Gas Geo Map

February 11, 2009 by Bruce Landsberg

New ASF Fuel Geo Map

Some airplane pilots just can’t wait to savor the joys of soaring. One way is by trading high octane fuel for low octane air by running a tank or all tanks dry, thus becoming glider pilots. The FAA takes a dim view of gliding without a certificate, especially when it involves an off-airport landing.

The Air Safety Foundation is continuing our fuel awareness campaign to make sure that all pilots have the Golden Hour of reserve. How will you explain a fuel shortfall to your family, your friends, your former aircraft insurance agent?

We also invite you to check out ASF’s two Pilot Safety Announcements and forward them to your friends who are prone to skimp a little.

It’s amazing that most of the fuel accidents occur within five miles of an airport which means almost everyone almost makes it. Very few miss by a lot.

We plan to add other accident geo maps during the year and would appreciate your thoughts.

Bruce Landsberg
Senior Safety Advisor, Air Safety Institute

ASI Online Safety Courses  |  ASI Safety Quiz  |  Support the AOPA Foundation

  • Doug McDougall


    Just looking at the ASF Geomap and noted what I believe is an error: Accident #LAX08LA064, which occurred near Wilcox, Az., does not appear to be due to fuel exhaustion.

  • Bruce


    Thanks for the note. Some of these are prelims and there may be changes. In others, there are some coding errors. ASF is in discussion with NTSB to tighten up both our own “filtering” and theirs.

  • Robert Greenberg

    Nice depiction of the data…..but it may not represent the root cause of the problem. Remember Abraham Wald’s classic work on survivability of WWII airplanes….and the non-intuitive solution. For example, are the locations in the map the departure, destination, or crash? And since it is unlikely the plane’s fault…what of the pilots? Their age, experience, stressors, etc. A complicated onion, indeed. And the worst of it is that it seems so simple to solve.

    Is there any way to download the data in a batch run (e.g., CSV)? (I can only get very limited data on a screen by screen basis.)

    We’ll keep scratching at the problem.

  • John @ Apex/WA05

    On this “Fuel-management accidents”, is it broken down to Fuel Exhaustion & Missmanagement of the fuel on board..Still had fuel but forces to land.
    I had read years ago that PIC that fuel there own/Aircraft they are flying have a much less Forced Landing rate than those who do not fuel their plane.
    Can you verify that ??

    P.S. I am a self-fueler, even in the state of Oregon where Federal rule superceeds the State’s on ‘Pump-it-your-self’. I want to see the fuel level & know that my fuel caps are on correctly (had my new paint job fogged by fueler that did not cap the C-P side correctly).

  • Don D

    There seems to be a disproportionate and greater number of crashes east of the Mississippi. Is this true and if so is there a plausable reason for this?

  • electrical certificate

    Now I am ready to do my breakfast, later than having my breakfast coming again to read additional news.

    Here is my weblog: electrical certificate