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wheelsup

Well-Known Member
I've heard they were in the "burn lots of gas to show the company who's boss" camp, but that's just 4th hand Flightinfo speak.
 

SeanD

Well-Known Member
Can they do that? I mean there is a reason the extra fuel is added. Not only is it risky but the pilots may feel the need to rush. What's it matter, if the plane lands with 45 minutes of fuel left, that's less fuel they need to add to the aircraft. It still equals out to the same cost, no? I dont see the logic in the math there.
 

mikecweb

Well-Known Member
Can they do that? I mean there is a reason the extra fuel is added. Not only is it risky but the pilots may feel the need to rush. What's it matter, if the plane lands with 45 minutes of fuel left, that's less fuel they need to add to the aircraft. It still equals out to the same cost, no? I dont see the logic in the math there.
More weight, more cost.
 

Screaming_Emu

Joe Conventional
Not only is it risky but the pilots may feel the need to rush. What's it matter, if the plane lands with 45 minutes of fuel left, that's less fuel they need to add to the aircraft. It still equals out to the same cost, no? I dont see the logic in the math there.
Induced drag. The heavier the plane is, the more drag created, the more fuel is needed.
 

mikecweb

Well-Known Member
Got it. It still sounds a little too risky to me. I would think this option would be an absolute last resort.
And that is what USAPA is trying to get the public to see. But for a 30 minute flight do you need 4 hours of fuel? The only time we take anything extra is if we are tankering out of our home base where it is significantly cheaper then buying here in Boston.
 

ChrisH

Well-Known Member
"Still, an average roundtrip flight costs about $299 worth of fuel per passenger, company officials said."

Yet passengers are paying $150. Call it what you want, "fuel prices", but the airlines are to blame for their own mess. I don't want to see anybody lose their jobs - I've already lost my job, in the airline industry, because of this mess, but I have no sympathy for the airlines. Maybe if one or two majors go under, someone will get a clue.
 

Ralgha

Well-Known Member
What they're probably trying to do is educate the pilots so they don't arbitrarily add fuel to every flight. I see it here all the time, "just add a couple hundred pounds to the release fuel." When I ask them why, they don't have a real answer. They're not even aware of how much extra fuel is already built into the release fuel. There could be an extra 45 minutes of fuel on top of the required reserves, and they won't even know it.
 

Boris Badenov

Just running in to a burning house...
Ralgha said:
They're not even aware of how much extra fuel is already built into the release fuel.
Who do you work for? I know exactly how much fuel I have on board every time I release the brakes. Sometimes I want more, sometimes I want less. I'm the PIC. I'm responsible for everything that happens once the airplane is moving. If I'm going to be held accountable when the thing runs out of gas, I'm for damn sure going to have the final say on the condition of the aircraft before that happens. Cargo (or pax, I suppose), baggage, who sits where, MELs, fuel, etc. You can't have it both ways. How many NTSB accident reports have listed "probable cause" as "fuel exhaustion - act of God"?

Airplanes burn a lot of fuel. The cost of that is for the market to decide. I like my job and I want to keep it, so you won't catch me burning any more fuel than I have to, because it obviously affects the bottom line. On the other hand, I know that things get balled up. If airlines can't pay for the gas the PIC believes he needs, maybe they need to raise fares.

PS. As for showing anyone who is boss, you shouldn't need to. If you signed for the airplane YOU are boss. That's your responsability. Don't surrender it because some pencil pusher with his finger up his rear and his nose in a ledger sheet has run the numbers and has a differing opinion. I, for one, salute these guys for fighting the erosion of PIC responsability/priviledge.
 

saxman

Well-Known Member
We had to divert the other day, simply because of not enough fuel and we had no extra on board. Weather was suppose to hit BWI after our arrival but I came earlier than forecast. And of course, its summer and thunderstorm season, and usually they are high enough not to require an alternate, so of course, we didn't have alternate fuel. They told us to hold for 30 mins, and we didn't have enough for that. After 2 turns, off we were to Harrisburg. So my question is, do they want us to takeoff, risking the fact we might divert, and costing the company WAY more, or put up with the fact that maybe we should carry more, especially during thunderstorm season.

Trust me, I do everything I can to save fuel. I fly slower, reduce thrust takeoffs, single engine taxi, not run the APU when its nice out. It's not like us pilots aren't saving fuel. (some of us at least)
 

SlumTodd_Millionaire

Evil Landlord Capitalist
I, for one, salute these guys for fighting the erosion of PIC responsability/priviledge.
No one supports CA's authority more than me, but that simply wasn't an issue here. CAs at USAirways have every bit of authority to add fuel to the airplane. The issue on this was that several CAs were purposefully burning more fuel to "stick it" to the company. USAPA should have just asked the company for permission to discuss this privately with these CAs through Pro Standards. Instead, they went off on a crazy anti-company vendetta.
 

falconvalley

Absentee Dad of the OOTSK, Runner, Cat Frustrator
I know that most of the stuff we need to plan for a flight is contained in the release. The release breaks down the planned fuel for each segment, usually fix by fix. I believe you can even find what winds and temps they used to calculate all the stuff and compare it to what the forecast is calling for. On top of that, it's even more of an advantage if one of the crew members has flown that particular route (ORD-JFK for example), because some legs are killers when the weather is crappy.

