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Too close for comfort - easyJet lands with 18m fuel

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Too close for comfort - easyJet lands with 18m fuel

Old 17th Dec 2023, 20:15
  #101 (permalink)  
 
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Aeronautical Engineers and manufacturers go to great effort to "add lightness" (quote from colin chapman - lotus) so pilots can add fuel.
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Old 18th Dec 2023, 18:02
  #102 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Bradley Hardacre
Aeronautical Engineers and manufacturers go to great effort to "add lightness" (quote from colin chapman - lotus) so pilots can add fuel.
Actually, as an engineer - the prime driver for 'add lightness' is to save fuel.
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Old 6th Jan 2024, 09:35
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In my experience, including training dozens of pilots doing their command courses, the problem is not necessarily commanders not having the willingness to upload sufficient fuel to cover known contingencies. Instead , it is the failure of many pilots who fly hundreds of sectors a year to properly make a plan to deal with a diversion once it becomes necessary.

These are high pressure situations where thinking time is at a premium as fuel is burned at a great rate. One needs to have a clear plan that complies with the commander's legal responsibility at dispatch. A plan that ensures that pressing TOGA at DA sets into motion a set of predetermined actions which ensure a safe landing 'somewhere'.

Vague ideas such as 'extra fuel' and 'wife and kids' just ensure that people burn valuable time thinking and not acting. From the looks of things, this Zurich diversion was enacted with little wasted time. But I wonder what plan was made on the ground in the crew room.
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Old 7th Jan 2024, 13:45
  #104 (permalink)  
 
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Thru experience I considered the dsp fuel as a minimum...I added minutes in pounds depending on the situation and a/c type...10 minutes was my minimum add...Lost lots of sleep but not over my add "policy"...
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Old 7th Jan 2024, 16:48
  #105 (permalink)  
 
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An extra tonne of fuel for every line in the TAFF was a good start!

Mog
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Old 8th Jan 2024, 13:20
  #106 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by captaincoldfront
After reading this thread I can only say how thankful I am that I fly for a common sense Company who is more than happy for me to take as much fuel as I deem neccessary to deliver my rich clients safely to their destination (or Alt, if required), no questions askes, Ever!
Ok, my jet is realtively small compared to the big aircraft you guys are flying, but I really dont think size matters it comes to spearing in!
EZY have never questioned my fuel decisions. I have never known any colleagues get questioned about their fuel decisions in 20yrs in the land of orange.
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Old 9th Jan 2024, 08:05
  #107 (permalink)  
 
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I always worked on the KISS principle when flying ( military 43 years)

Always have enough runway for t/o and landing
Don’t fly into high ground
Land with the gear DOWN
Carry enough fuel for the sortie plus ample reserves for bad weather etc

Ended up ( unlike others )with an equal number of takeoffs and landings.

PS Anyone know of any crashes,or other close ones, recently due to NO fuel left? (Must have happened regularly in WW2 and in the early days due nav errors etc )

Vulcan had a near one at Waddington in early 60s - engines all flamed out downwind (lots of fuel left but spread too thinly in the many fuel tanks!)

In the Falklands war Vulcan diverted to Rio almost didn’t make it - engines flamed out when taxiing in.

Flying EASY this w/e - some comments on this thread makes me feel slightly UNEASY ! At least they don’t fly the B737-9 ? Stone Cold comment noted.

Last edited by mahogany bob; 9th Jan 2024 at 10:19.
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Old 14th Jan 2024, 14:38
  #108 (permalink)  
 
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Naive question. If you know you are low on fuel, is it practicable to squeeze every last drop out of some tanks in order to have a more significant quantity left in the tank you are using, or is it not that simple?
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Old 15th Jan 2024, 00:41
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A fuel tank will have a small quantity of fuel remaining in it when indicating empty, this is known as unusable fuel. It's best to avoid drawing every last drop as the bottom often has contaminants such as rust, water and sediment which you don't want clogging up the system. Carrying a sensible reserve and avoiding getting into a low fuel situation in the first place is the best option.

In flight it's possible to change what’s known as the cost index which flys a profile based on the airlines requirements. Basically you can fly minimum time, minimum fuel or somewhere in between. You can trade off a later arrival for more remaining fuel if reserves are getting a bit tight but you need to do this well ahead so the change has time to work.
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Old 15th Jan 2024, 18:32
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When the fuel gets low enough, there is also the potential to uncover the fuel inlets during maneuvering - not likely but possible. And yes, it has happened - I'm going to say mid 1980s (but stand to be corrected), 747 on a short positioning flight took off with minimal fuel on-board. Being very light, they climbed at a high angle and two engines flamed out due to fuel starvation when the fuel inlets were uncovered at the high AOA.
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Old 16th Jan 2024, 10:07
  #111 (permalink)  
 
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https://www.flightglobal.com/air-ind...123198.article

Worth a read

SpiceJet 737 in 2017 shut down with 150kg total fuel after 2 diversions due a host of reasons.

