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US westbound fuel stops (Late Dec 2021)

US westbound fuel stops (Late Dec 2021)

Old Dec 25, 21, 5:24 pm
  #1  
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US westbound fuel stops (Late Dec 2021)

UA 2303 is being proactively diverted to IAH, ostensibly for fuel. The ground staff in IAD is blaming it on high winds in San DiegoÖÖbut considering the metars in SAN donít support that assertion, itís more like IMHO winds aloft that necessitate a gas ní go in Houston.

if so, why do you suppose that UA prefers to do a 90 min diversion to Houston on Christmas Day, on the A320, as opposed to offloading some belly cargo in IAD, so as to onload more fuel and operate nonstop?
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Old Dec 25, 21, 5:42 pm
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Originally Posted by IAATM View Post

if so, why do you suppose that UA prefers to do a 90 min diversion to Houston on Christmas Day, on the A320, as opposed to offloading some belly cargo in IAD, so as to onload more fuel and operate nonstop?
Some cargo can't be offloaded due to contractual issues - and the A320 might have been the only plane with pilots available
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Old Dec 25, 21, 6:06 pm
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Kind of something heard on the train from Oakland to Sacramento.

PA Announcement: The bad news is that we've stopped because the bridge ahead of us is raised for a ship to pass. The good news is that we've found out about it now....
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Old Dec 25, 21, 6:34 pm
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Originally Posted by IAATM View Post
UA 2303 is being proactively diverted to IAH, ostensibly for fuel. The ground staff in IAD is blaming it on high winds in San DiegoÖÖbut considering the metars in SAN donít support that assertion, itís more like IMHO winds aloft that necessitate a gas ní go in Houston.

if so, why do you suppose that UA prefers to do a 90 min diversion to Houston on Christmas Day, on the A320, as opposed to offloading some belly cargo in IAD, so as to onload more fuel and operate nonstop?
The direct route has the jet headwinds in the 120-130 mph range so you would have to fuel up somewhere in Denver or before and a longer trip maybe or take a more southerly route avoid some winds, save some gas. Some of these wb transcons on the 75s used to take 6 hrs of flight time so this isn't that unusual. The 320s just don't have the 6 hr legs when the jet fires up.
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Old Dec 25, 21, 6:50 pm
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If they could have unloaded some cargo and gone they would have. The very strong winds aloft would likely have required leaving quite a few passengers behind.
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Old Dec 25, 21, 7:02 pm
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B6 is notorious for these kinds of fuel stops on A320s on their transcons and near-transcons when headwinds are high. Seems to be a function of that particular aircraft, not a function of any particular airline.
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Old Dec 25, 21, 7:14 pm
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Originally Posted by IAATM View Post
UA 2303 is being proactively diverted to IAH, ostensibly for fuel. The ground staff in IAD is blaming it on high winds in San DiegoÖÖbut considering the metars in SAN donít support that assertion, itís more like IMHO winds aloft that necessitate a gas ní go in Houston.

if so, why do you suppose that UA prefers to do a 90 min diversion to Houston on Christmas Day, on the A320, as opposed to offloading some belly cargo in IAD, so as to onload more fuel and operate nonstop?
Itís not a diversion if itís preplanned. It would be considered a fuel stop prior to departure.
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Old Dec 25, 21, 8:19 pm
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I'm guessing a similar story for UA354 BWI-SFO? Google etc. say "diverted to DEN" but from the event log at FlightStats there is a "Redirected/diverted" entry several hours before takeoff.

https://www.flightstats.com/v2/fligh...tId=1079491967

just caught my eye, as I'm booked on this flight in a few days. Looks like they got to SFO a bit under 2 hrs late, which I suppose isn't too awful all things considered.
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Old Dec 25, 21, 9:32 pm
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SAN also has this problem of only having instrument landing system (ILS) on Runway 9 (west to east). The wind tonight will be strong enough SW with showers which can bring the ceiling and visibility down briefly so landing on Runway 27 (east to west) is not possible, and Runway 9 is not usable due to tail winds and wet runway. With such weather, extra fuel reserve for diversion is required and with the distance and head winds aloft, there's no room to satisfy these requirements.
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Old Dec 25, 21, 9:46 pm
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UA1742 IAD-SFO (a 738) made unplanned stop in DEN today - guessing to refuel.
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Old Dec 25, 21, 10:14 pm
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Been on a few mid-winter IAD-LAX flights that fought these headwinds. 6+ hours in an A319/A320 or 738/9 are/were interminable. Some of the worst were the end of day 10 pm depart runs. Fuel stop(s) just make them even longer.

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Old Dec 26, 21, 1:15 am
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Originally Posted by IAATM View Post
if so, why do you suppose that UA prefers to do a 90 min diversion to Houston on Christmas Day, on the A320, as opposed to offloading some belly cargo in IAD, so as to onload more fuel and operate nonstop?
There's a good chance they cut the freight ahead of time. I don't know what UA's offload priorities are, but when I was a load master with America West, the only must-ride cargo items were comail (like company documents), AOG (aircraft parts), and human remains. We would offload passengers for weight before we'd remove a single bag.
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Old Dec 26, 21, 9:45 am
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Originally Posted by Zorak View Post
I'm guessing a similar story for UA354 BWI-SFO? Google etc. say "diverted to DEN" but from the event log at FlightStats there is a "Redirected/diverted" entry several hours before takeoff.

https://www.flightstats.com/v2/fligh...tId=1079491967

just caught my eye, as I'm booked on this flight in a few days. Looks like they got to SFO a bit under 2 hrs late, which I suppose isn't too awful all things considered.
Today's UA354 (currently over Indiana) is also "diverting" to DEN.
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Old Dec 26, 21, 9:55 am
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The jet continues to howl in a largely zonal flow.


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Old Dec 26, 21, 10:13 am
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Originally Posted by AirbusFan2B View Post
UA1742 IAD-SFO (a 738) made unplanned stop in DEN today - guessing to refuel.
That's it. Looks like the IAD-DEN flight plan came up with a nearly 6-1/2 hour flight time for just the IAD-DEN leg!

Good day to fly eastbound!
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