Prime Time for general aviation pilots

As part of our Aviation Innovations, Todd Petersen from Petersen Aviation Inc., sent along this idea: “Sometimes when trying to start an airplane in cold weather, the engine will die immediately after starting as you try to give it a little throttle to keep it running. The way to cure this is to do everything to start it as you normally would — one or two shots of prime, a couple of strokes on the throttle, crack the throttle, then start the engine.

However, after normal priming, pull the primer out again to fill it with fuel and leave it that way, then when the engine initially starts, keep it running by slowly advancing the primer until it is empty, then lock it. By the time you get the primer all the way in, the engine will take the throttle. It works every time. However it’s critical that the pilot remembers to lock the primer in the closed position once done.”

“In warmer weather the engine sometimes wants to ‘diesel’ on shutdown,” he continued. “The cure for this is to simply give it full throttle after going full lean with the mixture and placing the fuel selector in the OFF position. That works every time too.”

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