Event Details

Title:Airliner landing with low fuel at Helsinki-Vantaa airport on 3.10.2003
Micro summary:This Airbus 330-300 landed with low fuel.
Event Time:2003-10-03 at 0556 UTC
File Name:2003-10-03-FI.pdf
Publishing Agency:Finland Accident Investigation Board (AIB)
Publishing Country:Finland
Report number:C 9/2003 L
Diversion Airport:Helsinki-Vantaa Airport, Helsinki, Finland
Site of event:Helsinki-Vantaa
Departure:Chicago O'Hare International Airport, Chicago, Illinois, USA
Destination:Stockholm-Arlanda Airport, Marsta, Sweden
Airplane Type(s):Airbus A330-300B
Flight Phase:Landing
Type of flight:Revenue
Serious Injuries:0
Other Injuries:0
Diverted to:Helsinki-Vantaa Airport, Helsinki, Finland
Executive Summary:On Friday 3.10.2003 at 05.56 UTC (Co-ordinated universal time) landed SK946, Airbus 330-300 with Danish registration OY-KBN, operated by Scandinavian Airlines, in Helsinki-Vantaa airport, Finland, with the fuel less than the required final reserve fuel.

The scheduled flight SK946 had departed from Chicago O’Hare airport, USA, bound for Stockholm Arlanda, Sweden. The planned destination alternate airport was Gothenburg, Sweden. The fuel consumption en route was higher than calculated in the Operational Flight Plan of the flight. All the contingency fuel of 1300 kg and extra fuel of 200 kg was used before the top of descent. There were low visibility procedures (LVP) in force in Arlanda when SK946 entered the Stockholm terminal control area (TMA). The commander requested a category II (CAT II) approach. The air traffic control cleared SK946 to holding, but the commander of SK946 reported that they do not have time for holding due to the fuel situation and requested a radar vectoring for approach. SK946 managed to change the approach sequence with an other aircraft of the same airline. The pilots expected a short vectoring, but the capacity of the Arlanda airport was reduced due to the LVP. SK946 flew during approach in TMA 20 minutes and about 65 track miles instead of 12 minutes and about 40 NM which the pilots had expected. The pilots noticed during approach that they would not, in case of a missed approach, have enough fuel to fly to the planned alternate airport Gothenburg. They decided to take Helsinki-Vantaa, Finland, as a new alternate because of 400 kg less fuel consumption. The runway visual range varied in Arlanda between 400 and 450 m during the CAT II approach, which was stable, but the pilots did not obtain visual contact to the approach or runway lights at the decision height. The commander initiated a missed approach procedure and the first officer requested a route clearance to Helsinki-Vantaa. SK946 contacted the Tampere area control centre on cruising flight level 270 and reported that the flight would have less fuel than required upon landing in Helsinki-Vantaa. The ATC issued a direct routing and an approach clearance without restrictions to runway 15. The rescue services was alarmed by the Helsinki ATC. SK946 landed uneventfully in Helsinki-Vantaa at 05.56 o’clock with the fuel of 1800 kg when the required minimum fuel was 2300 kg.

SK946 used on the flight from Arlanda to the alternate airport Helsinki-Vantaa, fuel 600 kg more than calculated in the OFP. The pilots did not pay in flight planning attention to a possible traffic delay in the destination airport Arlanda. The commander did not take enough fuel for a long approach caused by the low visibility procedures which involved reduced capacity of the airport. The fuel consumption during cruise was higher than calculated and all of the contingency and extra fuel was used en route.
Learning Keywords:Operations - Low Fuel
Close match:Low fuel, Incident, Boeing 737-500, G-MSKB
Incorrect fuel calculation of a German aircraft required special traffic arrangements at Helsinki-Vantaa airport
Low fuel, Lockheed L-1011 Tristar, C-GTSB


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