Running out of fuel

Hi everyone.

I took off from Perth a few hours ago, and I’m currently en route to London. I loaded maximum fuel onto my aircraft, which said it was 19.5 hours worth. I’m currently cruising at FL 380 and have over 15hrs left on my flight, but due to strong 50+ kt headwinds. I only have 13.5 hrs fuel left going at this pace. Should I just hope that the winds weaken? What should I do?

You’re a bit high at such an early stage of flight.

See: A Guide to Step Climbing

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Fly while you can, if you don’t get there, land at a near by airport for a refueling stop. Then you could take back off bound for London again.

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Try step climb/descent.

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You should be fine in the end! It usually changes to a tailwind somewhere along the line…

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Best you can do is descend back down to FL 340 and stay there for a good few hours until you burn enought fuel, climb back to 380 when you’ve got about 50% of your flight left to go

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He’s flying West, the chances of a tailwind are slim, unless he checked wind conditions before taking off which I doubt

I descended to FL340 and I’ll ascend in about 6-7 hrs

Thank you all for the help!

I clearly know nothing about step climbing 😂

the longer you fly the lighter the jet gets the more efficient it burns you will be fine.

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You’ll be fine as both the winds changes and you need to descend some point in the flight 😉

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Yay! After descending to FL340 to help offset my poor step climbing skills, I’ve already seen the gap between fuel remaining and eta diminish!

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Also if I do need to land early, the fpl goes right by Frankfurt where I could make a 5 min stop

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I’m currently cruising at FL370 (real flights altitude).You can cruise at that if you want

I will later, I’m currently only 2hrs into my flight

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Suggest in future to spend an extra 5 mins on your planning. I use a combination of fpltoif.com and Infinite Flight Assistant for my long haul flights.

Fpltoif for the flight plan, weights and balance as well flight level and step climbs, whilst using IFA to program in your step climbs so that it does it for you.

Good luck.

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Thank you!

Here’s a model of global winds: https://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wind/isobaric/250hPa/orthographic=-269.44,-11.37,336
It’s based on GFS data so it’s very accurate and can forecast a few days ahead as well. Select height 250hPa since that’s around FL340.

You’re currently in the Southern Hemisphere’s jet stream which is particularly powerful since it’s winter there. It’ll get better as you go north towards the equator. Here’s an image of your situation, you’re somewhere near the mark:

You’ll run into the Northern Hemisphere jet stream eventually but that’s not as strong since it’s the summer. If you (and all those other 789s) took a flight plan that went slightly more north from Perth it’d saved a lot of time/fuel.

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Thank you! I didn’t even think about looking at the winds