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This A320 was very low on fuel...

Mooney_Driver wrote:

Actually I wonder why. Particularly fuel policies are dead easy to enter into flight planning products which then would present people with usable OFP’s to use and proper fuel planning. Many of those unfortunately are still very pedestrian. There should be an effort made that all big players in the flight planning market produce this kind of fuel calculations which correspond to the recent rule changes. It’s easy but it needs to be done.

I think the main reasons are: a) lack of fuel totalisers and b) lack of precise info on aircraft performance (or inability to set up the required performance with desired accuracy).

EGTR

Wrong conclusion in many regards.

I didn’t say CAT3 has to be the 2nd one. The 2nd one is needed only if you can’t land on the 1st one, and with CAT3 you almost always will.

Not sheer brilliance but lots of people working well, looking at what went wrong and agreeing to do better.

Sure, but without the amazing hardware?

lack of fuel totalisers

That’s a big one, which is curious since it is one of the cheapest useful things you can add to a plane. Far cheaper than the usual avionics eye candy people spend tens of k on. To me, a plane without one is basically useless for anything beyond the Le Touquet run.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

$598 now for an STC applicable EI FP-5 totalizer with ‘red cube’ transducer. I’ve been using mine for 10 years or so, no issues, it just works.

I stick the tanks before every flight and use the totalizer, the level gauges work as they ever did but are not used.

Last Edited by Silvaire at 05 Dec 01:33

arj1 wrote:

I think the main reasons are: a) lack of fuel totalisers and b) lack of precise info on aircraft performance (or inability to set up the required performance with desired accuracy).

Amen to that! Without a fuel totaliser, I calculate with needing 10% more fuel than book figures. And contingency on top of that, of course.

ESKC (Uppsala/Sundbro), Sweden

Peter wrote:

Sure, but without the amazing hardware?

That is part of it.

arj1 wrote:

I think the main reasons are: a) lack of fuel totalisers and b) lack of precise info on aircraft performance (or inability to set up the required performance with desired accuracy).

Add to that the fact that even today there are no really reliable fuel gauges. Fuel totalizers are great but only then when the amount of fuel entered in the system really corresponds to what the fuel is in tanks. Unfortunately that is often rather ambiuous as some airplanes are rather difficult to fuel precisely without the use of a custom made dipstick.

Silvaire wrote:

I stick the tanks before every flight and use the totalizer, the level gauges work as they ever did but are not used.

I would still crosscheck them. A fuel totalizer will not react to things like fuel leaks before the transducer. The stick is a must, I agree.

LSZH, Switzerland

Speaking of totalisers. A GPS unit like the Garmin GTN650Xi has fuel totaliser functionality built in. However, it can’t be connected directly to a transducer, it needs to get the fuel flow on an RS-232 input.

Are there any transducers or interface units that can talk directly to a GPS over RS-232 so that you can avoid having the panel mount fuel totaliser?

ESKC (Uppsala/Sundbro), Sweden

You cannot stick some airplanes. The BE 55 for example has canted tanks with the filler neck at the outboard top. You can stick the 4 tanks to about half full, thereafter the stick comes up dry. You really need to watch the totalizer and know how much you put into each of the tanks. Some BE55s have rather good gauges on the wing, so with those you have a reasonably good idea what you have before you go.

My plane has wing tanks and dihedral and cannot be sticked below about 2/3 full. I don’t often take off below about 2/3 full for that reason – I have no great reason to do so, most of the fields where I fly have fuel. A 90 minute outbound breakfast run from full tanks does not get me below 2/3 anyway, so I’ll do a 3 hr out and back without filling up.

If I fly anything longer than 90 minutes on the first leg from full tanks, I generally fill up before taking off again. In doing so I always fill to where I can stick the tanks and use time on tanks (individually) and totalizer from that point downward. I have no operating scenario where I need to limit takeoff fuel below 2/3 to achieve required payload.

The gauges are non-linear and are only accurate near empty, I’ve checked them from empty to full adding fuel from a can, which is also how the fuel stick was made. I guess the gauges would tell me if I had a massive leak, otherwise they provide amusement in the way they stay on full for a long time, then plummet towards empty.

I’m glad not to have any circulating fuel arrangements, fuel goes from the tanks to the carb and does not come back. Much simpler that way.

Last Edited by Silvaire at 07 Dec 03:01

Airborne_Again wrote:

Speaking of totalisers. A GPS unit like the Garmin GTN650Xi has fuel totaliser functionality built in. However, it can’t be connected directly to a transducer, it needs to get the fuel flow on an RS-232 input.

Are there any transducers or interface units that can talk directly to a GPS over RS-232 so that you can avoid having the panel mount fuel totaliser?

Most of the totalizers send pulses, and then software needs to count these pulses, and convert them to something useful. This could be done by a small board like an ESP32 or other simple device and convert it to RS232. Of course, this is easy to do in the “homebuilt” world, a bit harder in the certified world. Do you see a market for a device like this?

Fly more.
LSGY, Switzerland
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