One of the most useless things in aviation is the fuel you left in the bowser!
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Old 16th Jan 2024, 10:35
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Indeed. Regarding all the GOP that can induce a risk of overusing, when the risk becomes reality (go around due to badly managed flap 3 landing, return to parking because of not enough fuel taken on board, takeoff attempt with only one engine running and subsequent consequences, even the more unlikely but much more serious crash due to fuel starvation), it annihilates in one go several years of fuel efforts.

I think it more sensible to pay a little more at a time, than to risk having to pay a lot in one go.
It's the principle of insurance. Carrying more fuel, and applying GOPs with less motivation, you pay for an insurance. You may lose a bit overall* but that's the principle of insurance too. And you make for easier daily operations all the time.

*you may lose strictly on fuel, but what about customer impact when they notice the service is not provided correctly due to overoptimization ?
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Old 16th Jan 2024, 11:03
  #113 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Mikehotel152
In my experience, including training dozens of pilots doing their command courses, the problem is not necessarily commanders not having the willingness to upload sufficient fuel to cover known contingencies. Instead , it is the failure of many pilots who fly hundreds of sectors a year to properly make a plan to deal with a diversion once it becomes necessary.

These are high pressure situations where thinking time is at a premium as fuel is burned at a great rate. One needs to have a clear plan that complies with the commander's legal responsibility at dispatch. A plan that ensures that pressing TOGA at DA sets into motion a set of predetermined actions which ensure a safe landing 'somewhere'.

Vague ideas such as 'extra fuel' and 'wife and kids' just ensure that people burn valuable time thinking and not acting. From the looks of things, this Zurich diversion was enacted with little wasted time. But I wonder what plan was made on the ground in the crew room.
I think that is the nub of it. Itís not how much you put on to begin with, itís what you do when itís running out, or you think it might run out later. Extra fuel often just delays the point at which serious decisions are going to have to be made, and in cases with long duty days, may make the destination unachievable after diversion.

Iím not against gassing up when you need it, but in my book it has to be for identifiable reasons, not just some illusory safety blanket. The incidents we are discussing are the 6-7 sigma, one-in-millions level occurrences where things went wrong (and kept going wrong) but still came to a successful conclusion. If youíre happy with intersection takeoffs and thrust derates, flight plan fuel on the average day shouldnít cause too many issues?
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Old 16th Jan 2024, 11:20
  #114 (permalink)  
 
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Had a bad afternoon one day 20 years or so ago where I did a precautionary shut down and cross-fed to the running engine.
Got everything sorted and, upon taking off the next morning, even though I had ostensibly enough fuel in the (unbalanced) mains per the book, the low side engine quit just at Vr on the roll, and, the rejection boiled the brakes making for an interesting turnoff at the end of the runway involving the (fortunately available differential thrust)
Happily I didnít bend anything.
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Old 24th Jan 2024, 16:38
  #115 (permalink)  
 
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I don't see the problem, extra fuel not used for a go around means less fuel to tank the next flight?
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Old 24th Jan 2024, 16:42
  #116 (permalink)  
 
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Depends where it was purchased and also the cost to tanker it when itís not burnt itself. The airline accountants will disagree with you even if I donít necessarily myself.
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Old 24th Jan 2024, 17:15
  #117 (permalink)  
 
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Itís really very simple. Take minimum flight plan fuel when the weather is good and the stats show youíre likely to be fine (and your alternate is decent).

When itís bad weather, load it on (I always plan for two gos, a decent alternate which may be further away to give a few options) plus some holding fuel either to hold to make the approach or to give you some thinking time.

Loading extra Ďjust becauseí isnít being professional. It really adds up over thousands of sectors. On the flip side, take it when you really need to. An avoidable diversion quickly recoups the costs on the few days where itís really gone to sh*t. Youíre being paid to look at your flight and the big picture.
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Old 24th Jan 2024, 19:26
  #118 (permalink)  
 
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One thing to keep in mind is that when you have to divert chances are a lot of others will have to too. If a large % of those folks have the same alternate as you (and they probably will) and that Airport is already busy and the prevailing meteorological phenomena there is IMC there will probably be a bit of a traffic jam there and a lot of diverting folks will also be at low fuel state.
All this can lead to an “interesting” afternoon if things go pear shaped weather or ATC wise at #1.
As the herd all stampedes over the horizon towards the #1 alternate it may be wise to take a serious look at proceeding direct to your #2 alternate and avoid the scrum at #1.
Just a thought.
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Old 25th Jan 2024, 00:51
  #119 (permalink)  
 
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I took 1.3 tons extra on the baby bus the other day and landed with 2.4 in the tanks after 35 minutes of unexpected holding. The delay would have been longer if three aircraft ahead of me hadn’t diverted due to low fuel.

Instead of a three hour minimum delay, associated costs and schedule disruption we were on stand 45 minutes late just as the next crew were entering the gate lounge.
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Old 27th Jan 2024, 11:55
  #120 (permalink)  
 
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In the late 90's BA short haul at LGW, (EOG), had an anonymised extra fuel carried list. I can only recall it being published once. Captains could identify themselves via a PIN.
I was proud to be 56 out of 112 Captains. Bang in the middle. Struck me as exactly the right place to be! Obviously I only took extra when I thought it was needed.
1066
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