Dangerously poor fuel planning

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by PeterNSteinmetz, Feb 1, 2019.

  1. PeterNSteinmetz

    PeterNSteinmetz Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2015
    Messages:
    692
    Location:
    Tempe, AZ
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    PeterNSteinmetz
  2. DutchRoller

    DutchRoller Ejection Handle Pulled

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2017
    Messages:
    395
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    DutchRoller
    When will people learn that fuel management is more a matter of time not distance? You have X hours in your tank, not Y miles.
     
    LDJones, AKBill, Huckster79 and 3 others like this.
  3. Stingray Don

    Stingray Don En-Route

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2014
    Messages:
    2,757
    Location:
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Stingray Don
    And there is no excuse when any GPS unit provides that information.
     
  4. WannFly

    WannFly En-Route

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2016
    Messages:
    4,238
    Location:
    KFAR
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Priyo
    Irresponsibility to the core
     
  5. Shepherd

    Shepherd En-Route

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2012
    Messages:
    3,822
    Location:
    Hopewell Jct, NY
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Shepherd
    There is no go spin to be had for something like this.
     
  6. benyflyguy

    benyflyguy Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2018
    Messages:
    1,912
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    benyflyguy
    Shouldn’t happen. Could have had a much much more tragic ending. Kudos to guy getting on ground safely though
     
  7. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2015
    Messages:
    6,625
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Aztec Flyer
    "...While flying into Rawlins, the plane encountered “an unexpected strong headwind,” and the pilot realized he would run out of fuel before reaching the Rock Springs airport..."

    So what did he do? Continue on the way to Rock Springs it would appear. o_O
     
  8. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2014
    Messages:
    18,658
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    James331
    Don’t know the area, was there no intermediate airport when fuel got below what it was planned to be?
     
    birdus likes this.
  9. Lantraxco

    Lantraxco Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2018
    Messages:
    156
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    OldNewbie
    Two year old twins, a two week old baby, and the mother.... Would it be impolite to say this guy should not have been allowed to reproduce?
     
    timwinters likes this.
  10. sarangan

    sarangan Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    Messages:
    594
    Location:
    Dayton, OH
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Andrew Sarangan, CFII
    No one knowingly plans to run out of fuel, and it doesn't take much aeronautical proficiency to calculate fuel requirements. Yet, we see this happen over and over again. I've known a couple of pilots who ran out of fuel, one seriously injured, and they were conservative and careful pilots. I think it is important to try and understand how this happens to normal people, and come up with strategies to correct those factors. Characterizing it as something that only happens to careless and stupid pilots is a pretty useless observation, and demonstrates some level of arrogance. I hope you won't have to eat your own words if it ever happens to you.
     
    deonb, birdus, keen9 and 4 others like this.
  11. Huckster79

    Huckster79 Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2018
    Messages:
    823
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Huckster79
    Airports every direction from that one about 60-70nm... I would contend even if one miscalculated at home they shudda checked along the flight before they were down to 45 mins of fuel...

    Idda been into personal reserve limit when getting to those other airports...
     
  12. woodchucker

    woodchucker Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2014
    Messages:
    1,090
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    woodchucker
    Not making excuses for the guy, but there’s not much in the way of alternates in the middle of Wyoming. One trip Salt Lake to Denver my planned fuel stop was a ghost town. No people. No fuel. I made it to the next airport just as I was nearing reserve time. Some parts of the country you have to double your safety margin. Or triple.
     
    Zeldman, James331 and AKBill like this.
  13. iamtheari

    iamtheari Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2016
    Messages:
    1,646
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Ari
    KLCG-KRKS is 542 nm. If going GPS direct, it would be rude not to talk to CTAF at the following airports, because you'd be directly overflying the traffic pattern at each of them. (That's a slight exaggeration. A couple are directly beneath the GPS direct route, but I will concede that Wheatland is an entire 5 nm off.) Many more are just a little farther out of the way. Distances below are in nm remaining to KRKS.

    282 - KAIA Alliance
    222 - KTOR Torrington
    188 - KEAN Wheatland
    85 - KRWL Rawlins

    After Rawlins, there's not much. But it sounds like he was over Rawlins when he realized he wasn't going to have enough fuel to reach Rock Springs. If you're ever directly above an airport and thinking you are not going to have the fuel to reach your destination, the airport directly beneath you is a better place to stop than a snowbank "a few miles" from your destination.
     
    WannFly likes this.
  14. AKBill

    AKBill Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2014
    Messages:
    2,194
    Location:
    Juneau, AK
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    AKBill
    Or take your head out of your *ss...
     
