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TheSonntag
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Flying Faster - Possible In Case Of Emergencies?

Thu Feb 26, 2015 3:05 pm

Lets assume there is a medical emergency over the north atlantic onboard an A380, which flies Mach .84.

Is it possible on a North American Track to fly faster, closer to the MMO, in order to get to an airport earlier? If so, how much faster can be flown in such a case?

The same question applies to the recent diversion by AF to MAN due to exceeding the flight time. If I recall it correct, they missed the maximum time by only 20 minutes or so. Could they have flown a bit faster than Mach .84 in order to reach Paris earlier, or are operational constraints/Safety/traffic preventing this?
 
oly720man
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RE: Flying Faster - Possible In Case Of Emergencies?

Thu Feb 26, 2015 4:37 pm

A back of an envelope calculation..... a change of 0.01 in Mach number is near enough equivalent to 3m/s, or 10.75kph or 6.75mph.

So M0.86 for 2hours would put you about 30 miles closer to your destination, compared to M0.84. And save about 3 minutes of flight time (at cruise, assuming identical descent profiles). Local variability in en-route winds would probably have a bigger contribution, in terms of time differences.

So to save any appreciable time the increase in speed wouldn't be physically possible. You wouldn't make it up by flying faster for longer since turning round to a nearest diversion field would be much quicker, with the possible exception of southern hemisphere oceanic flights where there aren't many options.
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vikkyvik
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RE: Flying Faster - Possible In Case Of Emergencies?

Thu Feb 26, 2015 6:58 pm

Flying faster may also cause you to burn more fuel, despite the shorter flight time. So gotta make sure you'll still reach your destination (not sure how likely it is that that wouldn't occur due to speeding up).
I'm watching Jeopardy. The category is worst Madonna songs. "This one from 1987 is terrible".
 
jetwet1
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RE: Flying Faster - Possible In Case Of Emergencies?

Thu Feb 26, 2015 7:23 pm

Not so much in this situation, where it can make a difference is actually lower down, for example.

On my former companies challenger, one of our guests had a heart attack, the PIC dumped altitude quickly but not speed, he pretty much had it against the mach limits the whole way down. the 250 knot rule went out the window, of course he was in communication with ATC the whole way to the ground, from what I was told, it was not a very fun ride down, except maybe for the PIC, who is a former USAF pilot, but the main priority is getting the medical on the ground ASAP. In this case, it may have saved 5-10 minutes, but in this situation those minutes count.

To address the situation you put out there.

I'm sure it's happened, but to get a realistic answer you never someone like Wilco to answer, fingers crossed he will show up.

[Edited 2015-02-26 11:24:01]
 
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DocLightning
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RE: Flying Faster - Possible In Case Of Emergencies?

Fri Feb 27, 2015 2:50 am

Quoting jetwet1 (Reply 3):
the 250 knot rule went out the window, of course he was in communication with ATC the whole way to the ground, from what I was told, it was not a very fun ride down, except maybe for the PIC, who is a former USAF pilot, but the main priority is getting the medical on the ground ASAP. In this case, it may have saved 5-10 minutes, but in this situation those minutes count.

I dread these situations. Of course I'll respond and do CPR, but every minute counts. I've been on a few flights (and one high-speed train) where the "Is there a doctor onboard?" call has come and it's always an awful feeling.
-Doc Lightning-

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skyhawkmatthew
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RE: Flying Faster - Possible In Case Of Emergencies?

Fri Feb 27, 2015 5:04 am

It ought be possible, traffic permitting. Standard procedure in the event of a fire on board is to descend to the VMO/MMO crossover altitude which yields maximum TAS.
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mmo
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RE: Flying Faster - Possible In Case Of Emergencies?

Fri Feb 27, 2015 7:00 am

Quoting TheSonntag (Thread starter):
Is it possible on a North American Track to fly faster, closer to the MMO, in order to get to an airport earlier? If so, how much faster can be flown in such a case?

