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US fuel management video



Administrator
Shoreham EGKA

Saw that yesterday. It’s a good one, showing the basics which some people probably forget. I can’t imagine really how I’d leave for a 5 minute flight with fuel for 3 minutes, but obviously some people do.

LSZH, LSZF

Vladimir wrote:

I can’t imagine really how I’d leave for a 5 minute flight with fuel for 3 minutes, but obviously some people do.

Why would it be so strange? Actually, in my plane filling the main tanks gives you about 3 hours endurance. I normally fill them before a flight, even if it’s a short one. Gives me a piece of mind and performance penalty is negligible. Also, this is the lowest visually verifiable fuel level. Zlin fuel gauges are usually spot on and there are calibrated dipsticks on the fuel cap, but better to be sure.

(Disregard the above, I read 3 hours instead of 3 minutes.)

Last Edited by JnsV at 21 Apr 10:29
Hajdúszoboszló LHHO

@JnsV: 3 minutes, not 3 hours. There is an example in the movie at 3:19 that a pilot took off for a 5 minute flight and he did not have fuel to reach his destination. Let alone have reserve or alternate fuel.

LSZH, LSZF

I wonder is there any correlation between running out of fuel and high wing vs low wing?

Visually checking fuel level on a low wing aircraft is trivial to do a part of the walk around. For a high wing aircraft there is more involved…getting out ladders, and climbing on top, then repeating on the other side.

I can see how for a 5 minute flight, you might be tempted to skip that hassle if you’d reason to believe that there was plenty of fuel there. For a low wing, it’s a trivial part of a walk around. When your by the wing just open the cap and look in.

EIWT Weston

dublinpilot wrote:

I can see how for a 5 minute flight, you might be tempted to skip that hassle if you’d reason to believe that there was plenty of fuel there.

I think that the main reason for doing that kind of idiocy is greed. Most of the accidents and low-fuel incidents of that kind I am aware of were caused by people who tried to save money by fueling where it is cheapest. This goes all the way to commercial aviation and airlines… You plan to fly from A to B and onward to C. C has the cheapest fuel, so the plane is fueled a A with the minimum necessary for the round trip. Now there was some headwind between A and B and some delay on the ground before continuing to C and suddenly the plan – that no one re-evaluated during the trip – does not work any longer. Not that it has not happened to me… but never to the point of reaching dry tanks. However pretty close on some occasions…

Last Edited by what_next at 21 Apr 11:13
EDDS - Stuttgart

I think visually checking the fuel on most high winged aircraft is easier. On a low wing you very often have dihedral and fuel caps at the outboard end. After 1/4 fuel has burned off the tank appears dry when looking through the filler opening. Conversely on my high wing plane I can stand on the tire and stick the tanks all the way to empty… I know exactly how much is on board before every flight.

I very often fill the tanks on my low wing plane before flight… which reduces climb performance but eliminates the concern with visual inspection. I also added a fuel flow totalizer.

Last Edited by Silvaire at 21 Apr 14:04

dublinpilot wrote:

I can see how for a 5 minute flight, you might be tempted to skip that hassle if you’d reason to believe that there was plenty of fuel there.

If the flight really is that short and you don’t have enough fuel to complete it, you don’t have to climb anywhere – the fuel gauges will read empty…..

Also, the previous flight has already been a big gamble and you’ve been lucky to have survived it.

LSZH, LSZF

The video reminded me of something… I started my PPL in a PA38 which routinely produced this

due to perished filler cap seals which the company (a UK CAA charter AOC holder) would not replace because they would cost 20 quid each.

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Shoreham EGKA
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