    Lachlan likes this.
  15. MtnMarcus

    MtnMarcus Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2012
    Messages:
    375
    Location:
    Idaho
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    PropWash
    There has also been a “gofundme” page set up for this moron to offset the cost of getting his plane out
     
  16. aftCG

    aftCG Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2015
    Messages:
    234
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    aftCG
    Actually a simple time piece provides that information. The magenta line contraption is irrelevant.
     
    birdus and Lachlan like this.
  17. Lantraxco

    Lantraxco Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2018
    Messages:
    156
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    OldNewbie
    According to other sources, their numbers were all within FAA fuel reserve. Sounds like they were not using a real world fuel flow number, 9gph sound right at cruise? Of course you're not supposed to trust the gauges, which apparently was one mistake he won't make again. Wonder if there's still fuel in the other tank?
     
  18. frfly172

    frfly172 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2008
    Messages:
    13,465
    Location:
    mass fla
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    ron keating
    A good deal of money was expended,for this pilots mistake..
     
  19. Stingray Don

    Stingray Don En-Route

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2014
    Messages:
    2,757
    Location:
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Stingray Don
    GPS sure makes it easier when it displays ground speed and ETE.
     
  20. Clip4

    Clip4 En-Route

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2013
    Messages:
    4,351
    Location:
    A Rubber Room
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Cli4ord
    One of the lost lessons in aviation is the precautionary landing. There may have been better options along the route other than airport with better SAR options.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2019
  21. Stephen Poole

    Stephen Poole Pre-takeoff checklist PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2018
    Messages:
    261
    Location:
    Birmingham, Alabama
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Professor31
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1977_Mississippi_CV-240_crash

    I was looking over this one today, the crash of the plane carrying Lynyrd Skynyrd back in 1977. This is another one that didn't need to happen.

    Interesting trivia: Aerosmith was planning to rent that same plane for their tour, but their management decided against it.

    There's a link on that Wiki page to the NTSB report, which contains a copy of the lease contract on the plane. If I've read it right, Lynyrd Skynyrd Productions hired the pilots. The lessor just provided the Convair 240.

    A sad day for southern rock fans. I still remember it. The plane wasn't refueled in Greenville, SC, and it should have been.
     
    Lantraxco likes this.
  22. Lantraxco

    Lantraxco Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2018
    Messages:
    156
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    OldNewbie
    So here's a question: Given the low temps we've been having, would the lower density altitude, with it's increased drag and need for richer mixture to compensate for the denser air compute to a higher fuel burn per hour? Maybe failure to consider DA? I could probably do the math, but thought I would ask here.
     
  23. benyflyguy

    benyflyguy Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2018
    Messages:
    1,912
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    benyflyguy
    It’s not like he came up 50nm short. He barely Made it past the halfway point I thought.
     
  24. Lantraxco

    Lantraxco Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2018
    Messages:
    156
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    OldNewbie
    Halfway point?
     
  25. Huckster79

    Huckster79 Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2018
    Messages:
    823
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Huckster79
    I wouldnt think so, unless we were EFI, as a carb is metering fuel out at a "dumb" rate based off throttle setting, thats why we are leaner in the cold. So unless a mixture setting had "extra rich" setting on it that was richer than "full rich" temp wouldn't really change gph...

    It would realy have to slow the planes ground speed ALOT to have caused this...

    I log every fuel fill up to keep a personal gph calculation, so my calculations can be real world accurate...
     
    woodchucker likes this.
  26. Lantraxco

    Lantraxco Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2018
    Messages:
    156
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    OldNewbie
    Well, normally we fly at higher altitudes for decreased drag, and in cruise, you lean the mixture. Average fuel rates and percent of power like every other performance spec ate based on standard temp and pressure. If you're not compensating for DA, the graphs lie. Or am I missing something?
     
  27. Huckster79

    Huckster79 Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2018
    Messages:
    823
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Huckster79
    I think what you are missing is DA doesnt change fuel burn rate in a carbureted engine once the carb is set. In a machine that was EFI but no fuel flow guage that could be true as the computer would richen that mixture up for the cold. A carb being a quite simple device is designed to meter out x amount of fuel at x rate at x throttle setting. A carb has no "brain" to adjust fuel flow for temp, DA or any other measurement... leaning is a mechanical action as well on our rigs based off our interpratation of instruments or an ear...

    Nope this sounds like "x number of miles divided by approx speed" to get necessary fuel on board. We must as PIC calculate in otjer factors such as headwinds and when something changes, like a sifgnificantly different than plnned headwind our calculations/plans must also change...i could be wrong but its my guess...
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2019
  28. Clip4

    Clip4 En-Route

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2013
    Messages:
    4,351
    Location:
    A Rubber Room
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Cli4ord
    Let’s say you always operated your aircraft at 2600 rpm @ 6000 ft, yes your fuel burn and TAS will never be the same on any given flight because you did not properly use the performance charts.

