Isavia ANS ehf., Reykjavíkurflugvelli, 102 Reykjavík /
Isavia ANS, Reykjavik Airport, IS-102 Reykjavik, Iceland
Sími / Telephone: + 354 424 4000 

AIC B 003 / 2018
Effective from  25 MAY 2018
Published on 25 MAY 2018
Vitund flugmanna um eldsneyti og eldsneytiseyðslu /
Pilot's awareness on fuel and fuel consumption

Content Responsibility:  Icelandic Transport Authority

1 Introduction

Incidentally, the Icelandic Transport Authority draws the attention of pilots to the importance of knowing about the causes of aviation accidents and incidents due to fuel shortage.

It happens almost every year in Iceland that aircraft run out of fuel in flight. In most cases, the pilot is at fault.

Unfortunately, according to experience, it is not always possible to make an emergency landing without injury resulting. It is important that pilots have the following in mind:

2 Five strategies to reduce the risk of incidents/accidents due to fuel shortage:

2.1 To know how much fuel is in the tanks of the aircraft

We can never emphasize too much to pilots to personally look into the fuel tank before take-off, measure the quantity of fuel with the scale, if available, and record the results. Care should be taken to place the aircraft on level ground when the quantity of fuel is measured and remember to subtract the amount of fuel that is not usable. Thus, you know for sure how much fuel is usable in the tanks of the aircraft.

Good practice is to compare the quantity you have measured and the readings from the fuel gauges of the aircraft. If the fuel tank of the aircraft is so designed or located where you cannot look into it, you can, in most cases, read from a built-in scale in the aircraft showing fuel in the tanks.

The next step is to check the aircraft flight manual (AFM). It contains tables on fuel economy and the prerequisites and information needed to calculate the cruising range.

Think of fuel in hours and minutes (cruising range) and be confident that you are operating the aircraft in accordance with the criteria you used for the calculation of the cruising range of the aircraft.

2.2 To know the aircraft's fuel system

Pilots must be familiar with the aircraft's fuel system and careful in operating the system.

2.3 To know what is in the tanks of the aircraft

During pre-flight inspection, do not forget to take a fuel sample from each drain hole and check whether the fuel is pure and of the appropriate type. Also, pilots should take measures to prevent turbidity, pollution and other impurities from entering aircraft fuel. For example, water pollution in fuel is usually the result of worn or defective fuel caps in the fuel tanks.

2.4 To monitor the status of fuel

To monitor the status of fuel in the aircraft at least every hour.

Although you have prepared your flight well and made flight plans, things can always change during flight. The weather can change quickly so we could have to fly a longer route and/or extend our flight time. If you know how many minutes of fuel you have and how long it takes to get to a destination or a place to fuel up, it is easy for you to know whether you need additional fuel.

It is important to monitor the status of fuel gauges periodically and switch between tanks (if applicable).

The Icelandic Transport Authority recommends that pilots check the status of fuel at least once every hour. By monitoring consistence between the status of fuel gauges and your given cruising range before you departed, you can see whether your cruising range is realistic or not. If there is consistency between those two, you may also make use of the fuel if installed to estimate cruising range based on the operation of the aircraft at the time.

2.5 To always land with sufficient additional fuel:

The Icelandic Transport Authority recommends that pilots have an excess amount of fuel sufficient for 30-45 minutes' flying time at normal cruising speed and correctly configured mixture.

If you suspect that the cruising range that you calculated is not enough, do not hesitate to report this to air traffic control or other ATS service providers.

3 Conclusion

Read carefully the available information on fuel consumption and usage in the aircraft manual. Check carefully, by using a scale or dip-stick, the fuel content in aircraft fuel tanks prior to the flight, log the quantity and make sure that the fuel tanks are well closed.

Check before the flight whether the aircraft fuel is clear and correct.

Always proceed with full tanks, if other loading permits. Monitor fuel consumption during flight.

Monitor fuel consumption after the flight by filling the tanks as planned payload permits and so comparing actual fuel consumption with calculated fuel consumption. By doing this, you will help prevent condensation inside tanks.

Fly the same plane as much as possible so you get familiarized with it.



AIC hereby cancelled:

B 004 / 2002



NOTAM incorporated in this AIC: