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concordeba

Insufficient Fuel MSG

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Was just flying CTP, had 21tonnes or so showing throughout the whole flight but I kept getting this message.  It's the only bug I've had with the latest update.  Everything works well.

 

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If your fuel remaining is less than what you set for your reserve during preflight, you'll get that message.

 

It's not a bug. Technically (I believe) IRL, you'd be forced to divert to your alternate when that message appears.

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Just because it's something you didn't expect doesn't mean it's a bug. A quick fix is to lower your reserves in PERF.

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Shouldn't it say USING RSV FUEL since the aircraft is in flight already? And did this message move to the upper EICAS from the FMC scratchpad?

 

 

 


Technically (I believe) IRL, you'd be forced to divert to your alternate when that message appears.

 

It depends on what is entered in the fuel reserve line. It may be that the calculated landing fuel is inserted, which could be (much) higher than what is legally required for landing, like when some extra fuel had been taken onboard.

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It's the only bug I've had with the latest update.  Everything works well.

 

The failure of the crew to properly fuel the aircraft is not a bug. As mentioned by the others, it's just notifying you that your planned fuel at landing is less than what you've entered into the RESERVES field on the PERF INIT page.

 

Fix for the bug:

Plan your fuel better.

 

Temporary fix for the flight:

Decrease your RESERVES value at your discretion to clear the message. Assess your fuel situation and make the appropriate call to divert for fuel, or continue (depending on the regs).  This is done with PERF INIT - <INDEX - <PERF

 

As others mentioned, it's usually best to avoid calling things 'bugs' just because they're unexpected. When it comes to complex simulations, you're bound to run into things you just didn't know about.

 

 

 


Technically (I believe) IRL, you'd be forced to divert to your alternate when that message appears.

 

Depends on the regs you follow.  FAA-wise, it's up to the crew to make the appropriate call. Over here, we believe that having RES of 10.5 and a value that decreases to 10.4 mid-flight isn't reason to throw in the towel and go diving for fuel. The only requirement on our end is that you must depart with the planned amount of fuel set aside for reserve. If you get the message on the ground, you need to take on more fuel (or double check your plan / FMC entries).

 

 

 


Just because it's something you didn't expect doesn't mean it's a bug. A quick fix is to lower your reserves in PERF.

 

Exactly. I kinda chuckle when people assume they know a lot more than they do about the plane and write normal functions off as bugs...

(Don't get me wrong, I've done it, but it still makes me chuckle.)

 

 

 


Shouldn't it say USING RSV FUEL since the aircraft is in flight already? And did this message move to the upper EICAS from the FMC scratchpad?

 

I think that's the NG's message. The 744 and 777 are both INSUFFICIENT FUEL I believe. The 777 QRH makes no references to the USING RSV FUEL message.

 

 

 


It depends on what is entered in the fuel reserve line. It may be that the calculated landing fuel is inserted, which could be (much) higher than what is legally required for landing, like when some extra fuel had been taken onboard.

 

Yeah, SOP dictates what the reserve line contains. I only make note of my ALTN and HOLD fuel there. I know some people also include other "extra" fuel numbers in there, too.

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If you're using a flight planning program, like PFPX, make sure the flight planning program and PMDG 777 are both using the same metric units. Example, kg or lbs.

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Many years ago, the late "Captain Tarmack" (Mel Ott) wrote an long introduction in the manual for version 1.3 of the Aerowinx Precision Simulator.

 

Mel was a former 747-400 captain for Northwest Airlines, and his intro detailed a complete block-to-block flight from Tokyo to New York.

 

He wrote that it was typical to get the "INSUFFICIENT FUEL" message on the ground at Tokyo, after entering the complete flight plan in the FMS. At the time he was an active 744 pilot, (late 1980s - mid 1990s) the 744 was still a "new" aircraft, and automatic uplinks of enroute winds into the FMS was not yet possible. The flight crews would have to manually enter forecast winds for each waypoint.

 

He wrote that the flight crews would not concern themselves with the fuel message before departure, as once the aircraft was established in cruise, and the PNF began manually entering the forecast winds for the dozens of enroute waypoints, the predicted fuel remaining at landing would increase substantially, causing the warning to go away.

 

Apparently another factor in the fuel prediction calculations of the early version of the 744 FMS software was the effect of outside air temperature. Until the aircraft was actually in flight, and the TAT probe temperature readings were taken into account by the FMS, the remaining fuel calculations really had no validity.

 

I would think that in more modern versions of the FMS, and with the ability to automatically uplink forecast winds for the entire flight before departure, the false "INSUFFICIENT FUEL" message is less likely - though I suppose it could still happen in the early stages of an extremely long (12 Hour +) flight.

