kelty

Still in Denial

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I think it's a bit harsh to throw Kelty on the alter.  I commend him for coming forward and telling his story for the rest of us to learn from.  We've already seen calibrated sight gauges, checks of the low fuel warning, we know about calibrated dip sticks (among other varieties).

We all should take something away from this other than a piece of him.  I'm glad he survived, shared his story and will fly again.

Clarence

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23 minutes ago, takair said:

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.

Yes it is SOP to run the boost pump for takeoff and landing in the J.

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For the R, S and M the fuel pump comes on automatically with WOT.  So the preparation step for the go around (that may need the FP) has been taken care of already... 

Adding this into the conversation for why we all may do this step...

 

Best regards.

-a-

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3 minutes ago, midlifeflyer said:

Yes it is SOP to run the boost pump for takeoff and landing in the J.

Ya, I always use the boost pump.  I turn the boost pump on on downwind about the same time I drop the gear.

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I'm looking at this thread and it really strikes me that pilots are a pretty tough crowd, and the internet emboldens some folks to say things they wouldn't say to someone face to face in a million years.

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Kelty great job! Glad you and your fiancé get to plan a wedding! And thank you for your service! 

Humiliation is humbling... and Kelty, you my friend are just that!  

My dad always told me growing up "son, there are no old BOLD  pilots." I come from a family of pilots. Grandfather Airforce, great Aunt WASP, great Uncle United captian, Dad PPL. And not one of them ever told me they were too good to make a mistake. What I've read lately on these crash threads from a "few" people makes me think there are "perfect" pilots out there... cough cough... sarcasm! 

So rather then chastised kelty for doing the one thing most of our instructors taught us to do first in an emergency situation "Fly the plane". 900' AGL at that! Congratulate him on surviving "which almost all of you have". 

Were suppose to learn in these situations, not judge. Because it could be any one of us in that position the next time it happens.  

Mike

 

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4 hours ago, Bravoman said:

I'm looking at this thread and it really strikes me that pilots are a pretty tough crowd, and the internet emboldens some folks to say things they wouldn't say to someone face to face in a million years.

that's been known since the first online discussion took place on CompuServe in the 1980s :P

truth is, unless we are idiots, those of us who have had emergencies tend to criticize ourselves far more than anyone else. The story is that Sully and Skiles spent many, many sleepless nights second-guessing their actions.

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10 hours ago, kelty said:

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 .

 

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. 

Kelty, without fuel pressure to the cylinders, the engine won’t start. Assuming it was vapor lock which is feasable with a hot engine and no fuel pressure, the only real solution is to wait for the fuel lines to cool down sufficiently for the gaseous fuel to condense back to liquid. In the air with a stopped engine you don't have the luxury of waiting. You did switch tanks. Get the pump on to get some nice cool avgas through the lines!

You and your fiancée are very lucky. Thank you for sharing and thank you for your service.

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23 minutes ago, PTK said:

Kelty, without fuel to the cylinders, the engine won’t start. Assuming it was vapor lock which is feasable with a hot engine and no fuel pressure, the only real solution is to wait for the fuel lines to cool down sufficiently for the gaseous fuel to condense back to liquid. In the air with a stopped engine you don't have the luxury of waiting. You did switch tanks. Get the pump on to get some nice cool avgas through the lines!

You and your fiancée are very lucky. Thank you for sharing and thank you for your service.

Again you have no clue what you are speaking of , he most certainly could do a flooded start procedure , maybe 15 seconds , but he didn't have enough time.....Kelty thanks for being humble enough to share this with us , I know at least a few of the people reading this will learn from your mistake ...... Also thanks for not making up excuses , Being at the top of the game... It shows us that even the best of the best are human.........    The "culture" of GA pilots is pretty sad in some cases........   Every time I get into a plane , I take the attitude that I am not a good pilot , what can I do so I don't screw it up........ It has served me well...... 

