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CAP Talk  |  Operations  |  Aviation & Flying Activities  |  Topic: LETTERS: “We have to go back to the elementary practice of physically checking t
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OldGuy
Seasoned Member

Posts: 482
Unit: TBKS

« on: October 23, 2018, 09:44:09 PM »

https://www.news-journalonline.com/opinion/20181022/letters-we-have-to-go-back-to-elementary-practice-of-physically-checking-fuel-levels

Excerpt:

"The pilot, who was not injured, indicated that he had run out of gas."
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PHall
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 6,314

« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2018, 10:52:59 PM »

Yeah, isn't checking the fuel levels when you check the fuel caps part of EVERY preflight? ::)
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Live2Learn
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 686

« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2018, 02:40:21 AM »

Yeah, isn't checking the fuel levels when you check the fuel caps part of EVERY preflight? ::)

Pardon me if I just say...  "DUH!!"  Dip 'em before every takeoff.  FWIW, fuel totalizers have been known to be off. 
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TheSkyHornet
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,529

« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2018, 09:19:11 AM »

The only time you should rely on your fuel gauge is when it's half a tick up from zero.
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Live2Learn
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 686

« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2018, 11:32:37 AM »

The only time you should rely on your fuel gauge is when it's half a tick up from zero.

By then it's too late.  Be ready for an off airport landing.
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EMT-83
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,886

« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2018, 07:21:41 PM »

Yeah, isn't checking the fuel levels when you check the fuel caps part of EVERY preflight? ::)

That implies that a pre-flight is actually performed. I've seen pilots jump in and take off, just like they were taking the family truckster out for a Sunday drive.
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PHall
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 6,314

« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2018, 07:30:31 PM »

Yeah, isn't checking the fuel levels when you check the fuel caps part of EVERY preflight? ::)

That implies that a pre-flight is actually performed. I've seen pilots jump in and take off, just like they were taking the family truckster out for a Sunday drive.

Okay, one quick question. Was this the first flight of the day or had they just flown the same airplane within the last hour or so?
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EMT-83
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,886

« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2018, 11:31:43 AM »

No way of knowing, but it sure is strange to see someone jump into an airplane and taxi off without glancing at a checklist.
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Live2Learn
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 686

« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2018, 05:50:30 PM »

Yeah, isn't checking the fuel levels when you check the fuel caps part of EVERY preflight? ::)

That implies that a pre-flight is actually performed. I've seen pilots jump in and take off, just like they were taking the family truckster out for a Sunday drive.

Okay, one quick question. Was this the first flight of the day or had they just flown the same airplane within the last hour or so?

FWIW, some sort of 'pre-flight' is necessary before every flight... no matter if it's 15 minutes or 15 hours since the last shut down.  Ditto for a walk-around, runups, control checks, and any checklist items. 

Does anyone recall the 2014 Gulfstream IV crash when the crew attempted to take off from Bedford, Massachusetts with the control lock in place?  http://www.rapp.org/archives/2015/12/normalization-of-deviance/ Or the Piaggio P108 that lost one of its elevators on the initial takeoff from San Diego to pick up passengers on 28 Jul 2012?  Piaggio crew flew the initial relocation sortie,  then flew a revenue sortie before the missing part was discovered? https://app.ntsb.gov/pdfgenerator/ReportGeneratorFile.ashx?EventID=20120730X73433&AKey=1&RType=Final&IType=FA  In these, and many other accidents and incidents failure to complete a competent pre-flight was prominent in the error chain.
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PHall
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 6,314

« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2018, 07:49:54 PM »

Yeah, isn't checking the fuel levels when you check the fuel caps part of EVERY preflight? ::)

That implies that a pre-flight is actually performed. I've seen pilots jump in and take off, just like they were taking the family truckster out for a Sunday drive.

Okay, one quick question. Was this the first flight of the day or had they just flown the same airplane within the last hour or so?

FWIW, some sort of 'pre-flight' is necessary before every flight... no matter if it's 15 minutes or 15 hours since the last shut down.  Ditto for a walk-around, runups, control checks, and any checklist items. 

Does anyone recall the 2014 Gulfstream IV crash when the crew attempted to take off from Bedford, Massachusetts with the control lock in place?  http://www.rapp.org/archives/2015/12/normalization-of-deviance/ Or the Piaggio P108 that lost one of its elevators on the initial takeoff from San Diego to pick up passengers on 28 Jul 2012?  Piaggio crew flew the initial relocation sortie,  then flew a revenue sortie before the missing part was discovered? https://app.ntsb.gov/pdfgenerator/ReportGeneratorFile.ashx?EventID=20120730X73433&AKey=1&RType=Final&IType=FA  In these, and many other accidents and incidents failure to complete a competent pre-flight was prominent in the error chain.

Yet the Air Force does not seem to agree with you.

T.O. 1C-5A-1, Pg 2A-10 THRU-FLIGHT OPERATIONS.
When the airplane is flown more then once on the same day and no maintenance or servicing is required, it is unnecessary for the Preflight Checks to be preformed after the first flight of the day by the same or replacement aircrew. When maintenance or servicing is required, only those items or systems affected need be checked prior to the next flight.

From what I have observed during more then a few flights on Southwest, Alaska and United. The airlines seem to observe the same rule too.

But that doesn't stop you from taking a quick walk around the plane to check for leaks and drips and to make sure all of the major pieces are still there before you get in.
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Live2Learn
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 686

« Reply #10 on: October 26, 2018, 10:16:19 AM »

FWIW, perhaps the USAF should rethink its stance on pre-flights after each shut down?  From my read of just the little information in the civilian media it sure looks like a more rigorous look at the safety & airwortiness of their line aircraft is warranted.  Ditto for SWA, UAL, and AA.  I've experienced maintenance delays, flight cancellations, and aircraft swaps while ticketed on all of these airlines within the past 12 months.  Just because these complex machines they fly worked as designed for the first flight does not guarantee equal performance for the second, third, or fourth sortie... and it might be worth considering that the USAF AND airline mission, maintenance, and crew qualification operational environment is of MUCH higher quality & rigor than CAP's largely volunteer organization can muster as we fly our failure prone, piston engine powered, single pilot operations.  Even a cursory look at eDiscrepancies shows that the maintenance demans of our mostly Cessna SEL fleet is high for every Wing.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2018, 10:55:59 AM by Live2Learn » Logged
hfriday
Recruit

Posts: 24
Unit: NER-VT-034

« Reply #11 on: October 26, 2018, 10:25:42 AM »

Army was also a follower of the "through-flight" model, at least when I was in. Walk around, climb up top and back down, see if there are any bird strikes or anything else obvious, then get back in and clear the APU.

That was, to some extent, the nature of operations in which you would fly sometimes several times a day to complete a mission. Given the many systems in, say, our UH-60s, if you did a full-checklist preflight before every launch, you'd only be able to get in the air 2-3 times a day, not the 4-8 that we routinely had to fly.
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