Out of fuel over Canada

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oflguy
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Out of fuel over Canada

Unread post by oflguy »

Of all the causes that can bring a plane down, running out of fuel is the least valid one. But what caused this atrocity? The pilots had no idea they were running low. They had entered the amount of added fuel at the airport into their flight management system, but the men on the ground sold fuel by volume, in gallons, and this new state-of-the-art 767 registered fuel amounts in liters instead of pounds, or weight. An error in conversion math by the refueler from gallons to liters instead of pounds led him to report an amount to the pilots that was half the actual amount of fuel loaded onto the airplane.

I got emotional watching this. I felt so sorry for the passengers, flight crew and the pilots. Mystified over what was happening, they delt with the situation the best they could. It turned out to be the first instance where a commercial airliner made a successful landing with no power at a (kind of) airport. The pilot's maneuver to "slip" the airplane in order to bleed off excess altitude was an untested one in a 767. It could be described as a controlled fall to the ground, a daring maneuver for sure but one necessary in order to prevent from overshooting the runway.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9wnja3h70DM
def_con5
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Re: Out of fuel over Canada

Unread post by def_con5 »

This is a much better explanation. All kinds of mistakes not just the ground crew.

If you are interested in aircraft mishaps, I highly recommend Mentour pilot You Tube channel.
oflguy wrote: January 13th, 2023, 7:02 pm Of all the causes that can bring a plane down, running out of fuel is the least valid one. But what caused this atrocity? The pilots had no idea they were running low. They had entered the amount of added fuel at the airport into their flight management system, but the men on the ground sold fuel by volume, in gallons, and this new state-of-the-art 767 registered fuel amounts in liters instead of pounds, or weight. An error in conversion math by the refueler from gallons to liters instead of pounds led him to report an amount to the pilots that was half the actual amount of fuel loaded onto the airplane.

I got emotional watching this. I felt so sorry for the passengers, flight crew and the pilots. Mystified over what was happening, they delt with the situation the best they could. It turned out to be the first instance where a commercial airliner made a successful landing with no power at a (kind of) airport. The pilot's maneuver to "slip" the airplane in order to bleed off excess altitude was an untested one in a 767. It could be described as a controlled fall to the ground, a daring maneuver for sure but one necessary in order to prevent from overshooting the runway.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9wnja3h70DM
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Re: Out of fuel over Canada

Unread post by oflguy »

def_con5 wrote: January 19th, 2023, 4:32 pm This is a much better explanation. All kinds of mistakes not just the ground crew.

If you are interested in aircraft mishaps, I highly recommend Mentour pilot You Tube channel.
This guy does excellent accident analysis videos, and if you click on some of my previous videos you can see I've used them to analyze other accidents.

The video I used for this accident does not exonerate the pilots of all faults. I like the addition of Mentour's narrative regarding the more thorough details of the inoperative fuel gauges. Minimum Equipment Lists are a pilot's friend and a repairman's nightmare. The fact that the pilots opted to launch off without at least one operating gauge was inexcusable. The pilot used faulty information and a stretch of the Federal Aviation Regulations to justify the use of this airplane. Gauges are so unreliable in civil aviation aircraft that most pilots don't rely on them at all - they go strictly by hours and minutes flown, which is probably what these pilots were doing, except their estimation of flight time was based on the wrong amount of fuel on board. The fuel gauge in your car is probably more reliable than fuel gauges in most civil aircraft. Even gauges in some commercial airplanes have been known to be unreliable.

As is almost always the case, aviation accidents are never the result of one single issue, but a chain of events that lead up to a smashed airplane. The lack of communication between the previous pilot and the captain that had to land at a drag strip was one reason for the mishap. An engineer that reset a circuit breaker for the fuel system without communicating with either pilot was another factor.

They say we live and learn. Unfortunately, in aviation, many lessons come the hard way, and all too often people pay the price with their lives. Fortunately, none were lost in this example.
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Re: Out of fuel over Canada

Unread post by def_con5 »

You sir are a kindred spirit. Your commentary is right on. Mentour Pilot is great at accident analysis.
Here's another video about spinning things.
oflguy wrote: January 19th, 2023, 7:12 pm This guy does excellent accident analysis videos, and if you click on some of my previous videos you can see I've used them to analyze other accidents.

The video I used for this accident does not exonerate the pilots of all faults. I like the addition of Mentour's narrative regarding the more thorough details of the inoperative fuel gauges. Minimum Equipment Lists are a pilot's friend and a repairman's nightmare. The fact that the pilots opted to launch off without at least one operating gauge was inexcusable. The pilot used faulty information and a stretch of the Federal Aviation Regulations to justify the use of this airplane. Gauges are so unreliable in civil aviation aircraft that most pilots don't rely on them at all - they go strictly by hours and minutes flown, which is probably what these pilots were doing, except their estimation of flight time was based on the wrong amount of fuel on board. The fuel gauge in your car is probably more reliable than fuel gauges in most civil aircraft. Even gauges in some commercial airplanes have been known to be unreliable.

As is almost always the case, aviation accidents are never the result of one single issue, but a chain of events that lead up to a smashed airplane. The lack of communication between the previous pilot and the captain that had to land at a drag strip was one reason for the mishap. An engineer that reset a circuit breaker for the fuel system without communicating with either pilot was another factor.

They say we live and learn. Unfortunately, in aviation, many lessons come the hard way, and all too often people pay the price with their lives. Fortunately, none were lost in this example.
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Re: Out of fuel over Canada

Unread post by oflguy »

def_con5 wrote: January 19th, 2023, 7:47 pm You sir are a kindred spirit. Your commentary is right on. Mentour Pilot is great at accident analysis.
Here's another video about spinning things.
Good video. This guy really knows his stuff. One way to think of an airplane in straight and level flight is to envision the plane supported on a pinhead fulcrum. If anything changes like speed or a shift in the weight of the plane (such as fuel burn outside of the "fulcrum") the plane is going to become either nose "heavy" or "light." This is going to make the airplane either climb or descend. To counteract that, it will become necessary to pull back or push forward on the controls. A way to "cheat" is to retrim the elevator such that it is not necessary to put any pressure on the yoke at all. Think of it as moving the pin under the plane either forward or aft.

Small civil aviation aircraft may not have an electric motor on the trim control. Trimming the airplane is done strictly by manually moving the trim wheel forward or aft. A button on the control yoke becomes a luxury, but also something that can cause a problem if the motor or wiring to it fails. It is very important to make sure the nose is not trimmed down on takeoff, like, perhaps, a setting that resulted from a previous landing. If it is, the pilot is going to struggle to make the airplane climb, until he trims the excessive force off of the control yoke.

I watched a video of a C-130 military plane crash onto a bridge from a car video. I think the cause was attributed to the cargo in the plane breaking loose and radically altering the center of gravity to the extent that the plane's elevator was not big enough and could not move far enough to maintain level flight. No amount of trim made a difference. The pilot was completely helpless.

Every time I watch Mentour Pilot, I always learn something, which is why I enjoy doing these posts.
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