Accident Report

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Accident Report

Postby R Rinker » Wed Dec 24, 2014 12:29 am

In the January COPA news (Canadian) is the following accident report:
A Just Aircraft Highlander Ultralight was approximately 4 NM NE of Athens, Ont. en route from Iroquois Airport (CNP7) to Stirling Airport (CPJ5), when the engine began to run roughly. The pilot, believing the cause to be fuel related, attempted a precautionary landing. As the landing approach was little fast the pilot attempted to go around, but the aircraft struck tree branches and came to rest in a farm field. While both the pilot and passenger were uninjured the aircraft was substantially damaged.
I was wondering if the engine problem was identified and if so do we need to know what the problem was...if there is something of concern to us in this so we can avoid it? The good news is the airplane took the punishment and crew was fine.
Rodger Rinker - Rocky Mountain House, Alberta, Canada
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Re: Accident Report

Postby FlyerChief » Wed Dec 24, 2014 11:05 am

Hi Roger,
Jack Leroux and I know the individual and plane involved in this incident. I heard that the main cause was a fuel filter that was installed backwards, so it shouldn't be a concern to most builders, just observe the arrow on the filter during installation if you use one. Many amateur built planes use the gascolator instead and eliminate the filter altogether.
Dan
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Re: Accident Report

Postby xpflyr » Fri Dec 26, 2014 11:34 am

FlyerChief wrote:Hi Roger,
Jack Leroux and I know the individual and plane involved in this incident. I heard that the main cause was a fuel filter that was installed backwards, so it shouldn't be a concern to most builders, just observe the arrow on the filter during installation if you use one. Many amateur built planes use the gascolator instead and eliminate the filter altogether.
Dan

Gasolators are excellent but by no means take the place of a fuel filter.
http://www.aircraftspruce.com/pages/ep/ ... filter.php
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Re: Accident Report

Postby FlyerChief » Fri Dec 26, 2014 12:22 pm

Due to Canadian Amateur-built aircraft regulations and fuel flow requirements, we cannot use 1/4 inch fuel lines as shown in the previous post. Our inspectors demand that we use no less than 3/8" lines in order to get the required fuel flow. They also require us to use a gascolator because it removes both particulate and water (within reason) from the fuel before it reaches the engine. The aircraft in question was an advanced ultralight, which legally had to be built the way it is supplied in the kit and therefore required the filter. Although amateur built planes (same as experimental in the US) are held to a higher standard, I'm not saying an extra filter isn't a good idea... it's just not required with a gascolator under our regulations here.
Dan
When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it. ~Henry Ford
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Re: Accident Report

Postby Familyflyer » Fri Dec 26, 2014 11:19 pm

Why would one think a gascolator cannot be a filter? As long as the mesh is of suitable size, I don't see the issue? I trust it more than an inline filter plugging.
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Re: Accident Report

Postby User GDS » Sat Dec 27, 2014 10:21 pm

I use a gascolator mounted on the firewall and no filter. Also, the header tank acts as a sump for any non-soluble contaminants in the fuel. I think it is equal to the filtration system on any of the certified AC I've flown. No problems in 250 hours.
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Re: Accident Report

Postby Jack L » Wed Dec 31, 2014 6:33 am

The FAA has global influence and most countries air regulations are derived from the FAAs model therefore global standards are pretty similar, just different shades of grey.

I found this Kitplanes article that is pretty close to the guidance we have to follow while installing a fuel system in an amateur built aircraft in Canada, If you dig into the FARs you will find that we are not to different. Anyway if you don't want to dig into the regulations the guy that wrote this article did the work for you and it is definitely worth reading before installing your system.

http://www.kitplanes.com/issues/29_12/builder_spotlight/Firewall_Forward_Fuel_Systems_20625-1.html

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Re: Accident Report

Postby R Rinker » Sat Jan 03, 2015 6:21 pm

In the 'ole days' a gascolator was the tried and proven filtration system, in conjunction of course, with tank sumps which were drained also before every flight. With tank sumps and gascolator systems..I can't remember hearing of a plugged fuel line. Inline filters were a no-no because they could, (read that-would eventually) plug up. A gascolator will remove almost everything and never plug up. A gascolator should be drained before every flight, except maybe very short repetitive flights. The screen should be cleaned, at least with every annual, but if in doubt, or with a new build, then more often. For those of us who fly in remote, mountainous areas where a forced landing equates with the end of your career, inline filters are a very nervous addition indeed. Steve had a issue with something sticking on the o-ring causing it to leak. I don't remember an 0-ring leaking that wouldn't clear . If you have good pressure on the line, when you open the drain fully there is enough pressure to eject stuff and completely clean out the bowl. On a new build, there is always some kind of metal somewhere. The header tank is actually a huge gascolator of a sort, and the idea of a small sump at the bottom with a drain is great. For us, before a flight over the Bering Sea or long cross country, we do multiple pre-flights, and that drain gets pulled wide open maybe three times and drain a cup or so of fuel. Times and technology changes indeed...if I had to use an inline filter, I would want it after the gascolator, that way nothing 'should' get in it. The only way a gascolator should plug up is if a horse poops in your tank. Our fuel up north used to be sold in metal cans and I had to use a chamois in the funnel. That works perfectly, but with the advent of plastic cans I never saw water in the chamois and got lazy & stopped using it.
Rodger Rinker - Rocky Mountain House, Alberta, Canada
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Re: Accident Report

