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New Fuel Rules! Land in a "field" what a joke!

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New Fuel Rules! Land in a "field" what a joke!

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Old 8th Jun 2018, 01:35
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Thumbs down New Fuel Rules! Land in a "field" what a joke!

https://www.casa.gov.au/publications...alian-aircraft


All pilots must conduct in-flight fuel management, including in-flight fuel quantity checks at regular intervals.When conducting these checks, you may discover that you would be landing at your original planned destination without sufficient fuel, that is, your fixed fuel reserve remaining.If this occurs, make an alternate plan to land safely with sufficient fuel at a different location than you had originally planned. Your new safe landing location will depend on your aircraft capabilities and the conditions. In some instances, it may not even be an aerodrome but could be a field.However, if a safe landing location is not an option and you are landing with less than your fixed fuel reserve, then you must declare Mayday Fuel.
My bolding

You have to be joking? Who in their right mind is going to call a MAYDAY if they believe they might be 5 or 10 minutes short on their planned fixed reserve? And just who is going to risk their aircraft by landing in a field just short of their destination?

The proposition that pilots are required to put out a MAYDAY if they expect to arrive with less than the mandated reserves, but a MAYDAY FUEL is to be treated differently (by those on the ground) from other MAYDAY's in that "a declaration does not automatically mean that emergency services will be mobilised". A MAYDAY call is supposed to mean "drop everything and pay attention, lives are at risk". A PAN call is what is used for "I have a problem and may need assistance". I think it's a very bad idea to be telling emergency services some MAYDAYs warrant a response and others don't.
A quick check of the ATSB stats show that the majority of fuel incidents relate to fuel starvation (fuel mismanagement) rather than exhaustion (empty tanks).

Obviously there are people in CASA that believe this is a safety issue. What is the problem they are trying to fix?

Last edited by Senior Pilot; 8th Jun 2018 at 03:11. Reason: Fix url link
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Old 8th Jun 2018, 01:49
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When planning to crash, ensure your Fixed Fuel Reserve remains at the end of your crash sequence.
Then, if you are capable of moving, make all efforts to stop your Fixed Fuel Reserve escaping from any breached fuel tank.
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Old 8th Jun 2018, 02:20
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and if you don't declare a fuel mayday it's a criminal offense. if you land with less than fixed reserve it's a criminal offense. and CASA personnel are now empowered by this regulation to check your fuel state on landing.

What this effectively does for any thinking pilot is to cause the carrying of a "litigation reserve" reducing payload and increasing costs.

How many pilots are going to make less than safe decisions with concomitant accidents as a result of this lunacy?
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Old 8th Jun 2018, 02:32
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The CASA link does not open, however I do completely agree with what CASA has been quoted.

Minimum fuel is declared when you look like you will be landing with less than fixed reserve but still above fixed reserve, and mayday declared when reaching your fixed reserve.

It entirely appropriate for a helicopter or a light aircraft to consider an off airport landing for reducing light, weather, or fuel. Many accidents have occurred in the past where people have pressed on without a good outcome.

We all would have had to demonstrate a precautionary landing for a restricted PPL or GFPT. Far better to find a good spot to put down and live to fly another day while you still have fuel than to push on.
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Old 8th Jun 2018, 02:51
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Originally Posted by swh View Post
We all would have had to demonstrate a precautionary landing for a restricted PPL or GFPT. Far better to find a good spot to put down and live to fly another day while you still have fuel than to push on.
Is your post a wind up?

Say you figure out you are 5 minutes short on your fixed reserve at your ultimate destination being an aerodrome with a 2km 30 metre wide asphalt runway with refuelling facilities, you are going to land in a farmers paddock 5 minutes short of your destination and potentially kill yourself running in to power lines or risk bursting into flames with all the useful fuel still in your aircraft when you hit unseen small obstacles when on the ground?

