A Boeing 737-800 operated by Ryanair, the World’s most hated airline, was recently forced into declaring an emergency and landing at an alternate airport due to being too low on fuel.
The Ryanair flight on the 14th May was due to fly between Stansted and Alicante in Spain but ended up landing safely in Valencia, which is about 70 miles away.
Upon it’s initial attempt to land on runway 10 at Alicante Airport (LEAL), the aircraft experienced windsheer and was forced to go around for another try. This time the crew decided to use runway 28 but again experienced similar wind conditions and aborted the landing.
A “Pan” call was made by the pilot to indicate urgency due to the fact that they were now below the final fuel reserve and the aircraft was diverted to Valencia. But on the approach the situation was upgraded to a full emergency by making a “MAYDAY” call.
After the landing, the final fuel quantities were checked and it was found that there was just 440kg in tank 1 and 470kg in tank 2. The central fuel tank was empty.
The crew re-fueled and continued to Alicante where they arrived over 2 hours late.
Thank goodness for the sake of the passengers that this delay resulted in no trumpet fanfare being played!
An investigation by the Spanish Civil Aviation Authorities is underway.