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Fuel indication during flight


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I'm currently learning the art of flying the Thruster having learnt in the Drifter and done some recent flying in the Gazelle. I'm finding during my downwind checks that it is very hard to tell how much fuel I have remaining as it is particularly difficult to swivel around to eyeball the fuel level indicator and in any event, it is hard enough when on the ground to check the fuel level using the indicator (clear tube), let alone when in flight. What do others do in this situation or do you just trust that fuel burn has been as calculated? Not really good enough for me though - I want to know for sure how much fuel I have left and is the fuel burn within my calculations.

 

Pud

 

 

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I used to estimate how much left from time flying as I couldn't see anything much when it was less than half full. Fuel consumption on one trip went up from 16 to 22 l per hour, resulting in an engine stoppage and landing in a paddock. Problem was wear in the pins on the float, plus headwind which meant a bit more throttle. Live and learn.

 

I also had a broken fuel line which luckily I saw and landed again in a paddock. When I touched the line below the tank it broke. Fuel line approved blue plastic and 18 hours flying time old, about 6 months or less.

 

Calculations can and will let you down.

 

 

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I installed a fuel flow meter I scored from someone on this forum, and I don't know how (or why) I ever went without it.

 

Absolutely invaluable for keeping an eye on fuel usage. In addition to watching the rate and detecting changes, it tells me how much fuel is left in the tank. According to my dipstick checks, it is very accurate. Only a leak which isn't going through the fuel line will fool it, and I'll catch that with my standard fuel gauge. Or my nose.

 

 

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Yenn,

 

What you describe is exactly what I want to minimise/avoid happening. Good info on the fuel line indicator life - I'll check that with my flying instructor and make sure it is ok when I purchase a Thruster later in the year.

 

Slarti,

 

That is definitely food for thought - I'll do some research on the fuel flow meter. How much are they and are they an easy install?

 

Pud

 

 

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That is definitely food for thought - I'll do some research on the fuel flow meter. How much are they and are they an easy install?

Pud, I have this one.

 

It was branded Navman, but they are now Northstar.

 

Mine was second hand, although never used. I forget what I paid. A local marine shop has it for $359.

 

Display:

 

 

Transducer:

 

 

Just found this one on eBay. It seems to have the display and transducer. Grab it now - a bargain.

 

Fitting is easy. Standard instrument, and the transducer goes inline in the fuel line.

 

 

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Guest Maj Millard

I've got a used one in a box for sale if you want it. I can PM you the price if you want. Came fitted in my current aircraft, and removed servicable and in good condition. I'm a fuel dipstick and fuel burn per hour man, so never planned to use it.

 

 

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