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jb747

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I just keep thinking QF should have gone for the 777’s…
At which point? My understanding, from someone who would know, is that the 777 wasn't really suitable until they reached the -300. At that point Boeing pitched the 777 and 767-400 against the 380 and 330. Their pricing was apparently appalling, assuming that QF was a Boeing airline, and wouldn't look elsewhere.
 
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At which point? My understanding, from someone who would know, is that the 777 wasn't really suitable until they reached the -300. At that point Boeing pitched the 777 and 767-400 against the 380 and 330. Their pricing was apparently appalling, assuming that QF was a Boeing airline, and wouldn't look elsewhere.
I'd heard similar scuttlebutt conversation (most likely from people who didn't know) around the Boeing vs Airbus pricing and the A330-2xx and A330-3xx pricing being rock bottom to get QF to sign up to the 380's. However the operating costs of the 380 for flights > 9hrs proved to be significantly higher than those offered up by Airbus during the evaluation phase.

From a passenger perspective, besides the 4 * A300's from Australian Airlines in 1992, the introduction of the A330's from 2003 into the QF domestic and international fleet in 2003 seemed odd after years of Boeing including the purchases of around 70+ 737-800's and 747-400 ER's from around 2001. I'm guessing the establishment of training and logistics, spares, etc from a new manufacturer over a 10 year period would be significant when compared to a new aircraft type from the same manufacturer.

I was on the A330-2xx (EBA) back in April 2003 in Sydney when they ripped the door L2 off on pushback from Sydney. From memory that wasn't long after the A330 introduction in service and that particular aircraft was out of action for a while they sourced the spares and made the repairs. Not sure if that scenario was related to teething issues from the introduction of a new manufacturer. Having said that I recall being on a SYD-AKL-SYD flight/s on the then new 744's just after they had been introduced into service and there were a number of issues that resulted in delays....

As I said these observations are from a passenger perspective.

It looks like both Boeing and Airbus will be back in the ring sooner rather than later for a 737 Max vs A320 Neo bake off for the domestic market and probably the 787-x vs A350-1000 for the international market.
 
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jb747

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I'd heard similar scuttlebutt conversation (most likely from people who didn't know) around the Boeing vs Airbus pricing and the A330-2xx and A330-3xx pricing being rock bottom to get QF to sign up to the 380's. However the operating costs of the 380 for flights > 9hrs proved to be significantly higher than those offered up by Airbus during the evaluation phase.
The biggest issue with the 380 was always commercial. If you put a decent payload on it, then it was quite competitive. But, finding 450 people for each flight is much harder than finding 300.
From a passenger perspective, besides the 4 * A300's from Australian Airlines in 1992, the introduction of the A330's from 2003 into the QF domestic and international fleet in 2003 seemed odd after years of Boeing including the purchases of around 70+ 737-800's and 747-400 ER's from around 2001. I'm guessing the establishment of training and logistics, spares, etc from a new manufacturer over a 10 year period would be significant when compared to a new aircraft type from the same manufacturer.
It’s a cost, but only a one off cost, and if that breaks an expensive tie to an overpriced manufacturer, then it will be well worth it. Engineers tend to be qualified on both makers types anyway, as they also contract service other airlines. Cabin crew training on the equipment is pretty low key anyway. So that leaves you with the pilots, and even then I don’t think there was a great deal more to it than a normal conversion. They didn’t have separate ground school and sim training for the ex Boeing people. You did the AB course, and if you needed more at the ‘end’ then it was extended. I think the flying side was a bit longer, but as that’s on revenue service, it doesn’t have a great cost.
I was on the A330-2xx (EBA) back in April 2003 in Sydney when they ripped the door L2 off on pushback from Sydney. From memory that wasn't long after the A330 introduction in service and that particular aircraft was out of action for a while they sourced the spares and made the repairs. Not sure if that scenario was related to teething issues from the introduction of a new manufacturer. Having said that I recall being on a SYD-AKL-SYD flight/s on the then new 744's just after they had been introduced into service and there were a number of issues that resulted in delays....
Ah, I recall that event. Caused by cabin crew not following company procedures, and it would have happened on aircraft from either maker. It was a requirement that the doors never be opened without coughpit permission, and they skipped that step. As did the gate operator, who also was not supposed to move a gate back towards the aircraft without specific permission.
It looks like both Boeing and Airbus will be back in the ring sooner rather than later for a 737 Max vs A320 Neo bake off for the domestic market and probably the 787-x vs A350-1000 for the international market.
Well, I’m anti 737 Max. It’s not in the same league as the XLR/NEO. 787 and 350-1000 aren’t really competitors either. The 350 is, by far, the best choice for the ULR ops, though the mid sized 787s might be ok for the thinner routes. But, I’m now strongly anti Boeing, and until they pull their finger out, I wouldn’t buy any of their products. The 747-400 ER might be the last decent thing they made.
 

