Sydney Airport Message Board Sydney Airport Message Board  

Go Back   Sydney Airport Message Board > Aviation Industry News and Discussion > Australia and New Zealand Industry


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1  
Old 4th October 2018, 12:40 PM
Greg Hyde Greg Hyde is offline
Prolific Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 2,080
Default UA B789 Mayday Call

Sydney Airport triggers 'full emergency response' after United Airlines mayday call

Police activated a "full emergency response" and roads around Sydney Airport were closed after a United Airlines flight from Los Angeles made a mayday call above the Harbour City this morning.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-10-0...-call/10336766
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 4th October 2018, 01:56 PM
Philip Argy's Avatar
Philip Argy Philip Argy is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Drummoyne
Posts: 1,350
Default

It seems to be an overreaction to a standard fuel emergency. Was it a mistaken full 'm'aidez' call or is there more to the story than we have been told?
__________________
Philip
Between 16R and 16L glide slopes (33.842252 S 151.153295 E) - wave as you fly over!
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 4th October 2018, 04:39 PM
Greg Hyde Greg Hyde is offline
Prolific Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 2,080
Default

Maybe a PAN call was more appropriate with a priority landing.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 4th October 2018, 05:26 PM
MarkR MarkR is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 1,079
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Hyde View Post
Maybe a PAN call was more appropriate with a priority landing.
No, a mayday was entirely appropriate, as mandated by AIP


“EMERGENCY FUEL 12.1 The pilot-in-command shall declare a situation of fuel emergency by broadcasting MAYDAY MAYDAY MAYDAY FUEL, when the calculated usable fuel predicted to be available upon landing at the nearest airport where a safe landing can be made is less than the planned fixed fuel reserve and as a result of this predicted fuel state, the aircraft requires immediate assis-tance”

The other fuel message is the phrase minimum fuel, where no delays can be tolerated but no special assistance is required, and the use of PAN PAN PAN is not an acceptable alternative.

https://www.skybrary.aero/bookshelf/books/2376.pdf

A lot of this phrase use has been recent, and stems from numerous incidents where pilots did not convey to controllers the situation in full, resulting in poor outcomes, such as Avianca 52.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 4th October 2018, 06:39 PM
Todd Hendry Todd Hendry is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Kirrawee
Posts: 280
Default

If they had 40 mins fuel and were given 10 mins holding by ATC which I think they had been, then that would’ve taken them to min reserves.
Hence the Mayday. They were correct in their choice to use mayday fuel.
__________________
“When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.”

Henry Ford.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 4th October 2018, 08:28 PM
Philip Argy's Avatar
Philip Argy Philip Argy is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Drummoyne
Posts: 1,350
Default Two options

I accept that the two call options were MINIMUM FUEL or MAYDAY MAYDAY MAYDAY FUEL. However, the latter is intended for use when the aircraft requires immediate assistance as a result of the fuel condition. That suggests that the 'no further delay' priority afforded a MINIMUM FUEL aircraft was regarded as insufficient. That's the aspect that I'm curious about. Right now it seems to me that a MINIMUM FUEL call should have been made earlier instead of waiting to the point where the more urgent status was indicated.

If in doubt I agree with going for the safer option and maybe after a long flight across the Pacific into a busy airport at a busy time of day the more serious status was thought necessary to secure the priority required.

The ATSB inquiry will be interesting. Also interesting that there appears to be a significant difference in airport response to a low fuel MAYDAY and the PAN condition we had last year with the REX SAAB that lost a prop. I'd have expected that to have been a MAYDAY call.
__________________
Philip
Between 16R and 16L glide slopes (33.842252 S 151.153295 E) - wave as you fly over!
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 4th October 2018, 11:32 PM
Rowan McKeever Rowan McKeever is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 1,465
Default

This morning, I listened to the LiveATC file for the time when UA839’s situation escalated, and I’m reading between the lines a little, but here’s a couple of thoughts:

* about 10-15 mins before the first (at least as far as LiveATC goes) exchange between UA839 and ATC indicating an issue, a SIGMET was issued for YMML;
* the first I picked up of an issue with UA is that ATC offered them YWLM, which at that point was 135nm at 2 o’clock from the aircraft which, at that point was still at (or had just left) FL410 - UA declined;
* ATC later offered Runway 25 and again UA declined;
* ATC also asked whether UA was able to continue the STAR or needed any kind of track shortening - again, UA declined and continued on the STAR through to final approach; and
* the only accommodation that ended up being made for UA was that QF829 was asked to accept vectoring to give a little more space to UA839 which approached immediately ahead of QF829.

Assuming YMML was nominated as the destination alternate, it could be the SIGMET is what escalated the situation to a mayday call.

There also doesn’t seem to be much behind early claims of something to do with dry ice or strange odours, and the UA spokesperson’s statement about a “mechanical issue” has a distinct ‘standard words’ vibe about it.

Anyway, summing up, my two cents is that mayday was the right call by the crew, the ATSB probably won’t proceed with an investigation, and we will probably never know what all the fuss was about. I do think the SIGMET is, well, significant, though.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 5th October 2018, 02:02 AM
Philip Argy's Avatar
Philip Argy Philip Argy is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Drummoyne
Posts: 1,350
Default Minimum Fuel would have been quite adequate

That's why I'm highlighting the "immediate assistance required" element of the conditions that need to exist before calling a MAYDAY.
__________________
Philip
Between 16R and 16L glide slopes (33.842252 S 151.153295 E) - wave as you fly over!
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 5th October 2018, 07:27 AM
Rowan McKeever Rowan McKeever is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 1,465
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip Argy View Post
That's why I'm highlighting the "immediate assistance required" element of the conditions that need to exist before calling a MAYDAY.


And they were immediately assisted - they were offered a diversion to YWLM, they were then offered a crosswind runway in the middle of the morning peak, and they were offered track shortening. ATC then kept everything else out of the way so’s not to hold UA up at all. As it turns out, if their reserves were 30 mins, one or two then race tracks would’ve put them below reserves.

To explain further my earlier post, I am suggesting the UA crew went straight to mayday to make ATC aware that, with a SIGMET in play at YMML, their only options (from their failed flightplan) were YSSY or a diversion.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 5th October 2018, 08:26 AM
Philip Argy's Avatar
Philip Argy Philip Argy is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Drummoyne
Posts: 1,350
Default So far so good

OK, just so I understand, what would ATC have done differently with a MINIMUM FUEL call on first contact?
__________________
Philip
Between 16R and 16L glide slopes (33.842252 S 151.153295 E) - wave as you fly over!
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT +10. The time now is 06:07 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
Copyright © Sydney Airport Message Board 1997-2016
Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of the Conditions of Use and Privacy Statement