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How Low Do You Go?

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7 lbs or 7 gals big difference and if it is a 206A/B would be in gals unless maybe military kiowa?


Why stop at 7 if the experiment was made to work should went till she quit? If you needed a limit then maybe use a higher one than 7. Gotta remember if your boost pump fails at less than 10 gal indicated it will probably quit so why not do your experiment to 10 gal indicated and then your future bad day would not end up worse by having a boost pump fail when flying down to 7 whatevers?



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Helilog...Thanks for bringing up this subject...especially for an 'ol goat such as myself....I cannot speak for what a pilot does' as I'm an engineer .As one who some times must be in the A/C,when ever the fuel quanity gets low ,my blow-hole has a tendency to tighten up..reason is I don't trust any fuel quanity gauge.


I work more nowadays with Bell 205's,so the rest of my reply deals wiyh 205's. Recently I defuelled a 205...Started with 500 lbs....The defueling valve is on the left side aft of the fwd fuel cell...I reversed a refueling pump so the fuel goes back into the barrel...I wanted to see exactly when the Low fuel light came on..As I'm defueling with 300Lbs showing on the guage..the low fuel lite comes on...WTF..It's supposed to come on around !0 minutes remaining.Somethings not right here says I .After thinking it out I cam to the conclusion that...I'm sucking fuel faster from the left cell than can transfer fron the right cell...for those not famillar with 205 fuel systems....left cell has the low fuel lite....right cell has the fuel quanity and also the center tank So therefore even though I had drained most of the fuel from the left cell/hence the low fuel lite ...there was still 300lbs showing from the right cell...The low fuel lite as far as I know cannot be adjusted...When the float switch goes to the bottom the lite is on.........Now another thing that may come into play is a stiff flapper valve which is found seperating each fwd tank....Sorry to be long winded but it got me back to thinking which we all need to do lots....Otooley

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Reddog----- your last post I agree with totally. The one before it I'll "write-off" to an old-fashioned condition called "smart-mouth".


WTF ------the engineers that I work with are "Pros" and they don't "play" with anything without letting me know.......and visa versa. Those that wouldn't, had better grab their 15" crescent wrench when they see this "mother' coming because we're about to have a "fireside chat".......and I accord my engineers the same Rights and respect. That's all because we are a team and if we aren't going to be, then I'm out the door and looking for another place to hang my cap. Most engineers can "dig" that attitude big time because most of them don't want to work with another "Joe Dynamic....Hero of the Bush" or some pilot that thinks engineers are there to SERVE him. You work "with" each other and accord each other due respect or very soon there will be a ripping and bending of metal......it's that simple. That way, there's no "playing" goes on behind each other's backs. Normally, we don't need all that much input from Bell Textron or Jean LaPierre in Ottawa either.


The engineers that I work with would not be impressed at all if they knew or saw that I was hovering to check how low my fuel was, no matter how far above the ground I was. They also would tell me that checking the guage while draining the tank is 100% accurate. If I hovered the a/c even 2" off the ground to find out, I can think of some DOM's who would be "in my face, nose to nose" the minute that I shut that a/c down and the words used to describe me and my actions would be EXTREMELY offensive to people like Sisyphus. Normally, the pilot's coffee room would also be a real bad place to get sympathy for my bruised ego after such an occurence also.,,,,and I best steer clear of the Ops Manager too. We obviously operate in "different worlds" with different engineers. Perhaps....just perhaps, everything I just stated is now old-fashioned and "not the way things are done anymore". If so, then I'm the one out-of-step, but there are a few others like me still hangin' around.


Otooley ----- usually the only "stiff flapper valve" on a 205 is the one that connects the cyclic to the collective.........YOU know that. :lol:

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If so, then I'm the one out-of-step, but there are a few others like me still hangin' around.


You got that right Cap. :up:


One time when I was wrenching, I had to pack fuel to my helicopter, because the "pilot" said that the machine he flew before could be flown down to 7 gallons! Never bothered to ask if this one was the same. On top of that, it was the old style panel with the small instrument cluster, so fairly hard to do an accurate check from clear over on "your side".


We packed (started) with 8 gallons, (forestry p**s tanks) and poured in what we had left and the guage came up to around 10 gallons if you looked close... :down: :down:


That was his last day on the job! :lol::lol:



I've run a 206 down once or twice, IF it is one that I had personally checked or helped check, but all others you want to leave a bit more for the wife and kids & grandkids... B)B)


We think if we do it, the customer will think we're the greatest, but when the tank runs dry - we're just a dumb, stupid pilot... :stupid:

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skids up ------ my whole point is that during the course of a long career and working all over the place doing varied jobs, one cn do it all "by the numbers" andn still get caught. There are occurences where smething rare will happen regarding weather in some area like the Arctic Islands will "catch you". At that point, maybe to avoid that weather, you have detoured around it. Perhaps you accounted for such a thing when you fuelled and and you aren't putting yourself or the a/c in "harm's way". Unfortunately, you don't have access to weather services out in the middle of nowhere and don't realize that you are running into a vicious bunch of headwinds. You fight though them realizing that making home base or some fuel is starting to be in doubt. At that point in time, the temptation exists to push that needle, when just over the ridge 5 miles away is your fuel/base. If the watch says that you have 20 minutes fuel left , but the needle says enough for 30 minutes, then what you decide at that moment may affect where you sleep tonite and your career for years or forever. If that guage has been checked 3 months ago, then maybe you go with the needle. If it hasn't been checked for 5 years, then do you go with the watch or the needle. Considering where I am, I'll go with the watch. At no time whatsoever during that decision-making mement will I consider or take into account what MoT would say. My concern then is for the safety of the a/c and my butt......with the accent on "butt".


That very occasion has happened to me on numerous occasions over 30+ years in the Arctic and if there is one thing that the High Arctic will not tolerate is a fool and it's a very, very unforgiving enviroment. I'm still here......quite a few others never went south again........ and in many cases another 10 minutes would have had them at "Home base".

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For those of you that like to test the fuel limits of your aircraft, I would caution you to take a close look at your fuel guage to see how the indication changes with attitude, most notably the different indications given, for an equal amount of fuel, between cruise flight and skids on the ground. It is all well and good to know the limits for your particular aircraft, but if knowing the absolute low-end fuel limit that will still permit the engine to produce power means that you take it to that limit as a part of your standard operating procedures, you need your head checked.


Just curious, but how does one know when one has 7 gallons indicated in a 206? I fly one and my guage isn't marked in one gallon increments.

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Sorry to leave you hanging there....got tired of one finger typing.....As for the 205..there was nothing wrong with it...the problem was that I had a brain cramp that day by expecting to get an accurate reading when defuelling using a refuelling pump...If I had drained the last 350 gallons or so by using buckets soboth tanks drained equally I'd have gotten a proper reading..The norm is around 180 to 220lbs if my memory is correct.

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