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WhisperJet
03-08-2018, 08:47 AM
Say you're flying into DFW and your alternate is SAT. You are flying with a low time FO and the weather in DFW ends up being VFR with visual approaches being conducted. On the first approach, the FO is PF and is high and unstable at 1,000 and not making the required adjustments, so you call for a go-around.

At this point you realize once you go-around you will start burning into your alternate fuel. So are you:

1) required to go to the alternate at this point?
2) required to declare an emergency if you want to land at your destination?
3) not required to do anything; no action is needed, just come around and land again?
4) required to contact dispatch to have alt removed?

This was a question posed by an LCA but I've heard a few different answers so far.


BeechPilot33
03-08-2018, 09:00 AM
Weather is VFR why would you go to the ALT. Just come around and land again. A more likely scenario is you have no ALT and now you will be close to getting into reserve fuel on the approach back in because dispatch gave you no extra fuel. That's why you check your fuel before you push back make sure you have enough for at least a go around. FO can screw up an approach, ATC gives you poor spacing, etc. stuff happens.

rickair7777
03-08-2018, 09:10 AM
Say you're flying into DFW and your alternate is SAT. You are flying with a low time FO and the weather in DFW ends up being VFR with visual approaches being conducted. On the first approach, the FO is PF and is high and unstable at 1,000 and not making the required adjustments, so you call for a go-around.

At this point you realize once you go-around you will start burning into your alternate fuel. So are you:

1) required to go to the alternate at this point?

Prior to departure, and while enroute (which includes the GA) you need to have the gas to shoot an approach, go to the alternate, and shoot an approach there. You can't burn into the fuel to reach the alternate IF an alternate is still required.


If DFW is VFR, does it still need an ALT?

Maybe or maybe not depending on what the TAF shows.

You can however burn into your IFR reserve once airborne. Company policy may limit that, but typically they'll let you go down to 30 minutes before declaring an emergency. That's what I would do, burn some IFR reserve gas.


2) required to declare an emergency if you want to land at your destination?

Depends on fuel status and company policy.



4) required to contact dispatch to have alt removed?

I don't think the FAA requires that you have the ALT removed from the flight plan, but it would probably be a good idea just to avoid questions later. Company policy may differ on that.

You could also change the ALT to a nearer airport, if TAF/METAR permits.

Keep in mind that just because DFW is currently VFR, that does not mean an ALT is not required. The forecast could still trigger the alternate requirement. Remember that an ALT is actually always required by default unless certain conditions are met.


SonicFlyer
03-08-2018, 09:11 AM
Let ATC know that you are fuel critical after the go around?

rickair7777
03-08-2018, 09:15 AM
Weather is VFR why would you go to the ALT. Just come around and land again. A more likely scenario is you have no ALT and now you will be close to getting into reserve fuel on the approach back in because dispatch gave you no extra fuel. That's why you check your fuel before you push back make sure you have enough for at least a go around. FO can screw up an approach, ATC gives you poor spacing, etc. stuff happens.

You may legally still need ALT gas if the METAR does not satisfy 1-2-3. Being in the pattern post-GA is still going to be considered enroute to the destination, so you still need ALT gas. But you can burn into IFR reserves, this is exactly the kind of thing it's intended for.

rickair7777
03-08-2018, 09:16 AM
Let ATC know that you are fuel critical after the go around?

If you get into IFR reserves, yes you should declare Min Fuel. Typically an emergency if less than 30 minutes reserve (not including the legally required ALT fuel).

Airbum
03-08-2018, 10:21 AM
Burning into IFR reserves is legal. But landing below emergency fuel is not approved. Must always have fuel required to divert to dispatched alternate domestic ops. Min fuel calls mean nothing to ATC.

Real world ops is to have your plan on diverting or burning into IFR reserves before you begin the approach. That way descion is already made when you are not time compressed.