Yes, it is possible, and can be done with just a little coordination with ATC. Once you were to declare an emergency, ATC will generally do what ever they can to assist you. However, has been pointed out, in the "bigger scheme" of things the time savings will be in single digit minutes. Having any type of emergency, does increase the adrenalin level and stress enough. Now if you start to do things that you are not used to, you are really setting yourself up to get caught in a trap, such as being too high for the approach. As a "technique", I try to ensure things are done in the same manner as you would usually do. You are less likely to make mistakes and end up with a satisfactory solution to your problems.

The only time I would personally consider going at the speed of heat, would be either a cabin fire or a non-extinguishable engine fire. In both instances, you want to get the aircraft down ASAP. Years ago, after the SR crash, we had a LOFT profile that had a non-extinguishable engine fire on departure out of ZRH at MTOW. The "ideal" solution was to return to ZRH, at barber pole, and do an overweight landing while terminating dumping as you turn final. You, would be amazed what we saw. The record for returning was 22 minutes after takeoff, the other end of the spectrum was 1+34! There were quite a few cases of pilots holding to dump fuel rather than land overweight. But, my point is, in that situation, you would really want to get on the ground ASAP.
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nomadd22
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RE: Flying Faster - Possible In Case Of Emergencies?

Fri Feb 27, 2015 9:21 am

Calling ahead to get priority from ATC and the ground folks will save a lot more time than speeding up a tad.
Anon
 
Santhosh
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RE: Flying Faster - Possible In Case Of Emergencies?

Fri Feb 27, 2015 10:07 am

I’m not sure about Atlantic crossings, but down here in Trivandrum (VOTV), I have certainly heard ATC telling pilots “No Speed Restrictions” in cases of emergence and sometimes during early morning arrivals too.


Regards,
Santhosh
Happy Landings :)
 
TheSonntag
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RE: Flying Faster - Possible In Case Of Emergencies?

Fri Feb 27, 2015 11:06 am

Thank you for your insights so far. I take it a lot of time can be saved by being able to keep high speeds as long as possible and do a fast descent without traffic ahead.

But for example if you are 120 minutes away from the next airport, I wondered how much time can be saved at all.
 
mmo
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RE: Flying Faster - Possible In Case Of Emergencies?

Fri Feb 27, 2015 1:05 pm

Quoting nomadd22 (Reply 7):
Calling ahead to get priority from ATC and the ground folks will save a lot more time than speeding up a tad.

That becomes dispatch's job. The dispatcher can make all the necessary calls and coordinate what you need. Trying to do that from the cockpit if you have a "real emergency" is not a very good idea.

Quoting TheSonntag (Reply 9):
But for example if you are 120 minutes away from the next airport, I wondered how much time can be saved at all.

You are looking at about 5-6 minutes at most.

Quoting TheSonntag (Reply 9):
Thank you for your insights so far. I take it a lot of time can be saved by being able to keep high speeds as long as possible and do a fast descent without traffic ahead.

If you are an emergency, I can guarantee you, no one is ahead of you.....
If we weren't all crazy we'd all go insane!
 
TheSonntag
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RE: Flying Faster - Possible In Case Of Emergencies?

Fri Feb 27, 2015 5:11 pm

Quoting mmo (Reply 10):
You are looking at about 5-6 minutes at most.

And how much time can you save if you have no speed limits on approach and do a descent profile optimised for maximum ground speed?
 
mmo
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RE: Flying Faster - Possible In Case Of Emergencies?

Fri Feb 27, 2015 8:29 pm

Quoting TheSonntag (Reply 11):
And how much time can you save if you have no speed limits on approach and do a descent profile optimised for maximum ground speed?

