My friend had to write up a report to his Chief Pilot a while back, and he was kind enough to show me a copy. I found it interesting as they fly a similar aircraft, and only having 450 lbs of fuel on landing in our Citation 550's would have me sweating.
In our operation, we need to carry enough fuel on board to make our destination, attempt and miss an approach, then go to an alternate airport where the weather is forecast to be decent, and then have 30 minutes of fuel on top of that. It might sound like a lot, but it's really not much extra gas at all.
Where I work, we also have a company directive that states we shall not commence any flight unless we plan to land with at least a thousand pounds of fuel. I think that's great.
Anyway, on to the report. You can see that it could have been a lot worse, and I'm glad my friend made it in safely, if only because he still owes me $15 :)
We departed CY** with 4,500 lbs of fuel as per computerized flight plan. We needed 4,300 but we added 200 lbs more as ‘just-in-case’ fuel. During our initial climb out from CY**, our fuel burn was higher than predicted as the ATC controllers had kept us lower than normal for nearly an hour. Crossing CY**, we had burned 125 lbs more than expected. Enroute, the favorable tailwinds that the flight planning software had anticipated were not as strong as forecast, and we were airborne for nearly 30 minutes longer than we had expected. I was in the left seat during our initial approach to CY**, which had a ceiling of ~1,000’ and good visibility underneath. As we approached within 25 miles of CY**, the right tank low fuel light came on, and I noted that we would be landing with 700 lbs of fuel. As we prepared for landing and were roughly 2 miles final for runway 23, we noted an aircraft still on the runway. Tower told us to pull up and go around as the traffic wouldn’t be airborne by the time we touched down, and as I advanced the thrust levers to go-around, I noted and remarked on the left tank low-fuel light illuminating. I told (F/o's name) to declare minimum fuel, and he told ATC that we were “tight on gas” The approach controller said we were number 3 on approach, and that it would be at least 10 miles before we could turn back to the field. (F/o's name) again told ATC that we were low on fuel, and ATC told us that if we declared an emergency we would have priority. I was quite concerned about our fuel state, as we were indicating ~550lbs of fuel, but (F/o's name) thought we would be okay in the approach sequence. ATC said “If you declare an emergency, we can turn you toward the field right now, otherwise it will be 2 more miles before we can turn you base.” (F/o's name) said something like “We’ll take the base turn”, which ATC then took to mean that we were declaring an emergency, though I think (F/o's name) had meant we were okay for another 2 miles before turning base. ATC immediately pulled 2 Air Canada planes off the approach and cleared us direct the field. We landed without incident, and taxied in, where (F/o's name) called ATC on the phone. When we shut down, the fuel was indicating roughly 450 lbs, and both low fuel lights had been on for several minutes.