CaptainLars

Excess Fuel at Landing: Hold or Dump?

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Hi,

when arriving at my destination airport, I'll have 2.5t of fuel more than expected. Since I'm very heavy for that particular flight, this would result in an overweight landing. So, my question is, what is normally being done in such a situation? Fuel dump or requesting a holding to burn the excess fuel?

Regards

Lars

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1 hour ago, CaptainLars said:

Fuel dump or requesting a holding to burn the excess fuel?

I'd personally hold to burn, unless there's an emergency, and in that case, I'd dump.

Then again, I'm sure most would point out that the situation should be avoided in the first place by proper planning.

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Since most aircraft are designed to handle an overweight landing I'd say that the airline would be loathe to waste the fuel either by dumping or just burning it off holding (which would take forever - not to mention risking your slot and all that would entail) so I'd go with the overweight landing and deal with the consequences (and your chief pilot) later. You could always blame the dispatcher :wink: unless you asked for the extra fuel.

Cheers!

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1 hour ago, scandinavian13 said:

I'd personally hold to burn, unless there's an emergency, and in that case, I'd dump.

Then again, I'm sure most would point out that the situation should be avoided in the first place by proper planning.

If a Captain can't land at less than 6 feet per second me thinks that Captain should be flipping burgers at Mickey D's. :smile:

blaustern

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Agree. You're going to land using the QRH 0.4 and then you are going to explain to the Chief Pilot.

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16 hours ago, speedyTC said:

Since most aircraft are designed to handle an overweight landing I'd say that the airline would be loathe to waste the fuel either by dumping or just burning 

Cheers!

You hold hold and burn to the MLW.  Dumping is an option....kinda. There could be some explaining as to why you crop dusted the dump area though. Never had to dump before but I have held to adjust my gross weight.

Overweight landings lead to inspections and inspections take more time and money to accomplish than holding and burning off fuel for 15 min or whatever.

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I think I'm going to perform a holding then, since an overweight landing doesn't seem "the right thing" to me. It's a cargo flight and the airport is not very busy, so passenger connections should not be an issue.

18 hours ago, scandinavian13 said:

I'd personally hold to burn, unless there's an emergency, and in that case, I'd dump.

Then again, I'm sure most would point out that the situation should be avoided in the first place by proper planning.

Yes Sir, I used PFPX. I was just 1,5t below maximum ZFW and the planned Landing weight was just below the MLW. No extra fuel used. I guess this could be the reason.

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Doesnt a pilot's job pivot on making his gate times?

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3 hours ago, Boomer said:

Doesnt a pilot's job pivot on making his gate times?

If there were any one thing that sure wouldn't be it... first things first. Don't bend the airplane, and second don't spend stockholder's money unnecessarily.  I suspect that a flight planned that close to MLW is going to have a second look by someone in dispatch, and realistically this is a good opportunity to learn about re-dispatch and how to get those reserves safely and legally reduced.

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3 hours ago, Boomer said:

Doesnt a pilot's job pivot on making his gate times?

No. It pivots on safely performing their duties.  The crew is pressured to leave early or on time but it is their job to safely perform their duties and to try to ignore the pressure.  I have never been on a flight where the crew was the actual cause of a delay. Always loading, Maint related, failure of dispatch or the ground ops crew to provide proper paperwork.  Dispatch plans the flight and provides min fuel required. If the crew decide more fuel is necessary then it is added and generally speaking load is reduced if needed to ensure MLW on arrival as you can't depart expecting to be over MLW at your destination. The landing above MLW occurs when something unexpected happens and you divert enroute or need to emergency return.  It also occurs if you "make" to much fuel getting shortcuts or better winds than forecasted.  These things can't be avoided and I have never seen crew get grief for needing to hold or whatever to adjust their gross weight. As I said earlier.  An overweight landing can be a lot more involved than just holding for 20 min to get the weight down a tad.  Inspections are labor intensive and have a nasty tendency to find something a ground a plane for longer than planned durations.