If you are an emergency and have declared a "mayday", you can do what you want. There are no speed restrictions. However, at some point you have to slow down and configure. On current generation aircraft, it is very difficult to go down and slow down. You can do one but not the other. On the 744 for example, at normal gross weights, it takes about 10 miles to lose 50 knots in level flight with idle power. So, if you are descending at barber pole, you better plan on being level for 20 miles to get to a point where you can configure. So, to answer your question, 5-6 minutes....In the bigger scheme of things doing the speed of heat isn't going to save a lot of time.
If we weren't all crazy we'd all go insane!
 
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WesternDC6B
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RE: Flying Faster - Possible In Case Of Emergencies?

Fri Feb 27, 2015 8:57 pm

Quoting mmo (Reply 12):
So, if you are descending at barber pole

I'm not a pilot. Will you, or someone, please define "barber pole"? Thanks very much.
Never employ grandios verbiage when the utilisation of diminutive phraseology will suffice.
 
AIRWALK
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RE: Flying Faster - Possible In Case Of Emergencies?

Fri Feb 27, 2015 9:57 pm

Quoting WesternDC6B (Reply 13):
I'm not a pilot. Will you, or someone, please define "barber pole"? Thanks very much.

It is the Vmo/Mmo needle (Vmo = maximum operating speed, Mmo = Maximum operating mach number)

Basically a speed you shouldn't exceed that depends on the conditions
I'm sure this thread will take off soon
 
N353SK
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RE: Flying Faster - Possible In Case Of Emergencies?

Fri Feb 27, 2015 10:00 pm

Quoting WesternDC6B (Reply 13):
I'm not a pilot. Will you, or someone, please define "barber pole"? Thanks very much. 

Airspeed indicators have a needle indicating maximum airspeed (which varies with altitude) that is painted with red and white stripes.
 
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larshjort
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RE: Flying Faster - Possible In Case Of Emergencies?

Fri Feb 27, 2015 10:37 pm

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/d2/Airspeed_indicator_DC-10.jpg/770px-Airspeed_indicator_DC-10.jpg

Here is a picture showing the barber pole. It will move with altitude and temperature as the number changes.

/Lars
139, 306, 319, 320, 321, 332, 34A, AN2, AT4, AT5, AT7, 733, 735, 73G, 738, 739, 146, AR1, BH2, CN1, CR2, DH1, DH3, DH4,
 
26point2
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RE: Flying Faster - Possible In Case Of Emergencies?

Sat Feb 28, 2015 12:45 am

Of course any modern airliner will not have a "Barber Pole" depicted on the EFIS airspeed strip (it is a red bar) but we still refer to is as such. If you are at school, particularly while at Bombardier/Montreal BBD-700, one must use the term "High Speed Cue"... or tsk-tsk.
 
ThirtyEcho
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RE: Flying Faster - Possible In Case Of Emergencies?

Sat Feb 28, 2015 6:13 am

"Barber Pole"=WN maximum taxi speed.
 
georgiaame
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RE: Flying Faster - Possible In Case Of Emergencies?

Sun Mar 01, 2015 8:32 pm

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 4):
I dread these situations. Of course I'll respond and do CPR, but every minute counts. I've been on a few flights (and one high-speed train) where the "Is there a doctor onboard?" call has come and it's always an awful feeling.

My worst, and I've turned a flight around, was over the N Atlantic, with a pretty obvious myocardial infarction unfolding in front of my eyes. I got an IV started in economy, begged for some aspirin and nitroglycerin (there is a god, I got both from passengers), and asked to turn around and land in Canada/anywhere. And was told we had passed "the point of no return". They don't just say that in 1950s airplane movies. That was a sickening feeling, if ever there was one. If anything, it felt as if the plane slowed down, rather than sped up. We landed in London about 2½ hours later - it only seemed like 12½ hours later. And 1 hour after IV #1 went in, we had a major abdominal incident up front. Delta packs 2 angiocaths in their medical kit, I knew I couldn't miss. 35,000 feet up, mild turbulence, and I had a mild case of tachycardia. First,and only time I've had IV fluids hanging in the front and the back of the cabin. Both patients and I survived the flight. I'm not certain about the flight attendants or the pilots. We all needed showers and extra deodorant that morning. No, it is most definitely not a good feeling. (Oh, Doc, you might have had a high speed train incident, I had a low speed train incident many years ago. Lady fell down in front of us on the Stone Mountain train outside of Georgia, full blown seizure, and my then teenage son turned to me as said, "Dad, what is it about you?" Can't make this stuff up)
"Trust, but verify!" An old Russian proverb, quoted often by a modern American hero
 