Suit yourself....
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Old 8th Jun 2018, 03:04
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There are pedants and then there are PPRuNe posters on the GA Australian forum.
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Old 8th Jun 2018, 03:12
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The solution if simple: carry a small saw around with you..if you see a CASA ramp checker approaching..quickly cut off the bottom end of your dipstick
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Old 8th Jun 2018, 03:18
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The CASA information sheet is quite clear that it is in line with ICAO, and the OP highlighting the 'land in a field' option seems to have overlooked that helicopters are aircraft and quite capable of landing in paddocks, car parks and hotel gardens


Although I do think that declaring an emergency (Mayday) rather than a PAN leads to a diminution of the effectiveness of Mayday calls overall and seems to overlook that a reserve is just that; fuel to rely upon if the planned flight runs into an unexpected delay or increased fuel burn.




From one who came through a system where we kept very, very quiet until the gauge read 12 minutes remaining in a single engine helicopter hovering alongside the carrier
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Old 8th Jun 2018, 03:34
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The requirement to declare MINIMUM FUEL and MAYDAY FUEL has been in the Jepps for a while. It applies to the big planes as well as the little ones. So statements such as:
and if you don't declare a fuel mayday it's a criminal offense. if you land with less than fixed reserve it's a criminal offense. and CASA personnel are now empowered by this regulation to check your fuel state on landing.
are once again put out by the more hysterical amongst us. Even the term "litigation reserve" is more hyperbole. Thats what your 45 minutes is for in the first instance. If as a PPL you can't organise yourself and flight plan properly that you are not going to arrive at your destination with the FR reserve intact then go and get some professional advise. As the OP stated there have been a lot of fuel starvation fuel exhaustion accidents over the past few years. Clearly fuel management is an issue.
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Old 8th Jun 2018, 03:42
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Thatís exactly correct. Reserve fuel, whether itís alternate, holding, weather, contingency etc is there to be used. If that need arises..it only has to be exactly correct on departure ..what if a plane has lost a wheel on the runway at your destination and the tower advises it will take 15-20 minutes to get a tug to tow it clear...and your alternate if required is 35 minutes away..are you required to divert immediately in case or wait 20 minutes..what if after 20 minutes they say we just need 10 minutes to do a runway inspection..and now you donít have enough fuel for your alternate plus legal reserve..have you done anything wrong?
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Old 8th Jun 2018, 04:41
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Reserve fuel, whether itís alternate, holding, weather, contingency etc is there to be used.
Thats why you have so many fuel exhaustion accidents. At all points along the flight you must have your reserve and any holding be it traffic or weather available. In your example you would have needed to divert at this point:

it will take 15-20 minutes to get a tug to tow it clear...and your alternate if required is 35 minutes away..
Its called command decision making.
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Old 8th Jun 2018, 05:53
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This whole thing reminds me of dealing with thick airline storemen as in: Me: "Give me the spare Thronomister!". zzstoreman: "But if I give it to you, I won't have a spare!".

i can see the necessity of the CASA procedure for any aircraft in controlled airspace since scheduling and prioritization is obviously an issue.

But to apply it as a blanket measure to light aircraft operating into uncontrolled airports is overkill.
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Old 8th Jun 2018, 05:57
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At all points along the flight you must have your reserve and any holding be it traffic or weather available.
thats patently wrong. Only on departure must you all those things. What you say makes no sense. If you hold fuel say; because Brisbane or Sydney requires it for congestion reasons, and you get slowed down and asked to hold, thatís why you took that fuel you can burn it in the hold..if you hold fuel because of an Inter or a Tempo and the weather develops ahead..you are allowed to hold until the weather passes burning that fuel because thatís why you took that fuel
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Old 8th Jun 2018, 06:46
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This issue has been done to death.

Itís just another pointless rule. The pilots involved in fuel exhaustion or starvation incidents arenít in that situation as a consequence of a lack of rules.

Iím not going to be doing a precautionary landing into a ďfieldĒ to ensure the entirety of my fixed reserves remain intact rather than land at my planned destination with less than my fixed reserves intact. And I wonít be declaring a MAYDAY when I calculate that Iíll land with less than fixed reserves intact.

