TWinter

GA Accidents-Fuel

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I certainly don't feel like re reading this so not even sure your product is available for our Mooney's and one with bladders to boot. If your looking for a volunteer for beta testing mine would be available of course me being the CB I am and having to spend all of my available budget on things need fixing it would have to be on your dime. 

Im out.

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Summary of a PP's understanding of what he has read around here....

1) The combination of decent FL and FF gauges affords the pilot the ability to run out of fuel with accuracy.  :)

2) Adding digital bits and pieces allows the same pilot to run out of fuel with precision.  

3) Using a high wing fuel system allows the pilot to somehow run out of fuel without anyone noticing.

 

The challenges seem to be...

1) Plan A: It takes being aware of the situation prior to departure.  Enough fuel + proper reserve.

Required: calibrated and operational FL indicators, or a calibrated stick proving to the pilot he has the fuel he thinks he is starting with.

Supported by: Fuel delivered quantity by the pump.

 

2) Plan B: It takes being aware of the situation on the fly.  Fuel used or fuel remaining by the totalizer or FL gauges.

Required: FF and totalizer with accuracy in the one gallon range.

Supported by: FL in the one gallon range.  

 

3) Plan C: It takes being notified of the situation before running out of physical options.

Required: 

- operational annunciator panel that has had it's test button pressed to arm the low fuel level circuit.

- know how much fuel is left when the light goes on.  Some LBs had been set for 3 gallons usable per side. 15 minutes to enact the landing procedure is not very much unless you are over an airport.

- in VFR conditions the lights on the anunciator panel may not be very effective without actively including them in your scan.

- FL or fuel remaining (FF)connected to the GPS with an active flight plan is a great way to be given a heads up if the fuel is not enough to get to the final destination.

 

4) Plan D: An accurate fuel use plan compared to actual fuel used is the heads-up that is needed to keep from accidentally running out of fuel.  It all starts with knowing how much fuel you are starting with.

- know the fuel used in start-up, taxi, T/O, Climb, cruise, descent, landing.  Climb and cruise are the most significant.  Descent can be included in cruise with minimal accuracy losses on the safe side.

- switch tanks according to a plan.  Do you switch at the TOC, followed by every hour after that?  Some people change each 10 gallons or so...  Since climbing in a NA plane uses a non-consistent FF when leaning using the Taget EGT / blue box method.  I burn the lesser known amount of fuel from one tank.  I usually start from the left tank for consistency.

- some people like to intentionally run a tank dry.  This leaves the last usable fuel on one side. Without a real good FL gauge, the feeling of unease becomes stronger after one tank is empty.  The ability to adjust rate of descent into a short field is impossible after the second tank runs dry.

 

5) Plan E: Knowing what the legal reserve looks like on the FL indicators. 

- know what 5, 10, 15 gallons looks like on the FL indicators.  Does it even show up?  Does it become unreadable in flight?

 

6) Plan F: Verify there are no fuel leaks or fuel use surprises.  Fuel use surprise may be caused by simply not remembering to set the mixture properly.

- leak after the FF meter.  Check to see if FF matches the various flight segments T/O and climb FF, and cruise FF (ROP or LOP)

- leak before the FF meter. Check to see if FL matches expectations each time the valve is switched.

-Checking fuel used from two independent sources would be cool!  CIES vs FT101...  Hmmmmmmmm 

 

7) Plan G: Commercial wide scale adoption Of CIES digital floats would be aided by word of mouth of three groups...  Bonal has offered his plane as a test bed and has shown himself as an excellent member of MS.

- Short body Mooneys A, B, C, D, E...  (Bonal fits in this group)

- Mid length body Mooneys F, G, J, K... (A group of 10 is requested for float arm development / study related to tank design)

- Long Body Mooneys L, M, R, S...

 

let me know What I missed.  There has to be plenty more...

Best regards,

-a-

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Short of a fuel leak there is no reason to ever run out of fuel. An o360 would have to be running like crap if it were to use more than a tiny increase in fuel burn since fuel air mixture must be consistent, something the pilot would notice. My simple O360 burns a very consistent amount of fuel. For example a 7500 foot climb and an hour and fourty minute total time burned 18 gallons exactly as planned. Our 3 hour leg we go one hour back and forth always starting on the last tank used since I know it was flowing. Left right left then at my normal three hour point we were 20 minutes to home and I still had a certain one plus hour remaining on the right. I hold 27 per side and have never averaged more than 10 gph total including a long climb. Honestly if you really wanted a cheap safety fuel feature mount an automotive style backup camera under the nose facing back so you could monitor for fuel leaks as you fly.

