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ayebee

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It's yet another way of reducing the fuel load. Sadly, fuel on the ground is one of the least useful things in aviation.
So the pilot would ignore this level of "precision" and load what he/she think they need, irrespective?
 

jb747

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If QF8 goes to BNE, do the crew that took it there get paid until they arrive (even as passengers) at the original destination.
Yes...and no.

I have no knowledge of the cabin crew rules, so I'll only look at the pilots. They are paid for a trip the greater of the flight hours of that trip, or 5:30 per infringed day of the trip. So, an LA from Melbourne is about 37 flight hours, or over four days it would be 22 hours (4 * 5:30)...so you're paid 37 hours. But, long haul flights attract overtime past 14 hours, so there's extra there. It's why I hated Melbourne Singapore returns. Three days for 16:30...which compares badly with an LA flight.

So..if the flight diverts, there is an incentive for the pilots to keeps things going quickly, because if they terminate the flight, they'll probably lose the overtime, but won't be paid for the additional infringed day. There is an incentive for the company to replace them, and not let them extend, as an overnight hotel is probably cheaper than the overtime rates for their additional hours. The replacement crew effectively costs nothing, as they're just getting their standby rate (i.e. 5:30).
 

jb747

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So the pilot would ignore this level of "precision" and load what he/she think they need, irrespective?
Where fuel is concerned, it's not precision. It is a prediction. I once wrote a fuel policy I called the 'retrospective' policy. It was inherently much more accurate. Basically the gist of it was that I should be able to order the fuel after I had completed the sector.

It's what management like to call risk management.

What they actually mean is that they'll manage it, and you take the risk.

If I were a chief pilot, and I had a pilot declare minimum fuel I would want to know why, and I would not want it happening again. I would not be building a fuel policy that makes such a declaration more likely. This falls under the umbrella of the "normalisation of risk".
 

RSD

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This falls under the umbrella of the "normalisation of risk".
Ah the great trap that old oil refineries slip into as applying bandaids to everything becomes the norm and everything slowly drifts to operating outside parameters without anyone really noticing because it happens over a long period of time. Some great books by Andrew Hopkins about the Esso Longford and BP Texas City disasters if anyone wants to learn more about normalisation of risk and run the ruler over their workplace to make sure that something isn't sneaking up on them.
 

Quickstatus

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Yes...and no.

So, an LA from Melbourne is about 37 flight hours, or over four days it would be 22 hours (4 * 5:30)...so you're paid 37 hours. But, long haul flights attract overtime past 14 hours, so there's extra there. It's why I hated Melbourne Singapore returns. Three days for 16:30...which compares badly with an LA flight.
37hr = total mission MEL-LAX-MEL?
Mission takes 4 days so minimum 22 hrs?
 
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ayebee

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Where fuel is concerned, it's not precision. It is a prediction. I once wrote a fuel policy I called the 'retrospective' policy. It was inherently much more accurate. Basically the gist of it was that I should be able to order the fuel after I had completed the sector.

It's what management like to call risk management.

What they actually mean is that they'll manage it, and you take the risk.

If I were a chief pilot, and I had a pilot declare minimum fuel I would want to know why, and I would not want it happening again. I would not be building a fuel policy that makes such a declaration more likely. This falls under the umbrella of the "normalisation of risk".
Thanks - that is reassuring.
Retrospective predictions are invariably better.
 

Fergo747

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Thanks JB. I had wondered whether there was some sort of issue with flying into Mexican airspace given the route that we took (or that Trump's wall was going to impinge on our flight path :p)

Was the flight time that you eventually flew, similar or longer than what was quoted at the start of the flight?
At the time of departure the flight plan was, from what I could tell, dynamic. The goal (from what the captain said over the PA) was to get out of DFW and away from the weather asap. About an hour after take off the FO came over the PA and gave an update that they were still in contact with the flight planners working out the best route back to SYD. There was never a mention of a diversion to BNE but that's obviously not to say that it wasn't on the cards depending on what flight plan was eventually settled on. Even after the meal had been served and I was sitting in the 'lounge' the flight time was continuing to change. It wasn't until we appeared to get over the West Coast that it settled and remained pretty constant for the remainder of the flight.

When I did the Dallas flight (only once) it was just on 17 hours
That's been my experience too. We actually pushed back three mins early, so if you take the typical 17hr flight time and add the 1hr 38min delay, you get the 18hr 30min journey that we experienced.

The coolest thing for me was that as we were delayed into SYD there was no available gate so we had to disembark using stairs via L2. Whilst I have travelled on many an A380, I have never quite seen it from that perspective and the sheer size of it was insane. In saying that, I still much prefer to use the aerobridge over stairs / bus!
 

