Fuel Versus Oxygen: Evaluations and Considerations
Specific federal aviation regulations (Titled 14 of the United States Code of Federal Regulations, or 14 CFR) define oxygen system requirements for an in-flight decompression incident. This AIR addresses the operational oxygen system requirements for a decompression incident that may occur at any point during a long-range flight, with an emphasis for a decompression at the equal time point (ETP). This AIR identifies fuel and oxygen management contingencies, and presents possible solutions for the efficient, safe, and optimum fuel/oxygen flight continuation. Oxygen management is a concern to all aircraft, such as single engine types that fly above 10 000 feet and use supplemental oxygen. This document provides a method which can help guide users in developing an oxygen solution for their aircraft.
Rationale: Fuel and oxygen planning are requirements for ETOPS (multi-engine) equipped aircraft. Global expansion and changes to existing aircraft regulations extend fuel and oxygen planning to all long range aircraft. The impacts on the industry include not only possible improvements to safety, but of increased efficiency and fuel cost savings. Although this document deals with critical fuel scenarios, any aircraft that flies above 10 000 feet and uses supplemental oxygen can benefit from the concepts presented.