    If you use the performance charts and used 75% power at 6000 ft, 75% power will always yield the same fuel flow, but RPM and TAS will vary. Assuming you lean properly.
     
    Huckster79 likes this.
  29. asicer

    asicer En-Route

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2015
    Messages:
    4,023
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    asicer
    If I understand the article correctly, he was over Rawlins direct Rock Springs and landed short of Rock Springs. Interstate 80 runs in a nearly straight line between Rawlins and Rock Springs. Maybe he didn't see Bertorelli's video on Avweb about freeway landings?
     
  30. chemgeek

    chemgeek Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2009
    Messages:
    970
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    chemgeek
    So are we talking about a 542 nm flight at 120 kt at 10+ GPH with a 48 gal fuel capacity? Into likely prevailing winds? What could possibly go wrong? It is depressing that we see this kind of fuel planning too often. Self-induced fuel exhaustion is 100% preventable.
     
    Huckster79 likes this.
  31. Huckster79

    Huckster79 Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2018
    Messages:
    823
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Huckster79
    Yea with zero headwind you would still be on fumes... No matter what there were airports 60 or so nm away in almost all directions from Rock Springs. When one of those airports were flown over, even if not right over top, you would be into legal reserves about. To me that wouldn't even be a discretionary call, at reserves when there is an airport right below you or close, its time to land-period when your destination is still 60nm away! Even if that airport had no services- inconvenient for sure, but figuring out how to get some 100LL in cans to that airport is a heck of a lot more convenient than landing in a field...
     
    WannFly and Omalley1537 like this.
  32. bnt83

    bnt83 Final Approach PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2012
    Messages:
    8,559
    Location:
    Lincoln NE
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Brian
    "Sweetwater County sheriff’s deputies located the downed plane using GPS coordinates but determined it would take hours to reach the family using tracked vehicles, according to the release. Instead, first responders were able to call in a nearby life flight helicopter. At 8:45 p.m., the family was picked up and taken to the Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County."

    I bet that was an expensive lesson, still have to recover the airplane on top of that. Glad there were no injuries.
     
  33. Huckster79

    Huckster79 Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2018
    Messages:
    823
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Huckster79
    He's aweful lucky his little kids didn't get hypothermia! They probably would have if it weren't for the chopper!
     
    birdus likes this.
  34. kgruber

    kgruber En-Route

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2007
    Messages:
    3,897
    Location:
    M94 Airport Manager
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Skywag
    The wheel pants that were removed would have likely provided "just" enough drag reduction to make the final 3 miles to Rock Springs.
     
  35. Lantraxco

    Lantraxco Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2018
    Messages:
    156
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    OldNewbie
    Sadly true, what, 3 knots over five hours?
     
  36. Tantalum

    Tantalum En-Route

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2017
    Messages:
    3,862
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    San_Diego_Pilot
    Why is "snow covered field" put in quotation marks in the article? Was it actually a cocaine covered field?

    Also.. this guy needs to have his ticket pulled for operating a plane in a reckless manner

    Lastly, with two tanks on the Archer, if his engine was totally dead this implies that he already ran one tank dry and then the second

    Idiot.
     
    birdus, Huckster79 and WannFly like this.
  37. Lantraxco

    Lantraxco Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2018
    Messages:
    156
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    OldNewbie
    Boils down to our old friend "Get-home-itis" I suppose. States they were headed for Heber City which is only like 130 miles on... oh look, 100LL is $4.75 at Rock Springs. Rawlins is $4.80, should have spent the nickel. I feel for the guy, moreso his family.
     
    Huckster79 likes this.
  38. LDJones

    LDJones Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2011
    Messages:
    10,995
    Location:
    Twin Cities, MN
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Jonesy
    The fuel gauges had to be bouncing just above empty over KRWL. Pure insanity to pass that airport up. "Hope" is not a fuel planning strategy.
     
    Huckster79 likes this.
  39. dmspilot

    dmspilot En-Route

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2006
    Messages:
    3,536
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    dmspilot
    The PA-28-180 POH gives a true airspeed of only 111 knots at 8,000'DA when using the "best economy" fuel flow of 8.8gph and lack of wheel fairings. This gives a barely-legal 33-minute reserve in a no-wind condition, with no allowance for taxi, takeoff, and climb, and assumes pilot and aircraft performance match book figures perfectly, which we know is rarely the case. Throw even a little bit of headwind into the mix and the result is a foregone conclusion.
     
  40. FlySince9

    FlySince9 En-Route

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2011
    Messages:
    3,029
    Location:
    Huntersville, NC
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Jerry