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Andreas Stangenes

Auto fuel/tank config is not always working for me (748)

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I have the fuel/tank config set to auto because I mostly fly overnight longhaul flights when I sleep. Sometimes everything is fine when I return, but often it's not. Ie. today I was flying from Buenos Aires to Frankfurt (13,5 hours), and after several hours into the flight, the stab L R warning showed up (they were off when I left the cockpit, and should have been turned on (when ctr was empty?). Also the CTR L and R were not configured correctly (they were on when I left the plane, but should have been turned off). 

I guess this automatic setting of the fuel and tank system is supposed to be for people like me who leave their flights, but it seems it's not working a 100% of the time. At least in the sense that the 744 could be left unattended because of the pause on TOD + auto tank/fuel setting. Is this no longer the logic behind this setting?

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Auto tank/config will ONLY reconfigure your fuel tanks during cruise when tanks 2 and 3 match tanks 1 and 4, and in the case of the 747-8, reserve tanks 1 and 4. It will not do anything with either the stabilizer tanks or the center tanks, nor was it ever designed to do so.

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1 hour ago, Captain Kevin said:

Auto tank/config will ONLY reconfigure your fuel tanks during cruise when tanks 2 and 3 match tanks 1 and 4, and in the case of the 747-8, reserve tanks 1 and 4. It will not do anything with either the stabilizer tanks or the center tanks, nor was it ever designed to do so.

Ok, thanks for your reply, Kevin! 

This issue, I guess, mostly comes into play on longer flights when more of the tanks are filled. This was my first flight that ever utilized the stab tanks. I start off with the overrides on so that all four engines draw fuel from the center tanks. With auto tank/fuel set to on, I am expecting the logic to automatically turn off the overrides. In this particular flight I also had fuel in the stab tanks, and I am assuming that the center tank, when empty, is to be turned off while the stab tank is transferred to center tanks. Then the stab tanks are to be turned off while you resume drawing from the center tanks. 

It's a pity that the auto fuel/tank feature doesn't handle this complexity because then I cannot leave the flight on it's on for long hauls the way I could on the 744. What is the point of the auto feature on the 748?

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The auto tank/eng feature will only, by definition, reconfigure your tanks when you get the TANK/ENG message on the EICAS. The only time you will get that message is as I described, when tanks 2 and 3 match tanks 1 and 4.

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6 hours ago, Andreas Stangenes said:

What is the point of the auto feature on the 748?

The TANK/ENG condition is a case where mismanagement can lead to problems with fuel imbalance.  The other cases are generally leaving a pump running without any fuel.  This will not lead to the same problems as a fuel imbalance in the simulation.

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