69607
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Are large business jets/chartered airliners able to fly into airports with no ground support?

Sun Dec 01, 2019 8:31 am

I was wondering if large aircraft are able to fly into an airport when an FBO is closed and/or there is no ground support available to receive the aircraft? I know there are charter operators like Miami Air or Swift Air that fly large aircraft into small airfields all the time. Does an aircraft such as a 737 always require a ground crew to park the aircraft? Assuming there is no jetway involved and the aircraft has airstairs installed, is the flight crew able to power down and secure the aircraft on their own?
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: Are large business jets/chartered airliners able to fly into airports with no ground support?

Sun Dec 01, 2019 8:50 am

This is a scenario airlines have to consider in case of a diversion to a smaller, non-online port.

You do not need a ground crew to park and secure, or to go from "cold aircraft" to departure. Airstairs or a jetway would be the one non-optional item, whether they be integral or provided by the port.

We have to know how to run the refuelling panel too, in case there is no company authorised fueler. The fuel guy will hook up the hose, but we would set up the amount(s) on the panel and so on.

It goes without saying that for anything a bit non-routine like this, we'd review the relevant FCOM procedure first, and then do everything in slow motion.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
unimproved
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Re: Are large business jets/chartered airliners able to fly into airports with no ground support?

Sun Dec 01, 2019 8:58 am

Starlionblue wrote:
This is a scenario airlines have to consider in case of a diversion to a smaller, non-online port.

You do not need a ground crew to park and secure, or to go from "cold aircraft" to departure. Airstairs would be the one thing you would need in most cases, whether they be integral or provided by the port.

We have to know how to run the refuelling panel too, in case there is no company authorised fueler. The fuel guy will hook up the hose, but we would set up the amount(s) on the panel and so on.

It goes without saying that for anything a bit non-routine like this, we'd review the relevant FCOM procedure first, and then do everything in slow motion.


Does the 737 not have a way down through the avionics bay? It's not the most glamorous way but it works.
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: Are large business jets/chartered airliners able to fly into airports with no ground support?

Sun Dec 01, 2019 9:01 am

unimproved wrote:
Starlionblue wrote:
This is a scenario airlines have to consider in case of a diversion to a smaller, non-online port.

You do not need a ground crew to park and secure, or to go from "cold aircraft" to departure. Airstairs would be the one thing you would need in most cases, whether they be integral or provided by the port.

We have to know how to run the refuelling panel too, in case there is no company authorised fueler. The fuel guy will hook up the hose, but we would set up the amount(s) on the panel and so on.

It goes without saying that for anything a bit non-routine like this, we'd review the relevant FCOM procedure first, and then do everything in slow motion.


Does the 737 not have a way down through the avionics bay? It's not the most glamorous way but it works.


Good point. In a pinch definitely. And if it is a long way up I guess you could borrow a ladder. :D
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
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zeke
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Re: Are large business jets/chartered airliners able to fly into airports with no ground support?

Sun Dec 01, 2019 2:41 pm

unimproved wrote:
Does the 737 not have a way down through the avionics bay? It's not the most glamorous way but it works.


If they are planning those sort of operations I know some 737s and A320s have optional inbuilt stairs are the front left door.

The Sjytraders A319 (VH-VFD) is an example of that, they land on an ice runway in Antarctica and offload their passengers with their own inbuilt stairs from
L1.

Eg https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/ ... cMurdo.jpg
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sho69607
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Re: Are large business jets/chartered airliners able to fly into airports with no ground support?

Sun Dec 01, 2019 4:33 pm

Well that is interesting to know! So basically without ground support you just have to cut the engines and chock the wheels yourself then?
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Are large business jets/chartered airliners able to fly into airports with no ground support?

Sun Dec 01, 2019 5:33 pm

Hence the relative unpopularity of airliners as bizjets compared to purpose-built ones—airport limitations, ground support requirements and costs. The B737 has a big advantage over the ACJ simply because baggage loading can be done by ground personnel while the ACJ pretty much requires a belt loader. If you want to operate at places like Aspen, Naples, FL, Scottsdale, London City, Bora Bora, the airliner is going to be limited.
 
shamrock137
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Re: Are large business jets/chartered airliners able to fly into airports with no ground support?

