Re: TWA & regular "unscheduled" refuelings in Gander

Date:         08 Feb 99 02:49:22 
From:         James Matthew Weber <>
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>In almost 20 years of crossing the Atlantic, including many flights on
>767s, I've *never* had to go through an "unscheduled" refueling stop.
>The reason the pilot gave us was that separations had been increased at
>JFK, and therefore we didn't have enough fuel to circle around waiting
>to land.

I would find this somewhat disingenous. Long delays on landing are very
rare these days, because your flight acquired its landing slot at JFK
before departure from FCO. Because it is such a long flight, it acquires
the slot very early, whereas a flight from say BOS would not attempt to
acquire a landig slot until shortly before departure, and could easily
be delayed in obtaining a a slot. The Atlantic is travelled so heavily
that major errors in wind conditions are now pretty rare. The end result
is I'd probably be willing to be money that they knew they there was a
high probability of landing at Gander long before they left FCO. No
airline likes to hand out information that will not be greeted with
enthusiam, mis and non-information is the hallmark of all airlines. My
experiences with TWA were so bad in that regard I ceased flying them
many yeas ago.

BTW there is another common meaning for TWA, Try Walking Across....

>This morning I heard on the radio that there is a class action suit
>brought by passengers of the TWA NYC-Tel Aviv flights.  Apparently,
>these "unscheduled" stops at Gander are so common that the plaintiffs
>claim that TWA should not advertise these flights as "non-stop".  The
>radio was talking about 747s, but perhaps they meant 767s.

More than likely, JFK-TLV and LAX-LHR are comparabe distances, and even
TWA's 747-100's flew that one every day, although it was usually at or
very close to MGTOW. TWA's 767 were bought in the past  to fly from the
East Coast, or STL to Europe. As a result they didn't buy the highest
possible weight (it costs more to buy and usually results in higher
landing fees as well. If you don't need it, why spend the money).

>Doesn't the basic 767 (-200?) have the range to go FCO-JFK?

Basic 767-200 is quoted as about 4500 miles, which say it can probably
make FCO-JFK only with severe payload restrictions.

In answer to your other questions, It has been reported that DL MD-11's
on the LAX-HKG run were a pretty common sight at Taipei, Pan AM's
747SP's on the LAX-SYD run were seen at Auckland with surprising
frequency, and prior to the 747-400, NW's winter flights on the LAX-SEL
run frequently had to put down at ANC for Fuel. It was always delicate,
and from personal experience that decision was not made until just
before departure. It depended upon exactly how many people showed up for
the flight, and cargo load..