Learning Experiences

September 2002 Issue

Lights But No Action

“I felt a little weak in the knees when I found out that there had been only two gallons usable in the mains”

This experience took me years to admit because of how close to disaster I came and how easily it could have been avoided.

So here goes. I was a newly rated IFR multi-engine pilot ready for the excitement and challenge on a beautiful fall day for a trip from Toronto to Venice, Fla. We headed to the airport with all the weather briefings complete, notams checked and IFR flight plan filed. We planned a stop at Charlotte, N.C., to clear Customs and refuel, with the next stop Venice.

I made a thorough walkaround, carefully checking the fuel tanks, both mains and auxiliaries via eye-balling them because everyone knows you can’t trust fuel gauges. Our Seneca was ready to go.

Off we went...

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