Sun Dec 01, 2019 5:34 pm

sho69607 wrote:
Well that is interesting to know! So basically without ground support you just have to cut the engines and chock the wheels yourself then?


Sort of? There are different levels of ground service required. Say you're flying a larger Gulfstream into a small airport in the middle of the night, could you park the plane yourself without any ground services and lock it up? Sure! Is it a good idea? Not really... You wont find many official regulations regarding this, but its mostly up to the operator to decide what their minimum requirements are for staffing adn support. You add lots of risk when you try and park a larger aircraft without a marshaler for example. If no ground power is available and the battery on the aircraft dies, then you're out of luck until a mechanic can come.

In short, can these larger jets operate into airports without ground support? Yes, but it'd be quite rare to see.
Time to spare? Go by air!
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: Are large business jets/chartered airliners able to fly into airports with no ground support?

Sun Dec 01, 2019 11:11 pm

sho69607 wrote:
Well that is interesting to know! So basically without ground support you just have to cut the engines and chock the wheels yourself then?


Quite a few more steps than that, but it is not really different from the normal flows. As shamrock137 says though, while it is possible it isn't really a good idea.


An example of the stuff that needs to be done for parking and securing.

Parking:
- Shut off engines.
- Turn off seat belt signs.
- Disarm slides.
- Turn off beacon and set other exterior lights as required.
- Turn off transponder.
- Turn off fuel pumps.
- Check fuel quantity and IR performance.
- Dim cockpit displays.
- Chock the wheels.
- Paperwork. :)

Securing:
- Turn off ADIRS.
- Shut off crew oxygen.
- Shut off APU.
- Turn off no smoking signs.
- Turn off emergency exit lights.
- Turn off batteries.

There are also considerations for cold weather. For example, you have to ensure water in the tanks doesn't freeze while the aircraft is left alone.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
N1120A
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Re: Are large business jets/chartered airliners able to fly into airports with no ground support?

Mon Dec 02, 2019 5:36 pm

I've seen a Hawker land at KSLN after midnight, while a KC135 was doing touch and goes and I was using the self serve. The FBO was long closed.
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
LH707330
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Re: Are large business jets/chartered airliners able to fly into airports with no ground support?

Mon Dec 02, 2019 7:46 pm

Starlionblue wrote:
sho69607 wrote:
Well that is interesting to know! So basically without ground support you just have to cut the engines and chock the wheels yourself then?


There are also considerations for cold weather. For example, you have to ensure water in the tanks doesn't freeze while the aircraft is left alone.


How does that work, is there a dump valve to drain the remaining water overboard? I've heard some airports don't allow this because they don't want ice sheets on the ramp, is it possible to purge the freshwater system on short final to mitigate this?
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Are large business jets/chartered airliners able to fly into airports with no ground support?

Mon Dec 02, 2019 9:23 pm

We used purge on the descent when the F/A was all finished with dishes. Funny story, at VKO, we had a hanger reserved and crew was about to push it in. Supervisor comes out and asks about the water system level. “Well the hangar is heated, right?” “Yes, but we want it drained”. Go back to the panel to drain into the 2” of slush and water on the ramp. “No, you can’t do that”. Crew brings a large barrel, “in here”. Okay, whatever. They promptly tip it over on the ramp.

GF
 
shamrock137
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Re: Are large business jets/chartered airliners able to fly into airports with no ground support?

Mon Dec 02, 2019 10:48 pm

LH707330 wrote:
Starlionblue wrote:
sho69607 wrote:
Well that is interesting to know! So basically without ground support you just have to cut the engines and chock the wheels yourself then?


There are also considerations for cold weather. For example, you have to ensure water in the tanks doesn't freeze while the aircraft is left alone.


How does that work, is there a dump valve to drain the remaining water overboard? I've heard some airports don't allow this because they don't want ice sheets on the ramp, is it possible to purge the freshwater system on short final to mitigate this?


