Fuel Screwup Learned ON THE GROUND!

Discussion in 'Lessons Learned' started by SRQWingnut, Apr 18, 2012.

  1. zaitcev

    zaitcev Pattern Altitude

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    Same here: the instructor who checked me out in N2966V told me to disregard the checklists and not to switch the fuel off, ever. Breaking it off is a real possibility.

    The fuel switch was one thing that I really hated about flying M20E. The "off" position there is between "left" and "right", so you have to pass it every time you switch tanks. The switch is also ridiculously stiff and also small. I was sweating bullets at every tank switch. Insanity, truly.

    One of renters created a special tool: a crank fashioned out of a PVC pipe that permitted to switch tanks somewhat more easily.
     
  2. silver-eagle

    silver-eagle En-Route

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    I don't remember the Pipers I fly or have flown ever being in the OFF position. They are either right or left. All of the Cessnas I ever flew were always BOTH. Those were all rentals.
    And it was following the checklist in the POH in an unfamiliar airplane that got me in trouble. It's hard to manage a book on your lap, follow the list, turn the pages, and keep it on track after you've dropped it once or twice. I can see why the schools all put it on a laminated card.
    On the other hand, I managed to take the checklist home the other day. Didn't do the next guy any good, now did it?
     
  3. zaitcev

    zaitcev Pattern Altitude

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    I always carry my own checklists. I get used to the layout of them and I switch to the the stock checklist I may slip and miss items.
     
  4. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Early in my lessons my primary CFI told me to create my own checklists - it's a habit I still do. Putting things in my own words makes me really read the POH carefully to make sure I don't miss anything and that seems to help me out with getting a head start on memorization.
     
  5. numl0ck

    numl0ck Line Up and Wait

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    I do the exact same thing. Although, I always wonder why I'm looking at the fuel gauge when it's wrong 100% of the time and I'm going to stick the tanks anway. :dunno:

    And in my club, 2xC172N's the tank position is always in both. I haven't found it in any other position.
     
  6. Jaybird180

    Jaybird180 Final Approach

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    Fuel on BOTH is in the takeoff and landing checklist. Very few people ever switch tanks in flight. I've tried it when I can remember on XCs to switch right tank because of the in-flight crossfeed issue. But it's really a minor issue and the fuel is feeding from both. When it gets below a certain level it will begin to equalize again. So that's why most poeple just leave it on BOTH.
     
  7. Jaybird180

    Jaybird180 Final Approach

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    During the preflight the flaps go full down. After engine start, they go full up. I find it distracting and reduces 360 visibility during taxi to put them down.

    The 172SP POH permits 0-10 degrees for takeoff. I've experimented with both settings and find that I preferred 10 deg but get a smoother and faster climbout a 0 degrees.
     
  8. Jaybird180

    Jaybird180 Final Approach

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    how can flaps kill?:dunno:
     
  9. PPC1052

    PPC1052 En-Route

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    Fail to deploy them, and on take off, you may not be able to lift off, and then you are going too fast to stop before you run off the end of the runway. This probably applies more to fully loaded commercial jets than your average single engine piston four-seater.
     
  10. Jaybird180

    Jaybird180 Final Approach

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    Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight
    So do you think the primary CFI should have been harping on it?


    Henning???
     
  11. Skylane81E

    Skylane81E Final Approach

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    Get them stuck down on the go, depending on the performance of the plane and the effectiveness of the flaps:hairraise:
     
  12. Jaybird180

    Jaybird180 Final Approach

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    If flaps are stuck in the down position in the initial climb it would be a simple matter of returning to the field. Just like leaving the pitot tube cover on, eh?
     
  13. Skip Miller

    Skip Miller En-Route

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    At max gross, and on a high DA day, you may not be able to climb with full flaps.

    Max gross climbs with full flaps at sea level, standard day is a certification requirement, however.

    -Skip
     
  14. Jaybird180

    Jaybird180 Final Approach

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    Why would someone get themselves into this position in the first place? If your aircraft uses takeoff flaps, you select that and no more. If they do not retract on climbout then you return to land.
     
  15. rainsux

    rainsux Line Up and Wait

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    > Why would someone get themselves into this position in the first place?

    Go around ... due to animals, opposing or crossing traffic, obstruction, etc.
     
  16. Jaybird180

    Jaybird180 Final Approach

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    What aircraft may be at risk for this scenario? Underpowered with full flaps?
     
  17. Skylane81E

    Skylane81E Final Approach

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    Most 86 and older 172s fall into the above category.
     
