FAO: Dummy Pilot. Range of a B737-352J

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3WE
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FAO: Dummy Pilot. Range of a B737-352J

Postby 3WE » Mon Feb 02, 2015 8:56 pm

The daughter flew one of two chartered Southwest Airlines 737 from Baltimore to San Francisco a while back.

Her plane left an hour or so earlier and made an "unplanned" (so she says) fuel stop in Omaha, NE, while the other plane flew 'direct'.

I'm hoping (50% chance) you might have insight into this with your past 737 FO transponder reply light monitoring experience. The fuel stop seems strange to me.

I think weather may have been strange that day with extra-strong headwinds- the routes seemed to be pretty far North.

I guess it could have been a "miscalculation/winds-stronger-than-expected" (that cut into the normal, robust safety buffer), and they detected it early and Omaha was the "closest/bestest" spot to get some fuel...and the other plane got word to put more fuel on before departure?

(Or they could have been different 737 models, or loaded differently, or any number of variables- so much so that Flyboy would declare this an invalid question)

If you have any useful insight like:

-Yeah, fuel can be tight flying coast to coast in a full 737.
-Yeah, Omaha has REALLY cheap jet fuel (southwest buys it from Union Pacific's locomotive supply tanks) and it's right on the way to San Fran.
-The pilot probably knew better than to use the Lav and risk getting locked out of the cockpit, but needed a biobreak

...it would be appreciated, as usual.
Commercial Pilot, Vandelay Industries, Inc., Plant Nutrient Division.

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flyboy2548m
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Re: FAO: Dummy Pilot. Range of a B737-352J

Postby flyboy2548m » Tue Feb 03, 2015 3:32 pm

(Or they could have been different 737 models, or loaded differently, or any number of variables- so much so that Flyboy would declare this an invalid question)
Indeed.
Chief Pilot/ACJ Program Manager, Vandelay Industries, Inc

GlennAB1
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Re: FAO: Dummy Pilot. Range of a B737-352J

Postby GlennAB1 » Thu Apr 09, 2015 8:36 pm

It is possible they had an MEL item that caused a higher than normal fuel burn, or reduced the quantity allowed.
you still have to find a crew willing to fly this "barely airworthy" heap
no such thing as "barely airworthy" it's either Airworthy or Not
100% incorrect Ever hear of Ferry Permit? issued for Non airworthy aircraft
LOL

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3WE
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Re: FAO: Dummy Pilot. Range of a B737-352J

Postby 3WE » Thu Apr 16, 2015 4:00 am

Thanks, Glen.
1) Yeah, fuel can be tight flying coast to coast in a full 737.
2) Omaha has REALLY cheap jet fuel (southwest buys it from Union Pacific's locomotive supply tanks) and it's right on the way to San Fran.
I know if Flyboy's somewhat valid disdain for wide-open questions.

And indeed, there are a million reasons as to why they might have stopped.

I was just after a shred of insight (as quoted above).

Is coast to coast a tiny bit of a challenge in 'typical' 737's and a headwind?

Is there something special about Omaha for a fuel stop? I guess maybe it's not super duper busy and might indeed offer quick, cheap service?
Commercial Pilot, Vandelay Industries, Inc., Plant Nutrient Division.

elaw
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Re: FAO: Dummy Pilot. Range of a B737-352J

Postby elaw » Thu Apr 16, 2015 12:29 pm

The model of plane is quite possibly the explanation.

The bulk of Southwest's fleet is of two series: the 737-300 and the 737-700.

Per Wikipedia the range of the -300 is 4,200–4,440 km, and the range of the -700 is 5,650–10,200 km.

The straight-line distance from BWI to SFO is 3940 km, the route following airways pretty much has to be a bit farther. So it's very close to the max range of the -300, but well within the range of the -700.
HR consultant, Yoyodyne Propulsion Systems, Inc.


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