(THE AVIATION HERALD/Simon Hradecky).- Fog in Buenos Aires on Aug 31st 2012, British Airways B772 has insufficient fuel to divert and other fuel emergencies A British Airways Boeing 777-200, registration G-YMMU performing flight BA-245 (dep Aug 30th) from London Heathrow,EN (UK) to Buenos Aires Ezeiza,BA (Argentina), was on approach to Buenos Aires at about 07:30L (10:30Z), but could not continue for a landing due to weather conditions being below minima and entered a hold at 5000 feet.
After about 25 minutes in the hold the crew declared "Mayday, we have insufficient fuel to divert!" The aircraft landed safely on Ezeiza Airport's runway 11 at 08:07L (11:07Z) about 12 minutes later. At about the same time an Air France Boeing 777-200, registration F-GSPU performing flight AF-418 (dep Aug 30th) from Paris Charles de Gaulle (France) to Buenos Aires Ezeiza,BA (Argentina), was in a hold at FL100 for about 20 minutes with the crew checking their options, reporting 75 minutes endurance remaining and offering Category III approach capability but were still told conditions were below minima.
The crew checked weather conditions in Montevideo (Uruguay) and Cordoba,CD (Argentina), then queried why an aircraft was landing on runway 11, ATC told them the aircraft was in emergency. The Air France crew decided to divert to Cordoba, during the climb out of Buenos Aires the crew declared PAN PAN PAN without stating the reason, requested to climb to FL380 and vectors direct to Rosario about half way to Cordoba. The aircraft reached Cordoba safely and subsequently returned to Buenos Aires for a safe landing about 3 hours later.
At the same time an American Airlines Boeing 777-200, registration N791AN performing flight AA-997 (dep Aug 30th) from Dallas Ft. Worth,TX (USA) to Buenos Aires Ezeiza,BA (Argentina), had entered a hold near Buenos Aires at FL060 at 07:37L (10:37Z). After holding for 35 minutes the crew decided to divert and climbed out of Ezeiza but aborted the diversion about 15 minutes later declaring emergency and returning to Ezeiza Airport. The aircraft managed a safe landing on Ezeiza's runway 11 at 08:49L (11:49Z).
Several departures were delayed despite improving weather conditions due to the emergency arrival of AA-997. With the exception of BA-245 there had been no movement at Ezeia Airport, neither arriving nor departing, between 10:32Z and 11:29Z. After 11:29Z traffic was resumed permitting a number of international arrivals to avoid a diversion, a number of aircraft departed until traffic was halted again for the arrival of AA-997. It is currently not known what amounts of fuel were remaining after landing of these three fuel emergencies, due to limitations of ATC recordings available it was also not possible to hear a number of flights operating into Ezeiza at the time.
Ezeiza's runway 11 offers a CATIIIa capable ILS requiring a minimum RVR of 200 meters.
SAEZ 311300Z 05004KT 360V070 5000 BR NSC 17/14 Q1018
SAEZ 311215Z 00000KT 3000 BR NSC 13/11 Q1018
SAEZ 311200Z 00000KT 1500 R11/P1500 BR NSC 12/11 Q1018 REFG
SAEZ 311127Z 00000KT 0800 R11/1100N FG NSC 08/07 Q1018
SAEZ 311030Z 00000KT 0100 R11/0175 FG FEW007 07/07 Q1017
SAEZ 310930Z 00000KT 0100 R11/0350 FG FEW005 08/08 Q1017
SAEZ 310830Z 00000KT 0100 R11/0200 FG FEW005 11/11 Q1017
SAEZ 310730Z 00000KT 0100 R11/0200 FG FEW001 11/11 Q1017
SAEZ 310630Z 00000KT 0100 R11/0200 FG 11/11 Q1017
TAF SAEZ 310400Z 3106/0106 02005KT 1500 BR SCT015
PROB40 TEMPO 3107/3110 0600 BCFG SCT006
BECMG 3111/3113 7000 SCT025
BECMG 3115/3118 34005KT 9999 SCT040
BECMG 0100/0103 31005KT 8000 SCT030=
TAF SAEZ 302200Z 3100/3124 08005KT 8000 SCT020 BKN050
TX21/3118Z TN10/3109Z BECMG 3103/3106 VRB03KT 4000 BR SCT010
PROB30 TEMPO 3108/3111 0900 BCFG SCT008
BECMG 3113/3116 35006KT 9999 SCT030=
TAF SAEZ 301600Z 3018/3118 35005KT 9999 SCT030 SCT040
TX22/3118Z TN12/3110Z BECMG 3101/3103 VRB02KT 9999 SCT040
TEMPO 3107/3111 3000 BR SCT025 PROB30 3108/3111 0900
BCFG SCT010 BECMG 3111/3113 9999 SCT040
BECMG 3116/3118 36005KT=