Keep dispatch involved before the approach for a closer alternate or elimination of alternate if it is not needed and fuel is tight. Personally I would declare mayday for fuel and be landed long before I got close to emergency fuel

742Dash
03-08-2018, 11:22 AM
While this does not directly address your concern, it does show general FAA thinking. (https://www.faa.gov/other_visit/aviation_industry/airline_operators/airline_safety/info/all_infos/media/2008/inFO08004.pdf)

Pertinent quote:

"The act of using a portion of the reserve fuel assigned to a flight is not, in its self a cause to declare a minimum fuel state with the controlling agency. Regulations require reserve fuel to enable aircraft to maneuver, due to unforeseen circumstances. Many aircraft safely arrive at their destination having used a portion of the fuel designated as reserve. There is no regulatory definition as to when, specifically, a pilot must declare “minimum fuel” or a fuel emergency."

sourdough44
03-19-2018, 05:42 AM
‘High and unstable at 1k’? Maybe at 1300’ mention something so we don’t end up high & unstable at 1k?

I know, more of a scenario question, I just like to keep ahead of things. The same thing when I see traffic in front coming inside 3 miles(2.5 min) on TCAS, time for some action.

Bucknut
03-19-2018, 06:32 AM
Filing an alternate is regulatory under the 123 rule. Alternate fuel is for planning purposes only. You can always decide to divert to a different alternate. Another good idea is to start checking the alternate weather 30 mins. out if the weather is marginal at the destination. It really sucks not being able to get into your alternate.

rickair7777
03-19-2018, 07:29 AM
Filing an alternate is regulatory under the 123 rule. Alternate fuel is for planning purposes only. You can always decide to divert to a different alternate. Another good idea is to start checking the alternate weather 30 mins. out if the weather is marginal at the destination. It really sucks not being able to get into your alternate.

Technically filing an alternate is regulatory always. The 123 rule is an exception to NOT file an alternate.

In 121 you're required to keep tabs on the alt wx while enroute, and file a new one if it's no longer suitable.

TiredSoul
03-19-2018, 10:05 AM
In VMC conditions the requirements are to be stabilized by 500’.

HercDriver130
03-19-2018, 11:06 AM
In VMC conditions the requirements are to be stabilized by 500’.

not at all companies.....

plus... becareful using the terminology "min fuel" in some foreign countries... India for example considers this call an emergency situation.

Bucknut
03-19-2018, 02:17 PM
When referring to checking the weather at alternate that is true that you are required to check wx and change the alternate if the weather goes below mins. It is hard to do in a non-ACARS aircraft and it depends on whether you have a good dispatcher or not. I guess I was trying to say start looking at other airports in addition to your alternate if weather is marginal at your destination. In regards to the 123 rule you got me on that one, (semantics) but I think everyone got the gist of the conversation.

JohnBurke
03-19-2018, 04:12 PM
Say you're flying into DFW and your alternate is SAT. You are flying with a low time FO and the weather in DFW ends up being VFR with visual approaches being conducted. On the first approach, the FO is PF and is high and unstable at 1,000 and not making the required adjustments, so you call for a go-around.

At this point you realize once you go-around you will start burning into your alternate fuel.

You're not required to land with alternate fuel; you're required to have it on board before you start the trip.

There is no regulation which prevents you from burning into your reserves at your destination, nor that requires you to go to an alternate if you're burning alternate fuel.

That said, if your destination becomes unavailable, then you'd better have sufficient fuel to go elsewhere. I diverted twice last year when crashes closed the field where I was headed, and held once while a mishap was removed, before I could land. It happens.

You'd be hard pressed to explain to an employer, however, why you diverted from an open and available runway at your destination, on a VFR day, simply because you didn't understand how to operate the aircraft or the regulation.

Think about it from a different perspective; if you're diverting because you've allowed a substandard pilot to fly and go around, and you're into your reserves now, do you really want to burn the rest of the fuel going somewhere to let the substandard pilot do it again? If you're into reserves, perhaps you'd be best landing the aircraft and talking about the F/O with it on the ground.

