What's the meaning of "bingo fuel"?
"Bingo fuel" is a term used in aviation, especially in military aviation, to denote the minimum fuel level at which an aircraft must divert to an alternate landing site or return to base. Essentially, it represents the point at which the aircraft has just enough fuel to reach its designated diversion airfield or home base with a required fuel reserve.
The term "bingo" implies a sense of urgency or a critical situation. When a pilot declares "bingo fuel," it means that the available fuel is approaching a predetermined minimum level, and the aircraft needs to leave its current location (such as a combat air patrol, mission area, or training airspace) to ensure it has enough fuel for a safe landing.
The decision to declare "bingo fuel" is based on various factors, including the aircraft's fuel consumption rate, distance to the alternate airfield or home base, and the required reserve fuel for a safe landing. Pilots carefully plan fuel management to ensure they have sufficient reserves for unexpected circumstances or contingencies.
"Bingo fuel" is a standard term used in radio communications to convey a critical fuel state to air traffic control or other members of the flight team. It is a part of the broader fuel management strategy aimed at ensuring the safety and success of the mission or flight.