mjt57

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It's probably apocryphal, not because I don't believe that an airline CEO didn't know the difference, but because I think it's unlikely that he ever spoke to crew.
What was James Strong like? I thought that he was a great ambassador (if that's the right word) for motorsport, what with Qantas sponsoring the Australian Grand Prix (MotoGP and F1, I think).
 

jb747

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If you came across a flight plan that wasn't for a flight you were actually doing, and you noticed a gross error, would you alert 'operations'?
The scenario is fairly unlikely, as working pilots would rarely have much interest in another's plans. In any event, they're normally only available about an hour before departure, and so their owners would be looking at them at the same time as me, if not earlier. I'm pretty happy that they'd pick up anything.
 

AviatorInsight

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If you came across a flight plan that wasn't for a flight you were actually doing, and you noticed a gross error, would you alert 'operations'?
Absolutely! On the cover of the page is the flight number, date, aircraft rego and captain. So if any one of those was wrong you could tell straight away.

For instance if we have to have an aircraft swap then a new flight plan will need to be done as new weights will come into play.

It is also what gets filed with ATC. We have had to contact ops on the very rare occasion where we wanted more information on why they planned a certain way but that had more to do with an MEL application than anything else.

It is still a legal document and we still file them away in an aircraft envelope so it needs to be accurate.

Once we’ve dispatched though, the game changes. If the routing changes (which it often does) with restricted areas getting activated all of a sudden then the plan is exactly that…a plan.
 

jb747

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What was James Strong like? I thought that he was a great ambassador (if that's the right word) for motorsport, what with Qantas sponsoring the Australian Grand Prix (MotoGP and F1, I think).
How can I say this? How about, he was the best of the last three CEOs.

And speaking of flight plans with errors. On a Christmas day, about 20 years ago, I was scheduled to fly the ‘brown eye’ from Perth to Melbourne. So FO and I arrived at the company office at about 2300, and were handed our flight plan. First line contained a small error, which was then compounded the whole way through… It said 737, and we were a 767 crew. A look out the window to the gates showed a very distinct lack of 767s.
 
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Arrived into YSSY this morning on QF422 the 08:30am scheduled MEL/SYD 738 service. Pulled into Gate 6. Both the front and rear doors were opened for passengers to disembark. The CSM made an announcement that a new procedure has been put in place and "due to the configuration of the aircraft the process now is for passengers to disembark from the rear stairs [for about 30 seconds] prior to passengers being allowed to disembark via the aerobridge at the front of the plane. This is to ensure weight is kept on the nose wheel".

Not saying the CSM was making this up but in all the years of flying on QF's 738's I hadn't heard this one before.... I can imagine that freight / cargo aircraft would have to consider weight / balance on the ground and maybe some of the smaller commuter type aircraft (eg. ATR-72's) which embark / disembark via the rear stairs. Is weight and balance on the ground a big issue on the 738's? The obvious question would be what if they couldn't get passengers to disembark via the rear stairs?
 
