From the scary news department at ABC comes a story about airlines underfueling their planes to save on gas costs.
At Newark Liberty International Airport, just five flights landed under minimum or low-fuel conditions over a six-month period in 2005. In a similar period this year, 73 flights came into the same airport with minimum fuel.
Perhaps most disturbing, an additional 10 flights had to declare the more serious emergency fuel situation — meaning they needed to land immediately or they risked running out of gas. [ABC News]
The report also goes on to talk about a pilot called out by his airline for fueling up his planes too much and it quotes air traffic controllers on the problem as well.
Though I hate the title of the story and think it’s over the top–really, “Danger in the Sky: Underfueled Planes”? It’s really everything that’s wrong with TV news. Still, I wouldn’t want to hear my pilot tell me we’re going in for an emergency landing because we only have X minutes of fuel left, and I certainly wouldn’t want to hear that this is a new ruse to get priority landing.