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The new fuel rules - CASA fail

Old 13th Nov 2018, 03:14
  #41 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by FGD135 View Post
dartman2, we are all aware that these new rules prescribe the minimum fuel that must be loaded. In my opinion, these new minimums are just too minimum, and now, a great deal of "learning the hard way" will have to be done by the industry to get us back to the "sensible centre" that we were at, prior to these rules.

This is a great shame. Australia had accumulated almost a hundred years of hard won experience in fuel requirements and fuel management, and CASA is throwing most of that experience away.

Many pilots and operators will mistakenly believe that because these minimums are CASA sanctioned, they must be "safe".
Whilst I don't entirely disagree with you, the fact remains that these rules are essentially the same as used in many other parts of the world. In my employment (foreign) we can land with 30 minutes at an alternate and 15 following an in flight failure.
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Old 13th Nov 2018, 03:18
  #42 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Macktuk
FFR is not useable at the flight planning stage, it does become useable the minute you take off, lets not forget that!
No it's not, unless you want to declare a Mayday.
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Old 13th Nov 2018, 03:53
  #43 (permalink)  
 
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I think the Foreign Pilots here need to remember that Australia isn't exactly blessed with a large number of Major Airports to land at all over the place, especially when you're talking Jets, there's a lot of extremely empty countryside out there.

My personal question is, Why did CASA see fit to change this rule? They carry on all the time that they're doing everything for safety and to increase it but this seems like a step backwards? You'll always have operators who push people into taking the minimum required fuel and they now have set that minimum even lower. I don't think the problem is so much with the RPT side of things, I think the big issue will be with GA personally, Pilots at the lower end are under much greater pressure and lower margins with bosses that don't always care as much as they should.

I honestly don't think they'd have anything to back themselves up with in terms of data to show that this will have no impact on Safety for GA or indeed even RPT. Large Jets/RPT possibly, as their figures are much better tracked and there would be plenty of reliable data to be taken from Operators to show what effect this has but at the GA level I think they would have no indication whatsoever and this is what really annoys me about these decisions is the lack of any real clear decision making rationale from CASA and the lack of any reported Data or Research that backs them up in regards to it. They should be held accountable and required to release their research into the impact of these changes beyond simply stating "ICAO", ICAO are there to give us recommendations and we are meant to take them and check if they're applicable to our country and how things work, not just blindly follow them.
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Old 13th Nov 2018, 05:23
  #44 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by LeadSled View Post
PS: Some of you still do not have a clue about the immutable engineering rules of "order of accuracy". The FFR (or whatever it is called this week) is to cover said "order of accuracy" or, put another way, so that you still have your engine(s) runnings touchdown ---- you DO NOT necessarily have 30 minutes of usable fuel. ALL usable fuel is the fuel except the FFR.
That'a an interesting interpretation. Can you cite a reference? You are saying that when they say 30 minutes, they don't actually mean being sure you have enough fuel for 30 minutes?

If you burn 15 litres/h, and can gauge fuel level in 2 tanks with +/- 5 litres accuracy your margin of error is 40 minutes... 30 minutes doesn't help much. 30 minutes plus whatever uncertainty is in the reading seems like a much more likely interpretation.

Last edited by andrewr; 13th Nov 2018 at 05:24. Reason: typo
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Old 13th Nov 2018, 05:54
  #45 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by dartman2 View Post
Whilst I don't entirely disagree with you, the fact remains that these rules are essentially the same as used in many other parts of the world. In my employment (foreign) we can land with 30 minutes at an alternate and 15 following an in flight failure.
However in Australia that alternate doesn't exist. CASA are saying you can flight plan to land at your destination with fixed reserves. Now consider, that they are saying you can do that at a single runway, remote airfield, of which there are many and you are asking for trouble. Like alot of things there is nothing wrong with the ICAO rules, it's just that CASA are selective about which they use and they seem to be erring more on the operators side of the equation rather than safety.

My personal question is, Why did CASA see fit to change this rule? They carry on all the time that they're doing everything for safety and to increase it but this seems like a step backwards?
Yes I agree.

Last edited by neville_nobody; 13th Nov 2018 at 06:24.
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Old 13th Nov 2018, 06:23
  #46 (permalink)  
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However in Australia that alternate doesn't exist.
I think, neville, that you are referring to the European situation where flights always carry an alternate? In Australia, you may be required to carry an alternate.
... they seem to be erring more on the operators side of the equation rather than safety.
Definitely.


For those aircraft not required to carry any VR, the chances they will eat into their FR following a minimum-fuel departure is a guaranteed 50%.

For turbines doing RPT and CHTR, the chance is (estimated) 25%.