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Your logic path not really worky

"Reinforcement of checking starting fuel value (use of a stick)  and planning are the two tools of preventing this incident from occurring "

Not Reinforcement.  This is the primary way to know if you will run out of fuel.  Gauges are secondary.  I fly by sound of the engine as much as by gauges.

 

"Aircraft with a digital fuel quantity systems have to date - suffered zero fuel starvation / exhaustion events.  "

What percentage of the GA fleet has digital gauges?  Very small so not statistically relevant statement.  And I do recall several Commercial planes with "good" fuel gauges that had to do a dead stick landing due to no fuel.  Wikapedia is your friend here

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fuel_starvation

 

"It may be, but not proven at this time,  that quality fuel indication may be the method that allows good pilots better tools and will provide a timely warning assist those careless pilots an opportunity to correct the preflight mistakes they may have made. Most new aircraft delivered have digital fuel quantity systems, and soon nearly all new aircraft will have a digital fuel quantity systems. If the current trend of no fuel starvation with digital fuel indication continues - fuel related accidents will go down. "

Fuel gauges are secondary teaching people to rely on the stick and knowing the burn and knowing how long they are in the air is the key to not having the fan quit.

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1 hour ago, MyNameIsNobody said:

Cheated DEATH again Friday and today.

I hope you didn't use a cellulose fuel gauge.

Clarence

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23 hours ago, bonal said:

Bob, very good points but the thing is I know my gauges are lying and any device can malfunction if you have a fuel loss and your true fully accurate gauge also fails your still in the same boat. Unfortunately there is no way to guarantee a perfect solution. I would love to have an accurate system but in my case fuel gauge is like number 100 on the list and I'm on number ?

Bonal,

I understand.  The Cies floats are not cheap.  If you prefer to spend your money elsewhere, I understand that too.  However, you don't need to try and justify your decision, I for one will accept that you and many others place accurate fuel gauges a bit further down the upgrade list than I do.

Bob

 

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M20Doc:     I used the stuff for a window on a Stellarator Plasma Physics Device in college 

I wholly believe we achieve the same result at a far far lower cost.

----------------------------------------------------------------

I spent the day discussing fuel quantity in GA with the FAA Small AIrcraft Directorate and the Seattle Aircraft Certification Office 

If you believe my opinion on fuel quantity accuracy to be - "Out there"  

You should have been a fly on the window here.  

 

 

Screen Shot 2016-07-13 at 2.32.50 PM.png

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I had committed to giving these guys a try with their new senders since I was having a new JPI installed. We played a bunch of computer tag, but never actually talked with them other than PM exchanges here on MS. Thought it was a done deal and anxious to give report, he said they were built. We had serious communication breakdowns. I'd suggest phone-calls. Better luck to the next prospective Mooniac. I guess I'll use my existing ones. Just thought I'd give a PIREP and slight bit of frustration.

 

-Tom

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47 minutes ago, TWinter said:

I had committed to giving these guys a try with their new senders since I was having a new JPI installed. We played a bunch of computer tag, but never actually talked with them other than PM exchanges here on MS. Thought it was a done deal and anxious to give report, he said they were built. We had serious communication breakdowns. I'd suggest phone-calls. Better luck to the next prospective Mooniac. I guess I'll use my existing ones. Just thought I'd give a PIREP and slight bit of frustration.

 

-Tom

Also willing to give these senders a shot since I've already installed a digital fuel gauge but still had the resistor senders. Sent them a message July 6th, no reply. No reply = No sale. Business must be good when you can turn away customers. :o

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To be fair, fuellevel did respond to my post above with his contact info and website address. Hopefully Tom has heard from him also.

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14 hours ago, 1524J said:

To be fair, fuellevel did respond to my post above with his contact info and website address. Hopefully Tom has heard from him also.

After our last exchange of PMs I won't hold my breath..

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