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jb747

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Arrived into YSSY this morning on QF422 the 08:30am scheduled MEL/SYD 738 service. Pulled into Gate 6. Both the front and rear doors were opened for passengers to disembark. The CSM made an announcement that a new procedure has been put in place and "due to the configuration of the aircraft the process now is for passengers to disembark from the rear stairs [for about 30 seconds] prior to passengers being allowed to disembark via the aerobridge at the front of the plane. This is to ensure weight is kept on the nose wheel".

Not saying the CSM was making this up but in all the years of flying on QF's 738's I hadn't heard this one before.... I can imagine that freight / cargo aircraft would have to consider weight / balance on the ground and maybe some of the smaller commuter type aircraft (eg. ATR-72's) which embark / disembark via the rear stairs. Is weight and balance on the ground a big issue on the 738's?
There probably isn't as much weight on the nose gear as you might imagine. The moment arm to the rear doors is quite long. I'd have to admit being surprised that it's a problem, but I suspect that if it's become a procedure then they might have had an issue to base it upon.
The obvious question would be what if they couldn't get passengers to disembark via the rear stairs?
It wouldn't be an issue. The problem is too much weight at the rear, so if nobody would go via the rear stairs, it would simply mean that there would be even more weight towards the front.
 
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There probably isn't as much weight on the nose gear as you might imagine. The moment arm to the rear doors is quite long. I'd have to admit being surprised that it's a problem, but I suspect that if it's become a procedure then they might have had an issue to base it upon.
Besides an aircraft being at the gate with the nosewheel off the ground and the aircraft sitting on its rear are there any other indicators (sensors) that would let the tech / ground crew know the CofG is no longer forward of the wing.

Not sure if this issue with a United 737-900ER a few months back has caused Boeing or such like to issue a directive.

 
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AviatorInsight

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Arrived into YSSY this morning on QF422 the 08:30am scheduled MEL/SYD 738 service. Pulled into Gate 6. Both the front and rear doors were opened for passengers to disembark. The CSM made an announcement that a new procedure has been put in place and "due to the configuration of the aircraft the process now is for passengers to disembark from the rear stairs [for about 30 seconds] prior to passengers being allowed to disembark via the aerobridge at the front of the plane. This is to ensure weight is kept on the nose wheel".

Not saying the CSM was making this up but in all the years of flying on QF's 738's I hadn't heard this one before.... I can imagine that freight / cargo aircraft would have to consider weight / balance on the ground and maybe some of the smaller commuter type aircraft (eg. ATR-72's) which embark / disembark via the rear stairs. Is weight and balance on the ground a big issue on the 738's? The obvious question would be what if they couldn't get passengers to disembark via the rear stairs?
This is known as aircraft teetering (not to be confused with teething). It has been as issue with light loads and plenty of freight. Cabin crew will now be monitoring the flow of passengers in the aisle. If disembarkation is delayed or a steady flow can’t be achieved the will redirect passengers to the forward exit.

If it becomes suspected that a teetering event might occur, it becomes a coordination exercise between flight crew, cabin crew and ground crew. Passengers will then only disembark from the forward door only, once the rear hold has been emptied.

You may have noticed sometimes when boarding that a slight gap starts to occur between the aerobridge and the aircraft, or if you’re coming up via the rear stairs that it is an unusually long step into the aircraft. This is the onset of teetering and boarding should stop from that entry.
 

AviatorInsight

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Besides an aircraft being at the gate with the nosewheel off the ground and the aircraft sitting on its rear are there any other indicators (sensors) that would let the tech / ground crew know the CofG is no longer forward of the wing.
The nose oleo would be extended more than normal, I usually notice this as I do my walk around and a large gap between the stairs or aerobridge and the aircraft.
 

Saab34

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If you take too much fuel do you get a phone call? Or Email? Ie- please explain why you have costed us more etc...
 

