had my first engine fire today!

deek

New Member
So, getting ready to go on a short instrument flight with my instructor to prep for my ins checkride next weekend. I do my preflight on the warrior with checklist in hand, everything seems good. We get in and I start the starting checklist. Go to crank it over and it spins but does not fire, let off, wait a few, try again, nothing. My instructor takes it over and does the hot start procedure, nothing, waits, tries again, we look up and see smoke comming out, I grab the extinguisher as he gets the door and we hop out and he pops the hood and its got a nice fire going and hits it with the dry chem and it goes right out.

We followed the procedures on the check list and after the second normal try my instructor took over and starts the hot start procedure. The head of the school wasn't there but we called and he said he wants my instructor to file a claim on his insurance, well my instructor got pretty po'd at that point.

We checked with the on field mechanic who had the cowling off and said there wasn't much damage and could have it up again first thing tomorrow.

Should I be worried, would I need to file a claim on my insurance? Anyways after that we got a different plane and went and did the flight as normal with everything good after that. Sure did get the pucker factor up there!
 

juxtapilot

Snowflake
So, getting ready to go on a short instrument flight with my instructor to prep for my ins checkride next weekend. I do my preflight on the warrior with checklist in hand, everything seems good. We get in and I start the starting checklist. Go to crank it over and it spins but does not fire, let off, wait a few, try again, nothing. My instructor takes it over and does the hot start procedure, nothing, waits, tries again, we look up and see smoke comming out, I grab the extinguisher as he gets the door and we hop out and he pops the hood and its got a nice fire going and hits it with the dry chem and it goes right out.

We followed the procedures on the check list and after the second normal try my instructor took over and starts the hot start procedure. The head of the school wasn't there but we called and he said he wants my instructor to file a claim on his insurance, well my instructor got pretty po'd at that point.

We checked with the on field mechanic who had the cowling off and said there wasn't much damage and could have it up again first thing tomorrow.

Should I be worried, would I need to file a claim on my insurance? Anyways after that we got a different plane and went and did the flight as normal with everything good after that. Sure did get the pucker factor up there!
What caused the fire? Flooded engine perhaps?

As for insurance? Don't bother. Sounds like your instructor is going to file if anyone does (though the flight school should IMO). Doesn't sound like there was very much damage so... Be thankful this didn't happen in the air. :)
 

trafficinsight

Well-Known Member
I wouldn't even file an insurance claim if I was the instructor, just wait and see what the damage costs to repair and pay for it.
 

TXaviator

Well-Known Member
why would the individual have to file the claim??? F THAT. if the school wants some money out of it, fine, they can go right ahead. theres no reason you or the instructor should have anything to do with the claim.
 

deek

New Member
Ya, the school isn't the best managed let just say that. I think my instructor has been looking for a reason to leave, and so have I as prices have now exceeded others in the area.

But the mechanic said it was prob a flooded engine, but my instructor did the flooded start, full throttle, f pump off, mix out, and nothing, it was during this start that we noticed the smoke.

My instructor asked me if I had insurance, I know I do but the school bought it for me when I started my private back in Feb. so I don't remember the details of my coverage

I think we'll both be ok, but I'm sure my instructor and the head manager will go at it.
 

ComplexHiAv8r

Well-Known Member
I would be surprised if the CFI gets in a plane at that school again. School should have the insurance for this. If pushed I would tell the mechanics to NOT fix it until the adjuster can come and look at it. Wait a week or so and remind the mechanic that if it is fixed before the adjuster sees it that person approving the repairs can pay for it. How long does the school want the plane down?
 

pilotty

Well-Known Member
I can't believe I just read that. I mean how in the HECK is it the CFI's fault that the POS caught on fire?!!!!!! If it was any employee of the flight school....um I would be pointing the finger at the mechanic...but seriously it is only the responsibility of the flight school owner operator. Us CFI's are always getting taken advantage of, but it would be a cold day in H... that I would ever give someone a dime when I am instructing in their planes and ANYTHING goes mechanically wrong. I would find a new flight school quick, before it costs you more than an insurance claim.:whatever:
 

beechpilot

Well-Known Member
I think that's a bum deal that the instructor would have to put an insurance claim in. At my flight school I'm fully covered under their insurance while serving as a flight instructor or when flying Part 135. When we are flying things happen from time to time but we are never expected to pay for broken parts or file insurance claims because of them.
 

trafficinsight

Well-Known Member
I can't believe I just read that. I mean how in the HECK is it the CFI's fault that the POS caught on fire?!!!!!! If it was any employee of the flight school....um I would be pointing the finger at the mechanic...but seriously it is only the responsibility of the flight school owner operator. Us CFI's are always getting taken advantage of, but it would be a cold day in H... that I would ever give someone a dime when I am instructing in their planes and ANYTHING goes mechanically wrong. I would find a new flight school quick, before it costs you more than an insurance claim.:whatever:

hmm, well I don't know enough about the events in question but an engine fire while starting is usually caused by flooding, which is easy to do in a Warrior. We've had a couple of them.

