tony

piper crash in atlanta

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Some early word is the plane was misfueled. That would explain it all. No sure the rest of the details.

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Some early word is the plane was misfueled. That would explain it all. No sure the rest of the details.

 

 

Is there a quick way to determine jet fuel has been added to your avgas? Seriously, power loss on take off scares me more than anything. I've dealt with my share (more than my share, actually) of engine problems, but always from cruise altitude.

 

PT6 doesn't care if you fuel it with AvGas, does it? It's only a problem with piston engines?

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I was told that if you dip a strip of white paper into the tank and pull it back out that avgas will quickly evaporate, while Jet A will remain oily.

If this is a case of mis fuelling, it's the second I know of this year alone.

Clarence

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Just think of the added distractions, two more passengers and the dog. Not saying that should lead to this, but I can see how the routine could get off track.

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It occurred to me today that perhaps the aircraft was over gross or loaded too far aft of cg. I was not aware of the mis fueling possibility but it is hard to believe that the line guys at pdk would mistake a toga for some type of turbine. This occurred to me because I know from experience that it is important to properly distribute the load and a heavy and tail loaded toga flies like an altogether different plane. I am curious how much fuel was on board because if it were full that would probably leave about 600 or so pounds of payload in a retract toga, and if it was a later model, particularly a TC, as little as 400 lbs. This possibility occurred to me because I hadn't heard anyone suggest the engine wasn't making power. There were 4 people and a dog on board and I'm assuming luggage. It was relatively warm. Lots of variables and unknowns which make it hard to know if weight or loading played a role, and I am assuming some of the missing elements of the equation will be made known as time progresses. I for one will certainly be following this one closely.

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Some early word is the plane was misfueled. That would explain it all. No sure the rest of the details.

If the speculation scenario it may have been misfueled with Jet A ends up being the case, would he not have noticed something before takeoff?

Detonation during runup? CHT's going through the roof? Something odd and not right?

Certainly at takeoff power on the runway? no? Some reason to abort the takeoff?

This is scary stuff. And with the high rate of turn over with line personnel these days we have to be vigilant. It seems there's a new kid every other month fueling and moving planes around. I make it a point to watch and see what they put in my tanks. Something so seemingly harmless and trivial as refueling can ruin your day!

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I don't know anything factual and haven't read any more than what's in this forum, but my first thought was a fuel situation as well. Hard to explain why a perfectly functioning airplane would all of a sudden have such an engine problem. I haven't read anything about where it was fueled, but most likely at Epps, because Atlantic and Signature AvGas prices are way too pricey. Also, Friday wasn't exceptionally hot by Atlanta standards at all.

 

I went out for a fun flight yesterday with my old PPL instructor..she's a captain for XO Jets now and we hadn't flown in years. We talked about the accident a little bit during pre-flight, but once we got into departure mode the normal routine took care of itself, didn't give the accident another thought. Flew right over the site and it didn't even register.  As always, we shake it off and move on.

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I don't allow anyone to fuel my airplane unless I'm there. I lost a former customer in Spokane this year when his Mirage was mis fuelled with Jet A. In the past we lost a Navajo due to mis fuelling, luckily no one was killed.

In the past most manufactureres issued S/B's calling for removal of "Turbo" from engine cowls etc. Cirrus has yet to do this.

Clarence

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The one report above mentions 'trailing black smoke on takeoff'. In most cases with misfueled planes there is often plenty of 100LL in the line, gascolator and so to do some taxi and runup, then take off. Look at the accidents in NM with the air ambulance plane and Felts, Field near Spokane. They were both misfueled but made it just off the runway a bit. Ground fuel usage is rather low, not so starting with the takeoff roll.

There have been misfuel accidents where the pilot themselves put the wrong fuel in from the self serve pump, again getting back to distractions during the preflight routine. I also agree it's most astonishing if this plane was given jet fuel, much more obvious a 100LL burner.

There have been instances where the wrong fuel is in the truck, that's a sneaky one.I know a pilot who took on fuel from a ground tank that was heavily contaminated with water, years ago. He noticed engine problems during the runup, went back and shut down. I'm always more suspect at a field with lighter GA traffic. That fuel in the tank likely has been there a while.

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Was the Toga,,  a Torbo?

Ive heard of "Torbos" getting Jet fueled...  Cause it says it on the cowl...

Think it was in Flying mag,,  "I Learned about flying from that"..

 

I asked for a fueling for a 150 once while I went to eat...

I saw out the window as the lineman filled the plane next to me.

I would have checked anyway,,  but I already knew I didnt get any gas,  they had to do it again!

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Is there a quick way to determine jet fuel has been added to your avgas? Seriously, power loss on take off scares me more than anything. I've dealt with my share (more than my share, actually) of engine problems, but always from cruise altitude.

 

PT6 doesn't care if you fuel it with AvGas, does it? It's only a problem with piston engines?

It depends on the dilution of jet fuel into AVGAS. A 90% of jet fuel into AVGAS will have a quicker effect than a 10%. One way of differentiating Jet fuel from AVGAS is by the smell and evaporation rate on the ground. AVGAS evaporates pretty quick while jet fuel takes longer. While water does not evaporate. Best way to tell is by dropping the fuel drained on the ground and looking for residues. 100% AVGAS leaves no residues.

