I need some help. I am currently in a 747-200. Call sign Clipper 946, just departed from Heathrow about 15 minutes ago. I am at an altitude of 35,000 feet. I forgot to figure wind conditions into my fuel calculations, and I am dealing with a 125 knot headwind, causing me to use more fuel. At current consumption rates, I don’t have enough fuel to get to Atlanta. Someone help!

You can either divert and fuel up more, or end the flight that is about it I’m afraid

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Great… Okay. I’ll figure out where to divert to. Any recommendations?

Manchester (EGCC) or Reykjavik (BIKF)

EIDW should be around your path, touch’er down there, fuel up, depart again!

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and it no longer matters… My iPad just crashed…


Or if you want to get closer to KALT I know that KPHL and KJFK can hold 747 if you have enough fuel

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I have the same problem last night from egll to ksfo. Luckily once i hit the Atlantic is managed to settle down a good bit.

Okay, since my iPad crashed, the flight ended. Lets try this again. Instead of 9 hours of fuel, I’ll set it to 12 hours. That should be enough, right?

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Yea I dont even think that KATL is 8.5 hours so that should be plenty

If it’s a 9 hour flight, add like one hour and a half more, so 10.5hrs of fuel or so, or just add two extra hours for 11hrs of fuel.

thanks. Lets hope I don’t run out this time.

Me personally for an example am flying right now from KSFO to EGLL.
It’s a 9h 30 min flight, but i packed 11h 20min approximately, it’s going all well. I will have about 1h fuel left over.

So if you fill your tank to around 12h, you should be more than fine even if your flight is up to 10h :)

Your fuel flow doesnt increase because of winds. Just your flight time. Just something to consider for the future.


I was having to push the engines harder to maintain my cruising speed. THAT increased fuel flow.

I just chuck in an extra 4 hours of fuel

Then you could’ve descended and flown at a lower altitude, burn off some fuel for a few hours then climb back up again.

Since you’re flying a B747 and on a long flight as well for that mater, then you’ll need to stepclimb. So to say begin at around FL320 and not 35000ft :)

Here’s a tutorial if you need to learn more about stepclimb:


We go lower attitude first for couple of hours and climb up again, that called stepclimb.

Your engines dont push harder to maintain your airspeed at cruise.

Pitch = airspeed, thrust = altitude. It may be hard to believe but the only reason your thrust will be increasing or decreasing is because of your altitude. As @Captain_JR pointed out you should be step climbing and the issue would probably be that you were to high of an altitude for your weight.

And climbing at 5000fpm is not going to help your speed either. Looks more like your aircraft never got to the speed it needed to get at and it was pushing itself at too high of an altitude to get up to that speed.


Don’t forget as you get lighter fuel efficiency is better. I had conditions where I was short 30 minutes of fuel and then 7 hours later had 1 hour of fuel to spare when I landed.