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planecane
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How common is significant over fueling?

Mon May 24, 2021 4:45 pm

I'm a pretty frequent flyer and experienced this for the first time a few days ago. On a CRJ-700 from CID to ORD, after boarding was complete the captain informed us that the fueler loaded 5000 lbs too much fuel which would put us significantly over the maximum landing weight unless we flew around for an hour and a half or so extra to burn off extra fuel. Apparently, CID did not have the equipment to offload fuel.

The solution (after sitting at the gate for over an hour) was to re-route passengers who wouldn't be able to connect to their destination through ORD for the rest of the day through DFW or CLT. It seemed like around 20 passengers got off.

Anyway, the captain stated during one of his announcements that this was "unprecedented" so it led me to wonder how often a mistake of this degree typically occurs. This wasn't a slight error or miscalculation. Isn't that around 750 gallons and probably enough for a CID-ORD-CID round trip of EXTRA fuel?
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: How common is significant over fueling?

Mon May 24, 2021 5:17 pm

Yes, 750 gallons, yes, very unusual to that degree.
 
B777LRF
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Re: How common is significant over fueling?

Mon May 24, 2021 5:33 pm

Once had an onboard engineer, who had been delegated the task of refuelling the aircraft, misunderstand the fuel order at a transit stop. He was told ramp fuel of 27 tons, but ordered 27 tons on top of the 7-8 tons remaining. Result: Too heavy for landing. No de-fuel option available, so we refiled for FL290 i.s.o 360 and spent around an hour in the cruise with spoilers extended.

It happens.
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T18
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Re: How common is significant over fueling?

Mon May 24, 2021 5:46 pm

Yes 5000lbs is nearly enough for the flight back lol.
I my experience it seems like we get hit with a over fuel about once every other week. Sometimes its just a few thousand lbs and some times they just fueled an a/c for another flight. Once had Indy put 11000lbs on an a/c that needed less than 5000lbs. Some times if the issue is landing weight we can just fly low or take a longer route but if its MTOW we have to burn, defuel or lose payload.

Have heard a story of a station trying to load the fuel load for an A330 onto a CRJ700, it didn't fit oddly.....
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bigb
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Re: How common is significant over fueling?

Mon May 24, 2021 11:23 pm

That’s a lot of fuel.
 
adipasqu
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Re: How common is significant over fueling?

Tue May 25, 2021 2:35 am

What is the minimum required to remove fuel from an airliner? Can all aircraft do it or only on some? I assume you can't put it back into a hydrant system, so would you need an empty tanker with the ability to pump in the reverse direction?
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GalaxyFlyer
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Re: How common is significant over fueling?

Tue May 25, 2021 2:43 am

It takes time and the right equipment. I’ve, during a new installation test fueled and refueled in an almost seamless process except for watching the totalizer go in two directions. Eielson AFB, if you’re curious, 2000. Huge pumping and hydrant installation, never saw fuel go on or off so fast.
 
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fr8mech
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Re: How common is significant over fueling?

Tue May 25, 2021 3:00 am

adipasqu wrote:
What is the minimum required to remove fuel from an airliner? Can all aircraft do it or only on some? I assume you can't put it back into a hydrant system, so would you need an empty tanker with the ability to pump in the reverse direction?


All the aircraft I’ve worked (B72/74/75/76, A300, DC8, L1011, MD11) have had the capability to defuel. All you need is a truck to accept the fuel.

The common problem we’ve come across is that after an aircraft has been fueled, that fuel can only be used in that particular carrier’s aircraft. Not a big deal in a major facility, but when you’re receiving fuel from a third-party contractor, it becomes an issue. At least that’s how our book is written.
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Redbellyguppy
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Re: How common is significant over fueling?

Tue May 25, 2021 3:26 am

Rare. Usually it only occurs because of a late tail swap.
 
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rjsampson
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Re: How common is significant over fueling?

Tue May 25, 2021 6:25 am

B777LRF wrote:
Result: Too heavy for landing. No de-fuel option available, so we refiled for FL290 i.s.o 360 and spent around an hour in the cruise with spoilers extended.

It happens.


:shock:

You were burning off excess gas by hitting the brakes for an hour, while cruising at FL290? Yikes.

Oh man... I'm guessing your Company made sure some heads rolled after that. Sounds expensive.