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Full marks to Kelty!!!!   I applaud Kelty for posting, being a man and describing honestly the events.  There is not a pilot here that has not made a mistake and some events/timing just make some mistakes more costly than others.   Ask any real pilot (not a 172 ppl that flies 20 hours a year on CAVU days with 5 mph winds) and they can give you a laundry list of things they could have done better in their flying career.  The difference between being a good pilot and great pilot is learning from your own mistakes and the mistakes of others, especially when preparing for/avoiding emergencies.  

Kelty posted in here to make all of us better pilots,  a purely selfless act.  Anyone that posts any criticism of him without thanking him and thinking/saying, "what a great guy for posting this for my benefit because this could happen to me in an emergency" is just a jerk (or insert worse insult).    

Respectfully- Jim  

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Wisdom is gained by life experience.  Life experience is a nice way of saying "I made a lot of mistakes in my life and have gained knowledge and insight from them".  Pilot shared his experience to help me and others gain life experience/wisdom without the pain.

Thank you.

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Kelty,

Can you estimate how much time you had between when the engine quit and your landing in the trees?   I'd guess about 1 minute.  One minute is a lot of time when you know what is happening.  It's almost no time when something unexpected happens and you have other distractions like power lines in your window.  If I were you, I would ignore all the arm chair quarterbacking that says you screwed up the restart.

That said, I do think there are lessons to learn here.  It's the importance of the GUMPS check.  It got skipped.  If the normal pre-landing check had been made, the boost pump would have been on and you would have been on the full tank.  And even if the tank ran dry,  when you switched tanks, the engine would have probably started up faster. --it still might not have been fast enough though.   Another lesson is tree top landings are survivable.   (My cousin had one of these, but broke an arm. --also a fuel issue)

Finally I am glad no one was hurt.  Thank you for sharing, its how the rest of us learn.

 

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42 minutes ago, chrisk said:

Kelty,

Can you estimate how much time you had between when the engine quit and your landing in the trees?   I'd guess about 1 minute.  One minute is a lot of time when you know what is happening.  It's almost no time when something unexpected happens and you have other distractions like power lines in your window.  If I were you, I would ignore all the arm chair quarterbacking that says you screwed up the restart.

That said, I do think there are lessons to learn here.  It's the importance of the GUMPS check.  It got skipped.  If the normal pre-landing check had been made, the boost pump would have been on and you would have been on the full tank.  And even if the tank ran dry,  when you switched tanks, the engine would have probably started up faster. --it still might not have been fast enough though.   Another lesson is tree top landings are survivable.   (My cousin had one of these, but broke an arm. --also a fuel issue)

Finally I am glad no one was hurt.  Thank you for sharing, its how the rest of us learn.

 

According to my POH you get about 2nm of glide from 1000AGL at best glide speed (~90 knots).  It takes about 80 seconds to travel 2nm at 90 knots.  It takes a little time to identify that you have a problem and then the priorities should be 1) fly the plane and 2) find the best field.  Not much time left for troubleshooting before all attention has to be dedicated to putting it down as safely as possible.  If you try to troubleshoot first you risk losing an opportunity to find a safe landing area.

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23 hours ago, PTK said:

I hope we can all walk and chew gum at the same time.

 

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2 hours ago, merrja said:

Full marks to Kelty!!!!   I applaud Kelty for posting, being a man and describing honestly the events.  There is not a pilot here that has not made a mistake and some events/timing just make some mistakes more costly than others.   Ask any real pilot (not a 172 ppl that flies 20 hours a year on CAVU days with 5 mph winds) and they can give you a laundry list of things they could have done better in their flying career.  The difference between being a good pilot and great pilot is learning from your own mistakes and the mistakes of others, especially when preparing for/avoiding emergencies.  

Kelty posted in here to make all of us better pilots,  a purely selfless act.  Anyone that posts any criticism of him without thanking him and thinking/saying, "what a great guy for posting this for my benefit because this could happen to me in an emergency" is just a jerk (or insert worse insult).    

