Hi I'm sure this topic has been discussed before, but I'm unable to find it, so I ask the question straight away: In Europe (commercial jet) I'm required to have my final reserve in my tank after landing (30min holding 1500ft above Dest (if no alternate needed) or Alternate).
Soon I'll be flying to the USA, some Pilots told me I need Final Reserve + Alternate fuel in my tanks after landing. Is that true, and where can I find any reference on that? Thanks in advance.
MD11 should be sure as he is correct. However,flight plan normally include an alternate and minimum contigency fuel. Landing with only reserves and if ramp check would certainly raise many eybrows and would lead to further investigation,eventhough legal. Dont you have sops concerning international fuel uplift?ICAO fuel would be a good start.. I believe you only need reserve fuel at landing eventhough not recommended of course and planning should include 10perc trip time contingency fuel on top of your minimum reserve fuel of 30 mins. I would always file an alternate,but if you have fuel uplift restriction,(too heavy to make it in one go,you may use the redispatch regulation).
No person may dispatch or take off an airplane unless it has enough fuel--
(a) To fly to the airport to which it is dispatched;
(b) Thereafter, to fly to and land at the most distant alternate airport (where required) for the airport to which dispatched; and
(c) Thereafter, to fly for 45 minutes at normal cruising fuel consumption or, for certificate holders who are authorized to conduct day VFR operations in their operations specifications and who are operating nontransport category airplanes type certificated after December 31, 1964, to fly for 30 minutes at normal cruising fuel consumption for day VFR operations.
Amdt. 121-251, Eff. 1/19/96
Nothing in the books about after takeoff other than how to report minimum fuel or emergency fuel.
Thanks for all the answers so far. To clarify: I'm aware of all the fuel reserves and how a planning should be done. My question is: If it's one of those days (long taxi, i don't get my FL, approach delay, whatever..) and i'm committing myself to my destination (10 Rwys, CAVOK) and I start using my alternate fuel before being on the ground, so I land with Final Reserve, but without Alternate fuel - is this still legal? Some tell me it's not - I'm looking for the reference if there's one.
[quote]If it's one of those days (long taxi, i don't get my FL, approach delay, whatever..[/ Bad day indeed.
I land with Final Reserve, but without Alternate fuel - is this still legal?
Im quite sure it is.your alternate can be changed while enroute if it complies with the alternate weather minima specified by your regulator/airline. If you arrive at x airport with multiple runways/approach aid in CAVOK,this airport can be used as your new alternate,hence landing with min reserve is ok but far from being recommended. Reserve fuel is indeed for your alternate,a way out but also for last resort contigency fuel,,,go around. I would not like being in a position where arriving with min reserve fuel and knowing a go aroung will leave me 10 mins of fuel onboard. Keep your reserve as much as you can,know your rules but dont abuse them.
In the US for Domestic, there is no such thing as "final reserve." It's just "reserve." That's what you use for the "known unknowns" (higher than forecast wind, unexpected holds, etc.).
There is no requirement for that fuel to be onboard when you land.
There is no requirement to divert, either. If you're 5 minutes from landing at DEST and you're going to use your RES, there is no need to go burning more fuel to go to a more distant airport.
Then again, there's always the "careless and reckless" FAA gotcha. If you knew well ahead that you were going to be in an emergency fuel state and you overflew several nice fields, then you could be in trouble. Make a smart choice and be able to defend it.
Edit: If you're flying international, obviously US Domestic doesn't apply. US regs don't require you to land with reserve, but it sounds like you'd be using the regs of your flag, no?
Last edited by ImbracableCrunk; 19th Apr 2012 at 13:32.
220.127.116.11.3. In-flight fuel management
￼￼￼￼The flight must be conducted so that the expected usable fuel remaining on arrival at the destination aerodrome is not less than:
(a) the required alternate fuel plus final reserve fuel, or
(b) the final reserve fuel if no alternate aerodrome is required.
￼However, if, as a result of an in-flight fuel check, the expected usable fuel remaining on arrival at the destination aerodrome is less than:
(a) the required alternate fuel plus final reserve fuel, the commander must take into account the traffic and the operational conditions prevailing at the destination aerodrome, at the destination alternate aerodrome and at any other adequate aerodrome, in deciding whether to proceed to the destination aerodrome or to divert so as to perform a safe landing with not less than final reserve fuel;
(b) the final reserve fuel if no alternate aerodrome is required, the commander must take appropriate action and proceed to an adequate aerodrome so as to perform a safe landing with not less than final reserve fuel.
￼The commander shall declare an emergency when calculated usable fuel on landing, at the nearest adequate aerodrome
The very same rule is applicable when you go to the US.
Too lazy to look it up, but I thought in EU if you have an alternate the final min reserve is 30 minutes. However if you plan without an alternate ( which is allowed with certain requirements ie flight no longer than 6 hours etc) then your final fuel is 45 mins.
so I land with Final Reserve, but without Alternate fuel - is this still legal?
