FlyDubai tragedyBack to Forum
Another reason is that turbine engines are limited by outside air temperature, so waiting until the cooler evening time allows higher thrust settings and thus more payload.
Most airliner takeoffs are de-rated (not full power) and on Airbuses, this is achieved by entering a falsely high outside temperature to limit the power – so if you really need more power, wait until it is cooler.25 Mar 2016
I appreciate the interesting and thought-provoking replies above. Though I will point out that you don’t see many flights in the USA from Phoenix or Las Vegas (both VERY hot in the Summer) departing at 23:30 or 01:00 as you do in this region. Those flight times are pretty much limited to “red eyes” heading for the east coast of the USA, generally arriving in early daylight.
The FlyDubai flight is an example of my inquiry: it left Dubai very late and was scheduled to arrive at Rostov on Don at (I believe) around 01:45. Not the most convenient time to arrive. I seem to recall an Air Algerie accident in Africa where the flight departed around midnight and was scheduled to arrive in Algiers at 04:30 (or thereabouts). That flight nosedived into the Sahara.
These timings are pretty difficult on the crews, I would think.25 Mar 2016
Yes, fatigue was cited as one cause of the Colgan Air accident. The co-pilot was struggling with a cold after sleeping very little over the preceding two days.
As if often the case, there were a lot of other factors cited, including inattention on the part of the flight crew.. This was a textbook example of how things can go horribly wrong in a very short period of time, resulting in a total loss of control. An accident that sadly could have been avoided.25 Mar 2016
Another contributing factor could be that, unlike the Aeroflot flights that diverted, the Fly Dubai crew would have been reluctant to divert to an airport not serviced by the airline.
Pure speculation, but I wonder if management at Fly Dubai may have put pressure on the pilots to land at the scheduled airport to avoid (1) accommodating passengers with hotels and/or transport or worse, forcing everyone to sleep on the plane because there was no ground services support (2) accommodating crew (3) avoiding delays to the return flight which the aircraft was no doubt operating back to Dubai.
If diverting was so easy, if not for the above, why didn’t the pilots just divert given they had plenty of fuel etc…26 Mar 2016
StogieGuy – It’s all to do with connectivity. Rostov-on-Don has very few links to the outside world.
The unsocial hours timings are aimed at attracting as many connecting passengers as possible to use the Dubai hub.
For example, the return flight from Rostov to Dubai is in the wee hours because it can then feed the bank of morning long-haul departures,26 Mar 2016