In VMC conditions the requirements are to be stabilized by 500’.

That depends on the operator.

Burning into IFR reserves is legal. But landing below emergency fuel is not approved. Must always have fuel required to divert to dispatched alternate domestic ops. Min fuel calls mean nothing to ATC.


There's no part of that statement which is true, other than the fact that burning into IFR reserves is legal.

Landing below "emergency fuel" is legal, though unwise.

There is no requirement to always have "fuel required to divert to a dispatched alternate" in domestic operations, or international operations. If one is held and lands with some of the planned fuel burned, or if one has unforecast winds aloft, or if one has had other conditions which have resulted in a higher than anticipated fuel burn, there is not a legal requirement to land with full diversion fuel plus IFR reserves.

One needs to keep options open, but there are places where the options don't really exist. International island fuel reserves, for example, allow a two hour reserve when dispatched to an island location that lacks a suitable alternate; it's not illegal to end up landing with less fuel, and still nowhere else to go. It happens.

Yes, "minimum fuel" very much means something to air traffic control. Do you not understand why?

JamesNoBrakes
03-20-2018, 07:50 PM
You're not required to land with alternate fuel; you're required to have it on board before you start the trip.

There is no regulation which prevents you from burning into your reserves at your destination, nor that requires you to go to an alternate if you're burning alternate fuel.

That said, if your destination becomes unavailable, then you'd better have sufficient fuel to go elsewhere. I diverted twice last year when crashes closed the field where I was headed, and held once while a mishap was removed, before I could land. It happens.

You'd be hard pressed to explain to an employer, however, why you diverted from an open and available runway at your destination, on a VFR day, simply because you didn't understand how to operate the aircraft or the regulation.

Think about it from a different perspective; if you're diverting because you've allowed a substandard pilot to fly and go around, and you're into your reserves now, do you really want to burn the rest of the fuel going somewhere to let the substandard pilot do it again? If you're into reserves, perhaps you'd be best landing the aircraft and talking about the F/O with it on the ground.



That depends on the operator.



There's no part of that statement which is true, other than the fact that burning into IFR reserves is legal.

Landing below "emergency fuel" is legal, though unwise.

There is no requirement to always have "fuel required to divert to a dispatched alternate" in domestic operations, or international operations. If one is held and lands with some of the planned fuel burned, or if one has unforecast winds aloft, or if one has had other conditions which have resulted in a higher than anticipated fuel burn, there is not a legal requirement to land with full diversion fuel plus IFR reserves.

One needs to keep options open, but there are places where the options don't really exist. International island fuel reserves, for example, allow a two hour reserve when dispatched to an island location that lacks a suitable alternate; it's not illegal to end up landing with less fuel, and still nowhere else to go. It happens.

Yes, "minimum fuel" very much means something to air traffic control. Do you not understand why?

I'm going to piggyback here, in the scenario, it is said that it's VFR at DFW, so how would anyone justify it being safer to proceed to SAT just because you had to do a go-around?

Most importantly, you aren't going to get any Hard 8 if you go to SAT.

rickair7777
03-21-2018, 11:05 AM
I'm going to piggyback here, in the scenario, it is said that it's VFR at DFW, so how would anyone justify it being safer to proceed to SAT just because you had to do a go-around?

Most importantly, you aren't going to get any Hard 8 if you go to SAT.

Very fine technicality... what if the DEST TAF still did not meet the 123 requirements? You're still technically "enroute", is it kosher to burn fuel and remove your option to divert to a legal ALT just because the METAR is VFR? No issue if you had plenty of gas of course.

Some of the coastal airports on the west coast can go from clear and a million to CAT-III in about five minutes.

JamesNoBrakes
03-21-2018, 08:40 PM
Very fine technicality... what if the DEST TAF still did not meet the 123 requirements? You're still technically "enroute", is it kosher to burn fuel and remove your option to divert to a legal ALT just because the METAR is VFR? No issue if you had plenty of gas of course.