Those are alarmingly high probabilities.
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Old 13th Nov 2018, 06:29
  #47 (permalink)  
 
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I think, neville, that you are referring to the European situation where flights always carry an alternate? In Australia, you may be required to carry an alternate.
The only alternates CASA requires you to carry are weather or possibly a Navaid alternate. If you actually read the ICAO rules they say you should carry alternates for a whole host of other reasons, none of which appear in the Australian Regulations, I suspect this is what some of the foreigners here don't realise.
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Old 13th Nov 2018, 07:29
  #48 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by andrewr View Post
That'a an interesting interpretation. Can you cite a reference? You are saying that when they say 30 minutes, they don't actually mean being sure you have enough fuel for 30 minutes?

If you burn 15 litres/h, and can gauge fuel level in 2 tanks with +/- 5 litres accuracy your margin of error is 40 minutes... 30 minutes doesn't help much. 30 minutes plus whatever uncertainty is in the reading seems like a much more likely interpretation.
Andrewr, I believe what he is referring to is that your FFR is meant to cover a few things such as Accuracy, Potential Fuel Contamination (Water), Mis-Reading (Not the same as accuracy) and a host of other potentials. If we did not have this then anytime someone slightly misreads their gauge, splashes it up the dipstick a bit high, has a bubble in their tank, puts the dipstick in on a bit of an angle by accident etc...etc... you're opening yourself up to getting overhead thinking you have 5-10mins spare (enough time to land) but actually not, or worse yet getting to that situation 5-10mins before arriving rather than in the circuit. I was always taught FFR is meant to be a final guard against a variety of potential mistakes/issues that could be easily made/missed. In other words you think you have that 30mins in the tank but you've should never assume you actually do.
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Old 13th Nov 2018, 09:50
  #49 (permalink)  
 
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Big picture, the rules say you must land, with at least your Final Reserve intact . If you think that is going to be compromised, you have some options, either divert land refuel somewhere it is still intact at. Or, if that is not available, declare “minimum fuel” when you think it might be compromised or Mayday Fuel when you are pretty sure it is compromised . Big picture, it's pretty simple . As any fuel required rules should be.
Real world, we have some modern aircraft that can give the pilot a pretty good idea of how much fuel they still have available. These types normally fly with a computerised flight plan that uses accurate, up to date weather data, and fuel flows . Most larger commercial companies even have fuel monitoring software programs that can adjust fuel flows for individual tail numbers on their flight plans . The reason they go to all the expense of doing this is to enable them to fly without having to cart around extraneous extra fuel, with its added expense .
Other aircraft, like Claires and ganders, fly around with fuel sloshing around in the tanks. With the pilots only having, it seems, a guess at how much is on board, or what endurance is, so feel that they don't need to do enroute fuel checks . But the rules still apply . So knowing the rules, these pilots on-load an amount of fuel, that their planning and experience tells them is sufficient to do the job . We call that, being a pilot. If they need 10% extra or 5% extra doesn't make any difference . On an hours flight that is 3min, on a 3hr flight that is 9min. They know the rule about Final Reserve, and will follow it. Just as they did the day before the new rule took
effect.
Those that are unable to see the big picture, and understand these rules, follow yet another rule . That is the rule of Darwinism .
iCAO, and it now seems CASA, have decided that those with the new flash aeroplanes shouldn't have to be penalised in their fuel planning by those that fly more ancient aircraft . So they have modified the rules, but have left the big picture alone, knowing that pilots should be able to do pilot stuff . And fuel planning to keep your Final Reserve intact, does infact, come under the title of doing pilot stuff.
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Old 13th Nov 2018, 11:19
  #50 (permalink)  
 
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For what it’s worth, QF 737’s are always planned to arrive with at least 75 minutes of fuel, and the average discretionary (Captain’s fuel) is around 20 minutes on top of that.

QF are not changing their policy, nor are their Captains. So, with 246 flights per day, that’s a big chunk out of your 500 flights per day that you don’t need to worry about.
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Old 13th Nov 2018, 18:51
  #51 (permalink)  
 
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So who believes that, as a consequence of these new rules, the rate of fuel exhaustion and starvation events will decrease?
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Old 13th Nov 2018, 20:31
  #52 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Lead Balloon View Post
So who believes that, as a consequence of these new rules, the rate of fuel exhaustion and starvation events will decrease?
There have been several exhaustion and starvation events under the old rules, so they weren't that great.

