|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1201 To 1800|
|Locale Reference||atc facility : zny.artcc|
|Altitude||msl single value : 14000|
|Controlling Facilities||artcc : zny.artcc|
|Operator||common carrier : air carrier|
|Make Model Name||B737-300|
|Operating Under FAR Part||Part 121|
|Flight Phase||climbout : intermediate altitude|
|Route In Use||departure : on vectors|
|Affiliation||company : air carrier|
|Function||flight crew : captain|
oversight : pic
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 200|
flight time total : 15000
flight time type : 9000
|Affiliation||company : air carrier|
|Function||flight crew : first officer|
|Anomaly||other anomaly other|
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
|Resolutory Action||controller : issued new clearance|
|Problem Areas||Flight Crew Human Performance|
ATC Human Performance
|Primary Problem||ATC Human Performance|
I declared minimum fuel with ZNY. I did so because I believed the slow step climbing and an extreme off-course vector; 180 degrees to our destination; had placed us in a situation where; upon arrival at our destination; we would be unable to accept any delays due to low fuel in accordance with the fom. Despite the fact that we took a 1 hour delay off the gate at lga we managed to take off with our cleared fuel of 19.8 pounds because we conserved fuel by shutting down the engines while holding. This fuel level was the absolute minimum that I was willing to accept and was limited by takeoff performance on runway 31 at lga. Since we had already been given fuel for a lengthy rerte I felt we could go with this fuel and hope to get some shortcuts along the way to save gas. Otherwise we would have had to bump revenue to add more fuel. After declaring minimum fuel; ATC asked if we wanted to return to lga and I explained that we could not get to our destination if left on the extreme vector and that was why I declared the minimum fuel. ATC promptly cleared us back on course and I rescinded the minimum fuel declaration with them at that time. After incurring arrival holding; and even with some generous shortcuts to our route; we landed with FAA reserve 4.1 pounds in ZZZ in MVFR WX. Our clearance out of holding was received at the moment we had set for diversion to ZZZ2. In retrospect; I believe I erred in not adding more fuel for this flight. I also might have used less draconian language for our fuel situation with ATC though I believe I complied with the spirit and letter of the fom in declaring minimum fuel once we were being delayed en route. I am sure ATC expects the minimum fuel declaration to be used more commonly when approaching the destination airport but still feel what I did was probably necessary to convey our fuel situation to ATC when they threw very unexpected and extreme delaying tactics at us.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: B737 FLT CREW DECLARES MINIMUM FUEL WHILE ON OFF-COURSE VECTORS.
Narrative: I DECLARED MINIMUM FUEL WITH ZNY. I DID SO BECAUSE I BELIEVED THE SLOW STEP CLBING AND AN EXTREME OFF-COURSE VECTOR; 180 DEGS TO OUR DEST; HAD PLACED US IN A SITUATION WHERE; UPON ARR AT OUR DEST; WE WOULD BE UNABLE TO ACCEPT ANY DELAYS DUE TO LOW FUEL IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE FOM. DESPITE THE FACT THAT WE TOOK A 1 HR DELAY OFF THE GATE AT LGA WE MANAGED TO TAKE OFF WITH OUR CLRED FUEL OF 19.8 LBS BECAUSE WE CONSERVED FUEL BY SHUTTING DOWN THE ENGS WHILE HOLDING. THIS FUEL LEVEL WAS THE ABSOLUTE MINIMUM THAT I WAS WILLING TO ACCEPT AND WAS LIMITED BY TKOF PERFORMANCE ON RWY 31 AT LGA. SINCE WE HAD ALREADY BEEN GIVEN FUEL FOR A LENGTHY RERTE I FELT WE COULD GO WITH THIS FUEL AND HOPE TO GET SOME SHORTCUTS ALONG THE WAY TO SAVE GAS. OTHERWISE WE WOULD HAVE HAD TO BUMP REVENUE TO ADD MORE FUEL. AFTER DECLARING MINIMUM FUEL; ATC ASKED IF WE WANTED TO RETURN TO LGA AND I EXPLAINED THAT WE COULD NOT GET TO OUR DEST IF LEFT ON THE EXTREME VECTOR AND THAT WAS WHY I DECLARED THE MINIMUM FUEL. ATC PROMPTLY CLRED US BACK ON COURSE AND I RESCINDED THE MINIMUM FUEL DECLARATION WITH THEM AT THAT TIME. AFTER INCURRING ARR HOLDING; AND EVEN WITH SOME GENEROUS SHORTCUTS TO OUR RTE; WE LANDED WITH FAA RESERVE 4.1 LBS IN ZZZ IN MVFR WX. OUR CLRNC OUT OF HOLDING WAS RECEIVED AT THE MOMENT WE HAD SET FOR DIVERSION TO ZZZ2. IN RETROSPECT; I BELIEVE I ERRED IN NOT ADDING MORE FUEL FOR THIS FLT. I ALSO MIGHT HAVE USED LESS DRACONIAN LANGUAGE FOR OUR FUEL SITUATION WITH ATC THOUGH I BELIEVE I COMPLIED WITH THE SPIRIT AND LETTER OF THE FOM IN DECLARING MINIMUM FUEL ONCE WE WERE BEING DELAYED ENRTE. I AM SURE ATC EXPECTS THE MINIMUM FUEL DECLARATION TO BE USED MORE COMMONLY WHEN APCHING THE DEST ARPT BUT STILL FEEL WHAT I DID WAS PROBABLY NECESSARY TO CONVEY OUR FUEL SITUATION TO ATC WHEN THEY THREW VERY UNEXPECTED AND EXTREME DELAYING TACTICS AT US.
Data retrieved from NASA's ASRS site as of January 2009 and automatically converted to unabbreviated mixed upper/lowercase text. This report is for informational purposes with no guarantee of accuracy. See NASA's ASRS site for official report.