Help, I ran out of fuel [London to Los Angeles]

So I was in a b747-400 from London to LAX and there was about 45 minutes left of the flight and I ran out of fuel but right before departing London I put around 14 hours worth of fuel so how is this possible.

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Use a real fuel calculator, I’ve done that countless times and it’s never steered me wrong.

What cruise altitude and speed did you use?

Edit- even with a proper step climb and the correct cruise speed, I have still found the 747 to use around 1 hour more of fuel than it says it’ll use.

Use these to help you out next time for fuel:)

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Also, when it says 14 hours of fuel it really means anywhere from 12 hours to 16 hours. The estimation is very rough, and since you were going westbound across the Atlantic, those winds really slowed you down.

I’ll tell ya how its possible… lack of planning.


It’s advisable to use real fuel planners. However, if you don’t do that it is just worth noting that the 747 in particular needs quite a bit in reserve - on the occasions I cannot be bothered to use real fuel planners I just put in another 3-4 hours so that I am both combatting its guzzling characteristics as well as having a reserve for diversions or long approach holds.

By using Simbrief Dispatch and others fuel planning, it will be unlikely to run out of fuel. Make sure you don’t go too high and too fast.


Tell your passengers to brace and declare emergency also i hope you know how to swim and change course to the nearest airport

Should have diverted mate 👍🏻

Can a Boeing 747 fly that distance? I honestly don’t know. I’m guessing it should…

Are you sure you filled her up completely?
Or perhaps you were so very much overweight and you climbed so fast to a way too high cruise that you indeed burned the fuel too quickly.

Do you remember your weight, climb rate and cruise altitude?

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Fuel calculations are estimates. Your actual fuel burn varies based on speed, weight, headwinds, etc. There’s no way you can look at the IF estimate and say “this is exactly how much time I’ll have down to the minute.”

Someone climbing in a 388 straight to FL410 at 3500 FPM isn’t going to burn the same amount of fuel as another 388 with the exact same configuration who climbs more shallow or step climbs.

I’m not saying you did X or Y. I’m just saying there are variables. An estimate is an estimate. You need to monitor your fuel burn throughout the flight.

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Abouther vote here for , I use this every time for short and long haul flights and I never have had an issue if you follow the weight, speed, altitiued and step climbs. Additonlly if you use IF Assistant then you can program in your step climbs so when a long haul flight they will be taken care off for you and you dont have to worry about it.

Using that combination I find that the fuel used is within a few 100kgs of what simbrief / flptoif has said it will be and arrived within +/- 5mins of when it said it will arrive. Great for planning your life around long haul flights!

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I’m flying a 777-300ER from London to LAX at 36,000 feet at mach .86. I departed with 19 hours of fuel and will make it there with a hour to spare. Infinite flight is tricky

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