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Flying into Japan's Earthquake - Insider's Story

Flying into Japan's Earthquake - Insider's Story

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Old Mar 19, 11, 8:43 am
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Old Mar 19, 11, 9:35 am
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Originally Posted by mtkeller View Post
And I would really like to say that flaming a pilot who's giving his account of what's going through his mind after a stressful diversion that saved the lives of the passengers and crew on his plane is seriously uncalled for.
Thank you . . . There are those who either don't read, just a rude by nature or Tools. This was an honest accounting of the immediate events and thoughts. It was not a statement of the totality of events or the meaning of life. Simply a valuable view of what was going on in the air.

Originally Posted by mtkeller View Post
The pilot wrote that account for fellow pilots, as best as I can tell, and I have no problem with a little levity. I would not read that as complaining, and in fact the pilot was pointing out that he decided that the paperwork hassle was worth getting his plane out of the sky
Again, THANK YOU! Levity is a valuable tool when you are decompressing an event you may train for; but, pray you never have to experience.
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Old Mar 19, 11, 9:55 am
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I'm quite surprised these smaller airports were able to handle the influx of passengers at all. I recall a Northwest 744 getting diverted to a small airport a few years ago. They weren't allowed to deplane until the next day because the airport didn't know what to do. It turned out to be pretty dire since they really didn't have much food or water left at the point they landed.
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Old Mar 19, 11, 10:08 am
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I loved having the report. I can't imagine why the poster was flamed.
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Old Mar 19, 11, 10:08 am
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Thank you...

Thank you for the informative narrative of what happened from a pilot's perspective.

Thank you for handling very difficult and chaotic situation with a logical approach that also insured the safety of everyone aboard the aircraft. This forum tends to focus a lot on the hard product, but it really helps to know that we can count on the pilot(s) in situations like this. I would be happy to fly on your aircraft anytime!
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Old Mar 19, 11, 11:52 am
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to the OP:
how does the company handle payment for fuel, etc when you land in an airport where DL doesn't fly? Are there arrangements quickly made? How does that work?

Somewhere I read where a pilot put fuel for a plane on his personal credit card in a similar situation but maybe that was an urban legend....or a movie...my memory blurs...
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Old Mar 19, 11, 11:55 am
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Originally Posted by FL2009 View Post
to the OP:
how does the company handle payment for fuel, etc when you land in an airport where DL doesn't fly? Are there arrangements quickly made? How does that work?

Somewhere I read where a pilot put fuel for a plane on his personal credit card in a similar situation but maybe that was an urban legend....or a movie...my memory blurs...
As I stated above, the original post here was not written by an FTer. In fact, it wasn't even written by a poster on the message board from which it was acquired, so don't expect a response from the pilot. However, there is some pretty good knowledge of the industry here, so hopefully someone else can answer the question.
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Old Mar 19, 11, 11:58 am
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Very interesting. Things worked very differently from what I imagined... I somehow thought that ATC would be deciding where the planes should go, instead of each pilot scrambling to find suitable airports.
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Old Mar 19, 11, 12:05 pm
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Originally Posted by srirams View Post
Very interesting. Things worked very differently from what I imagined... I somehow thought that ATC would be deciding where the planes should go, instead of each pilot scrambling to find suitable airports.
That's only going to work if ATC knows how much fuel each pilot has left.
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Old Mar 19, 11, 12:12 pm
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Originally Posted by mtkeller View Post
That's only going to work if ATC knows how much fuel each pilot has left.
ATC does. Technically, at least. They know time of departure, how much fuel is on board (in units of hours and minutes), and they know the current time.

How that is used in the fog of diversion is another matter.
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Old Mar 19, 11, 12:20 pm
  #26  
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Originally Posted by FL2009 View Post
to the OP:
how does the company handle payment for fuel, etc when you land in an airport where DL doesn't fly? Are there arrangements quickly made? How does that work?

Somewhere I read where a pilot put fuel for a plane on his personal credit card in a similar situation but maybe that was an urban legend....or a movie...my memory blurs...
A number of years ago a NW flight from BOM-AMS diverted to Tehran, Iran due to smoke in the cargo hold. According to the account below the company basically said "figure it out" which left the crew to do most of the negotiations. There is a rather lengthy podcast as well that I am planning on listening at some point this weekend.
http://www.flightpodcast.com/episode...41-into-tehran
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Old Mar 19, 11, 1:31 pm
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Originally Posted by FL2009 View Post
to the OP:
how does the company handle payment for fuel, etc when you land in an airport where DL doesn't fly? Are there arrangements quickly made? How does that work?

Somewhere I read where a pilot put fuel for a plane on his personal credit card in a similar situation but maybe that was an urban legend....or a movie...my memory blurs...
Today this is nearly a non-issue for major carriers.

There are only 3-4 major fuel distribuition companies out there anymore and carriers have agreements with most if not all. Any other uses; i.e. ground handling, catering, terminal use, landing fees, security, PFC's, etc etc are all billed out.

Back in the day, we had what was called "captain's checks" I would carry mine in my cap along with med/flight certs. If we pulled up in the remote locations either planned or unplanned, it was how we biz.

I can assure you that use of personal credit cards have happened and still do. Especially in the charter world where it is impossible to factor ALL the airports that we would rarely ever land at. Although most of the stories are limited to buying pizza when there is no local catering.
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Old Mar 19, 11, 1:48 pm
  #28  
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Originally Posted by FL2009 View Post
Somewhere I read where a pilot put fuel for a plane on his personal credit card in a similar situation but maybe that was an urban legend....or a movie...my memory blurs...
I do recall TWA (later Delta) flight attendant Uli Derickson used her personal credit card to purchase fuel in Beirut for the aircraft during the flight 847 hijacking back in 1985.
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Old Mar 19, 11, 1:49 pm
  #29  
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Originally Posted by EXLEFTSEAT View Post
Forgot to send my congratulations to your recent "check out". Congrats
Folks, this was not my flight. A colleague shared this and I thought it has valuable information considering the multitude of threads, comments and angst regarding what happened onboard flights during the earthquake.

This is just a snapshot of course and IMO, is a VERY well written representation of our CRM and thoughts as events develop.

.
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Old Mar 19, 11, 11:17 pm
  #30  
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Originally Posted by FL2009 View Post
to the OP:
how does the company handle payment for fuel, etc when you land in an airport where DL doesn't fly? Are there arrangements quickly made? How does that work?

Somewhere I read where a pilot put fuel for a plane on his personal credit card in a similar situation but maybe that was an urban legend....or a movie...my memory blurs...
I have a friend who is the China MD for a largish cargo airline, and this is exactly the way they do business. In rare cases, he sends an employee to the diversion airport with cash, but they rely on (company) credits for the most part.
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