 

In the specific case of the NWA RJAA-KJFK flight, the crew had a good selection of enroute alternates (PANC, KMSP, KDTW) that were also bases for the airline, for the rare occasions where higher than expected headwinds might cause the fuel warning to appear later in the flight, rather than at the beginning stages.

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That is why it struck me as odd to have it displayed on the EICAS. I assume it would be there everytime you hit the recall button, clogging the space for more imporant warnings. I prefer the solution Boeing uses on the 737NG, which consists of an FMC message on the scratchpad. 

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I assume it would be there everytime you hit the recall button, clogging the space for more imporant warnings.

 

...or you could make the appropriate action to clear it, as I mentioned earlier:

Adjust the RESERVE value to be below the estimated fuel value at destination on the PROG page.

 

EICAS messages don't show up to look pretty. They show up so that you know to deal with them. You shouldn't just hit CANCEL unless you're on the ground. If you're in the air, you need to make the conscious decision and action to tell the automation that you are intentionally acknowledging the information, and making a conscious decision to adjust accordingly (reducing the RESV value).

 

This is the same reason you hit the A/P DISCO a second time: you're telling the automation that you understand and that it was intentional (hitting the attention getter to silence and clear the alarm is not the proper motion - it's essentially like hitting the CANCEL button - you haven't dealt with the issue, you're ignoring it).

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Kyle, what makes you think I'd cancel EICAS warnings at random? I am actually very adamant about resolving them quickly. I am well aware that it's possible to adjust the FMS reserve fuel value but that kind of defeats the purpose. On the NG I get the information that I'm using my reserve fuel (which happens quite often, but it's usually just a few hundred lbs/kgs difference) and I acknowledge that. In the meantime, I keep to my fuel logsheet to spot any irregularities. What is smart on the 737 is that once you make changes to the vertical or lateral profile you kind of recall that message -- or not, when the FOD is predicted to be at or above the value set on the PERF page, which is a commonplace occurence. 

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Kyle, what makes you think I'd cancel EICAS warnings at random?

 

You comment earlier that it "takes up space" on the EICAS made it seem like you'd be leaving it there, as the message itself isn't really tied to any others. By that I mean the insufficient fuel message isn't likely to immediately generate other messages around the same time (much like a HYD-related message would likely generate others more immediately). It would only be much later that you'd get more messages (similar to the message about the fuel being low in the center). You'd have to intentionally leave it there for quite some time before it creates other messages on the EICAS for it to compete for space. By that point, you would have had quite a decent amount of time to have dealt with it, and if it got that far, you have larger issues to deal with.

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The failure of the crew to properly fuel the aircraft is not a bug. As mentioned by the others, it's just notifying you that your planned fuel at landing is less than what you've entered into the RESERVES field on the PERF INIT page.

 

Fix for the bug:

Plan your fuel better.

 

Temporary fix for the flight:

Decrease your RESERVES value at your discretion to clear the message. Assess your fuel situation and make the appropriate call to divert for fuel, or continue (depending on the regs).  This is done with PERF INIT - <INDEX - <PERF

 

As others mentioned, it's usually best to avoid calling things 'bugs' just because they're unexpected. When it comes to complex simulations, you're bound to run into things you just didn't know about.

 

Actually It wasn't a failure, it was clearly a mistake of putting in the wrong RESV figure in the FMC.   Having landed with 3 hours of fuel at Gatwick, I can safely say that I over-planned, flying for Cross the Pond.  But yes at least the feature works, where I actually burned into my reserves slightly for what I was expecting on landing. That would be the 24 minute taxi at New York JFK. I think I burned about 1,200kg during that and only planned to burn 490kg. 

 

I use PFPX but having real world experience through being a pilot, and some of flight planning knowledge I always manage to get the right amount of fuel on arrival.  Actually due to the fantastic winds I am saving 2,100kgs on arrival into Orlando, so should land with 14,200kgs

 

 

 

Other than that, this aircraft is absolutely flawless. It makes me feel as if I am a flying the real thing. Just like FS LABS Concorde.

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That would be the 24 minute taxi at New York JFK.

 

haha - and that's lucky...

 

I always just put about an hour in there for any N90 airports (EWR, LGA, JFK). If I don't use it, then it's CONT fuel.

 

 

 


It makes me feel as if I am a flying the real thing. Just like FS LABS Concorde.

 

Good plane. I've enjoyed it over the years. Wish the VC were a little better, but I manage with the 2D well enough...

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