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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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Tips for Telling (Tank) Time
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  • Pay attention. Maintain accurate flight time, power setting, and refueling records for each trip.

  • Be conservative. Calculate your flight time from start up to shut down.

  • Know your airplane. Reasonably accurate fuel consumption rates (in gallons per hour) can be computed after a few flights under similar operating conditions.

  • Read the POH. The amount of usable fuel for your aircraft may be found in the Pilot's Operating Handbook.

  • Set limits. Multiply the usable fuel on board your aircraft by 75 percent and divide the result by your previously confirmed consumption rate. This number will be your safe flight time limit for the aircraft. Resolve never to exceed it.

  • Heed the rules. Even when you are familiar enough with your aircraft to know exactly how much time is in your tanks, plan to land with at least 45-60 minutes of reserve fuel on board. Anything less could compromise safety.

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