United Airlines stranded at immigrationless Canberra

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markis10

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Re: CBR AP takes International flights (temporarily)

I'm these situations with reduced runway availability do long hauls get ATC priority? Wouldn't they have been scheduled to use 16R?

Not necessarily, priority does not change as such which is why aircraft divert when fuel is below requirements.
 

markis10

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QF doesn't have any flight crew rated on 777s. VA does.

UA would have contacted CBR ground staff to service the aircraft. The only thing QF would have been involved with is some of their ground equipment (ie, air stairs) being moved over.

We don't know off QF have any 777 type rated staff, I suspect they actually do just like they have 757 rated crew.
 

DC3

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Re: CBR AP takes International flights (temporarily)

A welcome to Australia's Capital that many will not forget.
 
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Himeno

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so QF even gets dragged into a UA and CBR airport debacle:rolleyes:
QF and CBR don't really have anything to do with this. Customs staff at based at CBR could have process the aircraft had UA asked them to. They likely didn't because their aircraft still had to go to SYD and had they been processed in CBR, they would arrive in SYD as domestic and the UA staff at SYD don't know how that would work while still needing to arrive at T1.
UA had new crew position down from SYD to complete the flight.
 

Himeno

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Re: CBR AP takes International flights (temporarily)

Would not have been pleasant onboard, particularly for the guy who missed his SYD-CBR conx flight :)
I had that on my KUL divert as well. Flying LHR-SIN, 10 hours in SIN, SIN-KUL. QF-JL. Turned into land in KUL, fly on to SIN. 6 hours in SIN, then back to KUL. Other pax were worried about their connections to PER.

Now that I think about it, none of the flights involved with that experience still exist.
 

dk4

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Re: CBR AP takes International flights (temporarily)

Unlike the USA, our major passenger airports are market driven profit enterprises. So CBR airport would have been able to offer increased assistance to UA, beyond a safe place to land, if UA were willing to pay the price.

This should be a lesson to all carriers operating to Australia, that they need to have formalised agreements in place with terminal management and service providers at their designated alternate aiports for emergencies (beyond the humanitarian right to an emergency landing).

UA clearly didn't want to pay, so minimal service was provided to them.
 
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I was amazed reading articles in the press which indicated that Canberra Airport would assist if United asked. Surely a customer focused organisation would be proactive in finding out the needs of their client (UA no doubt would have had to pay landing and holding fees).

Quite frankly looked like very poor performance from CBR today.

Given the capital needs to process military and political persons through customs (at the Air Force side) surely there are some people in Canberra who can do immigration, Customs etc. looks like the airport doesn't have a very sophisticated contingency Mangement plan.

Their lack of performance make the whole of Australia look unsophisticated, particularly being our national capital.
 

Himeno

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Given the capital needs to process military and political persons through customs (at the Air Force side) surely there are some people in Canberra who can do immigration, Customs etc.
There are. There are customs staff at the airport and more down the road at border agency HQ buildings.
The airline needs to ask (and pay) for such a thing to happen. Processing at CBR would create other issues down the track. eg, if processing happened at CBR, then any flight on UA back to SYD would be a domestic flight. UA are not allowed to carry domestic AU pax.
It would be much easier and more efficient to do what they did. Send UA crew (who would have been ready to fly the aircraft back to the US) down to CBR to replace the crew that was out of hours and fly to SYD where the flight could be processed as normal.
The only issue is what happened at CBR while waiting for the replacement crew to arrive. And that is down to any agreement that may or may not exist between UA and CBR (or any other diversion airport).

The same "problems" could happen anywhere. Such as when QF7 arrives near DFW to find they are unable to land and have to put down at IAH.
 

Phalanger

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We don't know off QF have any 777 type rated staff, I suspect they actually do just like they have 757 rated crew.
They don't, and simply having type rated pilots is not enough. Each airline must have their pilot procedures approved and they would not be allowed to crew a UA flight.
 
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markis10

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They don't, and simply having type rated pilots is not enough. Each airline must have their pilots rates and they would not be allowed to crew a UA flight.

I am not saying they would crew a UA plane, but they do have a couple I know, so saying they have no rated 777 pilots is not correct, and of course JQ have many.
 

VHOEJ

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The only link to QF is the operating crew were out of hours when they landed - so UA had to send back ups who were in SYD so they had to fly QF to get to CBR.

But seriously, what an embarrassing outcome for this country, especially our nations capital.
 

jb747

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The only link to QF is the operating crew were out of hours when they landed - so UA had to send back ups who were in SYD so they had to fly QF to get to CBR.

But seriously, what an embarrassing outcome for this country, especially our nations capital.

