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  #1  
Old 12-02-2013, 08:09 AM
jim plaster jim plaster is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: N.C.
Posts: 144
Default Sumping your fuel system

We had an interesting situation at our local airport happen last week and feel its worthy of noting here...especially since another airplane was severely damaged. We had a gentleman fly up from Florida for an overnight stay at his parents house here in nc. He purchased fuel and took his mom flying and had an un eventful flight. Worthy of noting ...I purchased fuel right after he did. Next morning it was 22 degrees f. And he had planned on flying home to Florida. He preflighted (?). ...which supposedly included sumping the tanks....he also had to jump start due to a dead battery. He warmed up ....did his run up and taxied out. Once he cleared the departure end of the runway things went south FAST! It started running rough....surging as well... Lucky for him he had enough intermittent power to maintain altitude / airspeed to make the dreaded 180 back to the runway. Touching down fast and overrunning the end of the runway...all three gear collapsed on the airplane,luckily no one was hurt. Investigating further we found the gascolator on the firewall inaccessible with the cowl on the aircraft...( if you're going to mount one...at least make it accessable on your preflight). Had this been done during the build,and drained prior to the flight ,we wouldn't have drained nearly 8 1/2 ounces of water from it post flight. Has anyone ever had water freeze in their gascolator or sump? If this could happen we could have a false negative on a preflight water inspection while sumping. This could have contributed to what happened here....all the while it began melting on the warmup ...finally making it to the engine on takeoff... It wasn't an RV and was a injected lycoming....details haven't been released yet so I'll leave that to the Feds.....I later sumped my ship,since I hadn't flown since buying fuel and found no water at all.....be careful folks....check that sump!
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  #2  
Old 12-02-2013, 09:48 AM
aerhed aerhed is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Big Sandy, WY
Posts: 2,567
Default

I have pulled a few airplanes in for inspection during the winter and found gascolators frozen nearly solid with a thin layer of gas on top of the ice. I ask if they've been dumping and I get the blank look.
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  #3  
Old 12-02-2013, 09:50 AM
aerhed aerhed is offline
 
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Location: Big Sandy, WY
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Error, sumping, not dumping. Spell check ducks.
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  #4  
Old 12-02-2013, 01:17 PM
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flyboy1963 flyboy1963 is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Lake Country, B.C. Canada
Posts: 2,434
Default any variations on this sump?

I recall 'sumping' one bird by pulling a knob in the cabin. You were supposed to then go out and look at what splashed on the ground, to see if there were any little blobs of water puddled with the fuel. ( yeah, doesn't work on grass, or sand, or dirt, or windy days, or......etc.)
..never did like that thing, but wonder..... is such an item common? .......perhaps on FI installations ......or one manufacturer.
(was it on a Tomahawk?....or Robin? something I only flew a couple times anyway)
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  #5  
Old 12-02-2013, 02:26 PM
Doug Rohrer Doug Rohrer is offline
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Bowling Green, KY
Posts: 350
Default How to Sump gascolator?

The only way I can get anything to come out of the gascolator sump on my -9A is when the electric fuel pump is running. Is that normal?
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  #6  
Old 12-02-2013, 02:30 PM
krw5927 krw5927 is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Wichita, KS
Posts: 1,987
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Rohrer View Post
The only way I can get anything to come out of the gascolator sump on my -9A is when the electric fuel pump is running. Is that normal?
Completely normal.
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  #7  
Old 12-02-2013, 04:44 PM
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turbo turbo is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Stuart, FL /Hartford, CT/Virgin Gorda,BVI
Posts: 3,177
Default

Comes out with quite a stream too.
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RV6-A 5,300+ hrs, R-44 1,600 hrs, Helicycle traded for 33 FFR coupe, 300 young eagles flown
Stuart, Fl / East Hampton,Ct / Virgin Gorda, BVI - villa sold.
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  #8  
Old 12-02-2013, 06:15 PM
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sirlegin sirlegin is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Keller, Texas
Posts: 324
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Rohrer View Post
The only way I can get anything to come out of the gascolator sump on my -9A is when the electric fuel pump is running. Is that normal?
So normal we removed the gascolator entirely
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  #9  
Old 12-02-2013, 06:28 PM
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DanH DanH is online now
 
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Location: 08A
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aerhed View Post
Error, sumping, not dumping. Spell check ducks.
That's funny...I don't care you you are
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RV-8 SS
Barrett IO-390
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  #10  
Old 12-02-2013, 07:00 PM
BillL BillL is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Central IL
Posts: 6,328
Default

Automotive has used a sock for many years to separate water from gasoline. The sock gets
wet with water but the gas goes right through. I guess the plugging potential is a higher risk factor, as long as we have "sumped" for the majority of the water.

Does anyone have some experience with this for aviation?
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