AviatorInsight

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If you take too much fuel do you get a phone call? Or Email? Ie- please explain why you have costed us more etc...
Once upon a time I did get called in to a certain operator’s office posing that same question. To which I reminded them that diversions would cost them more and that it was my prerogative as the pilot in command.

A few months later a Westwind went into the drink because they ran out of fuel and didn’t have enough for an alternate.
 

JohnM

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Once upon a time I did get called in to a certain operator’s office posing that same question. To which I reminded them that diversions would cost them more and that it was my prerogative as the pilot in command.

A few months later a Westwind went into the drink because they ran out of fuel and didn’t have enough for an alternate.

But presumably the net result is neutral?

If 'too much' were taken on for a flight, and not fully used, then the flight that followed would not need as much - even if the Captain was ultra-cautious. Of course, I guess the price at different locations may impact on the bean counters' view of things.
 
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AviatorInsight

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But presumably the net result is neutral?

If 'too much' were taken on for a flight, and not fully used, then the flight that followed would not need as much - even if the Captain was ultra-cautious. Of course, I guess the price at different locations may impact on the bean counters' view of things.
Yes that’s true. But we’re not talking about ridiculous extra amounts of fuel. I like to carry an extra 30mins on a good day depending on the location which is about 1 tonne of fuel extra. To carry that fuel to the destination would only require a burn of about 50 - 75kg.

The bean counters do cringe a lot including trying out single engine taxi into the bay and not turning on the APU so early, or at all if ground power is available once we’ve chocked 😲.

At the outports on the turboprop there were call-out fees and the price of fuel was definitely different in each port. I’m not so sure about the jet operation if they hedge the fuel price everywhere or not. Not that it really comes into play. If I need the extra, I’ll have no hesitation to call the refueller out.
 
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jb747

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If you take too much fuel do you get a phone call? Or Email? Ie- please explain why you have costed us more etc...
There are legal implications to such behaviour. For instance, replying that you'd be happy to come and see them, but will be bringing along a representative from CASA would have them suddenly lose interest in seeing you.
But presumably the net result is neutral?

If 'too much' were taken on for a flight, and not fully used, then the flight that followed would not need as much - even if the Captain was ultra-cautious. Of course, I guess the price at different locations may impact on the bean counters' view of things.
No. There is a cost of carriage. In very rough figures, you'll burn any additional fuel in 24 hours. So, a 12 hour flight would burn about half of any extra. A one hour domestic would use about 5% of it.
Yes that’s true. But we’re not talking about ridiculous extra amounts of fuel. I like to carry an extra 30mins on a good day depending on the location which is about 1 tonne of fuel extra. To carry that fuel to the destination would only require a burn of about 50 - 75kg.

The bean counters do cringe a lot including trying out single engine taxi into the bay and not turning on the APU so early, or at all if ground power is available once we’ve chocked 😲.
The counters of beans assume that things would have gone their way, if you hadn't carried extra. So, it you put some on because you were concerned about the possibility of a diversion going in to Dubai, and that extra wasn't actually burnt, but its mere presence allowed you to continue, then they would have no idea of that outcome, and would simply assume that their lower figure would have been okay too.

They also never think things all the way through. For instance, once you have diverted, you generally go to the bottom of the priority list. So, it may not be a splash and dash, but in the worst case could mean finding another crew and flying them in to the diversion field. My job was to make problems go away, not to invite them.

Mind you, it was a good laugh, when sitting in the holding pattern (at Dubai), one of the zero extra fuel men arrived, and he couldn't cover the holding and had to immediately divert. We held, then landed at destination. The other aircraft was still on the ground at the diversion field when I was up to my second beer.
 

jb747

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I saw a picture today, from one of my friends who was back in the 380 sim after almost 2 years. It’s been relocated to Melbourne. Some sort of shared facility…some of the sims have Ansett markings.
 

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