Fuel Jettison

Jamie4590 Guest

Under what circumstances does fuel jettison occur? Is it usually only in an emergency and does ATC need to clear the airspace below before a fuel jettison? Wouldn't the fuel evaporate soon after its been released?

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Pro Member Chief Captain
pilotwannabe Chief Captain

For example if an aircraft takes off and has to land immediately they will obvioulsy need to dump fuel becasue the aircraft will be over its max landing weight. It could burst tyres, damage the landing gear etc.

I assume the fuel does indeed evaporate becasue obviosuly if it fell to the ground it would cause a large amount of pollution not to mention its flamability.


Pro Member Chief Captain
Jonathan (99jolegg) Chief Captain

Yes, fuel is only dumped as an emergency as PW says, because although aircraft can land over their maximum landing weight, with just a maintenance check, it is unnecessary so is avoided.

When kerosene (or any of its derivatives) is dumped it creates a pattern similar to that of a contrail and yes, it typically evaporates into the atmosphere with very little ever reaching the ground.

ATC does need to clear the aircraft for fuel dumping and will create a specific sterile area for it to occur in.

The pilot also needs to make sure that it is 5 miles from any other aircraft and that it is not below 2000ft to aid evaporation.


Last edited by Jonathan (99jolegg) on Tue Aug 22, 2006 11:48 am, edited 1 time in total
Pro Member Chief Captain
VegasFlyer Chief Captain

I never knew this. Thanks Jon and thank you Jamie for asking this question. 😀

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