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Ryanair Very Low Fuel Landing

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Ryanair Very Low Fuel Landing

Old 6th Jun 2008, 14:02
  #121 (permalink)  
 
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When you talk about the value of each lbs of fuel, I wonder where all these crews that request startup and taxi only to arrive at the h/p needing next 5 minutes to finish preparations, or request taxi 30 minutes before the CTOT to wait 15 minutes before the runway, come from. Don't they have beancounters?
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Old 6th Jun 2008, 14:44
  #122 (permalink)  
 
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The pros and cons of this thread are most interesting however of all the postings from what I shall call the `minimilists` not one individual has made any reference to the fuel guage accuracy and tolerences. Most manufacturers publish these and a wise captain bears these in mind despite airline fuel policies ignoring this point.
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Old 6th Jun 2008, 16:16
  #123 (permalink)  
 
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As one of your 'minimalists', Meikleour, what point are you trying to make? Here I give you yet another excuse to ignore the calculated PLOG fuel and bung on a bit more for Mum?
When I land, wherever that might be, I calculate, both in Kgs and in litres, the fuel I need to fill the tanks with the amount I require to accomplish the flight. When the two figures are compared they rarely differ by more than a few tens of litres.
The gauge normally reads within about 10-20kgs and has never read more than about 40-60kg different from what I am expecting, so once again, just what is your point?
The gauges are accurate.
If you need an excuse to ignore the PLOG, find something else to hang your hat on.
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Old 6th Jun 2008, 17:12
  #124 (permalink)  
 
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The point that I am making is that the manufactures themselves (Both Boeing and Airbus) admit to tolerance levels in their aircraft fuel gauging systems therefore your observed accuracy levels of "10kgs" may not be as accurate as you would like to assume. Certainly when loading 150 tons onto a Jumbo even minor SG errors will vastly swamp these figures. Just because the ecam reads to 10kgs don`t assume that that is the true accuracy level.
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Old 7th Jun 2008, 07:26
  #125 (permalink)  
 
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The only way that you will know that the gauge is accurate is to run the tanks dry. Either the gauge is correct and the engine will stop at fuel 0 wich is ideal or not. Who however is going to try?

The point is, Yes it will produce figures that you are used to and they seem correct. You expect 2000 kgs remaining and voila it says 2000 kgs . If it is really 2000 kgs of usable fuel is questionable.
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Old 7th Jun 2008, 08:46
  #126 (permalink)  
 
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Well, where I fly, we don't have ANY fuel policy
We take whatever we want to take, questions are NEVER asked, and we even have a new SOP that has us leaving the APU ON for flights less than 90min. We fly B737's all over Europe and make a LOT of money doing so.
Never understood and never will understand people who take less fuel then the PLOG only to be more "economical". Remember that a diversion due to low fuel always costs more than a couple of hundred kg's extra weight. Not to mention different fuel prices over Europe...(why land with min. fuel in Ljubliana for example when you know that the fuel there is 40% more expensive than in Germany?!).

Be reasonable, realistic but don't ever just bend to the beancounters just because they say so when dealing with fuel and safety issues. If you do THAT, then you are not flightdeck material. The PIC has always the ultimate say.
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Old 7th Jun 2008, 09:51
  #127 (permalink)  
 
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Desp its not about fuel its about money!!

The world is not about to run out of oil anytime soon, Airlines on the other hand are about to run out of money if oil stays where it is price wise, so the effort is to save money and burning less of the stuff will do that.

If the price was the same all over the world no one would tanker would they, if the price is? 40% dearer in Slovina then the cost of the additional fuel burn in carrying extra fuel is offset by the lower cost of the fuel uplifted and tankered.

My local fuel station is not the cheapest, but if i am filling the car up it is cheaper for me to drive the additional 10 miles round trip to which is paid for by the 7-9p a litre saving on a full tank.

We are all agreed that we burn extra fuel to carry extra weight so it is only ever a question of how much is enough. Issues such as the accuracy of fuel gauges and the cost of a divert are IMHO a red herring.

Diverts

I fly around 650 sector a year and have diverted just once in the last three years, in the last 8-10 years it will be no more than a dozen times, i normally operate into major airports in a CAT3 aircraft, if operating into smaller fields with NPA and aircraft that are CAT1 only then yes the number of diverts will increase, but by and large these will be turboprop type ops with much less fuel burn in the first place! my point here is that the cost of carrying an extra 500kg for mum over the last 3 years and nearly 2000 sectors would have been far more than the cost of a divert. I could also add that even if i had an extra 5000kg on i still would have had to divert because it was 300m and the airfield was only CAT1 anyway.

Gauges

Its often the case that on the 737 classic the centre tank will magic some fuel from somewhere so unless i have put some in there i ignore it, but i will try and burn it off in the CRZ, who cares about 20kg? does it matter if you land with 2500 or 2520? any slope on the ramp can change that, let alone the fuel temp so if your worried about 20kgs what are you flying? a C152?

