Friday, March 16, 2012

10th Flight: Fuel scare, Lesson Stay calm

March 5th, we started out early this Monday; Bryan was set to complete his IPC (Instrument Proficiency check).  We took out the 'S' model Cessna again. Bryan did quite well in the two approaches needed to finish up his check ride. Especially since the winds were really kicking it up today. 

 I found myself for the first time in a long while getting a little nauseated; totally not fun (as you can see from my picture below. After Bryan finished the two instrument approaches to Long Island Mac Arthur Airport (Islip KISP), we headed back to Republic airport to check on the weather, before we headed back out again.

We planned to go out to Waterbury-Oxford Airport in Connecticut to that wonderful restaurant 121 again. By the time we had headed back out again the winds had died down a bit (Thank God), and I was feeling better.


In route Bryan noticed that we were only drawing fuel from the right wing (Cessna has two tanks on each wing). We didn't know why that was as it appeared the fuel selector was set to draw from both tanks. Bry was about to change to the left tank, when I asked "What if the reason it's only drawing from one tank is because there is a problem with the fuel line on the left side? If we changed tanks then, isn't there a chance the engine could stop?" 

We talked about the options. Without mechanic we could not verify if there might be a problem with the fuel line, and if the worst happened and the engine stopped, we could definitely try to restart it, and if that didn't work do an emergency landing. The final option was just to land and check it out. So we decided not to touch the fuel selector till we landed. Luckily we were close to our destination airport in Oxford CT. Once we landed we took a better look at the fuel selector, and realized that while the selector was pointed to 'Both', it was actually not in the grove completely. We do not know how it moved as we flew earlier in the day, and hadn't moved it. I guess during our bumpy early afternoon flight it must have moved slightly. Once we placed the selector completely on the 'both' setting we got ready to take off and head back home.  The 121 Restaurant we found is closed Mondays.
On our way back we saw that the fuel was indeed drawing now from both tanks. Thank god an emergency had been avoided and all was well.

It was crystal clear on the way back and we could see New York all the way from Connecticut. By the time we made it back home it was 10pm. We grabbed a quick meal outside, before we called it a night; yet another wonderful day of flight.
Lovely 121Restaurant (picture by, which we hope to eat at soon once again.


  1. Someone is looking a little... "green".

    This was a fun flight!

  2. hahahaha, Yes it was, except for the 1st portion for me;-)