Berlin

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Needless to say that the overall flight time of 18hr 30mins was the longest I've ever been on, but interestingly didn't find it too bad. I actually think ULH could be feasible -for me at least.
I totally agree, provided you’re in J or F. I actually always found the DFW route the best QF flight around and prefer it over going via LAX (DFW is also a much more convenient entry point into the US and easy as for connections). Never had such an odd route as this one here though- the flight path usually goes fairy straight over the US and then Mexico, at least on my 5 or so times it always did.

A flight time around 16-18 hours is perfect in my view- you get to thoroughly enjoy a nice meal on departure, can then relax or even watch a movie and get a decent sleep before yet another full meal.
 

RSD

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JB747 - was your one & only DFW trip on your schedule or was you a standby that got activated for it?
 

jb747

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JB747 - was your one & only DFW trip on your schedule or was you a standby that got activated for it?
It was my number one bid for that particular bid period. I was just about to switch from Sydney based to Melbourne, which would remove Dallas from my options. It had only just become available for bidding....I think my trip was only the third or fourth for the 380. Our bidding system is sometimes a great mystery, but I expected to get a trip, and I did, though the fingers always have to be crossed.
 

flyer89

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It was my number one bid for that particular bid period. I was just about to switch from Sydney based to Melbourne, which would remove Dallas from my options. It had only just become available for bidding....I think my trip was only the third or fourth for the 380. Our bidding system is sometimes a great mystery, but I expected to get a trip, and I did, though the fingers always have to be crossed.
Is DFW the most senior route on the 380?
 

Quickstatus

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@jb747
Do you remember the 747-300 operating range in comparison with the 747-400?.

I read somewhere the QF -300 can seat nearly 480 passengers while the current -400 only seats approx 350

Could the -300 operate SYD/MEL-LAX or return?. What about SIN-LHR?

Also commented here:
 

jb747

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Is DFW the most senior route on the 380?
I doubt it. Most people do Dallas every now and then, but listening to themselves say "are we there yet", gets on the nerves.

The route structure isn't big enough to really accommodate 'most senior'. USA trips are the densest (i.e. pay per days away), but they are limited for all to a maximum of three...so the upshot is that most rosters look alike. The highest value trip is probably Melbourne LA, as it is short and very high hours. The same trip from Sydney has a longer slip in LA, so it is nowhere near as dense.

I always found the US flying, other than JFK, to be dull. If the Melbourne base hadn't lost the London trips, I may have stayed a bit longer, but not for just LA and Singapore.
 

jb747

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@jb747
Do you remember the 747-300 operating range in comparison with the 747-400?.
Sort of...it was a lot shorter. I recall comparing a -300 plan with a -400 plan in Singapore one day. Same flight..and about 15% difference in burn.

I read somewhere the QF -300 can seat nearly 480 passengers while the current -400 only seats approx 350.
That's just a configuration choice. You could put the old 300 config in a 400, and have the same load. The -400 would still go a long way further. It was quite a different aircraft.

Could the -300 operate SYD/MEL-LAX or return?. What about SIN-LHR?
I recall flying a 300 to LA from Sydney...but only the once. And not back direct. Not only was the -300 thirstier per hour, but its take off weight was in the order of 20 tonnes less than the -400. Singapore to London would have been possible at times, but again the limited T/O weight would have been a problem.
 

jb747

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So until the -400 arrived, a lot of QF routes had intermediate stops?.

Like BAH or PPT?
Yes.

Mind you, I don't think the same logic applies with the likes of Oz direct UK, or east coast USA. I would actively avoid those flights, as I don't want to be in an aluminium tube for so long in one hit. Plus of course, all of those flights had some level of 'hubbing'....
 

flyer89

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Do you recall what your rosters used to look like when you first joined on the classic in the 80s?
 

RSD

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I doubt it. Most people do Dallas every now and then, but listening to themselves say "are we there yet", gets on the nerves.
As a pax I am willing to suffer the extra hours for better connections into eastern U.S., and it is about my limit for personal flight endurance, but I wouldn't do it for no benefit - but I think it would be horrid for crew.
 

jb747

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Do you recall what your rosters used to look like when you first joined on the classic in the 80s?
I might even have some on the computer at home.

They were generally built to a lower hours target than today. Even now, 160 is supposedly the target, but it tends to hang around 170-180. Back then 160, plus or minus 2, was it. (That's hours per 56 day period). Slips were generally much better too.

The biggest difference was that the rosters reflected a much better route structure. Not just because the company flew to more places, but the lack of bases mean that all destinations were shared out to everyone. Lots of things have happened over the years to change that. One was the advent of preferential bidding, which had the effect of allowing the (relatively) more senior to pick the eyes out of the flying. As a very junior SO, a SINGLE roster could include OZ, Singapore, Bangkok, Rome, Athens, London, Bahrain, Frankfurt, HK, Honolulu, Tahiti, San Francisco and LA.
 

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