kelty

Still in Denial

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 Just out of curiosity, the photos make it look like that is some type of grove. Is that what it is? And if so, what type of trees? 

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Here is an example of my wing gauge discrepancy after calibration. The biggest shocker was the stand pipes in the tanks. 

IMG_0777.JPG

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25 minutes ago, kmyfm20s said:

Here is an example of my wing gauge discrepancy after calibration. The biggest shocker was the stand pipes in the tanks. 

IMG_0777.JPG

 I am not sure I understand what you mean there. What do you mean by the discrepancy? It looks like the sharpie figures are pretty much the same as what is reflected on the gauge. 

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18 minutes ago, Bravoman said:

 I am not sure I understand what you mean there. What do you mean by the discrepancy? It looks like the sharpie figures are pretty much the same as what is reflected on the gauge. 

In this instance those dots would have kept the plane out of the trees and would allowed it to make it to the runway. Combined both sides it was about 7.5 gallons, a significant part of a reseverve on a fully loaded 2 hour flight or in this pilots case a 30 minute flight. When I take my kids on a ski trip and need max payload I want exact fuel numbers! My K-factor, MVP-50, dipstick and sight gauges all match and agree with each other. When fuel exhaustion is the number 1 preventable crash statistic those dots are important to me.

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1 hour ago, kmyfm20s said:

In this instance those dots would have kept the plane out of the trees and would allowed it to make it to the runway. Combined both sides it was about 7.5 gallons, a significant part of a reseverve on a fully loaded 2 hour flight or in this pilots case a 30 minute flight. When I take my kids on a ski trip and need max payload I want exact fuel numbers! My K-factor, MVP-50, dipstick and sight gauges all match and agree with each other. When fuel exhaustion is the number 1 preventable crash statistic those dots are important to me.

I see what you mean now. Didn't see the dots when I looked at it earlier.

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4 minutes ago, thinwing said:

I am impressed...how did you get those dots in flight?

The new girl friend like flying more than the ex! Just gave her a sharpie:)

IMG_0121.JPG

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Sadly and coincidentally, I believe that the photo of the biplane with wing walker was taken moments before a fatal accident.

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Sadly and coincidentally, I believe that the photo of the biplane with wing walker was taken moments before a fatal accident.


If I am not mistaken that was a really sad one. They had additional photos of the wingwalker throughout the crash. Really sad..


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Glad our OP and fiancé got out safely.  Unfortunately, we often learn about the weaknesses of our planes and ourselves by experiencing them. Sharing them helps others avoid the same traps.  I have unintentionally run tanks dry twice.  In both cases, the gauges indicated more than I had....since corrected.  In both cases, there was some fuel remaining, but the engine still didn't like it.  In the more memorable case, I was low and at high power.  I believe that high power causes some cavitation.....picture flushing toilet or draining tub.  Unless experienced previously or read about, one might not know that....especially if applying power to clear an obstacle.  On my older E model, with bladders, I have 10 gallons of fuel when I can just see some fuel at the edge of the tank.  I normally won't take off with that little, but what if my airport doesn't have fuel when I land?  Theoretically that is two hours worth....but not really.  As others pointed out, we have unusable and I have learned that the unusable varies with power setting, pitch attitude, turn coordination and error.  I think we are at risk with anything less than about 6 gallons....and in most cases we can't check that level on the ground.  

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2 minutes ago, Marauder said:

 


If I am not mistaken that was a really sad one. They had additional photos of the wingwalker throughout the crash. Really sad..


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Okay, intended funny response by me gone really bad with uneducated image selection!

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1 minute ago, kmyfm20s said:

Okay, intended funny response by me gone really bad with uneducated image selection!

I didn't think you meant anything negative by it.  It was just one of those accidents that really stuck in my mind because the follow up photos were graphic.

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8 hours ago, Jsavage3 said:

Kelty, I am thankful that no one was hurt.  You do realize how lucky you are there wasn't a fire, right?  But, your bad math affects us all...another irreplaceable Mooney destroyed, more "bad press" about those Mooney people and more excuses for our insurance rates to keep going up.

You dipped the tanks?  10 gallons each??  I'm thinking your dip method is not accurate...obviously.  Even if you did have the 20 gallons of fuel, by the time you subtract the 3-4 that's unusable minus the 5 gallon for VFR day, that leaves you with 10-12 gallons useable, best case...basically 5-6 gallons per side if your fuel is balanced. So, your first stop is 30 miles away...15 minutes away is probably a reasonable estimate at 10 GPH...probably burned 4-5 gallons getting there by the time you add the start/taxi/takeoff fuel.  Your low fuel light should certainly have been on, if your bird was so equipped, prior to the cough.  And even if not, there still is no excuse for not selecting the fullest tank for every landing just like the checklist directs us to do.  Bottom line, you suffered from a condition most of us know as get-there-it-is and you allowed yourself to make the bad decision to go anyway, knowing full well that you were very low on fuel.

There are two things that are unforgivable in aviation -- running out of fuel and landing gear up -- at least if one seeks to join the professional aviator occupation, that is.  Walk into a flying job interview and relay one's "running out of fuel or gear-up landing" experience and you will see just how short an interview can be.  The Feds don't smile on out-of-fuel scenarios either.

