Author Topic: LAX Ground SNAFU causes leaves pilot with minimum fuel and controller confused  (Read 674 times)

Offline Ariffraff

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I think someone might be in trouble on this.
Can someone tell me how dangerous this is?
My writers brain is wanting to put this in a novel at some point.



Offline wiedehopf

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Minimum dispatch fuel.
Much different from "minimum fuel" calls you hear on an approach frequency for example.

If the fuel was less, they wouldn't have been legal to take off.
So there was never any danger.

They would have needed to return to the gate and fuel up the aircraft.

30 minute delay with idling engines isn't too many minutes extra in the air.
Less than 15 probably, maybe as low as 5?
Depends on the model and how much fuel is used holding vs idling on ground.


The "minimum fuel" meant in this conversation:
https://www.skybrary.aero/index.php/Fuel_-_Flight_Planning_Definitions#Minimum_Brake_Release_Fuel

This is a document what "minimum fuel" in the air / on approach generally means:
https://lessonslearned.faa.gov/Avianca52/INFO_08004.pdf
Also see:
https://www.skybrary.aero/index.php/Fuel_-_Diversion_to_Weather_Alternate


Offline canyonblue737

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And just to expand further... the "short" 30 minute period on the ground before takeoff that led to the aircraft needing to return does NOT indicate that it had little "spare" fuel for in the air. In fact it may be that due to poor weather at the DESTINATION the planning called for HOURS of extra fuel *upon* arriving at the destination for alternates or holding and therefore there was little left to spare for taxiing at the origin airport without starting to eat into the required and extensive fuel they were bringing for the destination. Bottom line is there was no emergency here, you had a plane still filled with huge amounts of fuel returning to the gate because it still wasn't enough to be legal upon reaching the DESTINATION had they taken off. Other than for takeoff weight issues the minimum / maximum amount of fuel I takeoff with is entirely based on how much fuel I want to arrive with.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2019, 01:57:59 PM by canyonblue737 »

Offline Ariffraff

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And just to expand further... the "short" 30 minute period on the ground before takeoff that led to the aircraft needing to return does NOT indicate that it had little "spare" fuel for in the air. In fact it may be that due to poor weather at the DESTINATION the planning called for HOURS of extra fuel *upon* arriving at the destination for alternates or holding and therefore there was little left to spare for taxiing at the origin airport without starting to eat into the required and extensive fuel they were bringing for the destination. Bottom line is there was no emergency here, you had a plane still filled with huge amounts of fuel returning to the gate because it still wasn't enough to be legal upon reaching the DESTINATION had they taken off. Other than for takeoff weight issues the minimum / maximum amount of fuel I takeoff with is entirely based on how much fuel I want to arrive with.
Writers brain at work again. Is it possible to land at an airport with enough fuel to take off and refuel I'm thinking Gulfstream 650ER type plane?
(Can you tell I write thrillers?)

Offline wiedehopf

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The range may be limited but many types allow you to land with enough fuel so that you can do another sector.

Also depends on the load on board, so if you carry no passengers/cargo, you can have more fuel on board for landing.

You wrote "take off and refuel", i hope you meant take off without refueling.

Offline VASAviation

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Hello,

That you're talking about is called 'tankering'.

If I'm doing a few short sectors, I can have my aircraft fully loaded (of fuel) at the first airport and will not refuel later. This may save some time at the destination airport and allow me to depart earlier for the second sector or just because of fuel price - cheaper at the first airport.

It's a very common practice for 1-2 hour sectors :-)

Offline JonesLRC

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I think someone might be in trouble on this.
Can someone tell me how dangerous this is?
My writers brain is wanting to put this in a novel at some point.

You should DEFINITELY put this in a novel. Heck of a situation. I'd buy it!  8-)