Now that fuel estimates are provided an option to refuel and a given stop with enhance planning.
Why would you include fuel exhaustion warning information, fuel cost information along a route, and NOT give the ability to show a refueling stop on the flight plan???
This seems like a glaring oversight in a software tool designed by an organization run by pilots!
I just spent almost an hour looking for how to show a fuel stop on the Flight Planner!
Come on folks, lets get this fixed! Eric, really?? You are going to " likely start looking at the potential for having a feature like this"??? Seems like an obvious feature that should have been included from the start.
To answer your questions below:
First off let me start by saying I am a VFR pilot, so my answers are from the viewpoint of a VFR flight plan.
1) ATC doesn't care if a stop is for fuel, bathroom, food, whatever... They prefer you have a separate flightplan for each leg of a flight. Closing each segment as you progress. When I use flight following, I'll create a flight plan, file it, but not open it. The controller will find my flight plan and use it as a guide to see what I plan to do, but I don't actually open the plan, so I'll just terminate flight following at the intermediate airport, and then pick it back up once I'm airborne again.
2) My EFB has an option for indicating if I intend to land at a waypoint. If so, I can indicate it is a fueling stop, and how much fuel is on-board after refueling.
Having said that, I do NOT rely on my EFB for fuel usage monitoring! I have a totalizer on my aircraft, and I always stick my tanks before and after fueling to verify the actual amount of fuel used, and in my tanks before starting my engine.
I want to use the AOPA Flight Planner for initial planning and to get an idea of what airports I will use for extended cross country flights. Being able to estimate the fuel on board at any waypoint is what I really want to be able to do. Seeing the fuel exhaustion warnings is great, but it needs to be a dynamic tool that updates when a fuel stop is made. Giving the pilot the ability to select a waypoint, indicate the amount of fuel added, and then showing the estimated fuel on board would be great!
Hope this helps...
Thank you for this information. The simple response to your question about why the fuel stop feature wasn't included from the start is that the flight planning engine itself does not support it. Our partner Jeppesen provides the underlying flight planning engine and we (AOPA) develop the front end interface and tools. We can only build and provide tools based on what the engine itself will support.
When we originally wrote the requirements for the fuel warnings, adding a fuel stop was part of it. However, as we progressed with actual development, we discovered that the engine could not support it in it's current design. So we had a choice; We could have not released the fuel warnings at all until the fuel stop feature could be designed (if at all) or, release the fuel warnings feature and then enhance it later. We felt that releasing a helpful feature would be more beneficial than not releasing it at all.
We are investigating the potential for adding a fuel stop but since this will affect other parts of the flight planner, it's not trivial and has to be looked at systematically. That is the purpose of this forum; to help gather information that aids in the overall development process. One thing we found while talking to pilots at Sun n Fun, is everyone has a different expectation on how this (add a fuel stop) would work. All of them seemed valid but the process was slightly different from person to person. This is part of our challenge to create a tool that works for everyone and follows standard procedures when possible.
Again, thank you for this information... it is really helpful.
I was trying to plan a route that would include fuel stops, but don't know how to indicate I'm getting fuel, and would therefore need to reset the predictive fuel burn. This is a great idea.
This is a very popular request and we will likely start looking at the potential for having a feature like this. Help us out a little with some answers to a few questions that we will have to address. We are trying to better understand how pilots are currently designating fuel stops when they fly now with other products and services.
1) If we have the concept of a fuel stop in the flight planner, how would that get filed with ATC? How do you currently file a long flight plan and designate a fuel stop along the route? What are you entering in the flight plan form fields when you do this? Are you also putting something in the remarks?
2) Since the Flight Planner is integrated with various EFB apps, how do you currently designate a fuel stop when using your EFB? Do the EFB apps you are using have the concept of a fuel stop?
Thanks for you interest with this feature request. The better we understand how people are currently doing this (or envision how you would do it) will help us begin the development design. I am sure we'll have more questions so let's start a conversation here about it.
