Airbus A300 B4
International Ferry Flight Operations are seldom a "ride in the park", even for experienced operators and their
pilots. Among the reasons:
1)- It is not like a daily-regular flight. Problems with fueling,
no airline bases/flight dispatchers, no familiarity with the routes flown and/or destinations/altn's, poor communication etc; even the company's accountants have headaches ("it is OK with the perdiems, but how about fuel releases, landing rights fees,
handling, extra catering etc.?");
2)- Most of the times, the airplane has to be moved empty (or very
close to empty), thus generating actual weight below minimum structural and/or out-of-envelope-C.G. conditions; many operators and their pilots do not even realize it, but airliners (and even some big corporate jets)
are designed and built to fly full, or at least very close to full. The bigger the airplane, the bigger tend to be the C.G. issues. Then, the ballast usage subject comes up. What sort of ballast? Concrete blocks? Iron
bars? Sand bags? Or - instead -, can one load more fuel, consider part of that fuel as ballast and then refrain from burning it? Is there a standard and/or supplementary procedure for that? Usually not (some manufacturers won't even talk about it, because
it will be discouraged by their lawyers; they will instead tell you it is "up to the Operator's SOPs").
how would the FMC deal with it (considering it would)? Usually, FMC's do not have a provision to understand the "fuel ballast procedure logic", hence you will need to know how to fool it, in order the V Speeds
depicted on the CDU's and/or PFD speed tapes are correct.
All this will largely depend on
the type of airplane, variant, and what the manufacturer says about it. Many operators do not even think about the complex issues that might arise from a ferry flight planning/execution (because it is so unusual / unlikely) until the circumstance shows up,
and then deadlines are missed, maintenance and/or conversion slots are blown etc.
the airplane to be ferried operates only within a certain region, chances are that its Navigation Database will need to be modified and/or improved for that specific operation. In this sense, some scary
stories could be told. Beware not everything can be created through the FMC-CDU (especially when it is about older systems, and mainly when the airplane has no means of knowing where it is; in other words, no
IRS alignment possible!!!).
If you are having trouble with Ferry Flight
planning, we might be able to help. We have been operating Ferry Flights for more than 20 years. From cropdusters like the Cessna 188B "Ag-Truck", up to huge airliners, such as the Airbus A300-600R.
* Feel free to call us:
Tel./Fax # +55 (22) 2629-1270
Mob Ph # +55 (22) 9 8125-9440