December 2009 Issue

Counting Gallons of Fuel

Using a fuel totalizer won’t keep you from being in a fuel-related accident unless you know its features and its shortcomings.

One reason fuel mismanagement mishaps still comprise a large share of annual accident data is pilots forgetting to manage their fuel or doing it poorly. Another could be the less-than-exact instrumentation found aboard most GA aircraft. The bad news is only you can fix the pilot problem. But there is good news: A fuel totalizer providing instantaneous fuel consumption data along with fuel remaining, endurance time and other useful information can eliminate shortcomings in the less-than-accurate fuel gauges installed in most personal aircraft. Even better news? When connected to a Loran or GPS, a totalizer and a navigator working together can supply distance-to-empty and reserve-at-destination information, along with your real-time mileage.

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