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  #1  
Old 01-21-2022, 06:54 AM
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Sam Buchanan Sam Buchanan is offline
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Default N54CT Prelim Report

Location: Hurricane, UT Accident Number: WPR22LA046
Date & Time: November 22, 2021, 11:40 Local Registration: N54CT
Aircraft: Vans RV10 Injuries: 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On November 22, 2021, about 1140 mountain standard time, an experimental amateur-built RV-10 airplane, N54CT, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near the Grassy Meadows/Sky Ranch Airport, Hurricane, Utah. The pilot sustained minor injuries. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

The pilot reported that prior to takeoff, he conducted an uneventful engine runup with the fuel selector set to the left fuel tank. Following completion of the engine runup, he switched to the right fuel tank and back taxied on runway 17 for takeoff. The pilot departed runway 17 with the intention of conducting a downwind departure to the north. While on the downwind leg, he reduced power and decreased his rate of climb due to rising engine operating temperatures. Shortly after, the engine experienced a complete loss of engine power. He advanced the propeller control to full rpm, switched the fuel selector valve to the left fuel tank, and turned on the fuel boost pump. Unable to restore engine power, he conducted a 360į turn to lose altitude prior to landing. However, after turning onto final for runway 17, he realized he did not have enough altitude to make it to the runway and initiated a forced landing to an open field. Subsequently, the airplane landed hard and impacted terrain before it came to rest in a nose low attitude.

Post accident examination of the airplane by the pilot revealed that the fuselage and left wing were structurally damaged. The wreckage was recovered to a secure location for further examination.
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Last edited by Sam Buchanan : 01-21-2022 at 07:55 AM.
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  #2  
Old 01-22-2022, 04:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Buchanan View Post

The pilot reported that prior to takeoff, he conducted an uneventful engine runup with the fuel selector set to the left fuel tank. Following completion of the engine runup, he switched to the right fuel tank and back taxied on runway 17 for takeoff.
Whether this was a factor or not, this is a bad practice. I was taught to start up and taxi to the run-up area on one tank, then switch and do the run-up and take-off on the other. That should ensure that you have verified good fuel flow from both tanks prior to departure.
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  #3  
Old 01-22-2022, 05:01 PM
BobTurner BobTurner is offline
 
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A couple of thoughts (but no speculation on this accident):
1. Prop control full aft (min RPM) may extend the glide, depending on the governor set up. But not full iin, for sure.
2. Many pilots do a power off circling approach to landing only once every 2 years - during their biennial Flight Review. In my experience the majority of this group vastly underestimate how much altitude they will lose in a 360, no power.
3. You tend to do what you practice. CFI's (including me) and examiners and the PTS/ACS tend to emphasize "land in the first 500'". So when an actual engine out happens, pilots try to set it down just beyond the threshold, even when there's 5000' available. This mind-set needs to be changed.
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  #4  
Old 01-22-2022, 06:16 PM
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40-years ago while learning to fly as a student pilot, I was taught to use a checklist. The checklist had one check the fuel selector three times that it was on the fullest tank before engine start and it was not moved from that position for engine start, taxi, run up, and takeoff.

Been doing it the same way for forty years.
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  #5  
Old 01-22-2022, 06:32 PM
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Iím of the mindset to run the tank youíll take off with starting at Taxi. Iíll start and warm up on the tank I donít plan to take off on. Then prior to taxi Iíll switch to ďfullestĒ tank and taxi, run up and take off on it. This way I donít ensure I have fuel flow from both but also confirm for a longer period that the tank off tank is all good.

My way but not the only way. YMMV
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  #6  
Old 01-22-2022, 07:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jneves View Post
Iím of the mindset to run the tank youíll take off with starting at Taxi. Iíll start and warm up on the tank I donít plan to take off on. Then prior to taxi Iíll switch to ďfullestĒ tank and taxi, run up and take off on it. This way I donít ensure I have fuel flow from both but also confirm for a longer period that the tank off tank is all good.

My way but not the only way. YMMV
I think that does show fuel flow on both...maybe not for as long as if you taxied on the starting tank, but still good IMO, if your taxi doesn't start super-quickly after start-up (i.e., more than, say, a half a minute or so, I'd guess).

I guess what I was saying was I would never switch to the other tank just prior to departure...I want a good long period of time to know that there's no obstruction or failure to flow fuel before I get airborne. The other reason for checking both tanks on the ground is obvious...I don't want to find out in the air that one of them isn't flowing.

Anyway, good discussions...
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Old 01-22-2022, 07:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RV6_flyer View Post
40-years ago while learning to fly as a student pilot, I was taught to use a checklist. The checklist had one check the fuel selector three times that it was on the fullest tank before engine start and it was not moved from that position for engine start, taxi, run up, and takeoff.

Been doing it the same way for forty years.
How do you know the other tank isn't blocked? Granted, it's a very remote possibility, but I'd hate to learn that while airborne.
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Old 01-22-2022, 08:45 PM
spatsch spatsch is offline
 
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I was just taught the opposite. Never switch fuel tanks until a safe altitude is reached which gives you enough time to switch back. If you just switch before take off the fuel from the other tank might not even have reached the engine before airborne and contamination might just show up slightly after you are off the ground. So if you switch you would have to do a run up long enough to ensure that fuel from the other tank has reached the engine which might be longer then you think.

Oliver
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  #9  
Old 01-22-2022, 09:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RV7A Flyer View Post
I think that does show fuel flow on both...maybe not for as long as if you taxied on the starting tank, but still good IMO, if your taxi doesn't start super-quickly after start-up (i.e., more than, say, a half a minute or so, I'd guess).

I guess what I was saying was I would never switch to the other tank just prior to departure...I want a good long period of time to know that there's no obstruction or failure to flow fuel before I get airborne. The other reason for checking both tanks on the ground is obvious...I don't want to find out in the air that one of them isn't flowing.

Anyway, good discussions...
I fully agree with your statement, thatís why I switch before taxi and let her roll. We have slightly different processes but the same end goal. Depart on the tank you have running on for a little while and make no changes prior to departure.
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  #10  
Old 01-23-2022, 08:47 AM
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Iím with Gary & Oliver. Start on fuller tank and leave it their til airborne. Change tank when hi enough and near an airport.
Iím near the departure end of the runway. In warm weather I doubt I use enough gas to drain the line from the tank if switched prior to takeoff.
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