Skip to comments.Pilot lesson No. 1: Check gas before taking off
Posted on 05/29/2009 12:06:34 PM PDT by george76
A retired Air Force colonel with decades of experience as a flight instructor gave one of his students a hands-on lesson in a key principle of flying: Don't run out of gas. Al Uhalt of Colorado Springs made a bumpy but safe landing in a field Thursday when the single-engine Aviat Husky he and a student were flying ran out of fuel near the end of a 45-minute lesson.
Neither Uhalt nor the student, 16-year-old Kyle Sundman, was injured and the plane was undamaged.
(Excerpt) Read more at denverpost.com ...
Nothing is more useless to a pilot than air in the fuel tanks, runway behind you or a half a second ago.
Said another way, don’t run out of airspeed, altitude and ideas all at the same time. If you have airspeed, you can gain altitude, if you have altitude you have time to get ideas and energy to get airspeed.
As an AF veteran and Civil Air Patrol Member..this is not good.
I’ll be danged. I knew him when I was assigned to Peterson AFB in 1981-84. I bet he’s one embarrassed instructor. Al — “Attention to Detail!”
Uhalt and his 16-year-old flight student Kyle Sundman were up for a 45-minute lesson in an Aviat Husky single-engine plane. About 10 a.m. they were cleared to land at the Colorado Springs Airport when the engine started sputtering.
Uhalt took a look at the gas gauge and knew exactly what was wrong. Luckily, they were approaching the Fountain Valley School, which sits on 1,100-acres, about 90 percent of which are open fields.
Now, THAT was a memorable flight for that student, I’m sure!
the retired Air Force colonel commanded the 46th Aerospace Defense Wing at Peterson Air Force Base
Yeah, I think he was the last one before the 46th ADW was dissolved in 1983.
Gravity. Not just a good idea. It’s the law.
I always thought that aviation fuel was really important to flying. I guess it still is.
BIDEN: But it also needs a special brand of strategic thinking that are gained only in the thin air of Colorado Springs. And the windy air of Colorado Springs. What am I going to tell the president when I tell him his teleprompter is broken? What will he do then?
The guy’s name is Uhalt? For real? Too much fun.
#2 Did he follow his checklist?
Air Force humor...
I wonder if he let the kid do the preflight check.
The only time you have too much fuel is when you’re on fire.
Well, they did say he has decades of experience, so I bet one glance was all it took.
Only tree within twenty miles I bet ....
Note the signs behind the plane.
It’s called a pre-flight checklist. A pilot...student or otherwise is supposed to pre-flight the plane. Gas, as I recall, is somewhere on the list. Unfortunately, they left “check for stupidity” off.
Also, be sure to “land your airplane” before you run out of gas... LOL...
United Airlines Crash in Portland, Oregon (right in the city, on top of houses...)
United Airlines Flight 173
December 28, 1978
I heard it on the radio and my brother and I went on over there. Some people just got out of the plane, called friends or a cab and went home. They never did make it to the airport... LOL...
It crashed on East Burnside, in Portland, going from south to north, smashed one house, ran into another and was stopped abruptly when its tail caught the wires running along the light poles on the street (kinda like an aircraft carrier, ya know...) and pulled poles out of the ground a couple of blocks away, from catching the wires... :-)
Date: December 28, 1978
Location: Portland, Oregon
Operator: United Air Lines
Flight #: 173
Route: Denver - Portland
AC Type: McDonnell Douglas DC-8-61
cn / ln: 45972/357
Aboard: 189 (passengers:181 crew:8)
Fatalities: 10 (passengers:8 crew:2)
Summary: While on a flight from Denver to Portland, the aircraft ran out of fuel while the crew was distracted with a landing gear problem. Failure of the captain to monitor properly the aircraft’s fuel state and to properly respond to the low fuel state as indicated by other crew members. Contributing to the accident was the failure of the other two flight crew members either to fully comprehend the criticality of the fuel state or to successfully communicate their concern to the captain.
I remember that it was determined that there was going to have to be “training” for crews in order to be more assertive with the captain when telling him that “We’re running out of gas!”... LOL...
“Failure of the captain to monitor properly the aircrafts fuel state and to properly respond to the low fuel state as indicated by other crew members.”
Do suppose the United captain was a former Air Force colonel? Perhaps there’s a common thread here.
Certainly could be... I don’t know for sure, but it might be worth checking... :-)
Yeah, that United captain was flying like a stroke patient. A classic CRM (cockpit resources management) failure. Nowadays, with armed flight deck crewmembers, the result would be very different. ;-)
At least they were flying in Colorado, an aircraft friendly State versus most other places that are aircraft adverse. (Hint: Trees)
Bad for the community, the kid just received a flying lesson whose value can’t be calculated. I hope he stays with his training. That experience will teach him more about flying than years worth of touch and gos.
Yet oddly, there is always enough fuel to get you to the crash site...
Uhalt took a look at the gas gauge and knew exactly what was wrong. Luckily, they were approaching the Fountain Valley School, which sits on 1,100-acres, about 90 percent of which are open fields."It took great skill, gleaned from years of flying experience, but I managed to bullseye that school. A lesser pilot would have hit the huge expanse of open land instead."
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