Thread: Low Fuel
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Old 10-24-2008, 07:27 AM   #1  
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Joined APC: Jul 2006
Position: CFI
Posts: 37
Default Low Fuel

What would you do?

I was with a Commercial student conducting a night cross-country flight. When we got to our destination, the fuel station was out of fuel (no NOTAM was listed for this) and we only had 75 minutes of fuel left.

There were 4 airports within a 30 minute flight. All airports were listed in the AF/D as airports with fuel service. My student selected the closest airport to us, 10 minuets away. We landed at airport A and there was no fuel station (the AF/D was wrong). We then had a choice between airports B, a small rural airport in uncontrolled airspace, or C an airport in class D (day) / E (night), close to a city. My student selected airport C.

We flew another ten minutes and landed only to find that there was no fuel station, only fuel trucks. It was 10:30 on a weeknight and so we opened the AF/D and tried to call the FBO, airport manager, and the after hours fuel service. All the numbers listed in the AF/D were out of service.

Airport D was located another 15-20 minutes away. By this time we had exactly enough fuel to meet VFR night minimums. There was a fire station up the road that we walked to. The firefighter who helped us also had the same disconnected phone numbers to contact. He had to call the fire dispatch to reach the owner of the fuel trucks, to get her out of bed, to call an employee and get her out of bed, to drive to the airport, and operate the fuel truck to fill up our plane.

At about midnight, we were charged with the high cost of fuel, and an additional $100 for the after hours service.

Is this just an expensive lesson learned, or is there a way to get the $100 back? It seems unfair that the FBO benefits from erroneous information provided by the Department of Transportation.
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