CRJ200 Airline Pilot

The personal experiences, thoughts of an CRJ captain


Diversions…They Happen

Posted by Jeffrey on June 17, 2008

We launched out of LAX today on our way to DFW. It’s almost summer and thunderstorms are a part of flying. Most the flight was smooth but as we got closer to DFW, we started hearing rumblings over the radio of inbound airplanes diverting and starting to go into holds. We soon got a message from our dispatcher that planes were diverting due to thunderstorms at DFW. We planned for SPS (Wichita Falls, TX) which is also an Air Force base. Soon afterwards we were put into a hold. We looked at our fuel and our “expect further clearance” (EFC) time and it was easy to decide to go to SPS. We didn’t have enough fuel to hold and wait out the storm. Once you decide to divert, most the time it is just airplane management: deciding where to go, commit to your decision, getting fuel, getting a flight plan file, get your clearance and head for your destination. This time was no different but I think that most people don’t realize the work that goes into making that happen. I’ve found that keeping my flight attendants and the passengers informed usually makes them happy, even team members, in getting the diversion and recovery done successfully.

Anyway, we went to SPS and completed the flight DFW. Most the passengers seemed just glad to be there, even grateful and that makes it a successful diversion.

Till next time…

P.S. Here is a great book on Weather Flying that I strongly recommend. Pick it up today if you REALLY want to know more about the reasons that weather does what it does!


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