IFR Fuel Reserves?

UndauntedFlyer

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I ran into a guy today that sez 30 minutes (VFR reserves) of reserve fuel is all that's required for an IFR flight if the weather is clear (no clouds). He says that's what the regulation says, and sure enough when I re-read it, it does sort of say that. I know that 45 minutes is really required for an IFR flight, but doesn't the regulation say "IFR conditions" rather than "under IFR"? Any comments on this?


Sec. 91.167 - Fuel requirements for flight in IFR conditions.
(a) No person may operate a civil aircraft in IFR conditions unless it carries enough fuel (considering weather reports and forecasts and weather conditions) to --
(1) Complete the flight to the first airport of intended landing;
(2) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, fly from that airport to the alternate airport; and (3) Fly after that for 45 minutes at normal cruising speed.
 

UndauntedFlyer

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if your quote is correct then it's based on IFR conditions.
So then it is your belief that if the weather is VFR and an IFR pilot on an IFR flight plan will not encounter any IFR weather conditions, then that pilot does not need to Fight Plan for 45 minutes of reserve fuel?
 

brokeflyer

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no, im basing it on the referenced reg you posted.....is that what the reg says? or is that what you think it says.

Im not gonna go look it up.

if the reg you referenced is what it really says then yes, mr.pilot don't need the 45 minute reserver if flying in VFR conditions.

the regulation appears to be very clear and VFR/IFR weather conditions is also clear.
 

SSDD

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That is correct. You only need the fuel is you're going to be in IFR conditions.
 

mattaxelrod

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You are confusing IFR with IMC. IFR refers to operating under Instrument Flight Rules, and each time you file and fly on an IFR flight plan, that is what you're doing, and you need a 45 minute reserve, regardless of whether it's IMC or VMC outside.
 

MauleSkinner

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You are confusing IFR with IMC. IFR refers to operating under Instrument Flight Rules, and each time you file and fly on an IFR flight plan, that is what you're doing, and you need a 45 minute reserve, regardless of whether it's IMC or VMC outside.
Nope...it says "IFR conditions", which is basically IMC, not "IFR". If you're not in the clouds, you don't have to have 45 minutes. Doesn't even say "if you're not going to enter the clouds", because it's not a "departure" reg like the VFR fuel reserve reg.

For flight in "VFR Conditions":
(a) No person may begin a flight in an airplane under VFR conditions....
(note that there's not even a requirement to have ANY fuel in the tanks when you land, so long as you BEGIN the flight with legal reserves)

On the other hand, for flight in "IFR Conditions":
(a) No person may operate a civil aircraft in IFR conditions....
So, basically, as soon as you fly out of the last cloud on your route, you can dump fuel so as to land with dry tanks at your destination and still be legal.:eek: (well, other than "careless" or "reckless"...)
 
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AC560

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"IFR conditions means weather conditions below the minimum for flight under visual flight rules." as defined in Part 1.1.
 

Fly91

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I ran into a guy today that sez 30 minutes (VFR reserves) of reserve fuel is all that's required for an IFR flight if the weather is clear (no clouds). He says that's what the regulation says, and sure enough when I re-read it, it does sort of say that. I know that 45 minutes is really required for an IFR flight, but doesn't the regulation say "IFR conditions" rather than "under IFR"? Any comments on this?


Sec. 91.167 - Fuel requirements for flight in IFR conditions.
(a) No person may operate a civil aircraft in IFR conditions unless it carries enough fuel (considering weather reports and forecasts and weather conditions) to --
(1) Complete the flight to the first airport of intended landing;
(2) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, fly from that airport to the alternate airport; and (3) Fly after that for 45 minutes at normal cruising speed.
If there's no IMC conditions, there's no IFR fuel reserve requirements. You'll need to comply with VFR fuel reserves though.

