Extreme Low Fuel In Boeing 757 at Zurich FNF

Hi everyone,

Today I flew my first ever Friday Night Flight event since the release of global. Everything was going well until I was on approach into Zurich. Due to the extremely high traffic, approach ACT attempted to direct me into a holding pattern (I presume), in order to manage the flow of traffic. Unfortunately for me, It seemed like I had made an error either during planning with Simbrief, or when I went to input the fuel and weight figures in the settings. This resulted in me approaching Zurich with enough fuel to land, but not enough to account for any delays, missed approaches, go arounds etc. As a result of being directed away from the airport by ACT, I found myself in the rather difficult situation of being too far away from Zurich, with insufficient fuel to perform a landing. I was forced to divert to an alternative airport which was only slightly closer than Zurich. I only just managed to land at this alternative airport, touching down with only 40 kg of fuel left. This remaining fuel was quickly used up in reverse thrust, leaving me stranded on a runway with no means of refuelling. I recorded the entire approach into Zurich, and my emergency landing, and I have uploaded the video to YouTube. You can find it here.

Now for my question: what is the IFATC policy when it comes to aircraft with minimal fuel? I’m not complaining, whoever was controlling approach at Zurich today did a great job overall, and I’m rather happy with my handling of the situation. I’m just wondering how other people would handle a fuel emergency on the expert server, both as pilots and controllers. I did let the approach controller know of my fuel situation multiple times, and I appeared to be treated the same as all the others. If you are an IFATC controller, how do you manage situations where aircraft have depleted most of their fuel and are on final reserve, with 15 minutes or so of powered flight remaining. I look forward to seeing everyone’s responses.

Thanks, David

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I see you used the emergency fuel command, so you can’t do much else.

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If you watched the video you would know

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I know, I was watching it just then.

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I have no idea for fuel but on landing you shouldn’t have used reverse thrusters, you should’ve used braking power and then taxied off the runway. If you had to use the reverses then don’t use the brakes and just turn off the runway

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Yeah, It was quite dumb to use full reverse thrust in such a lightly loaded plane. Unfortunately, it looks like just a runway. There didn’t seem to be any taxiways or parking areas, so I had nowhere to go but the runway.

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Ah okay nevermind then, glad you got on the ground. Wish I recorded my emergancy landing from a few weeks back

Did you see the landing? In the video obviously.

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I was wondering, in real life are pilots permitted to shut down one engine when low on fuel? That could help fly the extra distance perhaps…

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I dont imagine shutting down one engine would do much. In order to travel between two points, a certain amount of energy will always be required, regardless of the number of engines running. Given my situation, I wasn’t really prepared to experiment, I just wanted to land.

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yeah seemed to busy for the approach to give you direct access because if they did they would probably have to send multiple aircraft in to pattern causing chaos probably.

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Yeah. That’s probably why. I could contact the controller for a full explanation but I’m not that fussed. Just carry extra fuel in future FNF events.

But in any case wouldn’t an emergency call receive priority? You declared minimum fuel, which I would assume is equivalent to a Pan call, but either way, emergency or minimum, shouldn’t you have at least got some sort of priority. After sending minimum call, you received expect delay, which seems odd… I’m starting wonder whether you should’ve resent the minimum call.

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Assuming that the 757-200 burns 3.02 L per 100 kilometers, cutting that in half would save a great amount of fuel, except it would add stress on the engine burning more fuel, but would probably use less. I didn’t see that in any checklists, but it would be feasible during an emergency situation.

Lol yea, I would do the same, but I meant like during descent, cuz my throtle is usually at like 20% on decent, and shutting down one engine might make the engine running spool up a bit, but not much.

one engine taxi is usually done in like a dash 8, havent really heard about jets doing it, but maybe it’s done when low on fuel

yea, I was thinking the same

Whoops… never mind ignore what I said

I’m going to do some tests now, I will add my findings in a PM.

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I sent multiple minimum and emergency fuel calls (not in a spammy way obviously) before diverting. As i was flying away from Zurich in my holding pattern of doom, I sent the following message:

“IceAir 450, Emergency Fuel, 10 minutes remaining”

I was about 8 minutes or so away from Zurich at that point, so I could have just about made it at, but I just received "IceAir 450, copy emergency fuel"
Surely at that point you give the aircraft in distress priority to land, rather than just sit and do nothing about it. I know it was a busy airport, but really?