Yep, some aircraft can do it while airborne, usually on final descent when the galley is being closed up. Larger aircraft may have multiple tanks and multiple fill and drain points. The 787 can hold 270 gallons in 2 tanks for example. Most larger aircraft use bleed air to pressurize the tanks, if the water isn't dumped inflight, you can run the bleeds to pressurize the water lines, and open the drain valve which purges the lines and blows any water out. Aircraft might also have heated water tanks and lines to prevent freezing. When the ground power is plugged in, the lines stay warmed up.
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LH707330
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Re: Are large business jets/chartered airliners able to fly into airports with no ground support?

Tue Dec 03, 2019 12:59 am

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
We used purge on the descent when the F/A was all finished with dishes. Funny story, at VKO, we had a hanger reserved and crew was about to push it in. Supervisor comes out and asks about the water system level. “Well the hangar is heated, right?” “Yes, but we want it drained”. Go back to the panel to drain into the 2” of slush and water on the ramp. “No, you can’t do that”. Crew brings a large barrel, “in here”. Okay, whatever. They promptly tip it over on the ramp.

GF

Ha ha, that's a good one. "Hey boss, we followed all the SOPs for the draining...."

shamrock137 wrote:
LH707330 wrote:
Starlionblue wrote:

There are also considerations for cold weather. For example, you have to ensure water in the tanks doesn't freeze while the aircraft is left alone.


How does that work, is there a dump valve to drain the remaining water overboard? I've heard some airports don't allow this because they don't want ice sheets on the ramp, is it possible to purge the freshwater system on short final to mitigate this?


Yep, some aircraft can do it while airborne, usually on final descent when the galley is being closed up. Larger aircraft may have multiple tanks and multiple fill and drain points. The 787 can hold 270 gallons in 2 tanks for example. Most larger aircraft use bleed air to pressurize the tanks, if the water isn't dumped inflight, you can run the bleeds to pressurize the water lines, and open the drain valve which purges the lines and blows any water out. Aircraft might also have heated water tanks and lines to prevent freezing. When the ground power is plugged in, the lines stay warmed up.


Does that also work on the 787 and 350? I've heard they don't have drain masts under the sinks, do they have separate purge lines for the freshwater system?
 
pilotpip
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Re: Are large business jets/chartered airliners able to fly into airports with no ground support?

Tue Dec 03, 2019 10:19 pm

Many FBO's will have someone designated on call, and charge a "call out fee" for that person to come in after hours. I just had to use this when our destination was below minimums and we had to drop our passengers at a nearby airport so they could use a car service to their destination.

If it's a scheduled charter, there will be ground ops there. Arriving somewhere in the middle of the night, and kicking the passengers off onto a dark ramp in the middle of the night isn't exactly good customer service.
DMI
 
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SierraPacific
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Re: Are large business jets/chartered airliners able to fly into airports with no ground support?

Tue Dec 03, 2019 10:33 pm

I recently watched a video of a 777 corporate pilot doing a cold and dark startup on his aircraft. It was pretty interesting to watch him climb into the avionics bay (not sure if this is the correct term for the 777) and manually plug in the battery.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8B5d0Y2 ... XB3F13VrVx

Edit it actually appears he is a traveling mechanic with the jet
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: Are large business jets/chartered airliners able to fly into airports with no ground support?

Wed Dec 04, 2019 12:38 am

SierraPacific wrote:
I recently watched a video of a 777 corporate pilot doing a cold and dark startup on his aircraft. It was pretty interesting to watch him climb into the avionics bay (not sure if this is the correct term for the 777) and manually plug in the battery.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8B5d0Y2 ... XB3F13VrVx

Edit it actually appears he is a traveling mechanic with the jet


On Boeing I think it is the E&E Bay, for "Electronic and Equipment".
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Are large business jets/chartered airliners able to fly into airports with no ground support?

Wed Dec 04, 2019 1:23 am

Not many private B777s! We always had a handler from Jeppesen met us, so you always have that, but the GSE requirements are very different for airliner-sized ops, whether charter or private.

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