The arseclowns who make these rules can go their hardest, accordingly.
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Old 8th Jun 2018, 06:48
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Folks,
The BIG PICTURE of the "why" of a 30 minute fixed final reserve is ---- that you actually have some fuel left in tanks on landing.

What too many of you seem to not understand or want to understand is that various errors can be cumulative, so that a calculated/indicated fixed final reserve may or may not actually be in the tanks.

You may or may not, in the real world, have 30 minutes endurance remaining.

ICAO didn't pull this one out of thin air, it is the result of a serious of fuel exhaustion or near exhaustion accidents/incidents over many years.

Without the need for "regulation", most major airlines adopted a FFR of 30 minutes thirty or more years ago.

If you want to criticize on this one, criticize CASA for:

(1) Taking this long (thirty years or more) to catch up, and;
(2) Making little or no effective attempt to explain, by effective education (assuming anybody in CASA understands the rational for the ICAO requirement) why the concept of 30 minutes FFR makes a serious contribution to air safety.

Tootle pip!!
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Old 8th Jun 2018, 07:39
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If the forecast or the traffic holding requires x amount of fuel and you have put that on board then there is no problem. If you only carried x and the requirement is now x+y then you need to have x+y fuel on board. If you don't have x+y then you go find somewhere to land that doesn't require x+y and put more fuel on. If you continue to your destination and ignore the new requirement and end up landing with 10 minutes of fuel in your tank then that is a decision that you will have to justify. If you have decided to arrive at your destination with only the FR and your destination is now closed due to a disabled aircraft then you are required to declare MAYDAY FUEL and do whatever is required to ensure the safety of yourself and your passengers. If you had a possible alternate that is 10 minutes away you still have to declare a mayday if you will arrive with less than 45 minutes. If you stooged around waiting because ATC or whoever said it will be cleared up in 35 minutes then had to divert and arrived with only fuel vapours then once again you would have to justify that decision.
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Old 8th Jun 2018, 07:50
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I got down to about 300ft under rainy scuddy weather with very low viz on a cross country as a new ppl. I landed in a field. It was grouse. I’d highly recommend it to anyone. The farmer gave me a smoke and I was on my way an hour later
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Old 8th Jun 2018, 07:56
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Lookleft,
Wonderful post, completely ignoring the fact that, with such small amounts of physical fuel remaining, you have absolutely no idea of endurance remaining, thirty minutes calculated/indicate might be forty minutes, or it might be as good as nothing, it might even be nothing, that is the whole point of FFR, the final order of accuracy safety buffer.
Tootle pip!!

PS: Framer, a smart move.
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Old 8th Jun 2018, 08:01
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swh

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Originally Posted by mikewil View Post
Is your post a wind up?

Say you figure out you are 5 minutes short on your fixed reserve at your ultimate destination being an aerodrome with a 2km 30 metre wide asphalt runway with refuelling facilities, you are going to land in a farmers paddock 5 minutes short of your destination and potentially kill yourself running in to power lines or risk bursting into flames with all the useful fuel still in your aircraft when you hit unseen small obstacles when on the ground?

Suit yourself....
No my post was not a wind up, and I would know well before reaching 35 minutes of fuel left that I would be landing with less that reserve. A precautionary landing also requires planning, it is a procedure everyone has been taught and takes normally 10 minutes or so to ascertain the size, shape, surface, surrounds etc.

The main reasons why light aircraft run low on fuel would be due to weather or being lost. They may not even know there is a runway nearby. If I knew there was a runway nearby and I could get in that is where I would land, it is the safer outcome.

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Old 8th Jun 2018, 09:26
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LS what are you actually commenting on? You are either planning for 30 minutes or you are not. If it is such a small amount of fuel and indeterminate then I would be adding an additional amount for the possible discrepancy. On the one hand you are saying it is difficult to know how much fuel 30 minutes then straight away you are saying thats why there is a FFR. Are your meds up to date?
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