I guess I'm a bit paranoid about a few things, but certainly gear down for landing and having enough fuel would be at the top of my list.  I check my gear down three times in the pattern (downwind, base & final) and then I have my right-seater check too (if I have one) as a final precaution.  When my gauges read 1/4 fuel remaining, that's my "it's time to land" mnemonic.

You elected to push on through and I hope we can all learn from your mistake.  Your beautiful Mooney paid the ultimate price; fortunately you and your fiancé did not.

I'm curious as to what his plan was if he reached his destination but the runway suddenly closed for some reason and he couldn't land...never mind...I don't want to know!

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33 minutes ago, PTK said:

I'm curious as to what his plan was if he reached his destination but the runway suddenly closed for some reason and he couldn't land...never mind...I don't want to know!

He could probably see on his sectional that there is another airport 6nm away. 

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I learned that lesson once wI out any consequence. Had plenty enough reserves, but it struck me that the fuel pump was inop at my intended refueling point. It was the CB in me rather than anything else that was driving the decision. However it got me thinking about what to do in that situation if I actually was needing gas.


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52 minutes ago, mooniac15u said:

He could probably see on his sectional that there is another airport 6nm away. 

Of course! 

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10 hours ago, yvesg said:

I am trying to brain wash myself into the following action if the engine would ever quit on me: Check the fuel pressure gauge. If it shows low, turn on fuel pump and switch tanks right away. In the case of the OP, there was not much time to do this due to his altitude.

Before my recent trip to Florida I decided to review my fuel management procedure to ensure I am doing the right thing.

For all the stops I did that long trip I always landed with at least 1 hour reserve and some flights were over 4 hours long.

Yves

Start at the floor, then work your way across the panel right to left.  (Tanks, pressure, mixture, boost pump) much easier to remember and worked for me when my fan quit

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Thanks to the OP for starting this thread...

And to KMYMF to bringing something to my attention...

I have no sharpie dots on my wing gauges.

Something to look into.  Thanks for the idea.

Best regards,

-a-

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Ok just getting home from work, let me try to answer some of there:

11 hours ago, Hyett6420 said:

And there for the grace of god goes everyone.

Out of interest did the low fuel light notcome on?  

No, 2 owners ago put bladders in and after that the low fuel lights didnt work.  The gages are dodgy enough as they are.

11 hours ago, PTK said:

Did you think to immediately switch tanks and switch on fuel pump as soon as engine coughed? I wonder why your first action was to open throttle. Mixture I can see but why throttle? You probably made it worse by sucking out every last drop of fuel including vapors!

  1. Low fuel- switch to fullest tank
  2. Low fuel pressure- fuel pump on

If no improvement, pump off and Mixture Full rich followed by mags. 

 

 

 

Honestly that wasnt my first though. First though was something was wrong with the engine, then don't hit the power lines, then OH SHIT the trees are close.  

11 hours ago, flight2000 said:

 

Kelty, great job getting it down and sharing the experience with us.  With 10 gallons in the tank and not being able to go 30 miles, wonder if you had an unknown tank leak somewhere that robbed more fuel than you were burning through the engine.  That should have been plenty of gas to make that short of a trip.  

Ya thats what I thought too.  Some of the reason why I didnt first think it was a fuel issue.

10 hours ago, Marauder said:

I'm curious if the FAA asked you to do a 709 check ride. 

The FAA guys here in Fresno are very helpful and did not require a check ride.  I had recently completed my annual Navy NATOPS check and they called that good enough.

10 hours ago, N6758N said:

Running out of fuel is definitely unforgivable, however it sounds like Kelty did switch tanks and should have been able to perform a restart, maybe vapor lock prevented that? I for one have a hard time passing judgement on a Naval Aviator that flies an F-18, pretty sure he is the definition of a professional. Thanks for your service Kelty and I hope we can all learn something from this. Glad you and your fiance are okay. 

Thank you

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10 hours ago, MyNameIsNobody said:

My understanding was that pilot stated he forgot to switch tanks.  He then hit boost pump at hiccup and clear power lines prior to switching tanks.  No joy on re-start and offfield landing with fuel in left tank.  

 

I did switch tanks, just probably 10-15 seconds later than needed to happen.  I never tried the boost pump and.  I tried 3 restarts and all were unsuccessful .

 

10 hours ago, N6758N said:

 

I give him credit for even having the balls to post this on here. 

If one of you guys doesn't make the same mistake I did, then all the ridicule is worth it.  That's the whole rationale behind safety reporting. 

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Kelty

Would you normally run boost pump on take-off and landing and just didn't this time?  It is normal on the E, but can't recall on the J.  Not sure it would make a difference, but perhaps one less thing to do in a case like this.

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6 hours ago, Bravoman said:

 Just out of curiosity, the photos make it look like that is some type of grove. Is that what it is? And if so, what type of trees? 

It is an orchard of almond trees, about 300 acres.  So my insurance also got to buy some new trees.

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