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Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by Peter Ha, Jan 7, 2020.
'Cuse me? Babysitting? Not taking the kids to excellent BBQ is absolutely unthinkable!
Huh? This journey is a perfect example of why a turbine powered pressurized cabin can be so useful. Or it’s the guys first cross country after getting his license and buying a 150. Sheesh.
Good point, but we are almost two hours from Bonham and the kids have to get fed, bathed and in bed then taken to school tomorrow morning. One of them is destined to be a pilot even though she’s only seven. She takes to it like a duck to water. She would really enjoy seeing Mr. Ha and his plane, but not this time. We will be headed home mid day tomorrow, but I don’t live near Bonham any more and by the time I can get there, Peter will have good flying weather and be gone.
You are one salty mf'er aren't you? Lol. It is a perfect example of why an instrument rating is so useful in a small airplane. Weather that stops a vfr pilot in his tracks probably wouldn't be an issue with the rating. It's a great example whether you have 75 hours or 7,500 hours, if you want to travel in an airplane an IFR ticket is a good thing to have.
Yeah, but you gotta start somewhere. Give Peter some time. He’ll get there.
Peter, sounds like you are doing a great job, keep making the safe decisions!
Peter, aren’t there some empty spots in the hail shed next to the big hangar? If so, weather is coming. Tie down under there for the night. No one will care as long as it’s empty.
Because nobody in a turbine has ever run out of gas...? LOL.
Yeah, but probably someone has run out of fuel.
Probably both. Not sure which one ticks off the Captain more though.
True, but if you don’t take off with legal reserves from Point A to B your still in violation and it is pretty tough to argue you used more fuel than expected on a 20 mile trip.
Run in to the wrong inspector on this you will be a unhappy guy.
if he wasn't out in Banjopluck, AR I'd say he could have just filed the ASRS form on his phone after liftoff, but.. I doubt there is usable cell data out that way.
Good looking bird! Congrats!
I hope Peter will excuse the thread drift: I know that the IFR rule says "No person may operate" instead of the "No person may begin a flight" in the VFR rule, but does that makes it illegal to use any of the reserve fuel in the event of worse-than-forecast winds? If not, what action, if any, would the pilot of an IFR flight have to take that the pilot of a VFR flight would not (other than having a 45-minute reserve instead of 30 minutes)?
Is that because you would be concerned about attracting FAA attention to the situation?
What about declaring minimum fuel? This sounds like exactly the type of situation that such a declaration is designed for.
AFAIC the law for reserve fuel is a bare minimum. You should carry more than a half hour reserve. The farther the trip, the more reserve should be carried. Half hour reserve for a quick hop is probably adequate. Forget the legal minimum and carry plenty of fuel and plan longer trips for more reserve.
The law on things like this should be considered not enough. Another example is landings for carrying passengers. 3 in the last 90 days for a high time pilot with plenty of tome in type, but for a fresh private pilot, hauling passengers with 3 landings 89 days ago wouldn’t be a great idea.
use common sense on these things and leave yourself some room leaning on the side of caution. The FAS laws are a minimum guideline. End of lecture.
I agree. Many years ago, there was one VFR long cross-country on which I ended up landing with exactly 30 minutes of fuel, and I didn't like the way that felt. Since then, I have planned for an hour.
You did good! Recognized the problem and promptly handled it safely. Dont beat yourself up. Take this experience and apply to future flights.
Looks like the OP will be spending more on hotels than fuel. When the weather clears up he will be looking at howling winds. Going to be trying to get to CA myself on Saturday in a Comanche, but likely to try crossing the Rock Pile in southern Colorado if the more direct route has too much weather. Crap shoot whether we make it or not.
Did you seriously just turn this into a thread about legal IFR Alternates?! LOL.
Bigger cojones than me! Bravo Zulu sir!!
Yeah, because the consequences of contributing to thread drift are so severe!
Sounds similar to me and the way I set my personal minimums.
I also increase the reserve if there are additional "threats" such as unfamiliar airplane/avionics or chance of weather deteriorating faster than expected.
Depends on the topic. Airplane on a treadmill gives me a headache. LOL.
Yup. Here is the The route profile from where he is to KELP using WeatherSpork for a Sunday departure (Friday and Saturday departure not recommended for low time VFR Pilot die to MVFR all over N.Texas and the freezing level is also low altitude).
He is going to be encountering some stiff headwinds.
Hopefully he is planning the appropriate amount of fuel stops too. It's is a long flight to El Paso.
I ended up driving to Phoenix for Christmas rather than flying, due to forecast 40-knot headwinds, which also looked conducive to mountain wave in the vicinity of Tehachapi Pass in the Palmdale (PMD) area.