Respectfully- Jim  

I keep a log of screw-ups I have made while flying. It is not a short list, and some of them have been bad enough they could have ended very badly. I go back and look at it on a routine basis. But I'm too smart to post it all here.

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Just now, DonMuncy said:

I keep a log of screw-ups I have made while flying. It is not a short list, and some of them have been bad enough they could have ended very badly. I go back and look at it on a routine basis. But I'm too smart to post it all here.

I don't need to log them, they are all right there in the front of my head. Like you, the worst could have ended badly, but thankfully that was over 30 years ago.

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My philosophy on flying is simple. "The airplane is trying to kill me. My job is to make sure that doesn't happen".




Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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I love our little forum. I love the fact that we are comfortable enough with each other to admit our mistakes, critique them (over and over and over again, for 5 pages), and still feel a modicum of mutual respect. 

I also love the fact that you, Kelty, fly an F18 and in your spare time fly a Mooney. Similar fuel burn, right? 

Personally, low fuel scares the shit out of me. I ran a tank dry to see what that sounded/felt like and I am not a fan. Not. A. Fan. 

 

 

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15 minutes ago, Brian Scranton said:

I love our little forum. I love the fact that we are comfortable enough with each other to admit our mistakes, critique them (over and over and over again, for 5 pages), and still feel a modicum of mutual respect. 

I also love the fact that you, Kelty, fly an F18 and in your spare time fly a Mooney. Similar fuel burn, right? 

Personally, low fuel scares the shit out of me. I ran a tank dry to see what that sounded/felt like and I am not a fan. Not. A. Fan. 

 

 

Personally i think you are wrong, he flies a mooney and in his spare time flies a F18. ;)

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This is a good lesson for me. I'm tied down at kluk and the gas price last I looked was $6.70/gallon and thirty air miles away it's 3.70/gallon. I know my tanks are low on fuel and I hate paying so much for gas at my airport so I might previously figured what I need plus a small but adequate buffer to get to the low priced fuel. After Kelty's post I think I will revisit my thoughts too add more than enough fuel plus 20 gallons. I'll bite the bullet and camp on the side of "I want to live a little longer". 

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I've intentionally run tanks empty in both my C and former E to check fuel indication or stretch range (not intending to start a debate on if that's a good idea or not).  My experience is that the injected engine will generally stop with no warning, while the C typically sputters and also displays more warning in the form of a fuel pressure drop prior to stopping.

Nice to know!


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5 hours ago, Alan Fox said:

 Every time I get into a plane , I take the attitude that I am not a good pilot , what can I do so I don't screw it up........ It has served me well...... 

Alan, I have the same philosophy about flying, and it serves me well also! :)

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I've taken to always running a tank dry in my K 252 anytime I'm on a long cross country and needing to manage fuel. I don't want to ever rely on, or switch to a tank with less then 10 gal in it. So typically if I'm down to 20 gal per side, I'll run one side dry and then I know exactly how much fuel I have and where it is. The K will stop immediately without so much as a cough. I'll just switch tanks and then run the low boost for 4 or 5 seconds until it fires up again.  Of course I'd not do this down low, but above 5K ft I'm comfortable to do this anywhere.

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5 minutes ago, gsxrpilot said:

I've taken to always running a tank dry in my K 252 anytime I'm on a long cross country and needing to manage fuel. I don't want to ever rely on, or switch to a tank with less then 10 gal in it. So typically if I'm down to 20 gal per side, I'll run one side dry and then I know exactly how much fuel I have and where it is. The K will stop immediately without so much as a cough. I'll just switch tanks and then run the low boost for 4 or 5 seconds until it fires up again.  Of course I'd not do this down low, but above 5K ft I'm comfortable to do this anywhere.

I'm just curious what is the highest altitude you have run a tank dry.  I start to get nervous above 12,000, as I recall some restart procedures in the manual indicate re-attempting a restart after descending below a certain altitude (I think it was 12,000). 

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