Buying small amounts of gas from the fbo

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by Jim K, Feb 6, 2021.

  1. Jim K

    Jim K Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    I find myself conflicted when I make a $200 hamburger run. I'll often land having burned less than 10 gallons of fuel, and while I want to buy some fuel to support the fbo, it seems like more trouble than it's worth for them. On the other hand the line guy is getting paid and the truck is sitting there depreciating either way, so maybe they're happy to pump 6 gallons and pocket what..$5-6?

    On the third hand.... the fbo at DEC charges a ramp fee just to walk through their building, which you have to do to get to the restaurant. Of course waived if you buy 10gal....consequently I haven't eaten there. Seems like the airport manager could work something out. I suppose the ratio of pilots to locals who eat there is probably 1:1000 so it doesn't matter to them.
     
  2. Fracpilot

    Fracpilot Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I always buy gas even if it’s 10 gallons when I make hamburger runs. It’s job security for the fueler whether you put 5, 10, or 100 gallons in the plane. He still has to be employed to pump it. I always tip $5 as well. Some may think that is overkill, but growing up on the ramp, I always appreciated a tip.


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  3. eman1200

    eman1200 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I buy fuel if I need fuel. I don't buy fuel if I don't need fuel. call me crazy.
     
  4. Daleandee

    Daleandee Cleared for Takeoff

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    My little experimental don't hold much but it don't burn much either. I do like trying to support the local FBO guys. Most all that I have met have been really great folks ...
     
  5. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    In a lot of rural places people come buy on Fridays with gas cans in order to get fuel to are with.
     
  6. Rgbeard

    Rgbeard Pattern Altitude

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    You need a larger aircraft, that burns more fuel.

    SOLVED.

    You can thank me later.
     
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  7. Daleandee

    Daleandee Cleared for Takeoff

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    Naaahhhh ...
     
  8. Jim K

    Jim K Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    With the club archer I knew I had to top off with $5.50 gas back at cmi, so fuel at the lunch stop made sense, even if only a few gallons.

    Now that i have the lance, I can buy $3 self serve from an airport 20mi away at my discretion; the damn thing holds 6 hours of fuel, so the problem is worse now lol.
     
  9. bflynn

    bflynn Final Approach

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    Ask them to add the fuel, but leave the time up to them. At some point during the day, they'll go through and fuel several aircraft at once.

    Or, if the fueler if bored, they'll just come fill you now. I presume at your home FBO, they have your credit card on file?
     
  10. 455 Bravo Uniform

    455 Bravo Uniform En-Route

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    I look at it from a selfish safety standpoint - if I don’t need fuel for extra reserves (I am almost always full fuel from home departure), then I don’t tempt fate by getting unknown fuel from an unknown truck from an unknown line guy. Too much stuff to go wrong for me to be polite over $20. But like I said, I like to be full, but for a 1 hour flight out & back? Nah.
     
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  11. RyanB

    RyanB Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    I wouldn’t feel obligated to buy fuel if you really don’t need any, just help out the line guy. In reality, the FBO’s don’t profit much from us little guys. They’re making their coin from the jets, turboprops and those who are buying large quantities of fuel and taking advantage of their other amenities. Buying a few gallons for a single-engine piston doesn’t make much of a dent in their monthly revenue.
     
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  12. Jim K

    Jim K Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    They do, but i don't buy a lot of gas there any more due to the reasons in my post above. I do occasionally fill up so they remember who I am when I bring my wife in to use the bathroom, or if I'm going some distance and the plane isn't full. It is convenient having the truck come right to my hangar, but that extra $2 a gallon adds up fast.
     
  13. asicer

    asicer Final Approach

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    Some places pro-rate the ramp fee. If the fee is $10 waived with 10 gal purchase but you only bought 6gal then the ramp fee is pro-rated to $4. That's definitely something you should work out and make clear beforehand, though.
     
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  14. Zeldman

    Zeldman Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Fly further.

    Climb the fence.....

    (ok, kidding on that one...:lol:)
     
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  15. schmookeeg

    schmookeeg Administrator Management Council Member

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    I ran out of fuel in my little kerosene heater in the hangar this week.

    One call, 6 gallons, warm again. :D

    [​IMG]
     
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  16. RDUPilot

    RDUPilot Pre-takeoff checklist PoA Supporter

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    Cray Cray
     
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  17. Jim K

    Jim K Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    They'd probably still charge the twin engine ramp fee.
    0392.jpg
     
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  18. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    Upgrade to an Aztec. You won't have that problem any more. I guarantee it. :D

    Seriously, I have the same feeling when I call up the truck for the Husky. My trips in it tend to be short and it doesn't burn much, so I feel guilty calling them over and having to tell them I just need to top up the Dawg.
     
