I lost 2 friends today (Walt Meziere aka WaltM and Joe Livingston)

Discussion in 'Gone West' started by SixPapaCharlie, Jul 1, 2015.

  1. weilke

    weilke Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2010
    Messages:
    14,472
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    weilke
    You sump with a knob on the fuel selector and switch through the tanks. The fuel shoots out of a clear plastic hose on the plane belly. If you want to test it for water you need to position a bowl in the right spot. If you just sump onto concrete you look for water in the puddle. The tanks have bladders but I am not aware of any unusual problem with folds or wrinkles. The fuel caps are the thermos type but they are located underneath protective doors so they don't really get direct water exposure.
    The rust suggests that this was an ongoing problem. Did he have a fuel tank on his airport or did he ever refuel from drums?
     
  2. SCCutler

    SCCutler Administrator Management Council Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2005
    Messages:
    17,051
    Location:
    Dallas
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Spike Cutler
    THe issue is, he had no hangar at his airport, so his plane was frequently parked outdoors. He was months (literally) away from building a hangar at the home field.

    Such a loss. Walt was a good guy!
     
  3. Dave Theisen

    Dave Theisen En-Route

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Messages:
    3,596
    Location:
    Marietta, GA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Dave Theisen
    Tom, based on your comments from the other thread, I think you are confusing @SixPapaCharlie with @Checkout_my_Six
     
  4. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Messages:
    34,736
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Tom-D
  5. SixPapaCharlie

    SixPapaCharlie May the force be with you

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2013
    Messages:
    14,716
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    6PC
    This may not be the best thread for you to try and be cute on Tom. If I read 4 pages on this thread and that's all I had to add, i'd keep my effing mouth shut.
     
  6. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Messages:
    34,736
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Tom-D
    Not trying to be cute,, made a mistake In thinking you were another who is always trying to be cute, But remember we all have a time to depart this earth. And use this experience as a lesson. there Is no time in our lives that we can't use a as time to learn.
     
    SCCutler likes this.
  7. SCCutler

    SCCutler Administrator Management Council Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2005
    Messages:
    17,051
    Location:
    Dallas
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Spike Cutler
    There's no question - reading all this makes emotions raw. If you'd known Walt, you'd understand just why, because he spent all his time doing stuff for others, he'd have given you the shirt off of his back. Just a heckuva guy.
     
  8. Cavorter

    Cavorter Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2014
    Messages:
    160
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Robert
    That's one helluva procedure! I can fully understand how someone could end up not getting out all the water with that crazy design. So you have to run repeatedly from inside to outside or do you use multiple buckets? WTF.
     
  9. weilke

    weilke Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2010
    Messages:
    14,472
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    weilke
    IF you are happy with the information of 'no water in fuel', one bowl will do and you just dump all the fuel into it and check for water.

    If you want to know about each individual tank, you indeed need to
    - place bows
    - get up on wing, lie across pax seat, pull strainer, drain left main
    - go underneath plane, dump out bowl, place bowl back
    - get up on wint, lie across pax seat, turn selector, pull strainer, drain right main
    .
    .
    .

    As I said, it's pretty straightforward on a concrete ramp. You just cycle the fuel selector through all the positions and dump some fuel out. Then you check the puddle on the concrete for water 'lenses' underneath the fuel. This plane was based on a grass strip, so you have to use a bowl if you want to check for water.
     
  10. Dav8or

    Dav8or Final Approach

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2007
    Messages:
    5,161
    Location:
    Discovery Bay, CA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Dave
    The Mooney is like this too. Many planes are. I don't know the Comanche, but I assume it is like the Mooney in that the only thing that you drain from inside and have to go outside to inspect is the fuel in the gascolator. The wing sumps are done like other planes with a GATS jar, or the traditional needle and cup.

    What I do is I have a glass jar with a hose that attaches to the drain on the gascolator. No gas spills on the ground and I can inspect it. However I don't travel with this rig, so when I'm away, the gas just goes on the ground.
     
  11. Dav8or

    Dav8or Final Approach

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2007
    Messages:
    5,161
    Location:
    Discovery Bay, CA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Dave
    Does this plane not have wing sumps where you stick the needle in?
     
  12. hindsight2020

    hindsight2020 Final Approach

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2010
    Messages:
    5,182
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    hindsight2020
    Yeah well that's an awkward and deficient design and process to me. Old airplanes man, plus further aging of said systems (drain tubes are worthless with age, they leak and stink up the cabin, fuel selector becomes a pita to turn et al), it's just starting to become onerous with these museum pieces.

    As to the water collection, even though the Comanche has access doors, they're hardly water tight and so it leads to a compartment that can easily retain water and seep through the thermos type fuel caps, which are no less prone to lose seal as any other aircraft fuel caps. Add the fuel bladders, which I don't care what anyone says, will have a propensity to wrinkle at the bottom, especially the older they are, and you got yourself a nice water canteen.

    The NTSB should stick to factuals, their probable cause flippancy reminds me of mothers: they may intend to mean well, but it's all thrust no vector. Thanks for describing the water má, I'll take it from here you're not helping with the hind 20/20 editorializing.

