A320 lands with 260kg of fuel on board...

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digits_
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A320 lands with 260kg of fuel on board...

Post by digits_ » Sat Jul 20, 2019 6:08 pm

http://avherald.com/h?article=4ca8397f&opt=0
A Vistara Airbus A320-200N, registration VT-TNH performing flight UK-944 from Mumbai to Delhi (India) with 153 people on board, was on approach to Delhi when the crew entered holds at FL160, FL140 and FL110 for about 20 minutes and commenced an approach to Delhi's runway 29 about 50 minutes after leaving cruise level 310. The crew decided to go around due to an increase in tail winds beyond the aircraft's certification (about 2 hours after departure from Mumbai). The aircraft entered a hold at FL130 for about 6 minutes then decided to divert to Lucknow (India). The aircraft climbed to FL270 and performed an approach to Lucknow's runway 27 about 3 hours after departure from Mumbai), however, while on approach to the runway about 17nm from touchdown ATC informed the crew that the RVR had dropped to 475 meters (required 600 meters for the approach) and was about to further drop (to 275 meters). The crew aborted the approach at 3000 feet and climbed the aircraft to 4000 feet to assess the situation. The crew subsequently declared emergency due to low fuel, and decided to divert to Kanpur (India) subsequently changing the diversion to Allahabad (India). The aircraft climbed to FL100. While the aircraft was heading towards Allahabad, the situation at Lucknow improved and the RVR changed to more than 1000 meters. The crew decided to abort the diversion about 3:15 hours after departure, returned to Lucknow and landed safely on runway 27 about 3:29 hours after departure from Mumbai and about 90 minutes after the go around in Delhi.

India's DGCA reported on Jul 18th 2019, that the aircraft had only 260kg of fuel remaining at touch down. The aircraft went around in Delhi due to increasing tail winds and began the diversion to Lucknow with 3396kg/7480lbs of fuel. At Lucknow while 17nm from the runway ATC informed the crew that the runway visibility had dropped to 475 meters RVR (600 meters required) and was further reducing to 275 meters, the crew discontinued the approach and climbed to 4000 feet. When the fuel remaining reached 1260kg/2775lbs the crew declared minimum fuel and at 1100kg/2423lbs declared emergency. The crew decided to divert to Kanpur but subsequently decided to divert to Allahabad due to enroute weather. The aircraft climbed to FL100 when ATC informed the crew Lucknow was now showing 600 meters RVR and a few seconds later the RVR had increased to 1000 meters. The aircraft was 37nm from Lucknow and 58nm from Allahabad at that time, the crew decided to return to Lucknow and landed on runway 27. The aircraft landed with 260kg/572lbs of fuel remaining on board.

The DGCA stated that after the facts were established the crew was cleared to resume flying duties "without prejudice on the outcome of the final investigation report".

The airline stated the crew initiated a diversion to Lucknow due to bad weather in Delhi. While on approach to Lucknow the visibility suddenly dropped making a safe landing impossible. The crew considered to divert to Kanpur and Allahabad, then diverted to Allahabad. Enroute to Allahabad ATC informed the crew about a significant improvement of weather in Lucknow, the crew decided to return to Lucknow. The airline said: "The unexpected drop in visibility at the destination alternate was the main reason why the aircraft ended up in a low-fuel situation despite carrying excess fuel over and above the required Flight Plan Fuel as per regulations."
Yikes
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Re: A320 lands with 260kg of fuel on board...

Post by rookiepilot » Sat Jul 20, 2019 7:12 pm

I take it jet aircraft don't glide as well as a 172.
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Re: A320 lands with 260kg of fuel on board...

Post by Illya Kuryakin » Sat Jul 20, 2019 8:59 pm

Once the wheels hit the pavement, 260 kg is bags of fuel. Well done.
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Re: A320 lands with 260kg of fuel on board...

