LONDON – Earlier this week, a VivaColombia Airbus A320neo landed in Monteira, Colombia, with only 200kg worth of fuel left, sparking an investigation.
The aircraft in question was HK-5378, which is a 1.1-year-old aircraft, having been delivered to VivaColombia back in September 2021.
The Flight Itself…
HK-5378 was operating VH8332 between Cali and Riohacha, as per data from RadarBox.com.
The aircraft was descending into Riohacha when the crew had to abort the approach at around FL180 and enter a hold for around 30 minutes, The Aviation Herald reports.
VH8332 then climbed to FL370, with plans to divert to Medellin when the crew had to abort the approach to the city at FL150.
From there, the aircraft climbed back up to FL210 before declaring a low fuel emergency, resulting in the diversion into Monteira on Runway 32.
Only 200kgs of Fuel Left…
The totalizer on the A320neo showed that the aircraft had around 100kg in its left fuel tank and around 110kg in the right-hand tank, showing around 200-210kgs remaining after landing.
VivaColombia reported that the canceled approaches into Medellin and Riohacha were due to degraded weather, making a landing impossible.
It is also understood the aircraft had around three hours’ worth of fuel available for what should have been an 80-minute flight between Cali and Riohacha.
Below, you can see a photo taken by a passenger showing how low on fuel the aircraft was:
What is also telling in that photo is the fact that the aircraft used 6,780kgs worth of fuel during this time, with the FOB indicator saying 200kgs upon disembarking.
Based on the fuel burn of the aircraft, this meant that the aircraft had around six minutes of fuel left, which is very low, especially when it comes to diversions.
Therefore, it is quite understandable why a fuel diversion was declared as a result of the two failed approaches.
This is a developing story.