Does anyone have any idea what QF780 is doing tonight?

exLXCXFF

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Just came across this weird flight path (and checked on other tracking sites too). Anyone any idea what they might be doing? Couldn’t see any NOTAM’s along the way…

Maybe @jb747 ?

IMG_0006.jpeg
 
ADL has runway works after 11pm so it's not a suitable diversion port. Looking at the history of VH-EBB, my guess is there's ETOPS restrictions or something along those lines. We don't have that many diversion port options in AU capable of handling A330s.
 
The route makes zero sense. It shouldn't be anything to do with ETOPS. Even with Adelaide out of the picture, you don't need any change to the normal routing with 3 hour ETOPS. Even 2 would work. If you were reduced to one hour, then Kalgoorlie, and Alice Springs could be used. Your track would probably go over Adelaide in that case.

Perhaps even more curiously, according to my normal source, that flight didn't exist.
 
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This is extremely unlikely, as I’m sure their flight plan would have been picked up by SIC, ATC and by so many other checks and balances, but simply by looking at the routing, it’s almost as if the Flight Deck wasn’t paying attention to their destination after a busy day and incorrectly entered something like Brisbane/Mackay into the FMC. 3 hours into the flight they had an Oh cough moment and course corrected.

Pilot to Company - “nothing to see here”.
 
It seems the aircraft got even further in QLD before turning around.


Original arrival of 11:55pm was instead 2:08am...

Also interesting altiude change to 41,000ft as soon as they hit NSW?
 
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ADL has runway works after 11pm so it's not a suitable diversion port. Looking at the history of VH-EBB, my guess is there's ETOPS restrictions or something along those lines. We don't have that many diversion port options in AU capable of handling A330s.
I'm an ATC at Melbourne Centre and this is what the pilots told us when we asked them about this route last night. They couldn't accept much, if any, track shortening or rerouting.
 
it’s almost as if the Flight Deck wasn’t paying attention to their destination after a busy day and incorrectly entered something like Brisbane/Mackay into the FMC. 3 hours into the flight they had an Oh cough moment and course corrected.

Pilot to Company - “nothing to see here”.
They got stuck watching the director's cut of the safety video and that sent them on a magical (place) mystery tour
 
This is extremely unlikely, as I’m sure their flight plan would have been picked up by SIC, ATC and by so many other checks and balances, but simply by looking at the routing, it’s almost as if the Flight Deck wasn’t paying attention to their destination after a busy day and incorrectly entered something like Brisbane/Mackay into the FMC. 3 hours into the flight they had an Oh cough moment and course corrected.

Pilot to Company - “nothing to see here”.
FlightAware shows the route that was filed on the flight plan:

M082F390 DCT AMANA Y31 LAKIR Y69 BOSLI Y67 KG DCT PINAV/M082F410 DCT 2709S13312E 2511S13748E 2330S14100E 2457S14307E 2530S14400E DCT MIMIB Y33 BORLI UQ346 POLSO/M083F400 Q35 CANTY H119 ARBEY DCT

Dropping that routing into SkyVector shows that they flew almost exactly as planned:

Screenshot 2024-02-16 at 11.38.46 am.png
 
FlightAware shows the route that was filed on the flight plan:

M082F390 DCT AMANA Y31 LAKIR Y69 BOSLI Y67 KG DCT PINAV/M082F410 DCT 2709S13312E 2511S13748E 2330S14100E 2457S14307E 2530S14400E DCT MIMIB Y33 BORLI UQ346 POLSO/M083F400 Q35 CANTY H119 ARBEY DCT

Dropping that routing into SkyVector shows that they flew almost exactly as planned:

View attachment 371353

Yep when we saw the plane depart Perth with this route filed, it caused a bit of a stir in the Ops Room! Don't think I've seen an ETOPS route like this before.
 
Looks like VH-EBB is operating QF769 currently - they are tracking over land not over the bight which suggests ETDO issue. Flight time of nearly 5 hours MEL-PER.... issues really common for the A330s now.
 
I can recall with some certainty that this has happened previously with one of the initial A332’s that VA had acquired from EK. I’d have to dig it out but I am fairly sure it was discussed on here.
 
A bit more of a play with the numbers, and my conclusion is that the aircraft is on this route because it is not ETOPs capable at all. And that means that even if Adelaide had been open, it still would have been on this convoluted route. Tech log would be interesting.
 
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