  18. Skylane81E

    Skylane81E Final Approach

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    Let's also not forget the not unheard of asymetrical flap deployment.
     
  19. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    You don't have to be at Max Gross around here in the summertime for full flaps stuck down during a go-around to become a full-blown emergency in most small singles.

    With summertime mid-day DA approaching 10,000', you've got a serious climb problem on your hands.

    In the mountains at 75F at even non-"one-way" airports, heavy, with flaps stuck at full, it's a guaranteed emergency.

    Best keep those slow flight skills sharp and the turns coordinated and shallow.

    C-150/152 are often grounded in the hottest days of summer outside of early morning and after sunset. C-172 is the trainer needed for two plus reasonable fuel during the daytime.
     
  20. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

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    The only time I'll use left or right in a plane with both is if I have a heavy person on one side that I want to balance for.
     
  21. cirrusmx

    cirrusmx Line Up and Wait

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    DAFUQ!!!
     
  22. dell30rb

    dell30rb Final Approach

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    Jay,

    The flaps thing was probably meant to apply to airliners or other, larger a/c that normally take off with flaps extended. Although as someone pointed out, departing with full flaps and a combination of a heavy plane and or high DA can result in the inability for a GA plane to climb. Fortunately the plane is slow and the flaps move quick so the attentive pilot will hopefully be able to fix a mistake here.

    Airliners need a bunch of flaps on takeoff, because they are so slick when clean. A heavy airliner that rotates and notices he forgot to put the flaps down is in big big trouble.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2012
  23. N747JB

    N747JB Final Approach

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    Flaps can cause problems for a lot of planes on take off, either too much flap or not enough. Citations use 15* actually T/O-approach flaps for take off, lengthens the ground run considerably with zero flaps. I had a pilot take off in my old 414A with 5 men on board, warm day, luckily at sea level with FULL FLAPS:yikes::yikes: Good news is both engines ran fine, bad news is they didn't discover it until they were above 5000 feet!:mad2: The switch was in the up position, but the flaps never moved after landing, recycling the switch moved the flaps up and the plane picked up speed pretty quickly. :D
     
  24. Jaybird180

    Jaybird180 Final Approach

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    That's why I visually check flaps at takeoff. But I can do that in a high wing.
     
  25. ChrisK

    ChrisK En-Route

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    This will tie back to the checklist bit of this thread in a minute. Bear with me please.

    Today I took a 152 out with a squawk indicating an malfunctioning radio that was flashing and powering off (amusingly the sheet also said "the engine almost quit 3 times" /boggle). Mechanic checked it out and ran it around the pattern with no problem. Keep in mind that I had this aircraft for over an hour yesterday and also had no problem. Figured the guy from yesterday didn't know that the avionics were not connected to the engine and just assumed that the aircraft was about to fall out of the sky due to the radio issue....

    Mechanic gives me the plane back with the all clear and I start my takeoff roll. Note that like an idiot I figured I already did the preflight just before the mechanic took it and and didn't need to do it again. I notice that this thing really wants to get off the ground and started to lift at 40 knots. I started forcing the nose back down into Vx and swearing at myself.

    Of course, the mechanic landed with lots of nose up trim which I did not correct for takeoff =P

    Checklists good. Assumptions bad.
     
  26. ChrisK

    ChrisK En-Route

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    Oh and incidentally the radio failed as soon as I left the pattern, and I had to return to get a new radio :)
     
  27. Dan Thomas

    Dan Thomas En-Route

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    Very few airplanes have enough fuel in the system downstream of the shutoff valve to enable a takeoff. It might idle for some time with the fuel valve off, but takeoff fuel flow is much higher than cruise flows and the system simply can't provide it. The fuel strainer will not empty itself to provide the fuel, either, since its fuel enters the top and also exits the top. None of them exit the bottom; that's reserved for water and dirt. The only way to get fuel out of the strainer is to allow fuel into it. The shutoff valve is usually right near the firewall, so we have the fuel that's in a 3/8" or half-inch line about two feet long, and the fuel in the carb bowl. Neither of those amount to more than a couple of cupfuls and won't satisfy an engine that wants as little as seven gallons an hour at full throttle. That's a gallon every eight minutes, a pint a minute. The engine should quit in the takeoff roll, if not sooner.

    The sticky 150 valve hasn't been taken out, disassembled and lubricated. It's a plain old tapered plug valve that requires a fuelproof grease like Fuel Lube. The grease gradually works out of it and the brass parts start seizing. This will continue until the handle or shaft breaks off, and then things get expensive. There's nothing like good maintenance.

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    Dan