Skip to comments.VANITY: American Airlines Flight DFW to LA. Ran low on Gas while taxing?
Posted on 04/05/2018 6:44:01 AM PDT by vespa300
Sorry for the Vanity. Just had to ask. Had a weird flight a couple of days ago. DFW to L.A. American Airlines. We taxied out as usual, didn't seem that long, no more than usual...and then we turned and headed back to the gate.
They’re supposed to land with a 10% fuel reserve.
If they project a lower reserve early on, they may be required to return to top off.
I bet that was “taxing”.
Thanks. Just didn’t seem like it we were out there that long to run low. I guess it’s possible. Thanks.
Maybe trying to cover up that they forgot to fill up the tank before leaving the gate. If on a road trip I realize that I forgot, I’d prefer to say it might be good to top off the tank before we go any further.
Flying around fuel you don't need costs the airlines money, and puts undue stress on the aircraft.
So they carry the minimum safe amount, plus a cushion for the usual delays. This delay must have been unusual, and cut into their safety reserve.
In the fast few years airlines have been putting as little fuel in planes as they can get away with. Less fuel, less weight. I don’t like it at all.
To be honest, that was my first thought. Somebody screwed up.
Maybe while they were taxiing ATC changed their route, or winds aloft changed, necessitating additional fuel. I think they usually plan their fuel loads pretty precisely.
Fuel = weight. Too much of wrong weight = lower profits. Its a balancing game.
They don’t completely fill the fuel tanks for a shorter flight. The extra weight would just burn more fuel. But they might be cutting things a little close if they’re not sure they can make it to their destination after idling the engines for an hour or so.
I used to live in LA, and have probably flown into LAX thirty times, maybe 50. Once as we were approaching from the east we were told that we had to make another approach because ground control was “turning the runways around”. The pilot made this announcement, and then corrected himself, saying “They’re actually turning the traffic pattern around, the runways are staying the way they are”. We then went out over the Pacific and landed. Sounds like that’s what happened to you.
Planes usually carry enough fuel for the flight plus reserves. They don’t fill up; fuel is heavy and is costly.
If the pilot taxis too long or finds out there are greater head winds on the flight after gate departure, he would then return to get more fuel.
He was doing the right thing.
Fuel consumption is based on weight/passengers - either the plane was close to its maximum hopping distance already, they miscalculated the weight/passengers or they never checked the fuel gauge until they started taxiing. In any event they lied to you! :)
The aborted landing approach may have been a mistake or the air traffic control mightve told them to divert (traffic, weather, priority, etc)
What happens is that excessive taxi times sometimes burns up the reserve fuel that is is held is storage in the aircraft fuel tanks for emergency operations, caused by bad weather, heavy traffic, mechanical problems, during the flight route, etc. A captain will always opt for a safety margin to have more then enough fuel on board as he takes off...just in case.
Your “go-around” at LAX is usually caused by traffic on the ground, delayed for a take-off or traffic problem. Either the tower will call for the “go-around” or the Captain will call for it..if he deems it necessary to avoid an accident or a potential unsafe landing condition. The Captain operating must always follow the ground controller’s instructions, but he can call for his own “go-around” if he thinks danger might lurk. These “Fly Around” acts are daily routine activities.
Fuel is always low, so a previous flight might have cut it too short. The turn around might have been a change in runway direction.
I do trust the Pilot was doing the right thing assuming there was no screw up initially. However, it would have been nice if he had let us know why he had to essentially abort the landing, pull up, change directions, etc. He said nothing. The plane was pretty quiet. THats when the guy next to me said “the copilot must be flying this thing.” ....I Like when the pilot keeps us informed on developments. Thanks.
DFW is a huge airport, once I asked the flight attendant while we were taxiing “Are we driving to Albuquerque?”
>>>The pilot made this announcement, and then corrected himself, saying Theyre actually turning the traffic pattern around, the runways are staying the way they are. We then went out over the Pacific and landed. Sounds like thats what happened to you.>>>
Our pilot said nothing. Sounds like you had the kind of pilot I prefer. Thanks.
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