FlyHossD
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RE: Flying Faster - Possible In Case Of Emergencies?

Sat Mar 07, 2015 5:06 pm

Quoting mmo (Reply 10):
You are looking at about 5-6 minutes at most.
Quoting TheSonntag (Reply 11):
And how much time can you save if you have no speed limits on approach and do a descent profile optimised for maximum ground speed?
Quoting mmo (Reply 12):
If you are an emergency and have declared a "mayday", you can do what you want. There are no speed restrictions. However, at some point you have to slow down and configure.

Good answers above, but by declaring an emergency, you can also "short-cut" much of the arrival procedure (STAR) and/or normal vectoring for sequencing and that can save significant minutes, too. Requesting the runway closest to your terminal or gate can save a few minutes more.

So yes, you can cruise somewhat faster, but that generally doesn't save huge time. In an emergency you can go faster than the normal limits especially below 10,000' and more time can be saved by expedited handling and a few minutes more by getting the "close-in" runway.

The last (final) time that I did such was for a medical emergency. We saved about ten minutes in total. It was frustrating to arrive at our gate and then discover that the EMS provider was already at another gate and that there was not another EMS team available. Fortunately, there was a doctor on board who continued to assist the ill passenger.

Had our passenger become so ill nearer another suitable airport, we would have likely diverted; in this case, we had already begun the descent to the original destination.
My statements do not represent my former employer or my current employer and are my opinions only.
 
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WesternDC6B
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RE: Flying Faster - Possible In Case Of Emergencies?

Sun Mar 08, 2015 12:39 am

Quoting ThirtyEcho (Reply 18):
"Barber Pole"=WN maximum taxi speed.

In them-thar olden days, that was PSA taxi speed. (The "real" PSA that is...)   

To all who answered my barber-pole question: thank you!
Never employ grandios verbiage when the utilisation of diminutive phraseology will suffice.
 
TheSonntag
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RE: Flying Faster - Possible In Case Of Emergencies?

Mon Mar 09, 2015 8:28 am

Quoting FlyHossD (Reply 20):

Thank you and the others for your great replies. What about checklists - are there special checklists in place for medical diversions, especially if you want to get down fast?

I would guess it is all about balancing between getting down fast, but taking no unnessesary risks.
 
Aircellist
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RE: Flying Faster - Possible In Case Of Emergencies?

Tue Mar 10, 2015 12:23 am

Quoting georgiaame (Reply 19):

Wow!… One of the great stories I've read on here. Thanks for sharing.
"When I find out I was wrong, I change my mind. What do you do?" -attributed to John Maynard Keynes
 
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CALTECH
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RE: Flying Faster - Possible In Case Of Emergencies?

Tue Mar 10, 2015 12:46 am

Quoting 26point2 (Reply 17):
Of course any modern airliner will not have a "Barber Pole" depicted on the EFIS airspeed strip (it is a red bar) but we still refer to is as such. If you are at school, particularly while at Bombardier/Montreal BBD-700, one must use the term "High Speed Cue"... or tsk-tsk.

Are you sure ? Barber poles are still alive on commercial carriers.

You are here.
 
Max Q
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RE: Flying Faster - Possible In Case Of Emergencies?

