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Low Fuel X Minimum Fuel


  “John, in low-fuel situations pilots are often reluctant to declare an emergency and they’ll use the term minimum fuel. Is Minimum fuel going to get you on the ground any faster?”

¨John Krug:

  “No. Minimum fuel will not, and that’s very important to understand. It is not a declaration of an emergency. It’s merely a statement that is saying that you cannot accept any holding or other delays. It also means to ATC that you do have enough fuel to make it to your destination.”

Problems with Fuel

Fuel Exhaustion - No usable fuel remains on the aircraft; run out of fuel.

Fuel Starvation - Usable fuel remains on the aircraft, but it is not available to the engines.

Fuel Contamination - Any foreign substance (water, oil, ice, dirt, sand, bugs) in the correct type of fuel for the given powerplant(s).

Wrong Fuel - Fuel supplied to the powerplant(s) is incorrect (e.g.: Jet A into a piston powerplant; 80 octane into a powerplant requiring 100 octane). 

Level Bust

What’s the definition of level bust?

  • Any unauthorised vertical deviation of more than 300 feet from an ATC flight clearance.

What are the results of level bust?

  • Loss of Separation between aircraft;
  • Loss of Separation between an aircraft and the terrain or a ground obstruction such as a mast (CFIT);
  • Injury occasioned by violent manoeuvres to avoid collision with other aircraft or the ground. 

Picture from Hindsight Magazine 10 – Winter 2009 (Eurocontrol)

On 24th December 2000, a Hawaiian Airlines DC10 overran the runway at Tahiti after landing long on a wet runway having encountered crosswinds and turbulence on approach in thunderstorms

"While landing on runway 04, in a storm, the airplane touched down about halfway down the runway. It overran the end of the runway and came to a stop resting on its engines, its nose in the lagoon.“
to overshoot = to land long
to overrun = runway excursion
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