Ray Woodmansee from Porterville, Calif., has a problem. His Cessna 195 was accidentally fueled with a mixture of 100LL and ethanol-containing auto gas. He has drained all of the fuel out of the aircraft and was wondering what he could do with it.
Each fall I get asked the same question: What should I do to my aircraft before I put it away for the winter?
One of the great things about living in a small town is the number of characters you meet. One of the characters in our area is a man who always has a foolproof way of beating the system. His latest scheme was to buy extra diesel fuel each year and put it in storage in case the price went way up or there was a shortage. He started this about 10 years ago and had several thousand gallons in storage when the price went up this year.
Reader Edward Zeigler has some questions about pre-oilers. “”We see statements like “”70% of engine wear happens on start up.? So will a $3,000 pre-oiler pay for itself, and is it worth carrying around the extra weight of the system? Are there any scientific test results comparing engines with and without pre-oilers? And do the anti-scuff additives in Exxon and Shell multi-grade oils provide significant protection upon start up??
I recently got a letter from Verl Thompson, who is restoring a 1960s Piper TriPacer. He points out that one of the weak points of this aircraft is the jack screw in the tail that controls the elevator trim. The jack screw is about 8 inches long and a half inch in diameter. There is a pulley that runs up and down on the shaft, which is turned via a cable and crank above the pilot’s head. Unfortunately, everything has to be properly adjusted or the cable can slip while in the air since the normal slip stream of air does resist the movement of the elevator.
“”Your article on grounding the airplane prior to fueling was informative on why we ground the plane,”" wrote Ken Kellogg after he read my June 9 column, “”Grounded: What’s the proper way to ground during refueling?”"
The number one question about ethanol should be “”does it take more energy to produce than we get out of it?”"
A few issues back I discussed possible fuel handling problems with a proposed ethanol aviation fuel. In this column I would like to discuss energy content.
Why is it important to ground an aircraft during refueling? What’s the proper way to ground an aircraft during refueling? These are just some of the many questions I’ve received about the process, so I thought I’d tackle them in this issue.
There is an old joke that the definition of mixed emotions is watching your mother-in-law go over a cliff in your new Corvette. It is in this state of mind that I recently read Dr. Dennis Helder’s “”Investigation of Ethanol as a General Aviation Fuel-Final Report.”"