to think having enough fuel in a plane is quite important if there's an emergency and most people would probably pay a bit of money to ensure their plane does not crash

(94 Posts)
kim147 Wed 07-Aug-13 08:41:29

A certain budget airline has been accused of restricting the amount of fuel planes carry to the legal minimum which makes handling emergencies and diversions more difficult.

But of course - it does save money and cut costs so that's ok.

www.independent.co.uk/travel/news-and-advice/exclusive-safety-warning-as-budget-airlines-such-as-ryanair-cut-fuel-levels-for-flights-8749046.html

Looking forward to a reserve fuel supplement coming soon to the final bill.

kim147 Wed 07-Aug-13 22:25:01

And the report is the one from the Spanish authorities released this week.

Are you suggesting the Spanish authorities are mis reporting stuff?

Caster8 Wed 07-Aug-13 22:31:42

HRHwheezing. Are you saying that the pilots were lying, or that they were not?
Are you saying that pilots go about with 0 emergency fuel, or that they dont?

HRHwheezing Wed 07-Aug-13 22:36:09

Ryanair are a wonderful airline and I don't have a problem flying with them

Caster8 Wed 07-Aug-13 22:40:05

Look. I can write, my cousin is a prince in Nepal.
Its easy to write that.
I dont know a thing about Nepal.
You are not telling us a thing about ryanair. Just writing, my husband works for ryanair.

Caster8 Wed 07-Aug-13 22:41:04

In fact, what you are not writing, is starting to become a bit disconcerting to me.

MildredIsMyAlterEgo Wed 07-Aug-13 23:12:08
Caster8 Wed 07-Aug-13 23:18:33

Will definitely watch that. It says it is a programme about concerns from pilots about passenger safety. Heck.

After working in an airport and seeing that the majority of cock ups when landing are down to Ryanair planes, I personally feel they should carry more emergency fuel than any other airline, provide bloody parachutes for the passengers, or just stop flying altogether!

Plane landed THE WRONG WAY on the runway and closed the whole airport? Check
Pilot, and copilot, fell asleep and crash landed? Check, several times over
Pilot allowed a trainee, with no flying hours, to land the plane, overshot the runway and narrowly missed a nasty crash? Check
Plane took off, ignored where they should be going and went in completely the wrong direction, narrowly missing another plane? Check, five times in the last year!!

ndep Mon 12-Aug-13 22:27:57

Did anyone else watch 'Dispatches' on C4?

As DH said, Ryan are are regulated by the Irish Aviation Authority.

BA, Easy Jet etc are regulated by the CAA.

Says a lot.

And if you didn't have insider info that program was an eye opener!

Caster8 Mon 12-Aug-13 22:29:49

Have recorded it. Will try and watch it tomorrow.

Caster8 Tue 13-Aug-13 13:11:17

Wiping voice recorders. No way.

And zero hours contracts. Nice.

Oh what a company.

AnyCraic Tue 13-Aug-13 13:36:20

ndep I take great offence at your (DH) comment regarding the IAA regulation of Ryanair. What exactly do you mean by that?
They are an Irish airline so naturally they should be regulated by the IAA. Are you trying to imply their standards are not up to scratch?

By the way, I watched the programme and fly Ryanair regularly enough to have concerns. However I am sure everything is within the regulations, even if that means "just within". Please don't try to imply that Irish aviation standards are in any way questionable.

ndep Tue 13-Aug-13 13:52:21

Any - I don't know why you are taking offence. The IAA allows considerably longer working hours for pilots which most pilots are not happy about.

PasswordProtected Tue 13-Aug-13 15:39:52

Caster8
the only airline I can get, reliable, inside information on does not train its pilots for free. They have to pay back the cost of their training during the first few years of proper employment. Also free flights for pilots is a thing of the past.

Caster8 Tue 13-Aug-13 15:54:06

Things are not so rosy for pilots generally any more, it seems.