I've had a few days where dispatch just isn't using their "vision" to plan our flights. One night, at Skyway, we had to add some fuel and get an alternate because there were T-storms around Des Moines. Not enough to create an alternate from a legal stand-point, but enough weather to make a Beech crew nervous about where to go when in an area, low on gas and low on altitude (for radioing home). We knew we could go just about anywhere if we had to, but it's better if everybody's on the same page, ya know??

At CHQ, we had a flight to JFK that nearly got into an urgent fuel situation because we had very little play fuel and no alternate. There were storms around and by the time we were in the air everything was starting to slow and hold. At one point, the captain had one radio and I had the other and was flying, while he was trying to get a game plan set up with dispatch. We were being told, by ATC, an EFC time that was not going to work if things didn't really pick up at that point. For a few moments, no one could hear me on my radio and I was tapping the Cappy on his shoulder (for his radio) while making a very necessary turn around a cell that was literally on top of us. Fortunately, ATC came up and said they saw we were turning and would keep the space clear ahead and knew we were trying to talk to them. We got to JFK, but not without some big-time urging with ATC to keep us moving, me thinks.

All that being said, it doesn't make me nervous one bit to land with 44 minutes of fuel or a little less on a clear and million day after having had to be vectored around more than usual. After all, planned fuel burn is exactly that- planned fuel burn. When I get close to reserve fuel, I let ATC know exactly what I need to get to the airport safely. I'm honest and they can, in turn be honest with me and allow me to plan for whatever is necessary.
 

Nightflight

New Member
The only time I have heard of captains burning more fuel is to get a better contract when it is negotiation time, sort of by re-establishing that they are the ones with the throttles to management.

I don't know how much of that goes on anymore now that gas an oil are through the roof though, it seems like people now just want to keep their job instead of boost their contract which i can't disagree with.
 

falconvalley

Absentee Dad of the OOTSK, Runner, Cat Frustrator
The only time I have heard of captains burning more fuel is to get a better contract when it is negotiation time, sort of by re-establishing that they are the ones with the throttles to management.

I don't know how much of that goes on anymore now that gas an oil are through the roof though, it seems like people now just want to keep their job instead of boost their contract which i can't disagree with.
Me neither. In my short experience out here, I have yet to run into a captain that is doing that. Wouldn't surprise me, though because all this less fuel stuff is still relatively new if you only look back 10 years or so, which is how long I've had my instrument and been in the game. Has anybody ever encountered this behavior before? That being crews purposely burning as much gas as they could when fuel prices are going up?
 

Orange Anchor

New Member
The issue on this was that several CAs were purposefully burning more fuel to "stick it" to the company.
Can you provide any actual information to support your assertion that these pilots were 'trying to stick it to the company'? And why were they doing it?

Why only 8 of more than 5000 pilots? Why the senior pilots?

If the training module is so good, why is it not part of recurrent?

Since dispatchers and the PIC must agree on the fuel load, have any dispatchers been sent for training?

Truth is.. both sides probably wish they could get a 'do-over'.

Oh, and while I am asking stuff.. no response on your strong dislike for sidesticks? Why?
 

SlumTodd_Millionaire

Evil Landlord Capitalist
Has anybody ever encountered this behavior before? That being crews purposely burning as much gas as they could when fuel prices are going up?
Yep. I've seen it at Pinnacle before. Have yet to see it at AAI, but the union President claims that there are CAs flying at FL200 at max forward speed lately. It does happen, but it's usually rare.

Why only 8 of more than 5000 pilots? Why the senior pilots?

If the training module is so good, why is it not part of recurrent?
Why would you retrain 5,000 pilots on a problem that is only an issue for 8 CAs? The truth is that this never should have gotten to company training. The union should have handed it over to Pro Standards and schooled these guys. Most companies are usually thrilled to allow the union the opportunity to knock some sense into pilots rather than having to deal with official training.

Since dispatchers and the PIC must agree on the fuel load, have any dispatchers been sent for training?
The dispatchers issued the proper fuel loading on the release, only to have the CAs demand more. There isn't a dispatcher around that will outright refuse a CAs request. They'll ask for a reason, give him his fuel, and then file a report. I can see no reason to go after a dispatcher on something like this.

Oh, and while I am asking stuff.. no response on your strong dislike for sidesticks? Why?
Sidesticks on airliners use fly-by-wire systems. I prefer some sort of direct connection to the flight controls, either through hydraulic PCUs like we had on the CRJ, or true direct connections like on the 717 that I fly now. I'm not a fan of computers that are designed to outthink pilots.
 

falconvalley

Absentee Dad of the OOTSK, Runner, Cat Frustrator
Sidesticks on airliners use fly-by-wire systems. I prefer some sort of direct connection to the flight controls, either through hydraulic PCUs like we had on the CRJ, or true direct connections like on the 717 that I fly now. I'm not a fan of computers that are designed to outthink pilots.
I'm kinda old-school that way, too. I'd much rather learn how to correct my mistakes than expect a computer to do it for me.
 

Boris Badenov

Just running in to a burning house...
Speaking of out-thinking pilots, whose airplane is it anyway? You sign, you decide how much fuel goes in the tanks and how much freight, self-loading or otherwise, goes in the back. If they want button-mashers, let em find some (I'm sure this board is populated with plenty of 300 hour wonders who would be happy to do my job just as the DO dictates. Most of them would probably even survive). As long as we're still "pilots", why don't we stand together and tell the bean counters that their power ends on the ground, whatever we think of the motivations of particular guys in particular circumstances. Maybe now it's them, but soon enough it will be the rest of us.
 
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