United 724 "Overburn"

UAL747400

Well-Known Member
#61
I'd expect the discussion to be different if it were a part 91 Gulfstream.

The Gulfstream isn't really subject to operating under a system where profit margin matters. Not saying they'd throw away money, but if you've got one jet that flies probably a lot less per year than a 777 does, then it doesn't matter so much if you take a bunch of extra gas each time you go up.

If United takes several tons of unnecessary fuel on top of the reserve/alternate/etc. fuel for it's entire fleet of 777s all year long, it's going to add up and will result in a lot of wasted money.

The two scenarios are not similar.
 

dustoff17

Well-Known Member
#67
Hey, since we're speculating anyway...................

If you look at the forcast winds aloft around the time of take off, I think you'll see that what the plane ran into was present prior to departure. Now, I agree that they MAY not have been the night before when the dispatcher plugged everything in and ordered fuel. I'm not a 121 guy but I do wonder if the CA/FO knew the current wind conditions and didn't want to get into the big hassle of having to justify himself just because he asked for more fuel.

Could this have been the Captain saying to himself: "I'm the Captain/PIC, I should be able to order fuel without involving an argument with a dispatcher or an act of Congress. Soooo, since the Company wants to play this game, so shall I. After all, you guys are the ones that negotiated our contract to make it almost impossible for me to take command of my own airplane. Therefore, I'm going to play the game, release the brake, go fly, and come right back to Hawaii! There, in your United Airlines face!!"?

This might have been a stand against the establishment.....just a thought..........

P.S. I don't know the crew, I'm just spit-balling....
 

Nick

Well-Known Member
#68
The number i have seen is 2 pounds per 100 pounds per hour. That adds up pretty quickly.
I was going to reply to MikeD but this goes with what I have read or been told.

Right around 2-3% of fuel is burned carrying itself.

Obviously not a huge issue on a 50-100 seater doing 60-90 minute flights as most of the flight is going to be ATC assigned speeds anyway and economics goes out the window.

But certainly an issue for adding another couple thousand pounds, daily on a given flight.
 
#71
@UAL747400
Where is the complencency? Your depth of knowledge is being shown in this thread.
This isn't the same fuel consideration when someone else pays for it, further, flying from California to Hawaii isn't like flying the islands.



@MikeD , I've seen $3 savings and $300 savings for fuel tanking.
1000lbs burnt at $1.50 a gallon is significant when you don't tank at $2/gal.
Case in point: we tank 20,000 lbs when going to Latin America because buying fuel there is expensive. To the accountants, it's worth the increase fuel burn. Where as going from east to west coast, it's not because fuel prices are relatively close.
 
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#74
Of course. And I think two oil tankers in order to run crude from the gulf to PA.
Do you guys tanker much?

I wonder where time cost / benefit becomes a wash when dealing with transportation logistics. It's not like you can just top off a 757 trans con and have them de-fuel the excess on the west coast as a delivery method. (Well, I suppose you could...)
 

Derg

Cap, Roci
Staff member
#75
Do you guys tanker much?

I wonder where time cost / benefit becomes a wash when dealing with transportation logistics. It's not like you can just top off a 757 trans con and have them de-fuel the excess on the west coast as a delivery method. (Well, I suppose you could...)
Sometimes yes, sometimes no.

Some cities have ridiculously priced fuel so we may tanker in and add less before departure. Or get fat on gas in PA near the refinery and tanker, or on charters. It really all depends.
 

Cptnchia

Dissatisfied Customer
#76
Does delta still have their refinery? / if they do is be interested to see their fuel strategys
I can tell you that for nine years flying international, of all the flights I did, we asked for extra gas maybe 5/6 times and only got pushback once. It was common to just accept the dispatcher's fuel load. Only twice did we have an issue. Once to stronger than forecast headwinds winds, and once because the ground handler saw fit to load an additional few thousand pounds of cargo and neglected to tell anyone.
 

