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VH-LBY Skippers C-441

Old 9th May 2018, 12:58
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VH-LBY Skippers C-441

Tried to post on the original thread, only to find it closed (??) Anyway the prelim report is out and shock horror, the obvious guess proved to be the correct one.
https://www.atsb.gov.au/publications...r/ao-2018-019/
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Old 9th May 2018, 13:15
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Don't be too quick to stick the boot in Spinex, yes it is Fuel Exhaustion, there is mention of water contamination and there is still no clearly identified reason why it happened, were the fuel gauges faulty perhaps? how significant a water contamination are we talking? Was the aircraft using more fuel than expected or shown? Still plenty of explanations as to what led to the Fuel Exhaustion situation so lets not stick in that boot too soon.
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Old 9th May 2018, 13:24
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Originally Posted by Ixixly View Post
Don't be too quick to stick the boot in Spinex, yes it is Fuel Exhaustion, there is mention of water contamination and there is still no clearly identified reason why it happened, were the fuel gauges faulty perhaps? how significant a water contamination are we talking? Was the aircraft using more fuel than expected or shown? Still plenty of explanations as to what led to the Fuel Exhaustion situation so lets not stick in that boot too soon.
"The aircraft was refuelled and flown without incident to Broome Airport."

It seems pretty one way here.

I know nothing about the C441, does it have fuel quantity low master caution or warning annunciation?
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Old 9th May 2018, 13:41
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Quite where the boot is involved in pointing out the blindingly obvious, I fail to see. It is however increasingly tempting to apply said size12s to the tails of those who persist in trying to whitewash a set of circumstances that would earn a newly minted PPL a well deserved raspberry, never mind a CPL with paying pax in the back.
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Old 9th May 2018, 14:01
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Originally Posted by Ixixly View Post
Don't be too quick to stick the boot in Spinex, yes it is Fuel Exhaustion, there is mention of water contamination and there is still no clearly identified reason why it happened, were the fuel gauges faulty perhaps? how significant a water contamination are we talking? Was the aircraft using more fuel than expected or shown? Still plenty of explanations as to what led to the Fuel Exhaustion situation so lets not stick in that boot too soon.
Well the maintenance done on the side of road or actually on the road will be very interesting work sheets to read!

Time to call a Spade a Spade!

Or be willing to produce the test equipment and other required documents for the flight off the road.

Christ pilots can be insistent! the wheels were down! don't know how they folded back up!.


******* There is NO reasonable explanation that a engine surged and was shut down and then the other shutdown by itself soon after - other than lack of fuel. Being able to fly away soon after.
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Old 9th May 2018, 22:30
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Ix: If there were explanations other than the usual, why would the pilot have been sacked by the operator? Wrongful dismissal claim would be a shoe in if the cause was a gauge or water or some other mechanical problem. And as has been pointed out on numerous occasions, the problem and the fix would be recorded in the maintenance docs.

Eddie Dean’s smoke and mirrors campaign has been exposed for what it was.
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Old 10th May 2018, 01:28
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yes it is Fuel Exhaustion, there is mention of water contamination and there is still no clearly identified reason why it happened, were the fuel gauges faulty perhaps?
I don't want to sink the slipper into the poor hapless lad because the Gods will punish such hubris with a fuel exhaustion event of my own. Nonetheless, sources close to the investigation say there is a video of the aircraft taxiing out at FTZ or HLC with the LOW FUEL lights illuminated on the annunciator.
JET A1 is available at HLC and as they say in the classics, runway behind you... fuel on the ground... etc.

In other news, I believe a Territory operator has now gained a more-experienced-than-most Conquest driver and I am sure it's an error he'll never make again.
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Old 10th May 2018, 02:34
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Well said, Horatio.

I think it was a bit rough that the PIC was sacked in the first place. Very bad mistake, but not one that he will make again. And everyone walked away unscathed.

If I were to say ‘there but for the grace of god’, no doubt the usual sky gods will claim perfection...
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Old 10th May 2018, 03:24
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Originally Posted by Lead Balloon View Post

I think it was a bit rough that the PIC was sacked in the first place. Very bad mistake, but not one that he will make again. And everyone walked away unscathed.
That depends.

If the PIC knowingly took off without the required fuel to make the destination, and ignored potential warnings (refer the post about video and low fuel lights), id think sacking is warranted.

If the PIC had planned appropriately and believed that the gauges were correct, but an investigation finds out there were problems with the system (be it fuel system, maintenance system, or even the cultural system) and as a result he has run out, I don't think sacking is warranted.

