Emergency Fuel, Forced to Divert (Dubai → LA)

I’ve recently been a fan of long-hauls with the B777-300ER, and yesterday I decided to fly from Dubai to Los Angeles.

I fueled the aircraft to its max capacity, and passengers + cargo were about at 50/60% capacity.

Over the next 15 hours, the aircraft faced headwinds at over 100knts. over the Persian Gulf, to 70knt. crosswinds over Greenland.

That ended up taking a significant amount more fuel than what was required, and it ended up being I was stuck with roughly 4% fuel remaining in Wyoming, U.S. Because of this, I ended up making a diversion to Denver, Colorado, and landing with 1% fuel remaining.

Here are a few pictures from this fun flight.

Taking off out of Dubai. The city of Dubai and the Palms in the background

Flying over Greenland w/those beautiful crosswinds

Landing in Denver, 1% fuel remaining

Flight Info.

Route: OMDB → KDEN
Aircraft: Boeing 777-300ER
Server: Expert
Flight time: 15’ 58"


Second PIC is Awesome 👌. I recently had divert experience, Was Approaching from Pacific to US borders. Had to glide 100 nautical miles, I ended up with 10 Kg fuel remaining on SFO runway!!


I recently deverted to some small airfield on canada while doing a canada domestic flight because of low fuel. There was a 140kt head wind on 30000ft lol


I almost had to Boston when I was headed to Reykjavik.


Nearly had to divert to Burbank one time when landing at LAX. Luckily I was barely able to make it.


You must’ve been either really high or really fast to burn out a 77W in 16 hours lol, even with max pax and cargo a 16 hour flight should only take 71% fuel.


I was at 36,000’ cruising at a typical cruising speed of 0.84.

I’ve done the flight perfectly fine before, but I mentioned in the post that I was fighting significant headwinds most of the time.


That would explain part of it, at your takeoff load you’d be burning almost 7,000 lb/hour extra over optimal and at the end of 16 hours you’d be burning roughly optimal, so an average of roughly 3,500 lb/hour extra (not exactly how math works but close enough), so an extra 56,000 pounds over 16 hours. That’s like 20% of a 77W’s fuel capacity in extra burn.


It wasn’t optimal from a cruising altitude standpoint, but lower altitudes had significantly more winds, so from there, it was just the most optimal I could get.


This is fair, but a 77W loaded with 50-60% pax and cargo and full fuel can fly up to 22h 30m by using optimal altitude. LAX to DXB is 7300 nm, so you’d need to be slower than 320 knots GS for the entirety of your flight. At 0.84, this is a headwind component of 165 knots for the entire flight which I think we can agree is not feasible especially considering you would’ve made it to LAX in another 1.5 hours for a total of no more than 18.


Awesome stuff thanks for sharing! Have you tried a flight plan that flies north out of Dubai into Russia & over the North Pole, and then south into and out of Canada? IRL most of the time the Qatar & Emirates flights to the West Coast take that route.


Wow, couldn’t imagine that strong winds could force you to divert when you had almost 3 hours of reserve.


I’ve tried finding routes like that online and through Fpltoif.com, but I can’t seem to find them, and I’m not too good at making my own flight plans (I usually have Fpltoif.com do them)

If you have another resource, please do share it because I know that’s the more realistic route.

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Should’ve descended and then ascended later on into the flight.

Flight plan database is good

I think I use the same aircraft. My flight was about 13 or 14 hours. I did not calculate the fuel, and I had to divert to a small airport with a runway does not accommodate a large aircraft such as the Boeing 777.

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Should of diverted to Jackson Hole, @United403 would have loved to see you there ( joke ik the 77W is too big for KJAC )


@NonStopsAviation it can be done actually 😎😎
If gate 8 can hole a DC-10, gate a 8 can hole a 77w


I usually just look at a couple of previous flights on flightradar24 and copy their path to the best of my ability and to the closest waypoints haha. A little unconventional but it’s worked for me so far.

And no worries! A couple of days ago a Qatar flight to LAX took pretty much the same route through Greenland. So the route you took is still a realistic route.

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JAC’s runway is 6,283ft at 6,451ft above sea level.

I don’t think I’d be comfortable flying such planes we might overrun and injure a Bison