Some of the coastal airports on the west coast can go from clear and a million to CAT-III in about five minutes.

You do what you have to do in the interest of safety, that's why you make the big bucks. I've seen the weather blow in faster than that, but the scenario presented didn't past the "smell test" of operating at the highest level of safety. There are situations where there one option would be clearly safer, such as the PIC taking a landing at the original destination under VFR when the SIC "blew it" on the first attempt, rather than burn more fuel to arrive at a further destination that has no higher chance of a successful approach and landing. There are also situations where there might be multiple "correct" outcomes, as long as the decisions were thought out and based on solid reasoning, when you start talking about the TAF and 123, that is probably most likely, because the correct decision will depend on more factors now, exact weather conditions and trends, alternate forecast and observation, etc. If you can argue what you did was based on safety and not for convenience or because you just don't know any better, you should have the all the reason in the world to stand behind your decision and standing up for something like that is just as important as blindly following the regulations day to day.

AboveMins
03-24-2018, 08:31 AM
Say you're flying into DFW and your alternate is SAT. You are flying with a low time FO and the weather in DFW ends up being VFR with visual approaches being conducted. On the first approach, the FO is PF and is high and unstable at 1,000 and not making the required adjustments, so you call for a go-around.

At this point you realize once you go-around you will start burning into your alternate fuel. So are you:

1) required to go to the alternate at this point?
2) required to declare an emergency if you want to land at your destination?
3) not required to do anything; no action is needed, just come around and land again?
4) required to contact dispatch to have alt removed?

This was a question posed by an LCA but I've heard a few different answers so far.

I'd go with option 3, while keeping an eye on fuel at my alternate staying above emergency fuel. Lots of variables to consider, but with the info given, that's what I'd do. YMMV.

Airbum
03-24-2018, 01:16 PM
[QUOTE=JohnBurke;255434

There's no part of that statement which is true, other than the fact that burning into IFR reserves is legal.

Landing below "emergency fuel" is legal, though unwise.

There is no requirement to always have "fuel required to divert to a dispatched alternate" in domestic operations, or international operations. If one is held and lands with some of the planned fuel burned, or if one has unforecast winds aloft, or if one has had other conditions which have resulted in a higher than anticipated fuel burn, there is not a legal requirement to land with full diversion fuel plus IFR reserves.

One needs to keep options open, but there are places where the options don't really exist. International island fuel reserves, for example, allow a two hour reserve when dispatched to an island location that lacks a suitable alternate; it's not illegal to end up landing with less fuel, and still nowhere else to go. It happens.

Yes, "minimum fuel" very much means something to air traffic control. Do you not understand why?[/QUOTE]


I'll take that hit for a poor post.

Min fuel has a actual ICAO meaning: advisory in nature,

I mixed up FAA dispatch fuel requirements and my companies training on operations while airborne.

Yes I have used Island Reserves before and one can land below the two hours of fuel. It is a dispatch requirement like you stated.

tanker
03-28-2018, 09:08 AM
If you are burning into your alternate fuel on the go around to me that means that you have used up all of your reserve fuel. There is no legal requirement to land from an IFR flight with 45 minutes of fuel. The only legal requirement is to take off with 45 minutes of reserve fuel. So as long as you haven't used up all of your reserve fuel go around and try another landing.

JohnBurke
03-28-2018, 11:50 AM
There is no legal requirement to land from an IFR flight with 45 minutes of fuel. The only legal requirement is to take off with 45 minutes of reserve fuel.

That really depends on the flight and circumstance, doesn't it?

Enough time to go to the alternate and fly for 45 minutes thereafter.

Enough time to divert enroute and hold for fifteen minutes.

Enough fuel to cover 10% of the enroute class II fuel burn plus reserves, and so on

Enough fuel to island destination, plus two hours, and on it goes.

Legal reserves are for planning purposes. Application is another matter.



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