View Full Version : amber EFOB msg in A320 ...

1st Mar 2008, 03:00
Many a times it had happened that during holding at takeoff point, I ended up eating taxi fuel provided + a bit of 30 min holding fuel at alternnate. I know my takeoffs in such cases were :mad:, but the amber EFOB msg on ground vanishes after takeoff as contingency fuel adds up and I get extra time of 2-3 min. I have been trying to figure out the best course of action (legal & practical), in case amber EFOB msg remains or pops up again after takeoff or in cruise .. changing the alternate to a closer one is one option, but suppose that option is not available to you in this scenario. what would be right course of action? turn back, declare fuel emergency, request priority landing, keep quiet, land in middle of the route and pick extra fuel ?????????

in case of fuel leak scenario, I think amber EFOB msg in FMGS on fuel page would be the first indication to pilot... won't it be????


1st Mar 2008, 08:01
The rules change when airborne. Presumably you were satisfied with the fuel onboard when you took off (as you did infact take off). Having got airborne you can then plan to continue or divert so as to land with a minimum of 30 mins final reserve fuel onboard providing you satisfy the requirments for landing with final reserve fuel only in your company fuel policy.

Nick 1
1st Mar 2008, 08:26
Take more fuel , or change company.

1st Mar 2008, 08:45
I know my takeoffs in such cases were illegal, but the amber EFOB msg on ground vanishes after takeoff

So you're legal as soon as amber EFOB disappears?

Is your "30 min hold at alternate" euphemism for final reserve fuel?

Please tell me that I have completely misunderstood your post.

Sean Dell
1st Mar 2008, 08:54
I am absoultely (and I mean that) horrified by IFLY INDIGO (or should that be AMBER) posting! Since when did management pressure influence your fuel decision. Take what you are comfortable with no less! If you have proof of pressure from your management over your fuel decision, then I suggest you take it to the very highest authority in India, and let them sort it out.


Good Luck

Right Way Up
1st Mar 2008, 09:11
No company should stop you from taking extra fuel that is warranted. Maybe upping taxi fuel would a good start. Once you have pushed back you do not need contingency fuel, so if it makes you feel better make the contingency figure on the fuel pred page = 0. That would get rid of the message and give you a more realistic extra fuel figure.

1st Mar 2008, 10:03
OK, let's bring in another angle here.

What about the Canadian operators who conduct no alternate IFR commercial flights. They are regularly landing with 11 - 1200kgs in a 320 with no option to go to another airport.....................

Back on this thread - How much fuel you have at taxi out can be a variable feast. It is easy to specify a more remote alternate knowing you have somewhere closer - that get's you round the fuel policy very well.

2nd Mar 2008, 04:34
friends, I see a confusion about the subject of the thread... What I meant was to discuss the pilots action "once you are in amber EFOB situation" due to any reason, not to discuss the fuel uplift.. I should have not added the first 2-3 lines in the opening post.. kindly ignore that...

the scenario is " after airborne, or sometime in the cruise, you see EFOB amber in FMGS"... what should be the legal & practical action NOW?

Tail-take-off , as per indian regulation, in case of replanning the flight in air, you should still be meeting the requirements of the minimum fuel NORMALLY.. now not meeting the requirements would make the scenario abnormal..

Clandestino, in my knowledge, take off would be a violation/illegal if pilot sees the amber EFOB (negative EFOB) before takeoff and continues with the takeoff.. it means that you are taking off with less the 'minimum required fuel' as per regulations...

Right way up, in my knowledge, the contingency fuel is meant to be used in the air, not on the ground. you can not count the contingency fuel 'in' till the time you are airborne.. once you are airborne, FMGS automatically makes it zero and thats the reason why I got extra time positive, after taking off with negative extra time...

javelin, my company also has the policy for operating to some destinations without alternate..


2nd Mar 2008, 08:27

Could you expand a bit when you say you see an amber EFOB message on the ground prior to takeoff... is that on the FMGC page or on the ECAM?

By the way I think you should delete the part about being illegal on your first message (or change your login name)... any journos get a sniff that could be interesting!