Naturally - yes! If you had to divert (go to an alternate) then obviously, you use some of your Alternate Fuel - which is what it is carried for. Therefore, after landing at alternate - the fuel has done it`s job and you have arrived at the alternate or second alternate. Many, if not most, if not all, carriers also include a `navigational` amount of fuel addition at approx 5% plus another 5% (I forgot what this second 5% is for, but I am sure you will enlighten me) = totalling 10% of total carried on top of your, taxi, t/o, climb, step, cruise, diversion, descent, appr, G/A, divert lo alt, hold/island holding, taxi, and is added to any SOP additions that the airline requires for their particular operation as stipulated by the local Civil/Federal Aviation authority/administration and of course, ICAO, who as you know have recently amended a document on minimum fuel.
All of this is not taking into consideration ETOPS which as you all know requires a much larger amount of fuel to be carried as per the ETOPS requirements subject to a particular operation/route/dist from land over the sea/ocean.
Holding fuel - and (for remote out of the way exotic locations) Island Holding fuel - (although this was not part of the question above).
. . (don`t forget enough fuel for wing relief loading + whatever your company wants in your tanks at destination)
Last edited by Natstrackalpha; 20th Apr 2012 at 06:21.
Yes, policy should be written in the Ops Manual. Also, fuel requirements are based on what is required by your operating certificate, not what some other regulator around the world might think. OTOH, most regulators frown upon landing with 0 usable fuel remaining...
Our Dispatch Release includes a Minimum Fuel for Takeoff, which includes all required reserves. Once airborne, headwinds or other delays may eat into reserves.
I use my personal minimum landing fuel plus fuel to alternate as the minimum acceptable landing fuel at destination. If something happens that puts projected landing fuel below that figure, I start looking for alternatives.
Thankfully, not every possible contingency is written into regulations. That's why they pay Captains extra money to think and decide...
Would really depend on your operations manual in theory if your flight was planned with an alternate and everything went to plan you would land with final reserve, alternate and contingency.
If things started to go wrong inflight first you would use your contingency (that's why it's there)
We then have a provision in our operations manual to commit to the destination airport subject to various conditions.. Then in these circumstances we can use the alternate fuel.
The commander shall ensure that the flight is conducted so that the expected useable fuel remaining on arrival at the destination aerodrome is not less than:
• The required Alternate Fuel plus Final Reserve Fuel, or
• The Final Reserve Fuel if no alternate aerodrome is required
If as the result of an in-flight fuel check, the expected useable fuel remaining on arrival at the destination aerodrome is less than:
(a) The required Alternate Fuel plus Final Reserve Fuel, the Commander must take into account the traffic and the operational conditions prevailing at the destina-tion aerodrome, at the destination alternate aerodrome and at any other adequate aerodrome, in deciding whether to proceed to the destination aerodrome or to divert so as to perform a safe landing with not less than Final Reserve Fuel, or
(b) The Final Reserve Fuel if no alternate aerodrome is required, the Commander must take appropriate action and proceed to an adequate aerodrome so as to perform a safe landing with not less than Final Reserve Fuel.
In all cases the following fuel conservation measures should be considered in the event of a fuel shortfall:
(a) Decrease aircraft speed (down to Max Range Speed / Cost Index minimum)
(b) Obtain a more direct route
(c) Fly closer to the optimum FL (taking the wind into account)
(d) Select a closer alternate aerodrome
(e) Land and refuel
NOTE: A landing is “assured” if, in the judgement of the Flight Crew, it could be completed in the event of any forecast deterioration in the weather and plausible single failures of ground and/or airborne facilities e.g. CAT II/III to CAT I.
LOW FUEL STATE If at any time, it becomes apparent that the aircraft may land with less than Final Reserve Fuel; an emergency “PAN” call to ATC must be made, reporting fuel remaining in minutes. ATC must thereafter be kept fully informed of the situation. If at any time, it is evident that the aircraft will land with less than Final Reserve Fuel remaining; an emergency “MAYDAY” call must be made, reporting fuel remaining in minutes.
ADDITIONAL CONDITIONS FOR ALTERNATIVE FUEL PROCEDURES
RCF PROCEDURE On a flight using the RCF procedure, in order to proceed to the Destination 1 aerodrome, the Commander must ensure that the useable fuel remaining at the decision point is at least the total of:
(a) Trip Fuel from the decision point to the destination 1 aerodrome; and
(b) Contingency Fuel equal to 5% of the trip fuel from the decision point to destination 1 aerodrome; and
(c) Destination 1 aerodrome Alternate Fuel, if a destination 1 alternate aerodrome is required; and
As has been pointed out above, there is no fuel regulation after you have taken off. You use as one example a long taxi, that could be a violation as you took off without enough fuel. So if you land with 35 minutes fuel, as long as you can show you departed with enough fuel, it is not a violation.
And in the US if you require an alternate airport, no matter what the weather at your destination, the alternate must be a different airport.
It would be interesting to see an example how an ultra long haul such as Dubai to LAX is planned and where the enroute alternate would be. The logistics of lobbing in to say Vancouver and how to continue the flight must be interesting.
The Lufthansa 747 that ended up at some little known Russian airfield this week en route from China demonstrates some of the issues. The pax apparently sat on the plane while the crew took their mandated rest. At least there is a terrific hotel at Vancouver airport!