That' some very expensive gas he forgot to buy

Knew about this several days ago from contacts within the FAA – ATC transcripts, etc. – but it was just made public: (interesting what the author left out of the prelim. report…)

Excellent that he didn’t try for the forced glide to the airport, and chose to deploy the parachute instead. Very poor that he was forced into that decision by bad judgement – either not loading sufficient fuel in the first place or bad fuel management and lack of fuel state awareness in flight.

Well - Given that fuel related incidents occur to the general GA population at a rate of 3 per week, and that Cirrus aircraft are now making up a larger percentage of the GA fleet, really not a surprising situation - with the exception in this case of a parachute and all souls present. Maybe we can all learn something.

And while is seems like an easy answer to jump on the “pilot related bandwagon” - when you read through last years NTSB reports related to fuel “issues” I don’t believe “pilot error” bears the whole responsibility, I truly don’t.

Of course - I have a personal stake in this fight. and I believe there might be “other” factors involved .

But like all things you really dive into full force "**Fuel Mismanagement, **in this case " - you begin to learn things that might just change your perception.

For instance the below sender was removed from an airworthy aircraft - the MFD may be new - the technology behind it - well you judge for yourself

The following was for a recent A36 Bonanza incident - NTSB Report - Some of this may sound familiar - He also started with sufficient but not full fuel

The pilot departed HSE and flew north along the coast for approximately fifteen minutes before turning on course to FAY. He stated that, approximately 15 miles from the airport, the left fuel tank gauge indicated about 1/8 full, but shortly after, the gauge “shot up” to a 3/4 full indication. While on final approach for landing, at an altitude of approximately 200 feet, the engine experienced a total loss of power. The pilot switched the fuel tank selector to the right tank, and performed a forced landing to a field short of the runway.

It leads you to believe something else may be in play here.

Good to see your name again. Welcome back, even if only on the Guest side.

Extensive discussion on the Member side with over 240 posts: CAPS event #42 in SR20 N140PG near Danbury, CT [23 Jan 2013 00:11 UTC]

As you might imagine, COPA discussions extend broadly and separately explored speculation and judgment of pilot actions in an accident like this. See this thread with over 50 posts: Accident Speculation (split from CAPS event #42 in SR20 N140PG near Danbury, CT [23 Jan 2013 00:11 UTC]

For those reading this thread without more context for COPA accident discussions, Bill has pointed out some of the obvious conclusions one might make about a fuel-related accident. At this point, there simply isn’t enough data to confirm or dismiss the leading hypotheses, although it tempts many people to jump to those conclusions.

However, in our Cirrus history, we have had accidents involving fuel that were caused by maintenance failure, pilot miscalculation, pilot distraction, lack of pre-flight procedures, and dependence on assumptions, let alone Scott’s introduction of misleading discussion* of fuel gauges in aircraft.


  • In deference to Scott’s post, my comment was not an accurate summary of what he posted. The problem with knowing your fuel quantity comes from a combination of factors – visual determination of quantity, accurate data in the fuel totalizer, records of fuel consumption and tank levels when switched, and gauges in the cockpit. Longer discussion on the member side . . .


For everyone’s sake … I haven’t introduced misleading fuel gauges into aircraft - that would be a non starter - my business banker would not be pleased.

I was aiming for exactly the opposite - quality gauges and information - I believe that is what we set out to do and now after a year of delivering 1,800 quality fuel sending units - We not only did our job to build a better system for the Cirrus aircraft and Cirrus community. We are now working on every other GA platform with similar results.

The Bonanza NTSB narrative given in my post - indicates that this is not a “Cirrus” or "Cirrus Pilot " issue and that problems that have been reported by Cirrus owners for legacy Cirrus aircraft are similar to other aircraft and indicative of a larger issue that effects the breath of light GA aircraft.

The illustrated sender came from a Piper aircraft - not a Cirrus

Yes I have a dog in the fight - I established a business to address a particular issue in aviation - there was a problem that needed to be addressed, and I really believe we have sunk our teeth into it.

Scott, good catch, and my apologies. I misstated what I meant to say and edited my post. Accurate fuel calculations involve several factors, not just fuel gauges.