Civil Aviation Authority records 28 cases of aircraft running low on fuel over two years
By Keith Perry, Susan Cooke, Alison Winward and Roger Wilsher | 18 August 2012
“Since July 2010, 28 commercial passenger aircraft landing in the UK were forced to declare low-fuel emergencies”
Exaro today publishes details of reports of UK passenger aircraft declaring emergencies after running low on fuel.
They are based on filings made under the ‘mandatory occurrence reporting’ (MOR) system, which is run by the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).
It is mandatory to report any hazardous incident. The CAA says that airlines must refer anything that endangers an aircraft to its MOR system. Reporting some incidents is voluntary.
The filings to the CAA show that three UK jumbo passenger jets landing in southern England declared low-fuel emergencies this year.
They included a Virgin Atlantic flight from Orlando, America to Gatwick.
It comes as Spanish authorities launched an investigation into Ryanair over three low-fuel maydays in Spain.
Key to technical terms used in the CAA records on low-fuel emergencies of UK aircraft:
||Air Operator Certificate
||UK companies operating aircraft for public transport must obtain an AOC from the CAA.
||Service provided by ground-based controllers who direct aircraft on the ground and through controlled airspace.
||Company Minimum Reserve
||Minimum amount of fuel that an aircraft must still hold on landing. AKA ‘final reserve fuel’, it is the amount required to hold for 30 minutes at 1,500 feet. If the commander knows the aircraft will land with less than the CMR he must declare a mayday.
||Electronic Centralised Aircraft Monitor
||System that monitors aircraft functions and relays them to the pilots. It also produces messages detailing failures and, in some cases, details of procedures to correct the problem.
||Damage done (eg to the runway) by anything that is not part of the aircraft itself.
||Procedures for aircraft to operate safely at airports when weather conditions do not allow normal operations.
||Distress signal used internationally in voice radio communications. It is a request for immediate assistance in a life-threatening emergency.
||Signal that declares a state of emergency on an aircraft (also used on ships and other vehicles). It differs from a mayday signal because, while it marks an urgent situation, it is not a request for an immediate rescue.
|Small leaflet kept in aircraft for pilots containing checklists of action to take in both normal and emergency situations.
||Runway Incursion Monitoring and Conflict Alert System
||System for monitoring any obstacle on the runway.
||Terminal Manoeuvring Area
||Designated area of airspace controlled by airports close together.