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The master 777 pilot

what do real pilots do with the fuel pumps?

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I was wondering when I enter the fuel page in the FMC, how do I use the regular fuel without using the reserve fuel?, because when I turn off the two main fuel pump switches (above the four fuel pump switches) the engine display says CONFIG fuel on the top fuel gauge...

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perhaps you might want to give us all a slight clue as to what aircraft you are asking about?

 

Maybe?

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Suspect it's NGX, going by the layout of the switches. The four lower pumps are the two pairs for the wing tanks. The two above are the pair for the fuselage tank(s). It complains if you have the pumps off with fuel in the tanks, and pumps on when they're empty. If you set the fuel at one third, you only need the four pumps. At 50%, you'll have fuel in the fuselage, so will need the other pair of pumps. Once you're down to the wing fuel only, you can turn off those pumps.

 

But I could be wrong...

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The reserve fuel amount you enter into the FMC is not in any special tanks. It's just an instruction to the FMC to warn you if it calculates you will reach your destination with less than that amount of fuel left.

 

On the 737 you should switch on the pumps for all tanks that have fuel in them, except if you have less than 1500 lbs in your centre tanks, in which case you should switch those off for take-off. During the flight you will use up the fuel in your centre tanks first, once that is gone you can switch off the centre fuel pumps. Of course if you are doing a short flight you probably don't have fuel in the centre tanks in the first place and you never have to switch the pumps on.

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