Not to critique, because I wasn't there, but if you think you have an induction fire it is very important that you KEEP CRANKING with the mixture in idle cutoff until the engine starts or the fire goes out at least. If this fire was caused by a mechanical problem then I agree, don't give them a dime. But if you overprimed and had an induction fire, then man up and admit it to yourself (Not that you haven't already, I'm not implying anything), the damage should be minimal and cheap and there's no reason to get an insurance company involved.
 

deek

New Member
I didn't prime the engine (it just got back from flying 10 minutes after I got there and it's still summer here in texas plus it's not on my checklist to do so). I gave it two pumps of the throttle (says to do so on the check list) and we tried to start it 4 times. 2 normal times, and 2 using the hot start/flooded method and then noticed the flames. Since we had been cracking it and not getting it to at least cough we figured it wasn't ever going to start so we decided to grab the extinguisher and bail.

Yeah I don't know how instructors are covered when they fly, I know us students need insurance we we're flying solo but I would imagine instructors would be covered by their employer's insurance policy for on the job stuff.

But I've been highly considering leaving this school, and since I have my ins check ride next weekend, it might be as good a time as any.
 

Clearblue

Well-Known Member
And you guys were giving me crap at the M&G about driving 30 min away when your school is right by my house.:rolleyes: But really glad you're OK. You should switch to the one I go to, good planes, good instructors. Although it's probably even farther for you.
 

subpilot

Squawking 7600
I didn't prime the engine (it just got back from flying 10 minutes after I got there and it's still summer here in texas plus it's not on my checklist to do so). I gave it two pumps of the throttle (says to do so on the check list)
When you pumped the throttle two times you were in reality priming the engine. The throttles have accelerator pumps on them that prime the engine. On most GA aircraft, if the engine is still hot then you don't need to prime/pump the throttle at all. Just crack open the throttle and start.
 

bLizZuE

Working the high speed buffet to happy hour.
I just want to say this:

If you suspect engine fire- DO NOT OPEN THE COWLING!
 

trafficinsight

Well-Known Member
When you pumped the throttle two times you were in reality priming the engine. The throttles have accelerator pumps on them that prime the engine. On most GA aircraft, if the engine is still hot then you don't need to prime/pump the throttle at all. Just crack open the throttle and start.
Not only that but on Cessnas and Pipers when you pump the throttle all you do is dump gas in the bottom of the cowling, the accelrator jet sprays up and then drips back down to the bottom of the airbox and then out the drain hole onto the cowling.

If you flood it enough you'll have a spreading pool of gas conveniently located below the exhaust stacks on the ground.

If you are going to pump the throttle, do it while you're already cranking, that way the airflow draws the fuel further into the induction system, but as Subby said, if the engine is warm just crack & crank, she'll faaar raaaht up. ;)
 

SpiraMirabilis

Possible Subversive
Wow, scared me for a second. I'd say this is more like a hot start though. Maybe its my fault though -- I see 'engine fire' and I assume 'engine fire in flight.'
 

deek

New Member
OK, so I pumped the throttle twice and that brought in fuel, granted, but this is the first time i've had this happen and this would make me think that there was already some fuel in there? Maybe the person before me did a wrong shut-down procedure and left some fuel in? I don't think two pumps on the throttle would flood an engine to the point where a fire would start.
 

SpiraMirabilis

Possible Subversive
It's the school's problem if they put 2 pumps of throttle on the checklist. You operated the plane like they asked you to.
 

trafficinsight

Well-Known Member
OK, so I pumped the throttle twice and that brought in fuel, granted, but this is the first time i've had this happen and this would make me think that there was already some fuel in there? Maybe the person before me did a wrong shut-down procedure and left some fuel in? I don't think two pumps on the throttle would flood an engine to the point where a fire would start.
2 pumps on the throttle, believe it or not, is quite a bit of fuel. When you have the carburetor off and there's still fuel in the bowl and you hit the accelerator pump it shoots a stream of fuel 10 to 15 feet in the air... cracks me up ;)

Anyway, the reason you keep cranking is that the engine drawing in air will draw the burning fuel in also... It's hard to do that when you start to see smoke, but you just have to trust that it really is the best remedy.
 

moxiepilot

Well-Known Member
Should I be worried, would I need to file a claim on my insurance? Anyways after that we got a different plane and went and did the flight as normal with everything good after that. Sure did get the pucker factor up there!
No you should not be worried. No, you should not file a claim if you are a student pilot on a training flight with an instructor. Ultimately, the inst. is the PIC.

I had a student over prime a plane which resulted in an engine fire as well.

As most instructors are covered under the FBO insurance policy, having the instructor fill out a cliam (which prob. isn't necessary, unless there was extensive damage) is not correct.

Unless your instructor is freelance or 1099 employee, then the FBO should fill out a claim, if they so choose.
 
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