Big difference. More information is needed. Until then bit hard to say whether sacking is or isn't warranted.
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Old 10th May 2018, 03:47
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How come the rather vocal and adamant old mate allegedly working on a station next door that posted here saying there was no fuel uplifted isn't saying anything now??
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Old 10th May 2018, 04:05
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Nonetheless, sources close to the investigation say there is a video of the aircraft taxiing out at FTZ or HLC with the LOW FUEL lights illuminated on the annunciator.
JET A1 is available at HLC and as they say in the classics, runway behind you... fuel on the ground... etc.
But what if the fuel gauges showed more than enough fuel to fly to the destination? Which one do you believe?

From reading the prelim report this scenario is very possible.
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Old 10th May 2018, 04:44
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Originally Posted by red_dirt View Post
How come the rather vocal and adamant old mate allegedly working on a station next door that posted here saying there was no fuel uplifted isn't saying anything now??
I was part of that conversation, but I didn't read it that way.
I think he was just saying that there was no fuel uploaded while he was there.
The guys at the site may also have told him that there was no fuel uploaded (as they might well do).

He sort of clarified the point when I asked about a station Toyota being able to get past the aircraft.

Why would a ringer off a station with a pocket full of money and heading for Broome wait around watching for more than a short period of time?
He'd have a new cowdie hat to buy and a barmaid to annoy.
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Old 10th May 2018, 05:11
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Originally Posted by neville_nobody View Post
But what if the fuel gauges showed more than enough fuel to fly to the destination? Which one do you believe?

From reading the prelim report this scenario is very possible.
I would have thought that good airmanship says you believe the warning light until it’s proved that the gauges are overstating FOB. I’m not sure about the certification basis of the particular aircraft, but aren’t steam driven fuel guages only required to be accurate when indicating ‘empty’?

And you seem to have overlooked the fact that inaccurate gauges were not entered in the maintenance documentation then signed off as having been repaired, or the subject of an exemption or PUS granted by CASA at short notice, before departure.

(Eddie’s a ringer off a station? Surprisingly deep knowledge of aircraft maintenance for a ‘ringer’...)




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Old 10th May 2018, 05:30
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Originally Posted by Lead Balloon View Post
(Eddie’s a ringer off a station? Surprisingly deep knowledge of aircraft maintenance for a ‘ringer’...)


Yeah, I know. But he's off a station and he's driving a Tojo so he has to be a ringer. My logic.
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Old 10th May 2018, 05:44
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He said he was off a station and he said he was driving a Tojo. That’s not the same as him being off a station and driving a Tojo. Wild guess and pure speculation: Eddie drove a truck load of fuel from Broome to the aircraft...
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Old 10th May 2018, 06:12
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I would have thought that good airmanship says you believe the warning light until it’s proved that the gauges are overstating FOB.
100% agree. Not saying it is a good idea just saying that if someone had the fuel lights on it is possible that the gauges were indicating enough fuel. It is also quite possible that the gauges cross check against your fuel log too.
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Old 10th May 2018, 06:14
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Originally Posted by Lead Balloon View Post
He said he was off a station and he said he was driving a Tojo. That’s not the same as him being off a station and driving a Tojo. Wild guess and pure speculation: Eddie drove a truck load of fuel from Broome to the aircraft...
In fact I was the one who said he was in a Tojo. Just part of my dig about him being a ringer.
What really confused me was the following statement:
It was on Sandfire Road, Great Northern H'way, heading to Roebuck Roadhouse when I saw it.
So was SSE of Sandfire and northish of Roebuck.
That makes no sense at all and had me wondering whether he'd been anywhere near the aircraft.

That location, if true, would have it in two pieces at least 200 km apart.
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Old 10th May 2018, 07:51
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Fuel exhaustion due excessive h2O contamination is the story I heard.
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Old 10th May 2018, 09:42
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I could believe a GA aircraft having one faulty fuel gauge, but two BOTH significantly overreading?

On water in the fuel, surely you can’t just have a double inflight shutdown due to contamination, and then top the tanks up from a drum and get going an hour or two later. Surely with enough contamination to stop both in flight, there’d have been a fairly rigorous maintenance procedure to get the tanks/lines/donks decontaminated and signed off.
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Old 10th May 2018, 09:44
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Shutdown due to water contamination, fill it up and depart.

Bullshit.
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