The slick attorneys that write this stuff for the FAA should have written it like this:

Sec. 91.167 - Fuel requirements for flight while operating under IFR.
(a) No person may operate a civil aircraft on an IFR flight plan in IMC conditions unless it carries enough fuel (considering weather reports and forecasts and weather conditions) to --
(1) Complete the flight to the first airport of intended landing;
(2) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, fly from that airport to the alternate airport; and
(3) Fly after that for 45 minutes at normal cruising speed
 

AC560

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The slick attorneys that write this stuff for the FAA should have written it like this
No because then one would be allowed to depart in Class G in IMC with no fuel requirements. Slick lawyers at the FAA get it right sometimes.
 

ILOVEBEER

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So, basically, as soon as you fly out of the last cloud on your route, you can dump fuel so as to land with dry tanks at your destination and still be legal.:eek: (well, other than "careless" or "reckless"...)
You could do that in IMC too if you want. The required 45 min reserve is a planned reserve. The FARs do not state that you have to land with 45 mins of fuel. You just have to PLAN to land with 45 mins.
 

MauleSkinner

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You could do that in IMC too if you want. The required 45 min reserve is a planned reserve. The FARs do not state that you have to land with 45 mins of fuel. You just have to PLAN to land with 45 mins.
The FAR's state that you may not "operate" in IMC without a 45-minute reserve...the VMC reserve is a "planned" reserve ("begin a flight"), but the IMC reserve isn't.
 

MauleSkinner

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The FAR's state that you may not "operate" in IMC without a 45-minute reserve...the VMC reserve is a "planned" reserve ("begin a flight"), but the IMC reserve isn't.
Although I'll grant you that there's an NTSB decision somewhere (I can't find it right now) that appears to agree with you rather than me, but since I can't guarantee the same people will be judging my case, I'm not going to take the chance. ;)
 

brokeflyer

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What he means is you have to plan to have that 45 minutes AFTER going to your alternate if you are flying in IMC conditions.

If you start out and get to your first stop and you have to hold, then you have to wait in line..etc...etc and you land with only enough fuel to fly to an alternate you are still legal.


PLANNED meaning you planned to have the right amount of fuel if everything worked perfectly.....which it dont so that is why they added 45 minutes on top an alternate.
 

AC560

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What he means is you have to plan to have that 45 minutes AFTER going to your alternate if you are flying in IMC conditions
Not exactly

(a) No person may operate a civil aircraft in IFR conditions unless it carries enough fuel (considering weather reports and forecasts and weather conditions) to—
(1) Complete the flight to the first airport of intended landing;
(2) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, fly from that airport to the alternate airport; and
(3) Fly after that for 45 minutes at normal cruising speed or, for helicopters, fly after that for 30 minutes at normal cruising speed.
(b) Paragraph (a)(2) of this section does not apply if:

Paragraph (a)(2) does not apply if an alternate is not required.
Paragraphs (a)(1)(3) though always to so if an alternate is not required it reads.

(a) No person may operate a civil aircraft in IFR conditions unless it carries enough fuel (considering weather reports and forecasts and weather conditions) to—
(1) Complete the flight to the first airport of intended landing;
(3) Fly after that for 45 minutes at normal cruising speed or, for helicopters, fly after that for 30 minutes at normal cruising speed.
 

VW Pilot

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The 45 mins worth of fuel is a minimum amount....Build margins. Take along more fuel. You can never have too much fuel or altitude...unless you're on fire or out of the envelope because your duffel bag weighs 900lbs.... It has happened too many times where a plane's engine was starved of fuel...best take all you can or plan legs where you're left with a healthy fuel reserve for those times when ATC gives you vectors in all directions other than intended......
 

avbug

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It has happened too many times where a plane's engine was starved of fuel...best take all you can or plan legs where you're left with a healthy fuel reserve for those times when ATC gives you vectors in all directions other than intended......
That's all good and well if you have a 30 gallon fuel tank and can land on the nearest road.

With fuel often limited by payload, one needs to plan carefully...but simply carrying all the fuel one can may be economically unfeasible, and may be operationally out of the ballpark, too.
 

VW Pilot

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Well Avbug that's kind of what I meant. I was leaning towards a GA sort of situation, you know, 2 pilots or single pilot, a 172 or Warrior on an IFR flight. You can pretty much top off the tanks and fly....Yes, after you have "carefully" contructed a plan to do so and and considered ALL the information available.....
 
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