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An unusual twin accident - fuel exhaustion?

The only thing he cold have done would have been to pull the power and least crash it in a controlled and survivable way …

I let my MEP expire after 10 years, knowing i could never get good enough for it to fly solo without having a twin.

A twin will have two fuel flow transducers – one for each engine.

A really perfect one for this kind of aircraft must have three transducers per engine: One for the flow from the tank to the engine, one for the excess fuel that goes back into the tank and one that measures the fuel accidentally vented overboard…

EDDS - Stuttgart

The alternative, and is many ways better solution, it to actually measure the amount of fuel in the tanks accurately. Any totaliser is only as good as the starting point, and errors with that have caused many an incident over the years. Good accurate tank contents gauges tell you exactly what you need to know.

Last Edited by Neil at 15 Nov 19:00
Darley Moor, Gamston (UK)

Would it not have been simpler to just fill it up? A man, and his partner, perished, in an incident that started, allegedly, by trying to save a couple of quid. The operation of any twin, in fact any aeroplane, in Europe costs money. It is not as though the fuel is going to drain out when you land, it will remain, unless someone steals it, in your tanks.

Ok, it might have cost slightly more, but it would appear that he utilized the aircraft for long European trips. A large headwind, can cost just as much in “wasted fuel” economy.

This was a needless accident, he was reasonably experienced, conscientious, in a capable aeroplane, and yet, it ended in a disaster. A truly great shame……

Fly safe. I want this thing to land l...
EGPF Glasgow

Would it not have been simpler to just fill it up?

Yes. But still, this tank arragement is a sure recipe for accidents. We had a fatal crash of a C310 on a training flight close by (at EDRY-Speyer) some ten years ago because the crew had selected aux. tanks for takeoff. With any significant pitch angle – and a 310 with just two POB can easily achieve that – there is a high risk of exposing the tank drain and feeding the engine with air instead of fuel, which is what happened there. Another incident with a C421B was caused by a guy (one of my own instructors) who flew from our homebase to northern Sweden and selected his tanks in the wrong order. Both engines stopped on the runway after landing and he had to be towed to the parking. He had fuelled the plane with one hour of extra fuel, but that got dispersed somewhere over the North Sea.
The pilot of this accident had plenty of fuel, but unfortunately in the wrong tanks. Why he lost control during asymmetric flights is the real mystery here.

EDDS - Stuttgart

The fuel system of the C-310 is notorious, AFAIK, and that didn’t help I guess.

But, yes, whiy anybody flying such an airplane will try to save some little money this way .. I will NEVER understand it.

Many years ago a Cessna Twin with almost empty tanks was flown to the Swedish Island of Bornholm in the Baltic Sea, because fuel was cheap there. If I remember correctly they ran out of fuel before they reached the island and all (4?) drowned/froze to death. I think it was winter …

Now, how stupid is that?

But, yes, whiy anybody flying such an airplane will try to save some little money this way .. I will NEVER understand it.

There are many planes on the bottom of the sea around channel islands. Just because the fuel is a bit cheaper.
If someone takes off from CVT to Jersey with only a quarter tank in a Baron, just to max out the amount to be loaded there is a recipe for disaster. It ended in the water.

I’m not a saint:
Many years ago I run a tank dry and that plane had only one tank. I made it off the runway, before the engine cut out. I was young and stupid. This will never happen again. It taught me a lesson.

Last Edited by mdoerr at 15 Nov 21:25
EGBE - Coventry

You mean you ran the tank dry on takeoff?? :-)

We had a flight instructor at our field who was an ATP and one day he took a new student for his first flight in the TB10 and they ran out of fuel on the first downwind (after 4 miles of flight) …

These stills were all over the UK press at the time

It shows how badly wrong things can go if you get too slow…

With any significant pitch angle – and a 310 with just two POB can easily achieve that – there is a high risk of exposing the tank drain and feeding the engine with air instead of fuel,

How the hell can that get certified? Was it ever certified under Part 23?

A really perfect one for this kind of aircraft must have three transducers per engine: One for the flow from the tank to the engine, one for the excess fuel that goes back into the tank and one that measures the fuel accidentally vented overboard…

I can see the last one is tongue in cheek, but how does the tank return get handled in totalisers on such engines? Lyco engines (the ones I know about) don’t have a return to the tank. They use a sort of constant pressure fuel pump, and the fuel servo “accepts” the right amount of fuel. I think Contis have a tank return (a constant volume pump, e.g. a gear pump, would need that) and I guess on such engines the flow transducer needs to be installed just before the fuel servo.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

It’s always hard to look at pictures like that. The last 1/10 of a second of two lives …

My multiengine instructor, who was a European Vice Champion in Aerobatics hammered it into my head the whole week when i did the Seneca Rating: “In case of an engine failure on approach – put it down…wherever, but do not try to go around… pull the power, use full flaps and put it down in the field … or crash it on the runway …but don’t go around on one engine!”

Last Edited by at 15 Nov 21:45
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