At the end of the day it is the Captains call after discussion with his/her F/o, but you are being paid to make SAFE and then COMMERCIAL judgements otherwise you might as well fill her up
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Old 7th Jun 2008, 14:10
  #128 (permalink)  
 
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Grrr

My home base is Cat1 procedural ILS with 9 based A/C.
if you want to see the eventual outcome of operating there in grubby weather with little extra fuel you could do worse than read the Brittania Airways accident report from 1999 on the AIB websight. Had he left the R/W to the left instead of the right he was in the fuel farm.
Remember those 3 priorities 1 - Your neck 2 - Your licence 3 - Your employer.
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Old 7th Jun 2008, 15:26
  #129 (permalink)  
 
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captplaystation, has anyone on this thread suggested operating in "grubby" conditions with little extra fuel?, no thought not. What we are talking about is carrying an appropriate fuel load and for the majority of flights that is plog fuel.
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Old 7th Jun 2008, 16:25
  #130 (permalink)  
 
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There is a lot of sense in this:
I fly around 650 sector a year and have diverted just once in the last three years, in the last 8-10 years it will be no more than a dozen times, i normally operate into major airports in a CAT3 aircraft, if operating into smaller fields with NPA and aircraft that are CAT1 only then yes the number of diverts will increase, but by and large these will be turboprop type ops with much less fuel burn in the first place! my point here is that the cost of carrying an extra 500kg for mum over the last 3 years and nearly 2000 sectors would have been far more than the cost of a divert. I could also add that even if i had an extra 5000kg on i still would have had to divert because it was 300m and the airfield was only CAT1 anyway.
Acting as a fuel tanker and carrying several 100kgs every flight is not a sensible way of going about business with fuel suddenly being a very expensive commodity. I've diverted once in 2 years flying. The diversion would have happened even if I had been carrying even more fuel, so actually carrying extra does not do a lot for you. You should carry less and make a timely decision to divert. We must do our bit for the bottom line under current conditions- the airlines cannot afford you fuel tankering all the time when it doesn't actually achieve a great deal for you. The chances are, the extra fuel is that much more to waste before you divert anyway. I take PLOG with a significant reason to carry more required. This is even more important as the cost of fuel goes up.
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Old 7th Jun 2008, 16:41
  #131 (permalink)  
 
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Despeque, you should read the posts more carefully. I have yet to see anyone advocating taking 'less fuel than the PLOGl' as you suggest they have.
Nor do you seem to have taken on board the many pilots who mention 'tankering'. carrying cheaper fuel to expensive airports.
If you take what you want to take, everywhere, why does your company employ a Flight Ops Planning Dept?
Why have PLOGs at all? Simply fill it up and keep it topped up after every flight.
A question to all of you who carry a bit extra fro Mum, comfort factor, safety, whatever:
You arrive at your destination with an extra 1000kg, only to be told that you need to hold due to a blocked runway and that it should be clear in 20 minutes. No problem, you smug buggers think, I bought extra just for such an occurence as this! Aren't I the clever one?
20 minutes later, they tell you it will be another 20 minutes and now your extra 1000kg is gone. You are however, number 1 in the hold.
How long do you stay at your destination before you decide to divert due to fuel shortage?
If you divert early, before CMR is reached, you will certainly lose the chance to land at your desired airport. If you wait until CMR, or even, God forbid, a little less than CMR, is reached your comfort factor is gone and it's sweaty palm time.
The point being, if you want to fly around with a comfort factor, a bit for Mum, then you will never use it because your mind set will tell you to leave the hold with CMR plus a bit for Mum.
What is the difference between me landing at my destination or diversion field than you landing at the same place but with 1000kg more fuel?
Absolutely nothing except you waste a lot of money and a considerable amount of fuel simply carting it around every year.
BTW, done another 8 sectors since the last post and still haven't had to divert due to fuel shortage!
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Old 7th Jun 2008, 18:56
  #132 (permalink)  
 
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Yawn.......
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Old 7th Jun 2008, 19:56
  #133 (permalink)  
 
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Despeque, you should read the posts more carefully
In fact I quite agree with Despegue. He will retire as I did with a smile on his face and no arterial tension at all. The PLOG is something very useful as a basis. But the computers assume that you are going to get the flight level prepared in the flight plan and follow the track...Fly from Paris to Istambul in summer (I will assume there are no thunderstorms so as to keep it reasonable)...tell me when that did happen? The PLOG leaves you with the exact fuel required by law at your destination, assuming everything has gone according to the nice flight plan???That never satisfied me, and I never regretted taking a little more, not on a hunch, but according to experience.
I took the plog to stockholm, I took a lot more to Athens or Sofia. And I think you will agree with that. I checked everytime with the fuel cistern for the test for water in the fuel and I checked its temperature...old habits and mistrust make old aviators.
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Old 9th Jun 2008, 19:23
  #134 (permalink)  
 