    All that said, that must have been a common occurrence with this bird. You don't get that much rust at the fuel pump level unless this thing was as tight as a spaghetti strainer and sat in torrential rain with frequency. If you're not gonna put wing covers on the thing in the rain, then you have to accept the opportunity cost these rust buckets are gonna get filled with water after every downpour, never mind hide water in the bladder wrinkles. Personally, the paranoia regarding water accumulation on this airplane and the bladders would have cured me from owning it. But I understand that in order not to putz around at 130 knots like I do, one has to accept tradeoffs. To each their own. My condolences to the family and friends. By all accounts the gentleman was an affable and passionate aviator.
     
  13. weilke

    weilke Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2010
    Messages:
    14,472
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    weilke
    They require maintenance. Both the seal around the fuel doors and the thermos have to be replaced when they harden. If the little knuckle on the thermos wears out, the cap has to be replaced. A couple of years ago, there was a temporary problem with getting the fuel selector rebuilt. The company that did it had not documented their process to the FAAs satisfaction and got shut down until they could create the proper pile of paperwork.

    If you think that the water is the only thing to take away from this crash you have learned nothing. Apparently it takes the NTSB to explain it to you.

    • The pilot's failure to maintain control of the airplane following a loss of engine power during initial climb after takeoff, which resulted in the wing's critical angle-of-attack being exceeded and a subsequent aerodynamic stall. Also causal was the pilot's inadequate preflight inspection of the airplane's fuel system, which resulted in the loss of engine power due to water contamination.

    I have never looked into water contamination accidents in the PA24 - PA30, but I am not aware that it is a problem any more severe than in comparable aircraft like Bonanzas. I certainly like the system with the door and thermos cap better than the radiator caps sticking out of the top of the wing. The system requires inspections and maintenance, which are spelled out in the owners and maintenance manuals.
     
  14. hindsight2020

    hindsight2020 Final Approach

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2010
    Messages:
    5,182
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    hindsight2020
    I simply disagree with the NTSB in defaulting to boilerplate blaming the pilot without criticizing the aging fuel system. I think a system trapping water by virtue of an old cantankerous system can indeed be causal. I don't think the notion the guy didn't do a diligent preflight is in evidence. Taking off with water in the system hardly constitutes evidence sumping wasn't accomplished. Wrinkled bladders can hide water from that mickey mouse sump system. Until the POH gets amended to state in print that one is required wing rocking on the ground and visual or tactile inspection of the bladder floor prior to every flight, then the NTSB should back the hell off the editorializing about causally blaming the pilot for every mechanical and environmental variable known to flying man. That is all.
     
  15. Vance Breese

    Vance Breese Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2014
    Messages:
    917
    Location:
    Nipomo, CA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Vance Breese
    I find a lot of value in NTSB reports.
     
  16. weilke

    weilke Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2010
    Messages:
    14,472
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    weilke
    You are contradicting yourself. On one hand you are stating that the presence of rust in the fuel pump indicated an ongoing problem with water in the fuel system yet you also try to turn this into an act of god that happened unexpectedly.

    There is no issue with an aging fuel system. All the components that can age are replaceable, including the bladders and all the seals that keep water out. The fact that there was rust in the fuel pump suggests that Walts plane had an ongoing issue with water ingress. He either drained fuel into the grass or failed to notice the pesence of water for some other reason.
     
  17. Dav8or

    Dav8or Final Approach

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2007
    Messages:
    5,161
    Location:
    Discovery Bay, CA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Dave
    So does the Comanche have wing sumps you push a needle in, or push up a valve? Is it really only drained from inside the airplane?

    The Mooney has a somewhat similar problem. Most of us have nice flush mounted filler caps. The problem with these caps is the water from rain pours in around the space between the cap and the wing. There it pools and the only thing keeping it out of the fuel tanks is a pair of rubber O rings. As long as the rings are good and the cap properly installed, the water stays out.

    However the O-rings dry and crack and let the water seep in. That's why there is an SB to replace the O-rings every year at annual. They are cheap and easy to do. Some also use painter's tape to cover the gap just as an extra measure if they think it might rain. I always soak up the water trapped in the gap with a rag first, then shake the crap out of the wings up and down as well as fore and aft and then sump if there has been rain.
     
    TStewart likes this.
  18. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Messages:
    23,960
    Location:
    UQACY, WI
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    iMooniac
    Somehow I never saw this thread when it happened. RIP. :(

    This is the bright spot in the new Gone West forum, that I can read all the wonderful tributes to Walt. I really wish I could have met him.

    It seems the last post in the thread was never answered:

    It's really only drained from inside the airplane. There aren't normal wing sumps like most airplanes have, and it's not just the gascolator like the Mooney.

    I guess when the plane was designed, they figured every airport would have a line boy there to check the fuel from each tank (up to 6!) as you sumped it, and a "businessman" (which the pilot would surely be!) would not want to dirty his clothing by kneeling down on a ramp to sump the tanks.

    I can't remember where I saw this - I think it was in an old Comanche or Twin Comanche brochure or something. Explanation seems silly now, but that's how things were back then I guess. And in light of this accident, the entire design is pretty silly. I'm surprised that there isn't an STC for popping a hole in the bottom of the wing and adding sumps... Or even an AD! It just seems like this design makes it way to easy to either choose to skip sumping the tanks, or miss the water in the fuel if you do go through the whole rigamarole.

    How unfortunate that it claimed the life of such a great guy who was clearly passionate about aviation. :(
     
    SCCutler likes this.