...it's not dark yet, but it's gettin' there...

February 15, 2006

Plane Crash In Roseville, 2.0

Sheesh, I'm taking unexpected criticism for my "fuel feed problems" statement in my post about the Glasair II crash in Roseville. The manufacturers' reps must be trolling the web. Here's some clarifying points to remember.

  1. I never said that the Roseville crash was due to a product defect. Obviously, I have no idea and if I had to guess, I'd blame pilot error first.

  2. Just as obvious, if the pilot was indeed doing aerobatics over a populated area, he would have been clearly negligent.

  3. One thing that should be investigated is how many hours that particular plane had been flying. There is a rule that you cannot have passengers in an experimental plane until a certain amount of flight time has been logged. I can't remember the requirement, maybe some of you know it.

  4. Perhaps I should have said fuel feed "challenges" instead of "problems." But, come on. There is a difference between low wing and high wing aircraft fuel systems. The difference is gravity. On a low wing plane, fuel has to be pumped to the engine. If air gets in the line the engine could die. The danger is magnified if the plane is doing stunts. I'm certainly no expert, but I did learn that to prevent cavitation in the fuel lines, tolerances have to be exact throughout the system. Also, some low wing planes do not allow a "both" setting on their fuel selector switch.

  5. It may be that kit planes are made with higher quality materials, as one commenter said. That's not my beef. I would much rather be in a plane that was mass produced, since there's a greater likelihood that any design problems will have been previously discovered by some other sucker, and not me. Also, I would expect quality control to be somewhat better at a factory than in Joe Blow's back yard.
That is all. Have at it.

Posted by annika, Feb. 15, 2006 | TrackBack (0)
Rubric: Science & Technology


Ever since the cable got hooked up again (its been a while) I have been watching these aircraft shows on the history and military channels nonstop. its really got me curious on what exactly the sound barrier is, like why is there such a thing.

anyways i liked this line:
"I'm certainly no expert, but I did learn that to prevent cavitation in the fuel lines, tolerances have to be exact throughout the system." i've never even heard of cavitation before!

Posted by: Scof on Feb. 16, 2006

Sorry to be coming to this late, I just wanted to talk about the high vs low wing fuel feed problems. Most new piston engine aircraft use a fuel injection system and thus require a pump to pressurize the fuel. Even the models that use a carburetor require some pressure (but less than the fuel-injected models,) and also require a pump. Some of the older radial engines that used carburetors didn't need that much fuel pressure to function and thus could get away with being gravity fed, but all new carburetors do need a pump.
This doesn't mean that there aren't issues between high and low wing aircraft, but that's not related to this discussion and I'm an engine guy not an aeronautics guy.

Posted by: Trevor on Feb. 16, 2006

Welcome to an early introduction to your future profession!

I had once entertained building a kit plane with 3 other coworkers (engineers), though when the project changed, and they were reassigned, I let that whim pass.

Glassairs have been around for some time and actually have a fairly good reputation. But you are right, someone who is doing this for the first time runs the risk of making simple mistakes that can prove fatal. That's one reason I let that whim go.

Posted by: skye on Feb. 17, 2006

No more DwtS liveblogging?

Posted by: Victor on Feb. 17, 2006

Eh, it's like anything else. Pay attention to the little things, and the big things take care of themselves. As someone pointed out, the only reason these experimental designations exists is because lawyers destroyed the low end private aviation industry through litigation. It is a euphemism to escape liability.

The reason we like Cheney? He shoots lawyers!

Posted by: Casca on Feb. 17, 2006

OMG, your best work ever!

Posted by: Casca on Feb. 18, 2006

The reason we like Cheney? He shoots lawyers!

Casca, didn't you learn anything in the corps?

Just shooting them is not sufficient, especially with just BB's.

You gotta track 'em down and finish 'em off, or no trophy.

Ask Kerry; he takes the wounded and blows them away from behind. Gets you the bronze star and a purple heart with an oak leaf cluster.

Posted by: shelly on Feb. 18, 2006

I love the AnniKournikova photoshop and the Casca part too.

The trolls are fapping as we speak.

Posted by: reagan80 on Feb. 18, 2006

thats not anna

Posted by: annika on Feb. 18, 2006

Casca gets a mention on the cover? CASCA?!?!?!

That bites.

Posted by: Victor on Feb. 18, 2006

I know. I just wanted an excuse to spell "Annikarnikova".

I've also been dying to say "Annikus Finch", but haven't found the right occasion yet.

Posted by: reagan80 on Feb. 18, 2006

Annika R. Nikova lol

Posted by: annika on Feb. 18, 2006

"Make Casca your Bitch"


Posted by: d-rod on Feb. 18, 2006

Casca is only bitch to one.

Posted by: Casca on Feb. 18, 2006