Porting a tank.

ppragman

FLIPY FLAPS!
Out of curiousity, how do you folks feel about running a tank dry (in pistons) I don't really have a problem with it, and have done it a couple of times when fuel was tight, however I had someone tell today that they never do it
and that its unsafe.

My rationale is this, I'd rather have 10 Gallons in one tank than 5 Gallons in one and 5 in the other. And, if you have left/right/off on your selector and you're not half way to your destination, and you run dry... then you might wanna think about diverting...but that's just me what are your thoughts?
 

mnixon

Well-Known Member
I've run tanks dry but always watched it religiously when it got low so the engine would have constant flow. If your running a navajo for instance and let it go dry and don't catch in the time sumb!tch is gonna surge and for an engine runnin that hot, it ain't kosher.
 

mcbenwa

Well-Known Member
Spenaks must have some long routes now. You can John Wayne around or land/ and keep it on one main, but I'm not sure if you have to run a tank dry to conversate with your passengers Patrick. Has it gotten that boring already?
 

phoenix 23684

Well-Known Member
We do this with satellites. At a point, lets say when we think we only have 1/8 of fuel in the tanks, we balance the load and only use one. This establishes a time line of how long it will take to run it dry, now we know with a higher certainty how much we have in the other tank. I guess not a bad idea for flying, but I always liked to land with plenty on the airplane. Then again I have never flown in remote locations, otherwise I don't see the point, I rather land and stretch the legs and use the facilities.
 

MikeFavinger

Hubschrauber Flieger
This is a fantastic article about the subject:

http://www.avweb.com/news/pelican/182044-1.html

Here's part of the article:

How about Running a Tank Dry?
"Never run a fuel tank dry" is one of the newer ones, because it used to be a standard method of fuel management. We used to do it on virtually EVERY flight, before the jets came along! I still do it regularly, in non-turbine aircraft, and it works great. What happened to change this?

Now please, folks. I'm not talking about running a tank dry when it's the only tank in the airplane! Nor when it's the last tank with fuel in it! Some readers have blasted me on the checklist columns about single-pilot operations, saying "Well, how about the A-26, or the single-pilot Citation?" Folks, there are exceptions to every rule, and if you haven't got the smarts to figure that out, you not only shouldn't be reading this column, you probably shouldn't be flying (or even walking). As I tried to point out in "What Really Counts," you ought to read this, think about it, figure out what applies to you and what doesn't, and act accordingly. You don't like something? Argue about it! Find some data to prove I'm wrong! Please! I want to know more than anyone.

Who Started This Insanity?
In my opinion, the change in attitude was mostly due to turbines (jets and turboprops), in which even a tiny bit of air in the fuel supply may kill the engine. Turbines, as wonderful as they are, can be miserable or impossible to restart in the air, often requiring a descent into "thicker" air, specific airspeeds and windmilling RPM, and several systems have to function properly to get a re-light. The turbine is like a campfire on a rainy day. Keep it going, and it's fine, but let it go out, it can be really tough to get it going again. I suspect that as many pilots started flying turbines, the idea developed that running a tank dry was "a bad thing," and this attitude permeated down to the recips, as well.

This is simply not true of recips. When a recip runs out of fuel, nothing else has changed. The spark is still there on every power stroke, the piston is still pumping air, driven by the prop, which is nearly impossible to stop, inflight even when you want to. Two of the "three necessities" (fuel, air, spark) remain, totally unaffected by the lack of fuel.
The article is much longer, and addresses nearly any concern one might have about running a tank dry.
 

ppragman

FLIPY FLAPS!
Spenaks must have some long routes now. You can John Wayne around or land/ and keep it on one main, but I'm not sure if you have to run a tank dry to conversate with your passengers Patrick. Has it gotten that boring already?
nope not bored yet, someone forgot to fuel me the other day and I was kinda hoping I could run it dry, but I landed with 7 gals or so left. Down in adq though I've burned one dry on more than a couple occasions.

actually wilkonson, this is a great job. this is the best work i've ever had, no joke. Granted I'd like to go to someplace other than b or t, but hell, I come back empty enough, I can have fun.
 

mcbenwa

Well-Known Member
nope not bored yet, someone forgot to fuel me the other day and I was kinda hoping I could run it dry, but I landed with 7 gals or so left. Down in adq though I've burned one dry on more than a couple occasions.

actually wilkonson, this is a great job. this is the best work i've ever had, no joke. Granted I'd like to go to someplace other than b or t, but hell, I come back empty enough, I can have fun.
I know it's sweet, and Mike's and an awesome boss to work for. Yeah dog fighting around or coming back as a flight of 2 is fun. I didn't know Baron was leaving, I guess that means you're full time for sure now.

I've burned a few tanks dry, it's no big deal, but I always make sure it runs on the other tank first before running it dry. I think it's a good idea if you know you're gonna be close on fuel.

Are you gonna buy that 150?
 

ppragman

FLIPY FLAPS!
I know it's sweet, and Mike's and an awesome boss to work for. Yeah dog fighting around or coming back as a flight of 2 is fun. I didn't know Baron was leaving, I guess that means you're full time for sure now.

I've burned a few tanks dry, it's no big deal, but I always make sure it runs on the other tank first before running it dry. I think it's a good idea if you know you're gonna be close on fuel.

Are you gonna buy that 150?
bank shot me down, I need more time at Spernaks
 
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