Maybe a change of rules will also bring about an attitude change and thus the event rate will reduce because more pilots are being more prudent about their fuel planning/monitoring. Maybe.
Neither you or I can say that it will or won't happen.


don, you talk sense. It is pretty simple in the big picture.
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Old 13th Nov 2018, 20:51
  #53 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Ixixly View Post
Andrewr, I believe what he is referring to is that your FFR is meant to cover a few things such as Accuracy, Potential Fuel Contamination (Water), Mis-Reading (Not the same as accuracy) and a host of other potentials. If we did not have this then anytime someone slightly misreads their gauge, splashes it up the dipstick a bit high, has a bubble in their tank, puts the dipstick in on a bit of an angle by accident etc...etc... you're opening yourself up to getting overhead thinking you have 5-10mins spare (enough time to land) but actually not, or worse yet getting to that situation 5-10mins before arriving rather than in the circuit. I was always taught FFR is meant to be a final guard against a variety of potential mistakes/issues that could be easily made/missed. In other words you think you have that 30mins in the tank but you've should never assume you actually do.
This seems unlikely to me. More likely I would say is that for e.g. a 2 hour flight you must be sure you have 2 hours fuel, plus be sure you have 30 minutes reserve. If gauge inaccuracy, splashing or angle of the dipstick etc. mean you can't be sure, add more fuel until you are sure.

Your description sounds more like unusable fuel to me. Unusable fuel can often be used, but you can't be sure due to variations in aircraft attitude, turbulence etc that can affect feed. So it's fuel in the tank but you can't assume you can actually use it.

My understanding of FFR is that it is a final contingency for external events, e.g. the aircraft in front of you is disabled on the runway. It gives you some time to make decisions. Events that would trigger it's use are themselves likely to be considered emergencies. If you can't be sure the fuel is really there, you are back to square 1 where you have to get on the ground ASAP.
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Old 13th Nov 2018, 22:14
  #54 (permalink)  
 
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Why did CASA change the rules? Because it couldn’t prosecute Dominic James under the existing rules.

What will be the outcome? MORE fuel related incidents to investigate and pilots to prosecute.

Overall effect on safety? Probably negative.
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Old 13th Nov 2018, 22:17
  #55 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Capn Bloggs View Post
No it's not, unless you want to declare a Mayday.
OBVIOUSLY! I thought that would have been common sense!
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Old 13th Nov 2018, 22:24
  #56 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by donpizmeov View Post
Big picture, the rules say you must land, with at least your Final Reserve intact . If you think that is going to be compromised, you have some options, either divert land refuel somewhere it is still intact at. Or, if that is not available, declare “minimum fuel” when you think it might be compromised or Mayday Fuel when you are pretty sure it is compromised . Big picture, it's pretty simple . As any fuel required rules should be.
Real world, we have some modern aircraft that can give the pilot a pretty good idea of how much fuel they still have available. These types normally fly with a computerised flight plan that uses accurate, up to date weather data, and fuel flows . Most larger commercial companies even have fuel monitoring software programs that can adjust fuel flows for individual tail numbers on their flight plans . The reason they go to all the expense of doing this is to enable them to fly without having to cart around extraneous extra fuel, with its added expense .
Other aircraft, like Claires and ganders, fly around with fuel sloshing around in the tanks. With the pilots only having, it seems, a guess at how much is on board, or what endurance is, so feel that they don't need to do enroute fuel checks . But the rules still apply . So knowing the rules, these pilots on-load an amount of fuel, that their planning and experience tells them is sufficient to do the job . We call that, being a pilot. If they need 10% extra or 5% extra doesn't make any difference . On an hours flight that is 3min, on a 3hr flight that is 9min. They know the rule about Final Reserve, and will follow it. Just as they did the day before the new rule took
effect.
Those that are unable to see the big picture, and understand these rules, follow yet another rule . That is the rule of Darwinism .
iCAO, and it now seems CASA, have decided that those with the new flash aeroplanes shouldn't have to be penalised in their fuel planning by those that fly more ancient aircraft . So they have modified the rules, but have left the big picture alone, knowing that pilots should be able to do pilot stuff . And fuel planning to keep your Final Reserve intact, does infact, come under the title of doing pilot stuff.
Well said, excellent work there councilor:-) The KISS method can & does work, we tend to over complicate things sometimes:-):-)
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Old 13th Nov 2018, 22:27
  #57 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by andrewr View Post
That'a an interesting interpretation. Can you cite a reference? You are saying that when they say 30 minutes, they don't actually mean being sure you have enough fuel for 30 minutes?
.
Andrewr,
Join the ranks of those who do not understand the engineering/physics of "order of accuracy".

The whole reason for the ICAO "current" (ie: for about the last 30+ years, Australia is slow to catch up) fuel "rules" was a number of near misses and several losses of aircraft due to being out of motion lotion, on the day all the +/- figures were minus.

