Thomas Cook A321 at Palma Mallorca and Menorca on Sep 1st 2015, fuel emergency

Last Update: July 28, 2017 / 16:04:19 GMT/Zulu time

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Incident Facts

Date of incident
Sep 1, 2015

Classification
Incident

Flight number
MT-8246

Aircraft Registration
G-TCDX

Aircraft Type
Airbus A321

ICAO Type Designator
A321

A Thomas Cook Airbus A321-200, registration G-TCDX performing flight MT-8246 from Norwich,EN (UK) to Palma Mallorca,SP (Spain), was on final approach to Palma Mallorca's runway 06L when the crew went around from about 200 feet due to adverse weather conditions. The crew climbed the aircraft to 4000 feet and entered a hold for about 15 minutes, then positioned for another approach but aborted the approach at 3000 feet, declared fuel emergency and diverted to Menorca,SP (Spain) where the aircraft landed safely about 45 minutes after the go-around.

The French BEA reported in their weekly bulletin based on information by Spain's CIAIAC, that the crew landed without further notice. The occurrence was rated a serious incident and is being investigated by the CIAIAC.

On Oct 8th 2015 Spain's CIAIAC reported the aircraft was on short final to Mallorca's runway 06L already in visual contact with the runway when the crew initiated a go around, just like the preceding arrival two minutes earlier and the following three arrivals. The aircraft was provided with vectors for another approach. While intercepting the localizer runway 06L the crew was informed that an aircraft had reported windshear on short final, the crew decided to abort the approach and divert to Menorca requesting direct to Menorca. The aircraft climbed to FL100, the crew declared emergency due to being low on fuel and was cleared direct to the initial approach fix for an ILS approach to Menorca's runway 01. The aircraft landed without further incident on runway 01. The CIAIAC annotated that storms combined with heavy showers and downdrafts characterized the weather at the Balearic Islands and prompted numerous aircraft approaching Palma Mallorca and Menorca to go around and divert.

On Jul 27th 2017 Spain's CIAIAC released their final report in Spanish (only) concluding the probable causes of the incident were:

The crew did not communicate their shortage of fuel to ATC before the second approach.

The weather situation was a contributing factor producing a complex traffic flow management that prevented the flight to conclude its approach.

The CIAIAC reported that due the weather forecasts and weather reports the crew had planned for one approach to Palma Mallorca and a diversion to Menorca, fuel was accordingly loaded. Following the first approach to Palma Mallorca the controller advised the crew however, that another aircraft had just landed, which prompted the crew to enter a hold and attempt a second approach using up more fuel than anticipated. The crew did not report their fuel shortage before attempting and aborting the second approach however, only after receiving information that another landing aircraft had just reported windshear the crew aborted their second approach, advised of them being low on fuel and diverted to Menorca.

The CIAIAC analysed that during the first final approach to Mallorca the weather deteriorated sufficiently to prompt the preceding arrival as well as three arrivals following the occurrence flight to go around. A subsequent improvement of weather permitted landings again, however, a second deterioration of weather followed frustrating the second approach by the occurrence aircraft.

During the diversion it became clear they would not be able to land with the required final fuel reserve remaining and declared Mayday. The aircraft landed with 900kg of fuel remaining (minimum required fuel remaining 1292 kg).

Metars:
LEPA 011700Z 06014KT 9999 FEW022 26/21 Q1015 NOSIG
LEPA 011630Z 06014KT 9999 FEW020CB SCT028 27/22 Q1015 NOSIG
LEPA 011600Z 07012KT 9999 FEW020CB SCT028 26/22 Q1015 NOSIG
LEPA 011530Z 08009KT 050V120 9999 FEW020CB SCT028 BKN040 26/24 Q1015 NOSIG
LEPA 011524Z 08009KT 050V120 9999 FEW020CB SCT028 BKN040 26/23 Q1015 NOSIG
LEPA 011500Z 34020KT 300V020 0300 R24L/1600D TSRA FEW020CB SCT028 OVC040 21/20 Q1015 TEMPO 4000 SHRA
LEPA 011500Z 06009KT 340V080 9000 4000SE R24L/1300D TSRA FEW020CB SCT028 BKN04023/21 Q1015 NOSIG
LEPA 011444Z 05018KT 9000 3000N TSRA FEW020CB SCT028 BKN040 27/22 Q1016 TEMPO TSRA
LEPA 011430Z 07015KT 9000 TS FEW020CB SCT028 29/22 Q1015 TEMPO TSRA
LEPA 011408Z 08011KT 050V110 9999 FEW020CB SCT028 30/22 Q1015 TEMPO TSRA
LEPA 011447Z 04017KT 010V070 0500 R24L/P2000 TSRA FEW020CB SCT028 BKN040 23/19 Q1016 NOSIG
LEPA 011457Z 04008KT 340V080 1500 R24L/1400D TSRA FEW020CB SCT028 OVC040 22/21 Q1015 TEMPO 4000 SHRA
LEPA 011458Z 05008KT 340V080 4500 R24L/1300D TSRA FEW020CB SCT028 BKN040 23/21 Q1015 NOSIG
LEPA 011400Z 07014KT 050V110 9999 FEW022 SCT028 29/22 Q1015 TEMPO FEW020CB
LEPA 011330Z 08013KT 9999 FEW022 SCT028 30/22 Q1015 TEMPO FEW020CB
LEPA 011300Z 08012KT 9999 FEW022 SCT028 30/23 Q1015 TEMPO FEW020CB
LEPA 011230Z 07008KT 010V110 9999 FEW022 SCT028 30/23 Q1015 TEMPO FEW020CB
LEPA 011200Z VRB02KT 9999 FEW022 SCT028 29/22 Q1015 TEMPO FEW020CB
LEPA 011130Z 13003KT 060V200 9999 FEW022 SCT028 29/23 Q1015 NOSIG
LEPA 011100Z VRB02KT 9999 FEW022 SCT028 29/23 Q1015 NOSIG
LEPA 011030Z 00000KT 9999 FEW022 SCT028 29/23 Q1015 NOSIG
LEPA 011000Z 00000KT 9999 FEW022 SCT028 29/24 Q1015 NOSIG
LEPA 010930Z 00000KT 9999 FEW022 29/22 Q1015 NOSIG
LEPA 010900Z 00000KT 9999 FEW022 28/23 Q1015 NOSIG
Incident Facts

Date of incident
Sep 1, 2015

Classification
Incident

Flight number
MT-8246

Aircraft Registration
G-TCDX

Aircraft Type
Airbus A321

ICAO Type Designator
A321

This article is published under license from Avherald.com. © of text by Avherald.com.
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