Fuel Stop - Contact FSS and notify FS reached: Designated stop, duration of stop on the ground (anticipated - usually 20-30mins) When airborne again, contact FSS and notify underway again.
We do this with a Flight Briefer in Alaska and can even indicate an overnight with anticipated resumption of flight. An EFB can just have the refueling delay plugged into the FUEL STOP as a timed event with the flight presumed to resume after the refueling time delay.
The fuel stop feature is find, but a very low priority for me, I'll make two plans.
BUT, regarding fuel, it would be great if the airport ID showed up on the chart, so I could print it and have it in the plane should a divert become necessary. Only having the price, doesn't tell me where it is.
Of course lots of us have an iPad with Foreflight, FltplnGo or something that gives this into, but nice to have a backup just in case.
I fly a Cessna 150. To fly a 300-800 mile flight multiple fuel stops are necessary. The last time I flew to Oshkosh from Texas I used a flight planner that let me type in my departure airport and destination airport. KJSO-KOSH. Well over 800 miles and beyond the fuel range of the 150. The planner inserted fuel stops along the route that would be the most efficient based upon the fuel burn and fuel quantity I had entered. Then I was able to fine tune the fuel stops with the rubber banding feature. This allowed me to see my entire flight plan. Currently, the AOPA flight planner requires me to create 4 or 5 individual flight plans to accomplish the same flight. This is less efficicient. I suggest implementing the feature I listed above. Your thoughts?
BTW...the flight planner I referenced above generated multiple flight plans for the purpose of filing.Rick Morrison, OwnerABBAProductions.com
Thank you for providing this detail. We have been internally discussing options to support this process in the AOPA Flight Planner. We are getting close to a possible plan but its not trivial and not completely flushed out yet. We are getting really close though. We are hoping to move this into development in the near future as soon as we can work out a few remaining details. Since this is the number 1 member requested feature, we will prioritize the development over some other features we had on our list once we have a complete development plan. The method we are thinking about will create multiple flight plans as you mention above for briefing, filing and sending to EFB apps.
If its any easier- I just use it for flightplanning and not so much a need for flightplans. I do trips from California to east coast and having the ability to plan the trip (especially now that there is the new weather outlook on map) by rubberbanding around weather and seeing in real time would be a fantastic feature. I can easily create my own flightplans once I have the overall route. But having it all with times and 1 hour breaks, etc gives me a much better sense of how long the overall trip will take.
Thanks for pointing me to this thread. Looks like you guys are totally on top of things. Strong work!
Will you be calculating descent and climb time into fuel stops as well? That would be awesome!
I use flight planner for most of my trips and having the ability to insert fuel stops would make the planning much easier. I recently flew from Illinois to Anchorage, 13 fuel stops, the ability to see the whole route and all fuel stops would have made the planning easier.
Get with FLYQ they seem to have the solution we are looking for.
To Eric Rush - For your information: Jeppesen has a tried and true "underlying flight planning engine" known as FlightStar that just so happens to have fuel stop capability and has been around for years.
I had Jepp's FlightStar on my home computer for years. AOPA Flight Planner is simply a crippled version of FlightStar. I miss the fuel stop feature but am willing to deal with the hassle of creating individual legs using FREE Flight Planner for the rare cross country trip rather than having to pay Jepp for overpriced database updates for their stand alone software. Don't get me wrong, it's good software. I just don't need it often enough to justify the cost.
Any chance this is closer to release, considering original question for this feature was posted 3+ years ago?
I've gone to a 2 step process. Use AirNav's fuel stop planner to generate a list of fuel stop airports and then use the AOPA flight planner to nail down the details. http://www.airnav.com/plan/fuel/
Unfortunately, this is not a feature we will be able to provide in the AOPA Flight Planner for the foreseeable future. The back-end flight planning engine that the flight planner uses was simply not designed to handle fuel stops. Our development team tried various work-arounds and while we were able to get it working in a very controlled environment, it didn't meet our expectations and requirements for a production-quality feature so we have moved this off of our development roadmap.
The recommended procedure in the flight planner is to create multiple routes based on selected fuel stops.
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