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2 hours ago, thibodba57 said:

No. It pivots on safely performing their duties.  The crew is pressured to leave early or on time but it is their job to safely perform their duties and to try to ignore the pressure.  I have never been on a flight where the crew was the actual cause of a delay. Always loading, Maint related, failure of dispatch or the ground ops crew to provide proper paperwork.  Dispatch plans the flight and provides min fuel required. If the crew decide more fuel is necessary then it is added and generally speaking load is reduced if needed to ensure MLW on arrival as you can't depart expecting to be over MLW at your destination. The landing above MLW occurs when something unexpected happens and you divert enroute or need to emergency return.  It also occurs if you "make" to much fuel getting shortcuts or better winds than forecasted.  These things can't be avoided and I have never seen crew get grief for needing to hold or whatever to adjust their gross weight. As I said earlier.  An overweight landing can be a lot more involved than just holding for 20 min to get the weight down a tad.  Inspections are labor intensive and have a nasty tendency to find something a ground a plane for longer than planned durations.

Having spent several years in the airlines within the dispatch and ATC environments, I can support almost all of that stated by 'thibodba57'. I have seen delays caused by every component of the airline community including flight crew. The degree of "pressure" is open to interpretation and is a variable depending on specific airline culture. That said, it is not legal to dispatch a flight that is planned to arrive at destination overweight (pursuant to U.S. FARs). The following is a situation that does occur between  ATC and airline worlds: In the U.S., published reroutes are issued as required (usually due to severe weather) that can require substantial re-route. The new route (s) are then flight planned accordingly and the appropriate fuel is load is loaded. Sometimes the forecast severe weather fails to materialize or dissipates earlier than anticipated. ATC will often issue direct routings or offer the flight to resume  the original route. However, since the flight is already loaded with extra fuel, it is not uncommon to arrive at destination in an overweight situation. This is rarely a surprise since the dispatch flight systems I have seen will reject a flight plan with an overweight arrival. Moreover, if the flight is enroute on the reroute and subsequently issued a direct routing, the flight crew will input the new route in the FMC and the overweight at destination will immediately be known. What normally happens in these situations is the flight remains on the re-route and burns the fuel to avoid the overweight situation.

Fuel dumping is rarely desirable and is usually the result of a maintenance issue requiring return to airport of departure.

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We had a period where they would plan a lot of extra fuel when we'd fly form DFW to SNA, I'm guessing because fuel was so expensive there. I never had the problem but I talked to others that saw they were gong to be too heavy to land at SNA so they just descended to a lower altitude to increase the fuel burn and get below the max landing weight. My last flight on the F100 we were going to be over weight so we just flew with the speed brake open until we made out desired weight. The nice thing about it having the tail mounted speed brake was that it was way more effective than any wing mounted speed brakes I have ever used and it didn't cause any buffeting like the wing mounted ones do. 

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4 hours ago, Ralgh said:

they were gong to be too heavy to land at SNA so they just descended to a lower altitude to increase the fuel burn and get below the max landing weight

 

This. 

assuming unexpected events resulted in way lower fuel burn than expected, you'd first try to accelerate, if possible to a high cruise speed so as to increase the burn. If that wasn't enough, you'd descend to a suboptimal level, possibly speeding up even more.If that still wasn't enough, you'd plan to be as energy inefficient as possible so as to get close to MLW on final. Holding should be the last option - as long as you are burning money, you should at least get time out of it and arrive early.

Dumping would be the last resort.

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The use of overweight landing is reserved for medical emergency, mechanical issue(urgent) or some other unplanned situation requiring an immediate landing. Not for use because the crew didnt bother to keep track if the aircraft weight over the last few hours.

You can quite easily see frommhours out that you will arrive overweight and there os no excuse.

Take a lower level, fly faster to increase fuel burn, use 10-20% speddbrake in the cruise to up your burn.

Modt coutries will NOT aporove fuel dumping in anything other than an emergency.

In short get your planning right, if that leaves you overweight due to Etops requirements when able descend, speed up etc.

Landing overweight is a MAJOR no no just due to poor crew planning.

HTH..

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