Backinthebox Tue 13-Aug-13 17:11:53

Late to this party! Commercial airline pilot here, flying Boeing jets for more years than the 2 Ryanair pilots in the Indy article had put together.

Let me briefly explain about reserve fuel. We carry:
Trip fuel - for the planned trip (which assumes no unforseen events such as bad weather, broken plane, airport closure, etc)
Alternate fuel - which is supposed to be for making a diversion if a problem occurs during the flight.
Reserve fuel - as explained above, this is enough fuel to fly for 30 (or 45, depending on the authority) mins at 1500ft. It is called reserve fuel, but we HAVE to land with it as a bare minimum or declare a Mayday. Declaring a Mayday, in turn, MUST be investigated by the appropriate authority. In this case, the Spanish authorities. No one is specifically out to 'get' Ryanair here, the Spanish aviation authority would be remiss and not carrying out it's duty if it didn't do it.
Contingency fuel - which is for unforseen events. It must be a minimum of 5% or 5 minutes of flying time, whichever is the greater. We may not plan to use this fuel at planning stage. In my airline contingency fuel is worked out using statistical fuel usage from the same flights in the past.
The last bit of fuel we put on is Extra fuel, an amount put on board at the pilots' discretion. We need a valid reason for putting it on, but generally pilots use their experience and knowledge. Reasons can include bad weather expected (whether officially forecast or from past experience. Eg, I know that a tiny thunderstorm in Europe would lead to a 20 minute delay. In the States, there would be meltdown and an hour's extra fuel would not be unreasonable,) air traffic 'issues,' eg I know that if you fly to Madrid, unless you are a Spanish national carrier you WILL be dicked about by air traffic. Happens every time!

So there we go, a bit about fuel.

Wrt to this particular incident, the reason it is news is because Ryanair are having a few too many of this kind of incident. Every airline has the potential to have a rare 'landing below reserve fuel' incident, and if they do it is investigated. The Spanish authorities are highlighting it because Ryanair are routinely sending it's flights off to Spain with no extra fuel on at all, even when thunderstorms are forecast. Last year they declared 3 Maydays in one day, one of those flights landed below reserves, the other 2 landed with only kilograms to spare. Frankly, 300kgs extra fuel flying to Madrid on a busy stormy day is a bit useless - it gives you no more than about 10 minutes spare on a B737. I would have been wanting to put on a ton extra (and stuff what my company think - it's my bottom that would be splattered over a Spanish mountainside if it all went wrong! Fortunately for me, my company have never questioned my fuel decisions.)

More interesting reading on the Ryanair Spanish fuel story here. As you can see, there were other people diverted, but only 4 of them declared Maydays, 3 by Ryanair. Once an aircraft has declared a Mayday it places pressure on all aviation in the immediate vicinity. There is a train of thought that Ryanair declared Maydays in order to improve their 'place in the queue.'

At this moment in time, Ryanair's safety record, as defined by actual accidents that have occurred, is good. If you look at the 'near misses,' it starts to get worrying. Google Ryanair Memmingen and Ciampino to see information on examples of Ryanair management pressure leading to incidents they were lucky to get away with.

ndep Tue 13-Aug-13 17:28:53

Most interesting, Back & there are many of the reasons that I won't fly with Ryan Air.

The extra fuel is important - DH flew in the oil industry - it was vital to have total discretion about this.

Caster8 Tue 13-Aug-13 17:42:24

I have almost a dread feeling that Michael O'Learys life is not going to end well. An air company that is routinely taking risks will come a cropper. And when it does, unless Mr O'Leary has no feelings whatsoever, the buck of responsibility will stop with him.

Caster8 Tue 13-Aug-13 17:46:22

You would have thought that ryanair would have altered it's fuel policy from on high - taking away those awful fuel league tables would be a start[who wants to be on the planes with the winners, shock, Mr Leary himself perhaps]. But no, nothing appears to have altered since when the 2010 incidents came to life.

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