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John.Heddles replied the topic: Alternate Fuel issues
Alternate is not included in variable calculation. However, the CPL Performance Supplement states company policy requires it to include Alternate in 10% variable calculation (asterisk comment under Fuel Policy). In exam do we follow CAAP or company policy?
Some thoughts to ponder -
(a) the rules are the MINIMUM standard ie you go below the rule requirement at your peril unless in emergency situations where the commander exercises command prerogative. Keep in mind that the CAAPs, while generally useful guidance, don't carry the weight of the Act or Regulations. The pilot in command is always required and expected to think about what he/she is proposing to do or is doing. YOU can find yourself in court, very much up a creek without a paddle, if you get things wrong.
(b) company requirements (ie in the Operations Manual or similar CASA-approved/accepted documents) will be equal to or conservative in respect of, the minimum rule requirements. You follow the SOPs as published for your minimum standard of operation in routine circumstances. If you detect a non-conservative error in the SOPs, you then draw that to the attention of the operator's management folk
(c) leaving alternate fuel out of the VR calculations is fine and, in general, will be covered by various items of margin fuel in the event that the alternate is availed. Also, destination VR often is not used entirely. However, he/she who just blindly omits VR for the alternate without due consideration of what he/she is going to do and where he/she is going to find the alternate VR in the event that the alternate is to be availed ... is just not thinking up to the required command standard. If, on today's story, you need a bit more fuel to give you an out in the case of diversion .. you carry the bit of extra fuel. Otherwise, you run the very real risk of finding yourself out on a limb at the destination when you can't get in due wx or, perhaps, a disabled aircraft on the intersection ?
(d) A point in question - a very short trip to the destination and a long trip to the diversion alternate with no required holding. Do you just carry destination VR and no margin fuel ? Could be a bit silly. In some operations, VR routinely is applied to the longer of destination and alternate fuel requirements. At all times, the aim is to leave yourself with an out .. suggest you have a read of this report
Do you think that the commander on the day and the company operations support organisation supposedly backing him up did a good job ? If you do, think again about whether you should be commanding an aircraft ...
Keep very clearly in mind .. when push comes to shove and it all goes horribly wrong, the commander is there, all by himself/herself, out on a limb with guns pointing from every direction !
Engineering specialist in aircraft performance and weight control.