Postby R Rinker » Sat Jan 03, 2015 11:19 pm

One more thing...With aluminum tanks there will always be some condensation..with no tank sump, this condensation will collect in an online filter if it is placed before the header tank and will be susceptible then to freezing which would surely clog that filter...
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Re: Accident Report

Postby xpflyr » Wed Jan 07, 2015 11:55 am

Familyflyer wrote:Why would one think a gascolator cannot be a filter? As long as the mesh is of suitable size, I don't see the issue? I trust it more than an inline filter plugging.

If you google " gascolator vs filter " you will get a large debate on both why you should or not for either,,, much advise.
If you have a pressurized system, fuel injection, you will indeed have those filters.
Never the less, a gascolater is desirable with the proper micron screen but most important is the need of a pressure sender and gauge.
Vaporlock has nothing to do with the filter you use but will stop an engine dead!
In my opinion, a warning light on your panel, EIS or a 2 1/4 gauge that monitors the fuel presses is a must.
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Re: Accident Report

Postby Dave Krall CFII SEL SES » Wed Feb 04, 2015 9:20 am

xpflyr wrote:
Familyflyer wrote:Why would one think a gascolator cannot be a filter? As long as the mesh is of suitable size, I don't see the issue? I trust it more than an inline filter plugging.

If you google " gascolator vs filter " you will get a large debate on both why you should or not for either,,, much advise.
If you have a pressurized system, fuel injection, you will indeed have those filters.
Never the less, a gascolater is desirable with the proper micron screen but most important is the need of a pressure sender and gauge.
Vaporlock has nothing to do with the filter you use but will stop an engine dead!
In my opinion, a warning light on your panel, EIS or a 2 1/4 gauge that monitors the fuel presses is a must.


Can you comment more on the mechanism of vapor lock please? Thanks
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Re: Accident Report

Postby SheepdogRD » Wed Feb 04, 2015 12:52 pm

Dave Krall CFII SEL SES wrote:
xpflyr wrote:... Never the less, a gascolater is desirable with the proper micron screen but most important is the need of a pressure sender and gauge.
Vaporlock has nothing to do with the filter you use but will stop an engine dead!
In my opinion, a warning light on your panel, EIS or a 2 1/4 gauge that monitors the fuel presses is a must.

Can you comment more on the mechanism of vapor lock please? Thanks

Here's the Wikipedia explanation: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vapor_lock

For an example from UserGDS, check the last post in this thread: http://www.wingsforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=218&t=23083&start=15#p44753
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Re: Accident Report

Postby Dave Krall CFII SEL SES » Wed Feb 04, 2015 11:13 pm

SheepdogRD wrote:
Dave Krall CFII SEL SES wrote:
xpflyr wrote:... Never the less, a gascolater is desirable with the proper micron screen but most important is the need of a pressure sender and gauge.
Vaporlock has nothing to do with the filter you use but will stop an engine dead!
In my opinion, a warning light on your panel, EIS or a 2 1/4 gauge that monitors the fuel presses is a must.

Can you comment more on the mechanism of vapor lock please? Thanks

Here's the Wikipedia explanation: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vapor_lock

For an example from UserGDS, check the last post in this thread: http://www.wingsforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=218&t=23083&start=15#p44753


Interesting info both, so an auxiliary fuel pump when switched on, can be depended on to get fuel past an already existing vapor lock?
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Re: Accident Report

Postby User GDS » Thu Feb 05, 2015 1:50 pm

As I understand it, the auxiliary fuel pump forces cool gasoline through the system, eliminating the high temperature conditions that cause vapor lock.

Thinking-out-loud; it may help that the aux pump is pushing fuel through the vapor locked part of the system rather than the engine driven mechanical fuel pump pulling fuel through.

In any event, when I had vapor lock, it stopped within seconds after engaging the aux fuel pump. Now, whenever I'm doing a take off where all the options for aborting are unfriendly, I engage the aux pump. If I didn't have an aux pump I would definitely let the engine run for a full minute or so before launching over rough terrain.
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Re: Accident Report

Postby xpflyr » Fri Apr 24, 2015 8:59 am

That's the key! I was taught to always use the elect fuel pump on takeoff and landings. Somewhere I got away from that. Bad idea! Always thought that should the engine quit, the plane would at least glide a bit! NO, it dropped like a rock! The things my instructor taught me were amazing. Like always use the entire runway. Meaning go to the end even if it's only another 20 ft. not just where the taxi entrance takes you. Stay on the center line! Except nothing less. Always fly the plane. Worry about the radio or gps, whatever, when your attention is not critical like landing ..
He was something. Almost 80 and could fly anything! He test flight my first home built. I'll never be able to thank him enough!
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