And no wonder so many people crash......
Almost exactly the same place back in July of this year!! And the same reason.....
What the heck???
The news yahoos keep saying that the most recent was a Cessna 180, but the reg info for N-2554Z says it is a 1963 C-185 with an Injected 470...
It is registered to a guy in Anchorage.
Early planes had pickups in back of BOTH tanks only. So if you cross the water high and than do prolonged descent to get under Anchorage airspace you can run out of fuel to carb/fuel injectors. Take home message is know what fuel you have and how it gets to the engine. Just because fuel selector says both does not mean crap if fuel is in front of tank and pickup is in the back.
I can see that being a problem only if the pilot has never flown that or any other similar aircraft. I tend to experiment up high whenever I by or fly a new plane. I also always have an hour or more fuel reserve.
I am a fabric guy so the only reason I know about metal stuff is hanger flying. Think about all the guys you have trained that have no clue about ground effect, flaps, airspeed, rudder, and now you want them to understand how fuel flows in the aircraft? The wings are above the engine so what is the problem!!! There are a lot of smart and good pilots that can fly much better than myself but they can't tell me how/why the prop turns. We have to teach them one at a time!!! I will always be a student and buy a lot of beer for my teachers. I could be wrong but if he could taxi after he landed he was not out of fuel.
I mean seriously, where are those the standards where someone can pass an oral, practical and then maintain flight reviews?
z987K my response was to Float Pilot, From his posts I know he has had some students that needed help in more than one area.
One of the problems is even some of the instructors do not know why they do things. Example would be they where trained to leave carb heat on until the plane has landed even on dirt runways. There is a reason you would do that in certain aircraft, but that was lost along the way and it became law the carb heat must be on until touchdown in all aircraft. Not all instructors teach this but some do. Others are afraid of wheel landings and tell there students they don't need to do it. I had a friend recently that was training in a Cessna 150 his instructor told him not to use flaps for landing or takeoff. I don't know why he was told that, but he flew that way for a year. Someone pointed out he should try flaps one day and low and behold he really liked his plane after that.
The other issue is pilots that have flown for a while might just forget about some little difference in there aircraft. Stuff happens, I don't have kids and am semiretired so I can go to the runway and hanger fly with the boys. We all swap stories on how we screwed up and try to figure out why it happened. Learning to fly an airplane can be done in a few hours. Learning to do it well can take a lifetime.
I know how/why it happens, I was just pointing out that some people don't think about all the factors involved in getting fuel to the motor. It would be good if everyone would do as Float Pilot recommends and spend time just learning the plane up high for a while. I tend to do a lot of that with my cub, but I think the majority of pilots just go from point A to point B and leave it at that. Some IA's don't want the pilots around when they work on aircraft because all the questions slow them down. Mine does not mind he knows it will slow things down but he wants to teach everyone about there plane. It really helps having someone with the proper knowledge teach you about your plane.
Just back from another instructional flight. I stopped the flight because we were down to my minimums. We still had about 6-7 gallons in each tank when I dipped them after landing.
It is true that more than a few of my clients from out of state have marginal stick and rudder skills. Most of those folks are RENTERS. They have NEVER seen an aircraft log book and basically have flown C-152s, C-172s or Diamonds from point A to point B. I think a couple of them had never fueled a plane until I made them crawl up on the wings with a jerry jug.
However the last few running out of fuel stories ( C-185, C-182 and PA-18 ) seem to have been piloted by owner/operators. I wonder if high fuel prices are pushing some pilots to stretch their fuel back to Anchorage for a less expensive fill-up.???
As pointed out to me by a local brother pilot. " The only cheap thing in aviation is the pilots."
Good point. I understand trying to save a few bucks on fuel, but you better have your math right when you do it. I tend to fill up both tanks when I am in the bush or outside of Anchorage. I can afford a few extra bucks and I want to support all the small places that carry fuel so they will be there on my next trip back. Lots of working pilots go light on fuel so they can carry more cargo but they usually have a can or two stashed somewhere. On a recent trip above the brooks I just got extra gas from my 185 buddy with big tank, kind of like having a tanker follow you around.
Oh and you can get really good at flying an airplane in a short amount of time. You have to do it a lot and often. 8 flight hours a day 5 days a week and it only takes about a month before you can close your eyes and touch every rivet let alone switch. Fly an ILS with no hands and one eye because one is holding your coffee, the other breakfast and the eye is closed because you're so **** tired. It's a perishable skill though, so if you don't keep it up it fades.
All very good points! Not to mention don't trust a Cessna fuel gauge! I really like a fuel flow and totalizer! Z987k is right.... Very perishable skills.
Fuel flow meter is an eye opener. Be it in a boat or plane it is amazing what a few RPM can do to your fuel burn. I have one in my 2 stroke powered Avid and 50 RPM cam be almost a gallon an hour more fuel burn with less than 1 MPH speed gain. In my boat a couple hundred RPM will give me about 3 MPH speed gain but it burns 8 GPH more. Unless you spend a lot of time in your bird actually doing test flights measuring fuel burn at various weights rpm/MP settings you are only guessing at the fuel burn. Its pretty nice to look at the gauge, look at the GPS to give you a ground seed and how many hours to your destination and take the guess work out of it.
Great point Avid.
A couple hundred rpm can leave you short of your destination. The FF gauge and some sort of engine analyzer are becoming standard additions... SO much useful data with very little expense (relative).
Seems to me that its the same old same old lack of pre flight planning, nothing really new! You fall into bad habits, some of it is due to costs- Gas is still cheaper than wrecking an airplane or the cost of having and FAA action on your certificate! It easier in the lower 48 more options, in Alaska you don't aways have fuel were you are going- my first employer gave me a bit of advise and it kept me out of trouble, don't leave the airport with less than full fuel tanks! Never got into a low fuel issue after a while the airplane told me how much it would burn and I could fudge it a little but not much! Given the choice I would always take the fuel and make a second trip if need be! Running out of fuel is never a good thing and its preventable!