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3 Answers

How are “dry rates” normally handled as renter?

Asked by: 1961 views General Aviation, Private Pilot


I've noticed quite a few schools around the area offering "dry rates". Some of the fuel prices are topping $7 & $8 a gallon around where I am. I'm curious as to how this works in practice when you have multiple people using the same airplane.

For example: Say a plane holds 50 gallons.

Pilot one wants to fly for an hour. He says to himself, "the plane is already topped off, no need for fuel". He flies and uses 10 gallons.

Pilot two, does practically the same. "40 gallons is enough for my trip", and uses 30 gallons.

Pilot three, "wow I need fuel", and pays for 40 gallons.

Hopefully that example is somewhat clear. Perhaps the planes are topped off after every flight to know the amount used? What if fuel is purchased at another airport?

So as you can see I'm somewhat scatter brained as to how this is all accounted for fairly and accurately.


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3 Answers

  1. John D Collins on Jan 22, 2014

    We dispatched the airplane with full fuel and the customer had to have it fueled after returning from the flight. With wet rates, we would credit off field purchases up to our cost per gallon on field, but for a dry rate, we didn’t reimburse anything.

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  2. Rick Owens on Jan 22, 2014

    Thanks John,

    With that said, is there any way to rent without topping off the tanks? I know this is an issue with “wet rates” as well as I know most schools like to top off the planes at night. Just curious if this is possible with any sort of prior agreement.

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  3. Mark Kolber on Jan 23, 2014

    Anything’s possible with a prior agreement. Two examples, keeping in mind that un-boarding fuel is generally a PITA:

    Rather that a top off, a FBO only has aircraft regularly refueled to the tabs (or similar less than full mark). That takes care of most (but not all) lower fuel needs and allows someone to top them off if they want to. A number of places do this more to avoid fuel draining through expansion but the effect is similar.

    Some places mark aircraft when they are full, such as with a chalked “X” on the nosewheel. The general purpose is to allow the fuel personnel where aircraft are refueled automatically to know which ones have been done so they don’t have to climb out and check. But a side benefit is, you can fly a bit the evening before your lower-fuel trip, burn some off and mark the tire so no new fuel is added.

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