Sunday, November 07, 2010

A Blast from the Past

I'm sure that many readers recall Oasis Airlines from Hong Kong and Gatwick doing their circuit training at Manston, a couple of years ago, before the airline fell victim to the recession. I just stumbled upon this company 747 training video on YouTube, seen below, which with the airport presently a topical subject may provoke both interest and comment together! In the video you can watch a simulated engine failure and how it's dealt with in the cockpit


Michael Child said...

Simon a question here that you may be able to answer, I noticed the other day during the news coverage of the recent jumbo’s engine failure that something the crew did before landing was to jettison their fuel.

When this happens at Manston where do they jettison the fuel?

DrM. said...

Normally and in the case of an emergency where a 'Heavy' is above its MLW, Maximum Landing Weight, air traffic will direct it to a safe holding area, away from other aircraft and populations, where it can dump its fuel safely. At such speeds and altitudes, it's more of an aerosol/vapour and is widely distributed and in our case I suspect it might be a hold between Manston and Ostende


12 Fuel Jettisoning

12.1 Pilots of aircraft in flight are permitted to jettison fuel in an emergency.

The decision to jettison rests solely with the pilot but he may request guidance from ATC.

12.2 When an aircraft in controlled airspace needs to dump fuel, ATC should co-ordinate with the flight crew:

a) the route to be flown which, if possible, should be clear of cities and towns, preferably over water and away from areas where thunderstorms have been reported or are expected;
b) the level to be used;
c) the estimated duration of the fuel dumping; and
d) the frequency to be monitored whilst the aircraft is dumping fuel.

12.3 Controllers are to recommend to flight crew that jettisoning of fuel should be carried out above 10,000 feet agl. Exceptionally, if fuel dumping at this level, or over water, is operationally impracticable or inconsistent with safety, fuel may be jettisoned above 7000 feet agl in winter and above 4000 feet agl in summer. For fuel to be jettisoned below these levels the situation must be unavoidable.

12.4 A vertical separation of at least 1000 feet between aircraft should be maintained.

12.5 Adjacent ATC units and control sectors should be informed of the fuel dumping taking place, including co-ordination with units providing services outside controlled airspace where the aircraft’s track is near to the boundary of controlled airspace (both laterally and vertically).

The basic details would almost certainly need to be reported under the MOR Scheme. (

Michael Child said...

As you know Simon a major concern of mine is the aquifer, I have had detailed discussions about this with the EA and Southern Water and both tell me there is no viable alternative water supply for Thanet.

Personally my interpretation of this is that they exaggerate the problem and that domestic water supply could be replaced were the aquifer irretrievably damaged, however I think that all agriculture on the island would probably not be economically viable including Thanet Earth.

In a way I suppose I consider this to be a greater risk than even an air crash on the one of the towns.

In all of the various information about the airport the bit that I find most concerning is their contingency plan for an accident causing a large fuel spillage on the grass part, a digger standing by to dig out the contaminated land and dump it on the runway.

In a way the answer that this could be resolved by a mass paraffin vapour cloud is reassuring, the 747 type planes using Manston at the moment have a fuel capacity of about 50,000 gallons or 183,000 litres, so you could say the calculations here are interesting.