And just thirteen minutes after takeoff ! ? ! ? ! ? Running on empty: plane ran out of fuel before landing on St. Petersburg road Excerpt: Pilot Manuel Izquierdo, 36, radioed air traffic controllers that he was "fuel critical" and had only 20 minutes of fuel left on board, according to a report released last week by the National Transportation Safety Board. That was only 13 minutes after taking off from Tampa International Airport. "Unless he had a fuel leak," said Jim Brauchle, a South Carolina-based aviation lawyer who also served 10 years in the Air Force as an aviator. "But the way this is written, he took off without any gas, or very little gas."