Look up some of the previous threads on the subject, it has been treated in great detail.

It is not "my interpretation" at all, it is the whole point of having a FFR --- so that you have at least enough fuel remaining, at touchdown, that any or all engines will be running.

Boeing have put it a little more graphically, they have published "minimum fuel for approach", defines (as I recall) as: "That amount of fuel, indicated of calculated, below which Boeing will not guarantee the continued flight of the aircraft". Approach being: defined as 1500 on final in the landing configuration. Again, from memory, for a B747 Classic, it is 12,000lbs.

Qantas has been running this type of fuel policy, with 30m FFR, since, from memory, some time in the 1980s. Again, in "recent" years, FAR 25 certification requirements are that below a certain figure, the fuel contents system is software biased so the that indicated fuel remaining is at least that much, it might be quite a lot more, depending on the +/- on the day. Again from memory, for the B747-400, it is 25,000kg

The ONLY thing "new" about the "new" CASA rules is the mandatory mayday, we should have a more sensible and less newsworthy way of handling a minimum fuel situation.

This kerfuffle is another example of Australia as the Great Aviation Galapagos..

Tootle pip!!
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Old 14th Nov 2018, 08:38
  #58 (permalink)  
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"Protecting" variable reserve

When an enroute diversion due engine failure or depressurisation is a possibility, and we have loaded some variable reserve (VR), CASA says we must "protect" that VR until reaching the diversion point. But they don't say how this can be done.

So, just how does one "protect" their VR?

Perhaps they think there is a switch in the cockpit, labelled "Variable Reserve Consume - OFF/ON", and for those flights that require it, we set the switch to "OFF" before takeoff, then to "ON" when we get to the critical point.

Seriously, CASA?
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Old 14th Nov 2018, 10:27
  #59 (permalink)  
 
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You seem like a smart fella FGD. Let's look big picture again shall we . You have a concern, that at your diversion point, if you were divert because of eng fail or depressurisation, you may end up at the diversion airport without the required amount of fuel . You probably recognised this because of the rule about the required amount of arrival fuel?
We could:
A) chuck on some more fuel to ensure we are satisfied we have enough . Maybe use some planning and experience to do this. In which case that rule about the required amount of arrival fuel has done it's job .
B) get all worried because the authority didn't write a rule to show me how to do pilot stuff .
C) follow the darwinism rule and do nothing .

If the rules tell you what you need to be able to achieve, do they really need to go into the nitty gritty on how you must achieve it? Surely they only need to provide enough guidance to allow you, your training, your aircraft performance manual, company SOP etc decide how it's done .

The aircraft I fly has been designed to keep on truckin after a single failure . Should the authorities penalise it's operation with all-encompassing rules that are needed for less capable aeroplanes?

As I said before, big picture fuel planning means you decide if you have enough, or don't have enough . The rules give guidance on how much you need to arrive with . The journey to that point, and its planning is rightly given to the PIC to organise .

Last edited by donpizmeov; 14th Nov 2018 at 10:40.
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Old 14th Nov 2018, 22:06
  #60 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by donpizmeov View Post
You seem like a smart fella FGD. Let's look big picture again shall we . You have a concern, that at your diversion point, if you were divert because of eng fail or depressurisation, you may end up at the diversion airport without the required amount of fuel . You probably recognised this because of the rule about the required amount of arrival fuel?
We could:
A) chuck on some more fuel to ensure we are satisfied we have enough . Maybe use some planning and experience to do this. In which case that rule about the required amount of arrival fuel has done it's job .
B) get all worried because the authority didn't write a rule to show me how to do pilot stuff .
C) follow the darwinism rule and do nothing .

If the rules tell you what you need to be able to achieve, do they really need to go into the nitty gritty on how you must achieve it? Surely they only need to provide enough guidance to allow you, your training, your aircraft performance manual, company SOP etc decide how it's done .

The aircraft I fly has been designed to keep on truckin after a single failure . Should the authorities penalise it's operation with all-encompassing rules that are needed for less capable aeroplanes?

As I said before, big picture fuel planning means you decide if you have enough, or don't have enough . The rules give guidance on how much you need to arrive with . The journey to that point, and its planning is rightly given to the PIC to organise .
Another well composed post, man you are all over it there:-)
I'm paid as a Capt to make command decisions that fit into the rule box that CASA have designed (don't agree with some but such is life). I don't make the rules I just have to work within them. There are options like there should be with all aspects of aviation but some come with consequences like "Fuel Mayday", it's there in place just in case you are having a really bad day despite all your command capabilities, none of us are perfect, we ALL make mistakes & we hopefully learn from them:-)
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