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  19. N747JB

    N747JB Final Approach

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    I try to buy fuel at every stop, sometimes I can’t hold it due to weight, but 90% of the time I buy some gas. I also seldom top off the 182 or the Conquest. When I learned to fly, we always kept the 182 full, but that was in the 80’s, once I started flying twins, I figured out that I hardly ever need full tanks.
     
  20. Grum.Man

    Grum.Man En-Route

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    Most of the GA guys at my airport fly to one a few miles away for gas. It’s really quite funny on a nice day to have several airplanes in line for departure all headed to a different airport for cheaper gas.
     
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  21. TCABM

    TCABM Pattern Altitude

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    Where I’m about to be based is $2/gal more expensive than an airport 6NM away. It’s almost SOP for everyone to fuel up there on the way back.
     
  22. PaulS

    PaulS Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I buy gas if it's convenient for me. I rent, my home base charges about 7 bucks a gallon. If I'm somewhere and it's convenient I'll buy enough gas so the tanks are at tabs when I'm done flying, which is how the planes are rented typically if the price is below $6. I figure it costs me nothing and makes the place I rent from more profitable, win/win.
     
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  23. Dana

    Dana Pattern Altitude

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    Most everywhere I go is self service and no FBO fees, but it was amusing on the rare occasions I flew my Fisher 404 into a larger airport... it burned 2 GPH and the tank only held 7 gallons...
     
  24. Kelvin

    Kelvin En-Route

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    I try to buy fuel every time I laNd. I fly a plane that burns 20GPH so it isn't hard to find room for it.

    I like the idea of spending the money at both big and small places. The fuel sales keep many places afloat...
     
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  25. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 Final Approach

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    Those things burn diesel too - cheaper than Jet A or Kerosene
     
  26. schmookeeg

    schmookeeg Administrator Management Council Member

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    I cannot call Arco to bring me diesel, though. Plus no slimy fuel can sloshing in my interior and a week of oily stench in the car. Money wellll spent, even if I annoy the line guys all winter.

    That they came at all is my favorite discovery at the airport. :D
     
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  27. Zeldman

    Zeldman Touchdown! Greaser!

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    What is a small amount of gas.??

    I was jump seating on a DC-6 once and they only took 800 gallons of gas.

    Glad to not have that fuel bill...
     
  28. Jim K

    Jim K Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    I always feel awkward asking for 10 gallons or less. At bigger fbo's I've asked for 15 and they act like I'm putting them out. At other places I've told them to top it off, and it's only been 5 or 6 gallons, and they treat me like I bought 70, so I can't figure it out.

    I watched a YouTube video... might have been guthmiller... where they were ferrying a dc3 for the big flyover in England/ France. They had multiple fuel trucks trying to fill the thing as the pumps were all sized for little planes and for only were moving a few gpm each.
     
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  29. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Back a couple of decades ago before the last bunches of buyouts, the manager of the Hawthorne FBO at IAD had a simple philosophy. Treat everybody well. You never know if the guy who shows up on Saturday in his Bonanza is going to be the guy in the flying (or in the back) of the bizjet that comes in on Monday.
     
  30. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    Customer service! Some understand and train staff for that, and some never figure it out.

    A few years ago I was at an airshow where a B52 from Barksdale was flown in and parked on the static line. After show close on Sunday we were sitting around on lawn chairs on the grass by our airplanes watching the jet fuel tankers from the Shell FBO shuttling back and forth to the Buff. One of the pilots wandered over and started chatting with the crew chief. Said he had an Uncle Sam credit card with high limit to pay for it.
     
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  31. Huckster79

    Huckster79 Pattern Altitude

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    “A lot” is a very relative term... flying out west as part of an aero-gang we all helped each other fuel to keep the pace up. I had mine topped off and one of the guys went to move the ladder for me. I told him I was good. He says” don’t you want to fill up? You only have 15 gallons” I said “I know we just flew for 3 hours” lol. My c140 and the super cub always brought up the rear- but everyone envied me at pump time
     
  32. RyanShort1

    RyanShort1 En-Route

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    My personal bird is a 65HP Luscombe... an hour of flying is 4 gallons. My personal policy is to fill up even if it seems trivial.
     
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  33. MBDiagMan

    MBDiagMan En-Route

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    Some years ago after my Dad had passed away, my Mom broke her hip. It was about an 80 nM flight through the DFW Bravo when they would let me. Probably 100nM when I had to go around. Since I topped off my 140 tanks to the brim and they didn’t, I would end up buying 3 gallons from them most times.

    I was back and forth there weekly for several years taking care of her. I parked her car at their FBO and they watched it for me. They always asked how she was doing and I even took her there to meet them.

    Generally speaking my experience has been that in aviation that’s how most people are.
     
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  34. MBDiagMan

    MBDiagMan En-Route

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  35. RyanShort1

    RyanShort1 En-Route

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    Unless the W&B would be too heavy, or there would be a performance issue.