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Fuel Planning

Introduction:

Fuel Planning Considerations:

VFR Fuel Requirements:

  • No person may begin a flight in an airplane under VFR conditions unless (considering wind and forecast weather conditions) there is enough fuel to fly to the first point of intended landing and, assuming normal cruising speed:
    • During the day, to fly after that for at least 30 minutes; or
    • At night, to fly after that for at least 45 minutes
  • No person may begin a flight in a rotorcraft under VFR conditions unless (considering wind and forecast weather conditions) there is enough fuel to fly to the first point of intended landing and, assuming normal cruising speed, to fly after that for at least 20 minutes

IFR Fuel Requirements:

  • No person may operate a civil aircraft in IFR conditions unless it carries enough fuel (considering weather reports and forecasts and weather conditions) to:
    • Complete the flight to the first airport of intended landing;
    • Fly from that airport to the alternate airport; and
    • Fly after that for 45 minutes at normal cruising speed or, for helicopters, fly after that for 30 minutes at normal cruising speed
  • Although the 45 minute rule above will never change, pilots may omit the requirement to carry enough fuel to fly from an alternate airport if:
    • A standard instrument approach procedure to, or a special instrument approach procedure exists at the first airport of intended landing; and
    • Appropriate weather reports or weather forecasts, or a combination of them, indicate the following:
      • For aircraft other than helicopters:

        • For at least 1 hour before and for 1 hour after the estimated time of arrival, the ceiling will be at least 2,000 feet above the airport elevation and the visibility will be at least 3 statute miles
      • For helicopters:

        • At the estimated time of arrival and for 1 hour after the estimated time of arrival, the ceiling will be at least 1,000 feet above the airport elevation, or at least 400 feet above the lowest applicable approach minima, whichever is higher, and the visibility will be at least 2 statute miles

Conclusion:

References: