Although I had planned to write about economising by leaning, there is a more pressing fuel related matter to bring to your attention. Do you know what to do if you have an engine fire?
Much of the check-list is occupied by items which you can read and comply and for those checks I would encourage you to do so. But there are several check sequences which are memory items, so next time you fly, go through the check-list and be sure you have learned these. You really shouldn’t be flying if they are not known.
Engine fire is one such memory item and in a PA28 is usually the result of over priming – the photographs of G-ERFS engine bay shows the degree of damage which can occur. Hence my second plea is not to let it happen (this is the second time in 2 years).
It’s better to under prime than the reverse. Read the POH – cold start in a PA28 calls for 3-6 strokes of the priming pump, the upper range being reserved for deep mid-winter. Restarting a hot engine should need no more than a single stroke. Pumping the throttle lever is asking for trouble as it can lead to fuel dripping from the carburettor. But what bothered me most since the G-ERFS conflagration is the number of PA28 pilots who do not know how to turn the fuel off. Because of the safety catch on the fuel tap to do this manoeuvre one handed needs practice.
DO NOT FLY A PA28 AGAIN UNTIL YOU HAVE MASTERED THIS MANOEUVRE.
AT-3 Mass and Balance
When I first flew the AT-3 with David Scouller, wearing his test pilot hat he commented that he thought the centre of gravity (C of G) limits were too restrictive. I reported this to the manufacturers.
Some 3 years later we have received a new Mass and Balance schedule confirming this, so that the forward C of G limit is much further forward than previously, which means that more fuel may be carried as long as the weight limit (unchanged) is respected AT-3 pilots should re-examine the new schedule with regard to their individual flights, but it does mean that an absolute limit of fuel to 40 litres need not be observed.
Transitional Altitude (TA)
Pilots venturing north should note that the East Midlands / Daventry Control Areas have adopted a new TA of 6000 feet and if flying beneath these areas should avoid using the Regional Pressure Setting (RPS) just as I hope you do on your way to Isle of Wight under the Solent Control Area.
Air Information Circulars
Note “local” airspace restrictions:-
Stonehenge 20/21 June
Yeovilton 21 July
Fairford 13/18 July
Bournemouth 18/21 August
I hadn’t realised that it is no longer necessary to contact Customs and Immigration separately. A single email to email@example.com will suffice.
The Wiltshire police email address remains firstname.lastname@example.org