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Fuel Management

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Article Information
Category: General General
Content source: SKYbrary About SKYbrary
Content control: EUROCONTROL EUROCONTROL

Description

Fuel Management encompasses a series of regulations, policies, processes and procedures intended to ensure that fuel related flight risks are appropriately mitigated. In the case of Commercial Air Transport, Regulations will dictate the minimum required fuel dependent upon rules of flight, alternate aerodrome requirements and special areas of operation such as ETOPS or remote destinations. Regulatory compliance strengthened where appropiate by Company policies and procedures should ensure that sufficient fuel for the intended flight profile is identified during the preflight planning stage and is loaded onto the aircraft. Company policies should further guide the flight crew in appropriate fuel use and monitoring during ground operations, in flight and, where applicable, during diversion under both normal and abnormal operating conditions.

Threats

  • Non compliance with regulations
  • Inadequate Company (or personal) fuel policies
  • Ineffective or incomplete flight planning
  • Insufficient fuel uplift
  • Inadequate inflight fuel management and monitoring

Effects

  • Insufficient fuel loaded for the planned flight profile
  • Necessity to execute an enroute diversion due to lack of fuel
  • Engine failure due fuel exhaustion

Defences

  • Regulatory compliance
  • Adequate Company policies and procedures
  • Appropriate fuel use and monitoring
  • Timely and appropriate inflight decisions (land short, divert to alternate etc)

Accidents and Serious Incidents

  • C310, Hawarden UK, 2013: On 15 November 2013, a privately operated Cessna 310 about to land at Hawarden crashed after power was lost from one engine and the experienced pilot appeared to have attempted to initiate a go around rather than land on the grass next to the runway. The Investigation found that both main fuel tanks were effectively empty after normal fuel use during the flight and since unused fuel remained in the auxiliary tanks, it was concluded that fuel starvation attributable to en route fuel system mismanagement had occurred. The other engine had been at full power but with fuel starvation imminent

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Further Reading

ATSB