Right Way Up
2nd Mar 2008, 10:16
The FMGC does not automatically make contingency zero airborne, the figure reduces as it is only a % of the required trip fuel which is reducing all the time. Once my aircraft has started engines for the purpose of flight I am effectively past the planning stage so the contingency fuel can be used up. However this is based on my ops manual which is Jar Ops compliant. There may be differences depending on your regulatory authority.

2nd Mar 2008, 12:37
elecdeathjet, the amber msg comes on FMGS.. :mad:

RWU, in our airplanes, contigency fuel becomes zero immediately after takeoff, and as per indian regulations, definition of contingency fuel is "extra fuel for unforseen conditions IN FLIGHT"...


3rd Mar 2008, 19:54
Hi. I believe that regulations points more into operational fuel planning than FMS calculations. As long as you land with the minimum fuel required you are ok on regulations, despite off what your fms says. Fuel pred page seems more a tool to me than a certificate. I base that on two questions. During preflight you make all your calculations with all the last minute data available. Winds aloft, performances tables, and operational factors that fms doesn’t know, such as it could be that ldg gear has to be down for the whole flight. After that, you must sign a paper copy as a legal probe that you are not a blockhead. That paper is the one you must show to the jury to defend why you landed over the whitehouse backyard. The second question is that it is not so unusual to see that msg in flight. i.e. A340, 11 hrs of flight and a distant alternate if you don’t introduce the step climbs or download the winds aloft the fms shows that msg, until it realizes that you are clever than him. :} You can also modify the crz lvl, and the tropopause to clear the msg. I believe that it is also possible change the crztemp in the A320.

3rd Mar 2008, 21:09
If the F-PLAN represents the route you will fly, includes the arrival and approach - if the CRZ FL is correct, the winds and OAT are entered - then the EFOB at destination will be pretty accurate.
If that is less than required by your Company or Indian regulations, then you have to make a decision. No amount of technical fiddling will help you, all it takes is the courage to actually make that decision.

4th Mar 2008, 04:45
ppppilot, thanks for sharing the wisdom :ok:.. you are right that FMS fuel pred page is just a tool not a panacea.. cheating a bit with FMS data input can help the pilot in rubbing out the amber EFOB msg..

but in real critical situations, I would not like to put my head in the sand :sad: by cheating only.. I would rather declare the fuel shortage and ask for priority landing... what happens afterward is just a matter for good paperwork..:D... thanks TP for your comment.. I agree with you...


5th Mar 2008, 10:05
IflyI. Be more specific on your queries and you will obtain more exact answers.
I understood from your opening post if amber msg in the fms it is a legal advisory to declare emerg or taxi back to the ramp.
Later you pointed more in that way, saying to kindly ignore the first two lines of the post.
Nothing to see with running out of fuel. Pay attention to the second phrase in my post… As long as you land with …
Further from that…
If you are talking about how to make your best fuel predictions. Do not consider the fms your ONLY source of information. Give to your paperwork a chance.
In an 11 hrs. flights when I reach the first crz fl, the first thing I do is check systems and fuel. I compare actual burned off with that I have on my operational flight plan OFP. Even with all the data perfectly introduced into the fms and the latest winds downloaded from the acars, the FMS ETA and EFOB at destination use not to match with OFP. The deviation can be big so as to produce an amber msg. At that point your experience must talk. As flight goes by, both FMS and OFP gets closer on predictions.
I am used to deal with the best flight planning software at the companies where I have flown. One of the best soft is the Lufthansa Lido. http://www.lhsystems.com/topic3/topic33/ (http://www.lhsystems.com/topic3/topic33/) . It is tighten, like the nuts of a german submarine, to real. It is difficult to get a hundred kilos in or out from the lido at the end of the flight. But to be honest I must say I have not used it on long haul flights.
Finally. I may deduce from your latest words that you are talking about the use of contingency fuel. This is a very common question and there are thousands of discussions in pprune and all over the internet. Query for Indian regulations first and after do a search on contingency fuel. You will read thousands of experiences on that.