Emergency Fuel Option Not Showing Up

So a few minutes ago I was on final to LHR when there was a headwind, no biggie, I still had 600KG of fuel left WRONG. I had to go around due to ‘being to close to the aircraft in front’ so I looked for emergency fuel as now I’d be down to 300KG where is it? Not there… what annoys me is there are people abusing the system for example, “N1KB, emergency fuel, 28 minutes remaining “ and there aircraft is 2NM from touchdown. This is the second time this has happened, first time was in the carribian where I had 10 minutes remaining and I spent that 10 minutes in a holding pattern. Now I calculated my fuel correctly ( I like to use fuel at a minimum) and it was the 50 kts headwind that made me use a bit more than expected, normally if a controller said go around and I was only on 300KG I’d pull out the emergency card, but boi that was not there. Here’s a picture I took…

not a good one of course as it was taken with my iPhone in dark at an iPad screen but that doesn’t matter.


It depends how long you have been flying for before the option appears. Where you flying for more than an hour as that is how long you must be flying for (give or take) before the emergency option appears.

Oh. I was flying for 57 minutes until I met my maker, the grass.

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I guess that explains why the emergency option wasn’t showing up for you to be able to broadcast.


I find that sorta annoying as when you don’t need it it’s there but when you do need it it’s not there.

I’m fairly new and don’t know much but one thing I believe you have to fly after certain amount of time I believe over an hour to get the option display for emergency fuel.

I understand, but the reason why they added the 1 hour minimum flight time requirement, is so people can’t abuse the system as you’ve mentioned.

Someone could take off from EGLC for example with very little fuel and request emergency at EGLL for an example.

It’s to stop people from doing this like this, because IFATC have a lot of traffic to manage and we try to accommodate everyone.


The real question is why couldn’t you bring enough fuel for under an hour worth of flight? Even going around twice shouldn’t have eaten up the 45 minute reserve past an alternate.


I caluculate my fuel but didn’t check the winds of 50 kts at 2500ft

In other words you didn’t do the best pre flight preparation?

Theoretically yes.

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No one wants to point out he’s on Unicom?


I’m pretty sure there is an emergency fuel message on Unicom as well…but I wouldn’t know since I’ve never had an issue

In conclusion the reason for the option of not being able to broadcast a fuel warning is because you must be flying for more than 1 hr for the message to appear. I’m not 100 percent sure if a fuel message appears on unicom after flying for more than 1 hour on low fuel though.

You have to have a flight time of at least 1 hour.

I thought you could still announce emergency fuel on unicom? I think I remember being able to before?

Yeah, you can announce on Unicom, I was out of fuel while approaching Copenhagen (I was thinking about diverting) but the fuel message did cane up there (Flying from Istanbul

So let me see, and slide a bit to the side of the topic…

You plan a one hour flight and you run low on fuel after a go-around? How about adding an extra hour worth of fuel? It’s nice to build in a challenge, but Approach controllers sometimes have to divert other aircrafts because there’s one with a fuel emergency.

You end up too close to the aircraft in front of you…
Now there can be many reasons for that, outside your control. But in all my flying at IF I have not once had this situation where I had to go around because I ended up too close. Again, pilots that need to go around cause quite an impact, as the aircraft that is going around needs to be slotted into the lineup again.
So perhaps a tip: be wise about your speed…

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This is certainly not abusing. If they have 28 minutes of fuel left, a go-around can cause difficulties. It’s safer to give the emergency plane priority

ATC went offline a minute before i took the photo :)