Time in Your Tanks… (TP 2228E-23)

Safety Promotion & Education

Finding the "time in your tanks".

  • Log accurate flight times, power settings and fuel used on each trip.
  • Count flight time as startup to shutdown.
  • Compute fuel consumption (per hour) after a few flights under similar operating conditions.
  • Determine usable fuel from pilot's operating handbook (POH).
  • Ensure proper conversion for units used: (imp gals to litres; US gals to litres; pounds to litres). Conversion charts can be found in the CFS.
  • Your safe flight time limit is:

Usable fuel x 3    =  _____ hrs (resolve never to fly longer)
(Fuel units)/hr  x 4

  • In flight, compute fuel used:

(Fuel units)/hr x min flown = ______ (fuel units) used

  • If fuel gauges do not agree with computed (fuel units) used, suspect inaccurate readings or a loose fuel cap.

Fuel management checklist

When computing a safe flight time limit for your flight, consider:

  • Trip length
  • Cruise altitude
  • Engine power settings
  • Wind (don't count on forecast tailwinds)
  • Regulatory and company fuel reserves
  • Number of passengers and load
  • If actual flight time progress lags behind planned progress you may have to land short of destination
  • Use the proper grade of fuel; colour check fuel grade when refuelling; if proper grade unavailable, use the next higher grade. (Always refer to POH)
  • Draincock check for water and fuel cleanliness
  • Visually check quantity before startup, preferably using an accurate dipstick
  • Know the fuel system - especially the tank selectors
  • When selecting fuel tanks don't rely on feel alone - look. Don't reposition fuel tank selectors just before takeoff or landing.
  • Get familiar with mixture control.

Mixture control

  • A proper mixture control gives:
    • improved engine efficiency
    • fuel economy, and longer range
    • reduced maintenance costs, longer sparkplug life, less fouling
  • use the engine builder's vast experience - consult the POH
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