Preliminary Accident Reports

December 2018 Issue

Test Pilot

An aircraft’s first flight after a major modification can go wrong several ways, especially if it involves stalls.

My airplane has wingtip-mounted fuel tanks, installed under a supplemental type certificate (STC). In many ways, they’ve transformed and improved the machine by adding greater loading flexibility, thanks in part to a gross-weight increase. What drag they produce isn’t noticeable, and the additional endurance means the airplane is faster over some trips than it was before. For many of my destinations, I can depart with full tanks, fly to my destination, shoot an approach, miss it and fly home with reserves.

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