We fly aerial photography missions. We get stuck sometimes, but it's usually for weather or mechanical reasons. We ALWAYS land with at least an hour reserve. For starters, we've had at least three occasions where the planned fuel stop did not have the promised fuel. The latest event where that happened was at Lockhart, TX this week, but thankfully there are numerous close options to get fuel nearby. On some of our routes, you might need to fly 30 minutes to get to the next fuel stop. Been there, done that, hate it.
And with headwinds you might have to fly an hour to the next fuel stop in a 150. Keep lots of fuel in it Peter.
Does Dave Grohl live there?
There was a recent thread, I can’t remember what the subject was, of a pilot that was in a similar situation that set throttle for minimum fuel consumption even though headwinds to conserve dwindling fuel. It increased flight time, and seems like it was a good alternative. Was very interesting to me, as in a situation like that I could see the idea of max rpm being enticing, but maybe a better plan to decrease?
This isn’t by any means a criticism of the OP, just good information maybe. Glad that you made it to the alternate!
I suppose there are several scenarios to consider, but in general the most efficient is to go fast into a headwind, and slow with a tailwind.
Yeah, it’s looking as if Peter might be in Bonham until Sunday. He will start getting neutral or even a little tail wind then. Today will be a bad day all day long.
Take your time Peter. Don’t get overcome with a case of get-there-itis. You’re showing good judgment by staying on the ground right now.
well, that was my initial instinctive idea, but I wasn’t factoring in drag, etc. and found the thread I was referring to. Specially the second page of the thread where I asked about that, and got some great information in response, here:
Maybe when you mention “most efficient” you mean something else? But I gleaned from this that longest range even in headwind can be calculated and slower and leaner.
At the very least it is an option I think is good to be aware of as it might help.
Fuel planning is a factor of time, not distance. This is why a watch, a timer (like you see on any Garmin transponder) or a basic sweep clock is a major piece of safety equipment. If you've been flying for 3 hours on 4.5 hours of fuel, you need to think about whether you are going to make your destination. There are lots of airports with gas in the Lower 48 and there's just no way you should ever have an issue with fuel.
A small amount of mogas one time in a 150 isn't going to damage anything. It might even help clean out the engine, ethanol or no.
As he goes West from the DFW area, fuel stops will become farther apart. Keep plenty on board.
Best power setting for range will give best range regardless of wind condition. There are tables in the 150 POH that will let you determine that. I fully expect that best range will be at 2450 RPM. Lean it from full rich until it feels rough or you see a slight RPM loss and then richen it a little, maybe one turn in. My O200A likes to run 2550, but I think best range will be less than that.
Range calculations can be easily done by consulting POH power charts and incorporating the expected headwind component, but typically range can be increased by throttling back. But the only way to know the impact of changing power settings on range is to do the calculation. The controlling factor is that power required for level flight increases as the cube of the velocity.
I think he just fights there.
That link I posted I think points to strategies for time and distance doesn’t it?
The possibility of using less fuel and still making it to the same destination but conserving fuel, not really extending distance, just using less fuel to get there
I'm looking at the thread from the perspective of the OP. He's on an adventure of a lifetime that isn't about dispatch rate. The focus of the thread is him getting his cool new plane (which is not particularly well suited for flying across country) home. I understand the point you're making, but it seems misplaced on this thread. He has a very specific mission he's trying to complete with the tools he already has. Part of the challenge of this adventure is the feat of accomplishing it safely without the IR.
Lots of props to the OP for taking this on, enjoy and learn a lot (looks like you already have).
Looks to get really bad this evening.
General rule is to increase speed into a headwind, reduce speed with a tailwind. What you are doing is maximizing the miles over the ground per gallon (mpg) to compensate for wind effects. There are graphs (power curve, drag curve, etc.) and equations that talk about this but they can give you a headache. See FAA PHAK Chapter 11 Aircraft Performance.
Best way might be to use ForeFlight or a spreadsheet and work up a few scenarios with forecast winds aloft of 10, 20, and 30 knots of headwind for example. Then start with max range zero wind speed from your charts for the first iteration, add 5 knots of cruise speed, calculate again, and so on. You may find your mpg doesn't change a whole lot but it will change. Then try a different altitude based on the forecast. Finally you can decide what rule of thumb you want to use for headwind/tailwind effects. Folks with more FF experience can give you better info. I think the expensive version will pick an optimum altitude for you by presenting options.
Remember there are two things you are playing with: Altitude and Airspeed. Wind gets typically stronger at altitude. You will want to try different combinations in pre-flight planning to see what works best for you. This will help you gain operational knowledge and confidence in your new airplane. Good luck.