The original comment on the media was that they were waiting for two QF pilots...not for their own pilots to pax down on a QF aircraft. In any event, whilst there are some QF pilots who have flown the 777 , as far as I know there are none who are actually rated on the aircraft. Nor would they have US licences, endorsements, or be current. As for the comment about a helicopter pilot...well the problem there is that they normally do the stopping before the landing, and we all know that doesn't work well with a 777.

Actually nothing in this is all that unusual. When the Singair aircraft diverted to Baku the passengers were stuck in the terminal for a day or so until a replacement aircraft arrived. And whilst the Americans might like to say it wouldn't happen at home, it most certainly could. Customs and immigration is a big factor in deciding where to divert.

The real question is just why the runway was closed at short notice in the first place. Was the debris real? On more than one runway? At the intersection?
 

Scr77

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The real question is just why the runway was closed at short notice in the first place. Was the debris real? On more than one runway? At the intersection?

I would have thought 'Debris' would be quick to clean up. Wouldn't the 777 had enough fuel reserves to circle for an hour?

Edit: google brings up article about runway being shut for 35mins.
 

Scr77

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rotflmao....

Very funny....Had to google that.

Im a crane operator. Do you say that because the 777 should have had enough fuel or because as a passenger I'm a little naive?
 

anat0l

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Actually nothing in this is all that unusual. When the Singair aircraft diverted to Baku the passengers were stuck in the terminal for a day or so until a replacement aircraft arrived.

At least they were in a terminal, a definite roof of some description, plus they were able to be effectively brought supplies in a more agreeable environment.

I suppose in times of desperation, the aircraft can be like a castle, but given that supplies were at barebones and sanitation was a bit of an issue, it's a tenuous situation and not all that comfortable.

Customs and immigration is a big factor in deciding where to divert.

I'm assuming this is factored into Qantas protocol. It would seem UA have a bit of an oversight in this regard, since they seem to have included CBR. But, I suppose, as others have said, by the time the debris was discovered and landing at SYD was not viable, there may not have been enough fuel to go any where else realistically, let alone circle.

I suppose some boffin now is going to argue that the fuel tanks should now have additional contingency from now on to remove CBR as a diversion port and better account for a case like this. (And that boffin will be rebuffed because, as we know too well in commercial aviation, fuel costs are big bucks).

But seriously, what an embarrassing outcome for this country, especially our nations capital.

What for? It can't be a serious embarrassment "especially our nation's capital". Most Australians - except maybe the politicians and Canberrans - are well aware of the inadequacy of the national capital's airport to be able to handle any feasible international commercial aviation operations, let alone irregular situations. It's basically like criticising your son for losing a game of tennis when he is actually a rugby player, and the rebuke is meant to be, "Well, they're both bl**dy sports".

Beyond actually providing C&I facilities, which is questionable as previously raised, maybe there might have been a better way to accommodate the wayward aircraft in terms of supplies and sanitation, but that's about it. Part of this probably will - and deservedly so - be directing flak back to UA route planning for having CBR as a diversion airport.

I would agree that for the UA pax to think they could just be easily let into Australia (i.e. immigration) temporarily on account of their situation is unrealistic. I suppose we come back to the argument that "at least they were kept alive and it was beyond control of <blah blah blah>", so shut up about your supposed inhumane treatment....... hey, they're still getting better treatment than refugees...
 

777

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While "immirationless" is probably a typo it's not a bad description of this situation.
 

Himeno

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Very funny....Had to google that.

Im a crane operator. Do you say that because the 777 should have had enough fuel or because as a passenger I'm a little naive?
They had just flown for 14 hours from SFO.
UA only has 777-200s and 777-200ERs. Only their 200ER can reach SYD/CBR from SFO. It can't do SFO-MEL, and if they were close to landing in SYD when the runway was closed, they wouldn't have had to fuel to turn around and go to BNE. (A 777-200LR or -300ER wouldn't have an issue, UA doesn't have any)
By the time they reached SYD airspace, they would have had about 1 hour of fuel and were faced with "runway closed, duration unknown". Their options would have been either orbit SYD for an hour and hope the runway opened in time, or go to CBR 20 mins away.
 

jb747

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Very funny....Had to google that.

Im a crane operator. Do you say that because the 777 should have had enough fuel or because as a passenger I'm a little naive?

I'm always amused by the assumption that aircraft arrive anywhere with lots of fuel. They could legally land with 30 minutes to dry tanks....
 

get me outta here

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Yes, I have to overfly LAX on QF once and land at LAS. All the J pax were milling about sociably eating drinking and generally being merry upfront whilst the Y pax were all strapped in their seats looking absolutely miserable. We were not allowed off at all. I could see LAS so near and yet so far, then we went back to LAX.

Better than service I received after a QF A380 broke down, "we'll just be around 40 mins before departing". More than 4 hours later there was almost a mutiny. (lucky I was in J)

Matt
 
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