Post by corethatthermal » Sat Jul 20, 2019 10:14 pm

Once the wheels hit the pavement, 260 kg is bags of fuel. Well done.
Illya
Hmmm, change of heart? Was the captain afraid to either twist the rules or declare an emergency or override ATC to land? Was the co-pilot too afraid or taught to never question the captain ? To me after so many decision changes leading to 3 drops of fuel in the tank, I would consider the safe conclusion of this flight PURE LUCK !!! :wink:
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Re: A320 lands with 260kg of fuel on board...

Post by Aviatard » Sun Jul 21, 2019 2:58 am

rookiepilot wrote:
Sat Jul 20, 2019 7:12 pm
I take it jet aircraft don't glide as well as a 172.
You'd think so at first glance, but I was curious about this, and did some investigation. It turns out the glide ratio of a 172N is about 9.1:1, and the A320 is about 17.2:1. So, actually the jet does almost twice as well as a 172.

Sources:
C172N POH: Maximum glide table, page 3-11.
ERAU Journal of Aviation / Aerospace Education & Research, Volume 24 Number 3: Figure 4 Steady Speed Engines-out Glide Ratio, page 45.
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Re: A320 lands with 260kg of fuel on board...

Post by photofly » Sun Jul 21, 2019 3:19 am

Aviatard wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 2:58 am
rookiepilot wrote:
Sat Jul 20, 2019 7:12 pm
I take it jet aircraft don't glide as well as a 172.
You'd think so at first glance, but I was curious about this, and did some investigation. It turns out the glide ratio of a 172N is about 9.1:1, and the A320 is about 17.2:1. So, actually the jet does almost twice as well as a 172.

Sources:
C172N POH: Maximum glide table, page 3-11.
ERAU Journal of Aviation / Aerospace Education & Research, Volume 24 Number 3: Figure 4 Steady Speed Engines-out Glide Ratio, page 45.
As demonstated by the Gimli glider!
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Re: A320 lands with 260kg of fuel on board...

Post by rookiepilot » Sun Jul 21, 2019 6:17 am

That's amazing.....
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Re: A320 lands with 260kg of fuel on board...

Post by complexintentions » Sun Jul 21, 2019 6:34 am

Source is Wikipedia so take it for what it's worth, but the B767 has a glide ratio of about 12:1.

The B787 has an estimated glide ratio of approximately 21:1. The wing is bonkers. Burns no fuel in cruise but the flipside is it's a PITA on descent and approach at times.

A fun scenario in the sim is to kill both engines at 10,000 directly over say, JFK and then manage the energy to landing. It stays aloft for a longgg time and is actually easy to end up too high on approach...
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Re: A320 lands with 260kg of fuel on board...

Post by photofly » Sun Jul 21, 2019 6:46 am

complexintentions wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 6:34 am
Source is Wikipedia so take it for what it's worth, but the B767 has a glide ratio of about 12:1.

The B787 has an estimated glide ratio of approximately 21:1.
I find it very hard to believe there could be that wide a range!
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Re: A320 lands with 260kg of fuel on board...

Post by lownslow » Sun Jul 21, 2019 11:48 am

Landed with 260kg of fuel? Total? Saves the effort of having to switch the engines off at the gate I guess.
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Re: A320 lands with 260kg of fuel on board...

Post by Capt. Underpants » Mon Jul 22, 2019 8:30 am

260 kg isn't much fuel that's for sure, but I've been through a similar situation once. You can make what seems like the best decisions available and still have it turn to mush in a hurry. I learned that ATC will only help you if you are honest from the start. That may require use of the term Mayday or Pan Pan.
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Re: A320 lands with 260kg of fuel on board...

Post by FlyGy » Mon Jul 22, 2019 12:28 pm

I don't see what the big deal is... I could fly another 10 hours with that much in my plane. :D
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Re: A320 lands with 260kg of fuel on board...

Post by Eric Janson » Mon Jul 22, 2019 2:00 pm

260Kg is about 6-7 minutes of fuel.

Not enough for a go-around. You are getting close to the accuracy limits of the fuel gauges.

Just another day in Asia.
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