Left Fuelhawk on cowl

Discussion in 'Lessons Learned' started by Dumas, Aug 6, 2017.

  1. Dumas

    Dumas Guest

    On my last XC flight we were on initial climb, about 500' AGL and I notice some movement on the cowl. The fuelhawk (level dipstick) rolls down the cowl to the windshield, down the pilot's side and down to the ground.

    Not the end of the world, but it left me wondering if I had any other oversights during my preflight. But the rest of the day was fine. The fuelhawk is gone.
    Ugh.
     
  2. Ryanb

    Ryanb Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Best lesson to take away from this, is to do a final walk around the aircraft and make sure everything looks in order before you fly.

    Fortunately the stick didn't fall on anybody.
     
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  3. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    Well it beats the hell out of losing a C182 cowl flap in a farmer's field from what I recall on another thread. ;)

    Question you should ask yourself is what distracted you, and why?

    Flying is so intolerant of errors and sloppiness I have developed consistent habits for every repeatable activity, such as the pre-flight. I do it exactly the same way, in the same order, every single time and do not allow any disruption (I've been known to tell chatty passengers watching me to let me know if something important happens, like a wing falling off in front of their eyes, otherwise no interruptions please).
     
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  4. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Also beats leaving the oil dipstick on the cowl.

    --

    I was always worried about dropping my Fuelhawk into the tank. I got a lanyard from something, maybe a USB stick, then doubl zip tied it to one one of the dipstick. I generally stuck my wrist through it whenever I used it. It prevented being accidentally lost inside the tank, and I couldn't set it down anywhere and forget it, either.
     
  5. Ryanb

    Ryanb Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Agreed.
     
  6. Zeldman

    Zeldman Final Approach

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    I left my keys on top of the wing once. I was double checking fuel after my student gassed up.

    Later, I told one of the old guys that hung around the airport about my keys. He said, well, did you go to the runway and pick them up? I said I don't know where they fell off.

    Come with me you darn kid. We got into his golf cart and he asked me where did we rotate? I told him and he drove me to where my keys were laying on the runway.

    Lessons learned: Always keep fuel pump and FBO keys in a pocket and most anything left on the wing of a 152 will fall off at rotation.
     
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  7. Hank S

    Hank S En-Route

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    All airport keys are on the same key ring as the airplane keys. If I can get into the hangar, I can fly, and if I'm flying, I haven't left any keys outside . . . .
     
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  8. Lachlan

    Lachlan Pattern Altitude

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    How did the Fuelhawk stay on the cowl through taxi, run up and takeoff, let alone the first 500' of climb? You must have a well-balanced engine, great engine mounts, smooth taxiways, and the feet of Jesus to keep a round fuel stick balanced on a rounded cowl that long. Well done!
     
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  9. Norman

    Norman En-Route Gone West

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    Almost anything can create a distraction but IMO passengers are often the worst. Those who are not in the know will likely be asking the pilot questions while he is doing the preflight. As an A&P, I stand aside while the pilot does his task and silently observe while following along visually. Only once did I catch something the pilot missed. The aircraft had just been fueled and the fueler didn't replace the cap. It was a Cessna, and the pilot forgot to double check.
     
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  10. pmanton

    pmanton Cleared for Takeoff

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    So you're the culprit. A fuelhawk fell out of the sky and killed my dog. My lawyer will contact you.:mad:
     
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  11. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    Let's not get too carried away here.

    We all know that every other PoA pilot is so skilled they would have brought that baby all the way home. Dropping it from the plane is almost as bad as having to pull the chute on a Cirrus. :rolleyes: :D
     
  12. Zeldman

    Zeldman Final Approach

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    That can't be the one. I have the fuelhawk sticking through the windshield of my new Lamborghini....:eek: :lol::lol::lol:
     
  13. Ravioli

    Ravioli Final Approach

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    I usually do fluids first (Don't say a word @eman1200) and put the tester and dipper away, then do the rest. Reason? If I need to get fuel I can call for the truck while I do the rest. If I add oil there's some 'drip time' so I can recheck it again after I've done the rest of the walk around.

    The checklist is not a Do-List (other thread) so when I get to the fuel and oil checking parts I confirm "Already done" and move on.
     
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  14. AKBill

    AKBill Pattern Altitude

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    Haven't removed the ignition key from the ignition switch in 10+ years I think. Don't even think I have a spare, maybe it's time to get one...:)
     
  15. eman1200

    eman1200 Final Approach

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    I actually didn't know it was called a fuelhawk but that's mostly because I don't use one.

    so, when u say u left it on the cowl, are u talking about that big giant mostly flat thing that's right smack in front of your face? how do u taxi, runup and takeoff without seeing it?
     
  16. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    Well I'm too busy texting and staring at the Foreflight iPad during those parts of my flights. I only look out when high enough that the view makes it worthwhile...
     
  17. eman1200

    eman1200 Final Approach

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    ^^^ he's got a good point there.
     
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  18. saddletramp

    saddletramp Line Up and Wait

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    Don't beat yourself up too bad 'stuff happens".
    We had a pilot show up at a fly in a few weeks back with the tow bar still attached to his front nose wheel of his 152. It just laid on the wheel pant until he landed. It's a wonder it didn't bounce off.
    He took a lot of ribbing but I know he'll never do that again!
     
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  19. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    Wow. Some years back I had a friend leave his tow bar attached to his Bo after pulling it out of the hangar. That was new prop blades and an engine teardown after he started it up. The 152 pilot is fortunate nothing came loose or flipped up in flight...
     
  20. SkyDog58

    SkyDog58 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    So it wasn't fast enough to get out of the way?
     
