The RV community has many smoke systems installed. Below is an exceprt from Air Shows Magazine. Having made a dead stick landing in my RV during an air show with a smoke system I could not shut off, this work is looking me square in the eye. Feel free to banter your ideas here. We are looking for the best solution. The ACE heading this effort is Georgias own Buck Roetman.
Recent accidents, like the March crash that inflicted serious burn
injuries on Amanda Franklin, have strengthened resolve among
ICAS members to create an easily-retrofitted automatic smoke oil
pump shut-off for piston-powered airplanes.
“The oil is a lightweight, paraffin-based mineral oil that is vaporized
in an environment with little oxygen,” said aerobatic performer
Buck Roetman. He says smoke oil is most dangerous when
an engine fails. The already hot exhaust continues to vaporize
smoke oil during a crash.
“It’s an environment that is very conducive to flash fires,” said
Roetman. “The electric pump continues to pump, and it just feeds
Roetman is spearheading an ICAS effort to design an automatic
shut-off switch for smoke pumps. When the oil pressure in an airplane’s
engine drops, like during an engine failure, an automatic
switch will sense the reduced oil pressure and shut off a relay that
runs to the smoke pump.
“It should be easy to install,” said Roetman, adding that the retrofit
will work on any airplane with an electric smoke pump. “I don’t
see it being more than a couple hours [of work] and it will cost
Roetman knows the real dangers of smoke oil. His engine failed
with the smoke on during a flat spin. He hit the starter after the
smoke pump ran for just a few seconds. “The resulting flash fire
shrunk the tapes on the bottom of the airplane and I could feel
heat on the back of my legs through a nomex suit,” said Roetman.
“If we don’t do this cheaply and simply, it won’t get done,” said
Roetman. “This is about saving our friends.”