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Old Jan 15, 08, 7:33 pm   #1
 
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1/15/2008 UA 901 FRA-SFO diverted to OAK [Updated 2010 News Reports]

Just saw on the news and confirmed by UAL.COM.

FRA-SFO UA 901 was diverted to OAK due to fuel! Apparently there is some cargo on that flight that is deemed as "life saving." Seems like someone at Stanford Medical center is awaiting a bone marrow transplant and the marrow was on the flight from FRA. They are now questioning if the marrow is still good. Saw this on local ABC affiliate.

Quote:
Flight 901
Arrived at Gate
Details Frankfurt, Germany (FRA)
Tue, Jan 15
Scheduled: 2:00 PM
Actual: 2:14 PM
Reason: Schedule change due to Air Traffic Control
Gate: C08
Oakland, CA (OAK)
Tue, Jan 15
Scheduled: 4:21 PM
Actual: 4:24 PM
Reason: Schedule change due to Air Traffic Control
Gate: --
Baggage claim: --

Flight 901
Departed Gate
Details Oakland, CA (OAK)
Tue, Jan 15
Scheduled: 4:41 PM
Actual: 6:11 PM
Reason: Schedule change due to Aircraft Servicing
Gate: --
San Francisco, CA (SFO)
Tue, Jan 15
Scheduled: 4:31 PM
Estimated: 6:40 PM
Reason: Schedule change due to Aircraft Servicing
international terminal concourse g
Gate: 97
Baggage claim: --

Last edited by kluau88; Jan 15, 08 at 7:57 pm.
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Old Jan 15, 08, 7:39 pm   #2
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kluau88 View Post
Apparently there is some cargo on that flight that is deemed as life threatening.
Most people would consider bone marrow to be life-saving, not life threatening.

But the diversion looks like it was due to ATC, not fuel... at least based on the stats you posted. Then the aircraft had to be serviced at OAK, adding to the delay.

The city was fairly foggy for much of the day, so that may have been a contributing factor for the diversion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kluau88 View Post
They are now questioning if the marrow is still good.
Strange... the flight was delayed only 3 minutes and the drive from OAK is only 15 minutes longer than from SFO (assuming the Dumbarton bridge isn't backed up). One would think an extra hour on ice, after spending 10 hours in the air already, wouldn't really change things... then again, IANAMD. Unless they couldn't get the marrow out of the hold at OAK, which seems a little weird... if it was a LifeGuard flight, one would think they'd allow the special cargo to be removed ASAP.
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Old Jan 15, 08, 7:45 pm   #3
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cepheid View Post
Unless they couldn't get the marrow out of the hold at OAK, which seems a little weird... if it was a LifeGuard flight, one would think they'd allow the special cargo to be removed ASAP.
What kind of customs procedures/delays are there on transplantable human tissue?
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Old Jan 15, 08, 8:02 pm   #4
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jd2000 View Post
What kind of customs procedures/delays are there on transplantable human tissue?
Don't know. It's not exactly agricultural so I don't think you have to dump it in the bin before you leave. And in principle it's priceless to the recipient, so it should be infinitely taxed. In reality, I have no clue.
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Old Jan 15, 08, 8:05 pm   #5
 
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I've miss all the action this past month happening out of SFO and OAK.

Last edited by hsxagent; Jan 15, 08 at 8:19 pm.
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Old Jan 15, 08, 8:09 pm   #6
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jd2000 View Post
What kind of customs procedures/delays are there on transplantable human tissue?
The carriers of the transplant material are granted priority boarding and elite security lines. However, they are not granted access at any of the lounges, save for USO if the materials are destined for a member of the military.



(I apologize in advance for not addressing the question specifically)
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Old Jan 15, 08, 8:17 pm   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjgollum View Post
The carriers of the transplant material are granted priority boarding and elite security lines.
If the transplant organs came from a GS, or if they're going to a GS, do they get GS treatment?
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Old Jan 15, 08, 11:23 pm   #8
 
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I was on that flight...

UA 901 (744 aircraft) was diverted to OAK today due to a malfunction in the instrument landing system, compounded by fog and fuel. I was on that flight. Here's my take on the story:

We were on our final approach to 28R at SFO in patchy fog. I've landed on this runway countless times, but when I looked out the window right before landing, I thought "holy $#?&, we're really close to the water." Sure enough, the pilot went full throttle, pulled up, and channel 9 went dead. Seemed like a missed approach. We circled around and missed our next approach as well. After this missed approach, the captain announced we were diverting to OAK. We landed at OAK, parked at gate 1 at OAK, but nobody was allowed to disembark, and to the best of my knowledge, no cargo was unloaded. Some maintenance employees came on board, and there was a constant stream of pilots and maintenance crew in and out of the cockpit. The bottom line (inferred from announcements and overheard snippets). Our ILS was malfunctioning, hence the dangerously low approach the first time, and the failure to land on a subsequent time in fog.

The ILS could not be repaired in a reasonable timeframe (especially now that the OAK maintenance facility is closed) so the options were
1. Wait 5-6 hours for border patrol to set-up an adequate passport control and customs operation
2. Refuel the plane, wait for the weather to improve to allow a visual landing at SFO, and fly across the bay to SFO.

The captain opted for #2, which yielded a 2.5 hour ground hold in OAK. Glad I was in row 15.

It was fun to be on an OAK-SFO flight (my first ever), and on a 747, no less. About 10 minutes of airtime. The FA's remained seated for the whole flight, but once we were on a final approach, the purser jokingly made a call for "flight attendants, prepare for arrival." Visibility was great at this point, and we landed pretty smoothly on the first approach. Too bad channel 9 was off for this segment as well.
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Old Jan 15, 08, 11:49 pm   #9
 
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Probably one of the shorter 747 flights that can be made between two different airports except BFI-SEA
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Old Jan 16, 08, 12:50 pm   #10
 
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Yeah... at 11 miles, it was longer than BFI-SEA or the shortest scheduled commercial flight (Westray-Papa Westray in the Orknies, ~2mi), but pretty impressive for a 747. Especially when many carriers fly 757s from the east coast to Europe.

For the next few hours, there's a little route map available on flightaware. http://flightaware.com/live/flight/UAL901
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Old Jan 16, 08, 12:58 pm   #11
 
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Do you get an additional 500 miles?
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Old Jan 16, 08, 1:26 pm   #12
 
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It was an award ticket, so I can't even pretend that I should've gotten the extra miles.
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Old Jan 16, 08, 3:12 pm   #13
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cap'n Adventure View Post
It was an award ticket, so I can't even pretend that I should've gotten the extra miles.
But did you ask for compensation? An SWU or two seems to be in order here for the near-wet-feet-landing and the subsequent sightseeing flight
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Old Jan 16, 08, 6:13 pm   #14
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What about soiled trousers?
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Old Jan 17, 08, 4:16 am   #15
 
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Apparently there were several SFO diversions in the morning due to the fog. I was at the SFO RCC late that afternoon and the agent at the front desk mentioned an inbound 777 (I believe it was coming in from Asia) had diverted to Reno that morning.
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