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Aviation Learning Center Document Time in Your Tanks - P-8740-03
Author: Federal Aviation Administration Date: 1995
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What does "time in your tanks" mean? Depending upon your aircraft's particular fuel consumption rate, the amount of usable fuel in your aircraft equates directly to how long your aircraft will fly. The longer you can fly, the more choices you have for ensuring a safe flight; consequently, you can say that flight time equates directly to flight safety. No pilot wants to have a forced off-airport landing and an accident because of fuel starvation, or an emergency without enough fuel to be able to solve the problem or to reach an airport safely.

To ensure that a fuel-related forced landing is not in your future, you should always plan on landing before the "time" in your tank expires. Know your aircraft's limits and don't exceed those limits.

This document provides general tips on determining and managing the "time" in your tanks. These are general comments only. All pilots need to review and follow the operating procedures and limitations published in their particular aircraft's Pilot Operating Handbook or other operating manual. Every pilot needs to remember that the performance and fuel information in his or her POH is based upon manufacturer's data, which are derived from testing new aircraft with experienced test pilots. Your aircraft may or may not be able to match its POH data. You should be conservative and always allow an extra margin for safety.

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