Tue Mar 10, 2015 6:04 am

Quoting georgiaame (Reply 19):
My worst, and I've turned a flight around, was over the N Atlantic, with a pretty obvious myocardial infarction unfolding in front of my eyes. I got an IV started in economy, begged for some aspirin and nitroglycerin (there is a god, I got both from passengers), and asked to turn around and land in Canada/anywhere. And was told we had passed "the point of no return". They don't just say that in 1950s airplane movies. That was a sickening feeling, if ever there was one. If anything, it felt as if the plane slowed down, rather than sped up. We landed in London about 2½ hours later - it only seemed like 12½ hours later. And 1 hour after IV #1 went in, we had a major abdominal incident up front. Delta packs 2 angiocaths in their medical kit, I knew I couldn't miss. 35,000 feet up, mild turbulence, and I had a mild case of tachycardia. First,and only time I've had IV fluids hanging in the front and the back of the cabin. Both patients and I survived the flight. I'm not certain about the flight attendants or the pilots. We all needed showers and extra deodorant that morning. No, it is most definitely not a good feeling. (Oh, Doc, you might have had a high speed train incident, I had a low speed train incident many years ago. Lady fell down in front of us on the Stone Mountain train outside of Georgia, full blown seizure, and my then teenage son turned to me as said, "Dad, what is it about you?" Can't make this stuff up)

First and foremost, great job, I wish we had someone of your calibre on all our flights.



I don't understand however, why the crew didn't land in Shannon. It would have been much closer than going all the way to London.


I realise I wasn't there and they may have had their reasons but I would have put it down at the first suitable airport with good medical care. SNN certainly fits the bill, is much closer and it would have saved at least an hour in flight time.

Quoting CALTECH (Reply 24):
Are you sure ? Barber poles are still alive on commercial carriers.

They certainly are !
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


GGg
 
mmo
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RE: Flying Faster - Possible In Case Of Emergencies?

Tue Mar 10, 2015 6:57 am

Quoting CALTECH (Reply 24):
Are you sure ? Barber poles are still alive on commercial carriers.

I can see the barber pole on both PFDs......
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TheSonntag
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RE: Flying Faster - Possible In Case Of Emergencies?

Tue Mar 10, 2015 9:01 am

Quoting Max Q (Reply 25):
I don't understand however, why the crew didn't land in Shannon. It would have been much closer than going all the way to London.

I wondered the same. Maybe, but that is just an unqualified guess, the medical facilities in London are better. Of course, in the case of a cardiac arrest, this doesn't matter much, but I have been with my wife at an Irish hospital, and while people were very friendly (and certainly qualified, too), my impression was still that Ireland is not the country where you would want to have a medical emergency (no offense intended to Irish readers).
 
FlyHossD
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RE: Flying Faster - Possible In Case Of Emergencies?

Tue Mar 10, 2015 4:30 pm

Quoting TheSonntag (Reply 22):
What about checklists - are there special checklists in place for medical diversions, especially if you want to get down fast?

While there are checklists for emergency descents (loss of pressurization, for example), but that wouldn't be appropriate here.

In the case of my story, I assigned the relief pilot to coordinate with the flight attendants and MedLink regarding the ill passenger so that I and the F.O. could concentrate on flying the airplane. Up to that moment, the relief pilot had been in the right seat, but I wanted him to be able to communicate with the cabin crew and MedLink all the way to the ground, so we put the F.O. back into his seat a bit earlier than planned (the ill passenger's condition continued to worsen). That set-up worked well and I sent a letter of commendation to the Chief Plot for both the F.O. and relief pilot for their performance.
My statements do not represent my former employer or my current employer and are my opinions only.
 
BravoOne
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RE: Flying Faster - Possible In Case Of Emergencies?

Tue Mar 10, 2015 4:41 pm

Quoting CALTECH (Reply 24):
Quoting CALTECH (Reply 24):
Are you sure ? Barber poles are still alive on commercial carriers.

We just called that the "zipper" on the MD11  

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