"It happens?" Dang. Is there a checklist for such a procedure? How did that work with the FMS?
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B777LRF
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Re: How common is significant over fueling?

Tue May 25, 2021 8:16 am

rjsampson wrote:
Oh man... I'm guessing your Company made sure some heads rolled after that. Sounds expensive.

"It happens?" Dang. Is there a checklist for such a procedure? How did that work with the FMS?


No heads rolled; the company was not hosted in a 3rd world cesspit. There is no checklist for telling a competent crew member to relay a fuelling order to a fuel operator, and the FMS told us we would be overweight for landing by adding the ZFW we entered to the fuel onboard. We burned off the excess until the FMS told us we were good to land at max weight.

Funniest thing was that we could actually de-fuel at the transit stop, provided we had ordered it 24 hours in advance. How the fuel operator managed to hold a straight face while offering that option is one of life's great mysteries.

We did contemplate dumping the FAK, which would have yielded 1000kg, but since a) we only used that airport very infrequently and thus could have stranded the FAK for an unknown period of time and b) 1000kg wouldn't save the day anyway, the decision was made to refile for FL290, spend the first 10 minutes at 3.000ft / 200 knots / F5 (which was fun) and apply the spoilers if necessary (it was).
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T54A
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Re: How common is significant over fueling?

Tue May 25, 2021 12:14 pm

Probably not that unusual. On you ask for 15 000 kg and 50 000kg gets loaded (widebody on a short domestic sector). Aircraft has to be defueled and that fuel must be thrown away. I have once made a calculation error on a tankering flight (when you load fuel for there and back) in a A320 and we were overweight at our first landing. Gear down in the holding pattern overhead until weight in limits and a stern look from the Chief Pilot.
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DiamondFlyer
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Re: How common is significant over fueling?

Tue May 25, 2021 12:35 pm

It's not too uncommon on a CRJ these days. A couple hundred pounds of extra fuel, it's always quicker to just go burn it than it is to get the defuel equipment out. Even 1500 lbs, it's generally quicker to burn it holding on the ground over defueling.
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Wacker1000
Posts: 283
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Re: How common is significant over fueling?

Tue May 25, 2021 3:26 pm

planecane wrote:
Anyway, the captain stated during one of his announcements that this was "unprecedented" so it led me to wonder how often a mistake of this degree typically occurs.


It doesn't happen often but considering your average fueler isn't exactly a Rhodes Scholar, it isn't "unprecedented" for something to get screwed up. Everything from over fueling until it pours out of the vent tank, to over riding automatic fueling because they know better (and then they have to call out maintenance to clear faults), to smashing the fuel truck into the plane.
 
LCDFlight
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Re: How common is significant over fueling?

Tue May 25, 2021 10:23 pm

Wacker1000 wrote:
planecane wrote:
Anyway, the captain stated during one of his announcements that this was "unprecedented" so it led me to wonder how often a mistake of this degree typically occurs.


It doesn't happen often but considering your average fueler isn't exactly a Rhodes Scholar, it isn't "unprecedented" for something to get screwed up. Everything from over fueling until it pours out of the vent tank, to over riding automatic fueling because they know better (and then they have to call out maintenance to clear faults), to smashing the fuel truck into the plane.


Image
 
bradyj23
Posts: 109
Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2007 9:24 am

Re: How common is significant over fueling?

Wed May 26, 2021 1:19 pm

fr8mech wrote:
adipasqu wrote:
What is the minimum required to remove fuel from an airliner? Can all aircraft do it or only on some? I assume you can't put it back into a hydrant system, so would you need an empty tanker with the ability to pump in the reverse direction?


All the aircraft I’ve worked (B72/74/75/76, A300, DC8, L1011, MD11) have had the capability to defuel. All you need is a truck to accept the fuel.

The common problem we’ve come across is that after an aircraft has been fueled, that fuel can only be used in that particular carrier’s aircraft. Not a big deal in a major facility, but when you’re receiving fuel from a third-party contractor, it becomes an issue. At least that’s how our book is written.


CRJ-700 can defuel as well. Pretty much any plane with single point can. Being in CID I’m guessing they didn’t have an extra truck available. In my experience I’ve been told they can’t reuse the fuel they remove because it could be contaminated. Some stations even require the Fire Trucks to show up to defuel. Seems crazy at time but all in the interest of safety.

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