Fuel Range of 757-200 from JFK to Zurich

May 11th, 2009, 08:26 AM
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Fuel Range of 757-200 from JFK to Zurich

What are your feelings about taking a non-stop 757-200 flight from JFK to Zurich? We are booked on a Delta flight in August, and have become a little concerned about the flying range of the aircraft. It seems like they're cutting a little close. I believe it's a new flight for Delta and hasn't even started.
freberta is offline  
May 11th, 2009, 09:20 AM
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Per the Delta website JFK-ZRH is 3931 miles and the aircraft has a range of 4722 miles.

Regulations require a margin which is easily covered in the 800 mile difference. If there are high headwinds they may have to stop for a drink on the return westbound but overall as a passenger I would not be concerned. Basically the airline has enough smarts to know whether an aircraft has the range for a route.
NoFlyZone is offline  
May 11th, 2009, 09:49 AM
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The plane wouldn't be allowed to fly the route if it wasn't capable of flying the route safely
alanRow is offline  
May 11th, 2009, 10:16 AM
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For summer, the thing to be concerned is that the westbound flight from ZRH to JFK will not have a lot of fuel reserve when getting to the US. That means, if there's significant delays at JFK that day, the flight cannot just be put on hold circling around for an hour or more, waiting for a landing slot. It will have to be diverted to a nearby airport and wait for JFK to clear up.

For winter, if the headwind is real strong that day, it'll mean a fuel stop. Don't know where DL likes to refuel, but Continental 757s had fairly regularly refueled at Goose Bay or Gander in Canada.
rkkwan is offline  
May 11th, 2009, 10:25 AM
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Just to add that again, the fuel stop for the winter flight will be westbound only.

Eastbound JFK-ZRH is not an issue.
rkkwan is offline  
May 11th, 2009, 06:27 PM
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Thank you for your replies. We usually don't worry about things like this, but my husband was surprised to see that Delta (and other airlines, as we found out) flies 757's on transatlantic flights. I just remember the jetliner that crashed in NY several years ago when it ran out of fuel after circling. I would hope that pilots and air traffic controllers know better now after that tragic incident.

Again, thanks. Your comments were very helpful.
freberta is offline  
May 11th, 2009, 07:44 PM
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There is zero correlation between an aircraft running out of fuel and the range of it.

The longest range aircraft flying a short route can just as easily run out of fuel, as that'd definitely be a human error involved.
rkkwan is offline  
May 12th, 2009, 03:30 AM
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Any aircraft flying any route will take only the fuel needed for the flight plus extra fuel for safety purposes (weather conditions, congested taxi/ approach/ holding, diversion to other airports).
Even if you were flying JFK-ZRH with an extra long-range aircraft, it would not fill the tanks to the limit, but only take the fuel needed (and rather fly with tanks half-empty than to carry around unnecessary weigth). So even a 777 or A340 going from JFK to ZRH will have more or less the same actual range as your 757.
Cowboy1968 is offline  
May 12th, 2009, 06:51 AM
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But like I said, for the westbound from ZRH, an airline may opt to carry extra extra fuel on a longer range aircraft in the summer in anticipation of delays at JFK. That will allow it to be put on hold for longer than a 757 can.

And in winter, a longer range aircraft won't require a fuel stop enroute, while a 757 may, if the headwind is strong for the westbound.

So, there are real differences. In those situation I mentioned, you're talking about 2-3 hours of delay minimum. It is simply not safety related.
rkkwan is offline  

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