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FAA investigating Allegiant MD80 that nearly ran out of fuel

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  • FAA investigating Allegiant MD80 that nearly ran out of fuel

    it's not a good look is it Forum Member 2004-2008

    Originally posted by orangehuggy
    the most dangerous part of a flight is not the take off or landing anymore, its when a flight crew member goes to the toilet

  • #2
    I don't think that it was so critical.

    The pilot gave ATC 3 minutes to sort things out and allow them to land before declaring emergency. Low fuel emergency MUST (by regulations) be declared as soon as the pilot expects that the current course of action will have him landing with less than 30 minutes of fuel (and cannot negotiate a better "current course of action"). When he says that he will be bingo fuel in 3 minutes I interpret it like that in 3 minutes he will have enough fuel to do the approach and land with the 30 minutes remaining, point after which he will have to declare an emergency and state his intentions (which he advised would be to land, at that point the pilot doesn't need a clearance to do it).

    If they were in a point where they would land with 3 minutes of fuel, this captain would be an asshole who should be fired and his licence revoked, since he was required to declare an emergency 30 minutes earlier than that and at that point he should have landed in the first suitable airport (in the USA, when you are 30 minutes from your destination flying at 500 kts, you almost always have some suitable airport closer than your destination). Threatening to declare an emergency when you actually have 3 minutes of fuel would be foolish, reckless and illegal.

    Note that in this case an emergency was not ever declared to begin with, so I assume that they landed with at least 30 minutes of fuel. As a side note, AvHerald had not even reported the case, so my guess is that it was not considered an incident.

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