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different experiences=different practices

some have different safety factors than others. some will get closer to thunderstorms than others. some will take the aircraft down to lower fuel quantities than others.

personally, i think it unethical to even consider taking a plane load of passengers anywhere close to a minimum fuel situation. and might be a bit silly to some, but i fly the aircraft as if everyone i loved was on board.

our plog shows at times less than 1000kgs for final fuel. my ZERO fuel is 2000. i will never plan to be in the air with less than that, regardless of the weather-- if that makes me a ******, then so be it.

i have personally seen UK alternates refuse to take any more traffic, after i have entered holding. so i use the most distant for planning.

and frankly, the number of times someone else hasn't diverted, does not overly influence my planning. when one loses a friend due to fuel shortage and resultant assymetric thrust on a twin engine aircraft, it brings it home like nothing else. that can happen on a 738 as well.

it would make a lot more sense to trim off the useless 5 sector a month freeloading management types than to trim off fuel for flight.
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Old 9th Jun 2008, 19:27
  #135 (permalink)  
 
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Although I'm SLF I would comment that I would be much more confident about flying with Stator Vane than a "minimalist"
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Old 9th Jun 2008, 20:34
  #136 (permalink)  
 
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The PLOG leaves you with the exact fuel required by law at your destination
Do you fellas up there in Europe not have to carry 5% contingency fuel to cover unplanned additional fuel burn? This is part of min legal gas down here. UK to Istanbul, roughly 3.5 hours, roughly 9000kg fuel burn in 737, so should be 450kg of contingency fuel carried. This seems like a reasonable amount to cover avoiding thunderies and that sort of thing.
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Old 9th Jun 2008, 21:06
  #137 (permalink)  
 
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No disrespect mercurydancer, but you would have no idea if the PIC was a "minimalist" or not and there is no reason why it should make you "feel more confident".

1. As far as I see, nobody is talking about taking less than any legal documented fuel policy.
2. As some have already stated, there is fat in PLOGS generated by the flight planning system of many airlines.
3. If additional fuel is required due to weather or any other operational requirements, that is the PIC's decision and some Airlines may just require the reasons recorded.
4. If it is not needed, then why carry it? That is the all a "minimalist" questions (without speaking for all).
5. There is a significant difference between WANT and NEED, neither jeopardise safety.
6. If 1000 PIC's in airline A took what they wanted ("a bit for mum" or "thinking time"), and 1000 PIC's in Airline B took what they needed, neither has any safety implications but consider the economic difference between the two.
7. If the unexpected happens on an apparent "good" operational day, the "minimalist" may have to make an earlier decision. However, in the event of a runway closure, the "bit for mum" and "thinking time" may end up next to "minimalist" at the No.1 alternate a while later anyway (whilst "minimalist has refulled ready to return to original destination).
8. The term "minimalist" should be banned.
9. If your airline has no concern over fuel prices then where do we all apply?
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Old 9th Jun 2008, 21:54
  #138 (permalink)  
 
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I am sure there are other threads on the general subject of low fuel on PPRuNe over the years, but stumbled over this one from six years ago when a tonne of fuel apparently cost about $200 : http://www.pprune.org/forums/showthread.php?t=57134

It caught my eye because there was a discussion of what you might do with CAVOK in it.

I conclude that minimalists were perhaps more of a rarity way back then, or perhaps more simply, no-one had coined such a clinically-neutral name for them?
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Old 10th Jun 2008, 06:40
  #139 (permalink)  
 
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One point I would emphasise is that local knowledge and experience is required to make the sensible decision about extra fuel. If you fly the same route regularly you get a very good feel if more is required. The Plog plans for the shortest departure and for the longest approach. In Munich flying the whole transition requires several hundred kilos more fuel. Most times on arrival it is not required and is therefore effectively extra. On the other hand going to the Canaries with Plog fuel might not be the wisest decision.
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Old 10th Jun 2008, 09:22
  #140 (permalink)  
 
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Actually Studi it makes a difference of hundreds of thousands if not millions of pounds to my companies bottom line. Those couple of hundred extra for mum really do add up.

A million is very roughly equal to a 1% pay rise, or in todays climate a 1% pay cut. Do you think the bean counters will look sympatheticaly on a bunch of pilots whose attitude is we'll carry whatever the hell we like when we like because we can. No they will not, they will despise us for our arrogance and they would be right.

By all means carry extra fuel but behave like a professional and do it for a legitimate and justifiable reason. If you do not need extra do not carry it.

That said I am lucky enough to be in a company were the CFPs can be trusted. If that was not the case then I would carry extra and write the reasons why on the CFP and journey log.
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