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  21. Skyrys62

    Skyrys62 Pattern Altitude

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    I was out bent over in the garden and WHAM! all of a sudden thought I was back in prison!
    Turned out to be a fuelhawk.
    I scratched my head and said "huh, I know I put it back in the plane"

    So as it turns out, it was you all along

    Measured about 12 gallons.
    But I believe due to the Velocity and Angle of Attack, that measurement is off by a gallon or two.

    btw.. I still have it if you want it back
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2017
  22. Omalley1537

    Omalley1537 Line Up and Wait

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    He had pulled over to check the time on his Rolex, which was also damaged in the incident.
     
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  23. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

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    It was a million to one shot, doc! A million to one!
     
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  24. Lachlan

    Lachlan Pattern Altitude

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    Apparently that front nose wheel is tricky like that. Pilots rarely forget to remove the tow bar from the back nose wheel, but that's because pilots who fly airplanes with back nose wheels are real pilots.

    And I'm calling a big shenanigans on this Fuelhawk story. It wouldn't stay on the cowl with the prop blowing right on it, taxiing, takeoff roll, etc. Any pilot who has so little SA that they don't even see something out of place on the cowl is either pulling your leg, or they're the White House Press Secretary.
     
  25. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I dunno - haven't tried it - but if you lay the dipstick down against the base of the windscreen, and keep a kneeboard or cat* laying on top of the glareshield, you might not see it. Some model Warriors have a hinged cowl, and the dipstick could have been laid against that piano hinge.

    It's plausible.

    * -
     
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  26. Skyrys62

    Skyrys62 Pattern Altitude

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    Mr. Bengal
    The soon to be deaf cat.
     
  27. jsstevens

    jsstevens En-Route

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    I joined a new club this summer. I got checked out in the club 172 which involved a great deal of emphasis on checklist use. For pre-flight inspection I use a flow from the pilot door back around the whole aircraft backed up by a checklist following the same flow. The checklist included with the club plane goes the opposite direction. Pilot door around the left wing, around the front, etc. It felt really awkward but I figure it's their plane I'll do it their way. My first solo flight I was following their checklist and as I started the engine I looked up just in time to see the GATT jar go flying off the cowling in the slipstream as the engine caught. :blush: I had left it on the cowling as I got down from the strut after I poured the (clean) sample back in the tank. So I shut down, retrieved it from the shade hangar and continued.

    John
     
  28. \__[Ô]__/

    \__[Ô]__/ Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I'm surprised it made it to 500' before moving. I did this once and as soon as the engine started, it got blown of the cowl.

    Everyone in the plane saw it, including the plane's owner (not a pilot). I knew what happened immediately, but he saw what appeared to be a piece of his plane come flying off the engine. Had to explain that everything was fine, I'm just an idiot.
    Someone who was standing around watching (of course there were lots of witnesses that day :( ) retrieved it for us.
    Very embarrassing, but otherwise no harm done.
     
  29. dmspilot

    dmspilot En-Route

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    You should ask the club for a justification for doing things the opposite of the manufacturer's recommendation.
     
  30. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Wait.

    I just looked it up.

    A fuelhawk is a stick. A clear plastic hollow stick, but a stick nonetheless.

    And, cats don't belong on the glare shield.
     
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  31. jsstevens

    jsstevens En-Route

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    I talked it over with the instructor assigned to check me out and he said he didn't know why but the owner (of the plane) wants us to use this checklist. It's definitely awkward to me. I still check fuel first because if they need fuel I can get the truck moving while I do the rest of the checklist. But otherwise, "when in Rome". It's got all the same stuff on it, just a strange order.

    John
     
  32. Clark1961

    Clark1961 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    What if the cat and duck method for IFR is used? Where should the cat be?
     
  33. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    I wouldn't change my preflight procedures as PIC for something nobody could explain cogently.

    If that procedure messes you up at all, just stop playing that game. It's dumb and dangerous.
     
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  34. BigBadLou

    BigBadLou En-Route

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    Hey, it could have been worse.
    MUCH worse.
    It could have been the right Fuelhawk on cowl. *shrug*

    :D
     
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  35. Definitely agree.

    I have and will be certain to not make this same mistake again.

    No idea but I'm happy it fell when it did and not become FOD. The A/C was a 172 and it was lying in the space between the engine cowling and the windshield, which is a separate piece of metal slightly below the cowl. I can only speculate that it was slightly shielded there. I have heard of checklists sitting there during taxi. (Not me, whew)

    Cute- but it landed in a body of water a ways from and publicly accessible shoreline.

    I've posted this anon for a reason :/

    Read my clarification above where it was located and maybe it will make more sense.
     
  36. Lachlan

    Lachlan Pattern Altitude

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    In the original post you said it rolled down the cowl to the windshield. Now you're telling us it was already at the windshield? Come on, get your alternative facts straight!
     
  37. Skyrys62

    Skyrys62 Pattern Altitude

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    Right....now we don't know whether it rolled at all. It could have slid. :rolleyes:

    Either way, it still hurt like heck when and where it landed. Reminded me of tax day!
     
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  38. Lachlan

    Lachlan Pattern Altitude

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    You guys sure take it up the exit pipe a lot down there in KY. I wonder if that's why they named the lube after it?
     
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  39. Anymouse

    Anymouse En-Route

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    To many things that I've forgotten/fouled up to list here. Instead, I'm going to play with the new fuelhawk I found in my back yard. (Lot's of those things are getting found in various places all of a sudden!)
     
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  40. Zeldman

    Zeldman Final Approach

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    That can't be the one. I have the fuelhawk sticking through the windshield of my new Lamborghini....:eek: :lol::lol::lol:

    You don't buy a Lamborghini to drive, you buy one to park it in a place where the little people can see how important you are.....:rolleyes: :lol::lol::lol: