Episode 11: Easy decision making and refuelling

During the planning stages of your flight, look up each potential refuelling location in ERSA and see what forms of payment they'll accept.

Airport bowsers accept many but not all credit cards as payment. Make sure to carry a credit card as well as carnet cards including World Fuel, Skyfuel and Air BP.

You may land at aerodromes where these payment options aren't available.

Always check the ERSA before you leave home. That way you can load any required payment app onto your phone and link it to a credit card. Also make sure you read the fine print for any potential call-out fee!

Fuel prices in the outback can be hefty enough without an unexpected bonus for the refueller added to your bill.

Drum refuelling

You may not come across drum refuelling very often as more and more locations now provide self-service bowser refuelling.

Sometimes you may not have a choice. It's worth knowing the tips and traps involved in accessing fuel through a drum.

There are a few precautions you need to take before accepting drum fuel. When refuelling always check:

  • the age of the drum
  • location of the drum
  • if there is a fire extinguisher nearby.

There are many things you need to consider. CASA has a series of YouTube videos on both drum refuelling and bowser refuelling.

Refuelling aircraft on remote air strip
Refuelling aircraft on remote air strip

Know the rules

Familiarise yourself with:

This document contains useful and practical advice on fuel management, including:

  • accurately calculating the amount of fuel required for your flight
  • reserve, holding, variable and alternate fuel
  • weather forecast items to consider
  • establishing fuel on board.

Never assume that fuel is going to be available.

Always make the phone call well ahead to check. Many things can happen. For example, floods may prevent the fuel truck from getting through or an air rally has just beaten you in and used up all the supplies.

Even large regional centres can run out of fuel.

Always think outside the square and don't get caught with no viable options for obtaining fuel.

Published date: 18 October 2022
Online version available at: https://www.casa.gov.au//resources-and-education/education-and-training/out-n-back/episode-11-easy-decision-making-and-refuelling
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