|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1201 To 1800|
|Locale Reference||airport : smf|
|Altitude||msl bound lower : 10500|
msl bound upper : 10500
|Controlling Facilities||tracon : mcc|
tower : sns
|Operator||general aviation : personal|
|Make Model Name||Small Aircraft, High Wing, 1 Eng, Retractable Gear|
|Flight Phase||cruise other|
|Route In Use||enroute : on vectors|
|Function||flight crew : single pilot|
|Qualification||pilot : private|
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 47|
flight time total : 195
flight time type : 44
|Function||observation : observer|
observation : passenger
|Qualification||pilot : atp|
pilot : cfi
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 50|
flight time total : 5900
flight time type : 125
|Anomaly||aircraft equipment problem : critical|
other anomaly other
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
|Resolutory Action||flight crew : declared emergency|
This aircraft has a total fuel capacity of 90 gals, 89 of which are usable. We departed lgb at XA14 for O45. Fuel tanks were full, verified by visibility inspection. We landed at XC54 with any en route time of 2:40. We departed O45 at XE47 and landed at O05 at XF38 with an en route time of 0:51. Our first leg was flown at 10500'. The second leg was flown at 11500'. Power setting was 25' mp/2500 RPM for both legs. The airport office at chester was closed early so we were unable to refuel for lgb. At this point, fuel quantity indications showed 30 gals remaining which supported our calculations. We estimated our fuel burn up to this point to be 59 gals leaving 30 usable gals remaining. We decided to refuel at sac (exec) which we estimated at 0:45 ete requiring a fuel burn of 14.5 gals. We climbed out to 13500' and after approximately 20 mins we were over marysville and switched to our right tank (fuller tank) for descent and landing at sacramento. It indicated just over 100 pounds remaining (17 gals). We contacted sacramento approach approximately 20 mi north of sac. As we descended through about 10500' the engine began to surge. We immediately advised approach we needed to divert to smf as we took up a westerly heading. Approach advised we were 10 mi east and we were cleared direct. We attempted to restore normal power by turning on our boost pumps and trying either tank. We returned to the right tank for landing. Approach provided sequencing to runway 34R and handed us off to the tower approximately 2-3 mi out. We flew right base to final and landed 34R. We taxied off at midfield. En route to the ramp the engine quit. We were able to keep it running for 20-30 seconds using the boost pump. Finally the engine quit and we were unable to restart it. We were towed to the ramp. After adding 60 gals of fuel, 30 per side the gauges read just over 30 gals on the left and just under 45 gals on the right. Our return trip to lgb was west/O any problem. In summary we experienced apparent fuel exhaustion (at least the symptoms of). We believed the fuel gauges, which supported our fuel computations. At this time, we are still uncertain if any usable fuel remained. If not, we have a qty indications problem. If so, we have a fuel flow and an indication problem. At the earliest opportunity the fuel flow gauge and the fuel qty gauges (especially the right one) will be checked for accuracy. In the future, the indications will not be relied upon for determination of fuel reserves. In addition, for planning purposes, at least 1 hour of fuel reserve will be used for all VFR flts.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: SMA DIVERTED AND LAND AT SMF DUE TO FUEL STARVATION.
Narrative: THIS ACFT HAS A TOTAL FUEL CAPACITY OF 90 GALS, 89 OF WHICH ARE USABLE. WE DEPARTED LGB AT XA14 FOR O45. FUEL TANKS WERE FULL, VERIFIED BY VIS INSPECTION. WE LANDED AT XC54 WITH ANY ENRTE TIME OF 2:40. WE DEPARTED O45 AT XE47 AND LANDED AT O05 AT XF38 WITH AN ENRTE TIME OF 0:51. OUR FIRST LEG WAS FLOWN AT 10500'. THE SECOND LEG WAS FLOWN AT 11500'. PWR SETTING WAS 25' MP/2500 RPM FOR BOTH LEGS. THE ARPT OFFICE AT CHESTER WAS CLOSED EARLY SO WE WERE UNABLE TO REFUEL FOR LGB. AT THIS POINT, FUEL QUANTITY INDICATIONS SHOWED 30 GALS REMAINING WHICH SUPPORTED OUR CALCULATIONS. WE ESTIMATED OUR FUEL BURN UP TO THIS POINT TO BE 59 GALS LEAVING 30 USABLE GALS REMAINING. WE DECIDED TO REFUEL AT SAC (EXEC) WHICH WE ESTIMATED AT 0:45 ETE REQUIRING A FUEL BURN OF 14.5 GALS. WE CLBED OUT TO 13500' AND AFTER APPROX 20 MINS WE WERE OVER MARYSVILLE AND SWITCHED TO OUR RIGHT TANK (FULLER TANK) FOR DSCNT AND LNDG AT SACRAMENTO. IT INDICATED JUST OVER 100 LBS REMAINING (17 GALS). WE CONTACTED SACRAMENTO APCH APPROX 20 MI N OF SAC. AS WE DSNDED THROUGH ABOUT 10500' THE ENG BEGAN TO SURGE. WE IMMEDIATELY ADVISED APCH WE NEEDED TO DIVERT TO SMF AS WE TOOK UP A WESTERLY HDG. APCH ADVISED WE WERE 10 MI E AND WE WERE CLRED DIRECT. WE ATTEMPTED TO RESTORE NORMAL PWR BY TURNING ON OUR BOOST PUMPS AND TRYING EITHER TANK. WE RETURNED TO THE RIGHT TANK FOR LNDG. APCH PROVIDED SEQUENCING TO RWY 34R AND HANDED US OFF TO THE TWR APPROX 2-3 MI OUT. WE FLEW RIGHT BASE TO FINAL AND LANDED 34R. WE TAXIED OFF AT MIDFIELD. ENRTE TO THE RAMP THE ENG QUIT. WE WERE ABLE TO KEEP IT RUNNING FOR 20-30 SECS USING THE BOOST PUMP. FINALLY THE ENG QUIT AND WE WERE UNABLE TO RESTART IT. WE WERE TOWED TO THE RAMP. AFTER ADDING 60 GALS OF FUEL, 30 PER SIDE THE GAUGES READ JUST OVER 30 GALS ON THE LEFT AND JUST UNDER 45 GALS ON THE RIGHT. OUR RETURN TRIP TO LGB WAS W/O ANY PROB. IN SUMMARY WE EXPERIENCED APPARENT FUEL EXHAUSTION (AT LEAST THE SYMPTOMS OF). WE BELIEVED THE FUEL GAUGES, WHICH SUPPORTED OUR FUEL COMPUTATIONS. AT THIS TIME, WE ARE STILL UNCERTAIN IF ANY USABLE FUEL REMAINED. IF NOT, WE HAVE A QTY INDICATIONS PROB. IF SO, WE HAVE A FUEL FLOW AND AN INDICATION PROB. AT THE EARLIEST OPPORTUNITY THE FUEL FLOW GAUGE AND THE FUEL QTY GAUGES (ESPECIALLY THE RIGHT ONE) WILL BE CHKED FOR ACCURACY. IN THE FUTURE, THE INDICATIONS WILL NOT BE RELIED UPON FOR DETERMINATION OF FUEL RESERVES. IN ADDITION, FOR PLANNING PURPOSES, AT LEAST 1 HR OF FUEL RESERVE WILL BE USED FOR ALL VFR FLTS.
Data retrieved from NASA's ASRS site as of August 2007 and automatically converted to unabbreviated mixed upper/lowercase text. This report is for informational purposes with no guarantee of accuracy. See NASA's ASRS site for official report.