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How Low Do You Go?

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:) Okay boys and girls......This is a great topic for discussion. Let's see where your heads are at :wacko: Do you as a pilot, a)....use your fuel gauge and low fuel light as an accurate measure of fuel on board? B).....adjust your fuel weight to minimum for the load(s), or adjust your load(s) for the fuel needed to land with the required 20 min. reserve? c)... Do you flirt with the inherent problems associated with your aircraft, that if a boost pump fails you could lose an engine because your below the increased unuseable fuel amount?

Are you that logging pilot that says...anyone got a heavy one, I can squeeze in "one more" turn? Are you that bag runner that says....I can squeeze in "one more "quick run before fuel? Are you that bucket aircraft that can put" one more" load into that portatank, just as your low fuel light came on? Are you that heliski pilot that says if I drop another 150 lbs. of fuel I can put in "one more" passenger on this run?

So how about it gang.....How Low Do You Go....and what is your reason(s) to do so? :)

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The next time you see 10 gallons in that 206.have a look to see that 10 gallons barely covering the fuel pump,and imagine how little movement it takes to oncover the inlet .The floor of the tank is basically flat so the fuel is spread out vs the Astar's.so reserve in the 206 better include this factor into ones calculation,you really don't want to see what 5 gallons looks like.

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15 gal on the Jetranger and I drained it when I first got the machine and refilled checking the gauge. Having the same machine all the time (base) helps this. Plus I still compare fuel use with the clock. As turbulence increases so does minimum fuel too.

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15 gals in Jetranger is only 5 gals when you lose a boost pump as the 10 unusable fuel comes into effect. Personally 20 gals in my min on 206.


I understand the reluctance to fly Astar down lower than 20% fuel as most of them have the float type of system but if you know the system is working(the capacity is checked regarlarly and the gauge is in fact going down with appropriate time) then the aircraft can be flown safely to lower fuel state. There is only ~1.25 l of unusable fuel in B2. I have a rule of 100 lbs in 500 but switch on start pump early or if on bags leave it on. What is strange is 100 lbs of fuel in 500 is ~12 gals in a relatively flat bottomed tank and most that I have seen have the ram air vent removed off the belly to allow the pod, this is not a great thing especially in low airspeed flight as the only ram air vent is on the right side then, which is usually in slip stream whilst crabbing moving bags.


Astar tank has a square bottom and can handle low fuel states better than the bell or 500 yet people will keep more reserve on it. Not questioning the amount of reserve people choose but why it is more on one type than others is a little odd.


Just my 2bits.



PS my min on Astar is 20 % on ferry flight planning and while working in good conditions will go to 14% as well.

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