DE727UPS

Well-Known Member
#77
I do flights between the west coast and hawaii and back quite a bit. I have to trust that the the winds I'm given on the release will be accurate. I believe our releases are based on fairly current winds as they don't print them out until just before departure but I will have to check closer next time. We do note our actual burns vs predicted burns over each waypoint. We also have a FMC predicted fuel at the half way point and at landing. If my burns were high I'd look at what I'd have at the half way point to see if I was legal and if not talk to dispatch and see if we could adjust an alternate or even find a closer destination to make it work. I think what happened was the crew was "over burn" and talked to dispatch. The crew was probably looking at the FMC predicted fuel and thinking they might be okay but the dispatcher was smart enough to consider an ETOPS contingency where you have to have enough fuel to fly at 10000 ft due to a loss of cabin pressure and still have enough gas. You burn a lot more gas at 10K. So, when they looked at the possible loss of pressurization scenario it wasn't going to work out so they had to turn around even though the FMC predicted fuel might have had them landing with a safe amount of gas. All this is speculation. Where I work there was a flight recently where they were over burn and had to turn around. It was supposed to be a ferry flight with no cargo and the release reflected that. The gateway put cargo on, though, and the crew didn't think about the extra burn. They were checking the burn at each waypoint, were over burn, and had to turn around. The big takeaway for us was to make sure our actual takeoff weights are less than release weights. I check it every time now.....
 

Derg

Cap, Roci
Staff member
#78
Probably depends on the flight plan too.

Sometimes we would dispatch from, say, LFPG to KPWM fully intending to fly to KJFK. If the fuel exceeded a particular amount over our re-dispatch point, we'd continue to the intended destination.
 

Nick

Well-Known Member
#79
[re: UAL747400]
Complacency? Please explain in detail since you seem to have intimate knowledge of what took place.
Speaking of which, here's a quote off another airline's forum:

"Guys I was flying LAX HNL when United exited the track at cort and followed us into HNL. They were on 123.45 asking other flights about winds and explained they had been racking their brains for an hour to make sure it was not a math screw up or departed with out enough fuel.

All other carriers AA, AK, DL had winds with in 10 degrees and 10 knots of forecast... UAL software was way off, 80 degress and 75 knts at one point they said. It was. A 777 and the UA 73 behind them on common was having the same issue but had enough at the ETP to continue. "
 

BobDispatch

Well-Known Member
#80
I do flights between the west coast and hawaii and back quite a bit. I have to trust that the the winds I'm given on the release will be accurate. I believe our releases are based on fairly current winds as they don't print them out until just before departure but I will have to check closer next time. We do note our actual burns vs predicted burns over each waypoint. We also have a FMC predicted fuel at the half way point and at landing. If my burns were high I'd look at what I'd have at the half way point to see if I was legal and if not talk to dispatch and see if we could adjust an alternate or even find a closer destination to make it work. I think what happened was the crew was "over burn" and talked to dispatch. The crew was probably looking at the FMC predicted fuel and thinking they might be okay but the dispatcher was smart enough to consider an ETOPS contingency where you have to have enough fuel to fly at 10000 ft due to a loss of cabin pressure and still have enough gas. You burn a lot more gas at 10K. So, when they looked at the possible loss of pressurization scenario it wasn't going to work out so they had to turn around even though the FMC predicted fuel might have had them landing with a safe amount of gas. All this is speculation. Where I work there was a flight recently where they were over burn and had to turn around. It was supposed to be a ferry flight with no cargo and the release reflected that. The gateway put cargo on, though, and the crew didn't think about the extra burn. They were checking the burn at each waypoint, were over burn, and had to turn around. The big takeaway for us was to make sure our actual takeoff weights are less than release weights. I check it every time now.....
Winner Winner! This is pretty darn close.

Only one thing I will add to this from a dispatch perspective. It always seems as if pilots are to trusting of the FMC. If all of your burns were matching up with the flight plan cross check but your FMC was off. You talk with dispatch and they cross check the burn and run you a new flight plan and everything they advise say continue.

Honestly I want real answers. How many of you could go against the FMC?
 
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