José

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At the risk of pirating the thread, it occurred to me to wonder how often CFIs kill themselves in crashes. We often hear (rightfully) that we should train with a CFI, but do CFIs practice what they preach to the extent their likelihood of crashing is substantially less than us ordinary mortals. Would getting our CFI certificate automatically increase our chances a tremendous amount. It would be interesting to see some statistics.

I does increase ones' exposure if you use your CFI certificate. You simply have more variables to go wrong for you. One thing that happens it a pilot flying with a CFI also has a tendency to subliminally think "Everything will be ok, the CFI is sitting in the genius seat and can fix everything". As far as practicing what we preach, I sure try to. The preaching comes from time tested methodologies and should better your chances. Opening a door before impact for me was a life saver. Could stick and rudder skills prevented a crash into rough terrain when an engine let go at about 150'?  No way. Would an engine analyzer prevent it? It didn't.

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I flew into an airport near League City TX (KSPX i think they called it - not there anymore) once about 14 years ago in a Piper Malibu Mirage. I was going to be there over the weekend and asked them to top it off. They called my cell phone an hours later to say that they were draining my tanks - that the new line guy had topped it off with Jet A. I'm glas they caught it.

 

I am 99% sure I would have noticed it when I sumped the tanks during pre-flight. But ever since then I have been very diligent in making sure I wasn't misfueled.

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In the past most manufactureres issued S/B's calling for removal of "Turbo" from engine cowls etc. Cirrus has yet to do this.

 

I find it hard to believe someone would look at the wording on the cowling to decide which type of fuel but not that placards right in front of the tank caps themselves.

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l personnel on board called a medical dispatcher to notify them the plane was going back to the Las Cruces after smoke was detected from the right engine. From the NM air ambulance crash report.

.

I was told by a pilot at KPDK that morning that the line guys said it was trailing black smoke on take off.

 ]

I do find it hard to believe it was misfueled, only a few pieces of the puzzle known so far. There are some stark similarities to other accidents where the plane had some Jet A in the tanks. Yes, all sorted out in due time.

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I find it hard to believe someone would look at the wording on the cowling to decide which type of fuel but not that placards right in front of the tank caps themselves.

Well all I can say is people do the weirdest things. In the Navajo I mentioned the line guy could not fit the square jet fuel nozzle into the round opening. So being smarter than the rest of us, he proceeded to change to the nozzle to a spare round one they had laying around. Now he had little trouble refuelling the plane with the the wrong fuel. Had the crew stuck around for the fuelling this accident would not have happened.

Can I believe that someone could mis fuel based on "Turbo" being on the cowl, yes I can! Just like I believe that pilots raise the gear on roll out, and maintainers mess things up as well. Humans make mistakes everyday.

Clarence

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I hate to add to the speculation pile, but what about good old fashioned engine failure not related to fuel?  Little can be learned from the pilot's comms with tower, but I thought it possible that something in the motor just went bad at a really unfortunate time.  Hopefully we'll be able to learn something from the investigation.

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On topic, but perhaps not pertinent to this tragedy, but anyone know how long it should take for a fair amount of heavier Jet A to settle & show up in the pre-flight main tank fuel sample? Should be quick, right? Kerosine smell?

Trust...but verify.

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If you topped off on Jet fuel instead of AVGAS, wouldn't you notice the yellow color and diesel smell? I saw a view of the prop in the fire. It looked like it was making some power when it hit the ground. 

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On topic, but perhaps not pertinent to this tragedy, but anyone know how long it should take for a fair amount of heavier Jet A to settle & show up in the pre-flight main tank fuel sample? Should be quick, right? Kerosine smell?

Trust...but verify.

There's a thread here somewhere, with photos and tests of different ratios Jet A:100LL. It's mostly not a visible difference except at really high Jet Aa concentrations, and it doesn't settle out, the two fuels mix together. Apparently the blue dye in our fuel colors the Jet A pretty well, too. Smell, feel and residue appear to be the only way to tell the difference.

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If you topped off on Jet fuel instead of AVGAS, wouldn't you notice the yellow color and diesel smell? I saw a view of the prop in the fire. It looked like it was making some power when it hit the ground. 

JetA is clear or straw colored. When mixed with Blue AvGas, its going to just be a lighter shade of blue.

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I put gas into my diesel truck once. I made it about 3 city blocks before it pinged like crazy and shut down. I believe there was a specific gravity sensor in the fuel filter that shut it down and saved the engine. I went back to the pump to see how this could have happened. I was confused because the diesel select button was over the gas handle. The diesel pump handle was properly colored but under the the gas buttons. While they where properly marked is was not intuitive to me in my rush to fill my tank. Of course the gas nozzle will fit into a diesel but a diesel nozzle will not fit into a gas. I'm glad it happened in my truck and not my plane.

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If you topped off on Jet fuel instead of AVGAS, wouldn't you notice the yellow color and diesel smell? I saw a view of the prop in the fire. It looked like it was making some power when it hit the ground.

Those blades are curled back which indicated windmilling but not power production. Blade tips bend forward when the prop is under power
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I'm used to seeing two blade props with one bent forward and one bent back when planes go in making power. What would be the result on a 3-blade? Or is the large amount of bend on these two remaining blades indicative of windmilling?

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