An anonymous forum to allow you to share those moments in flying that caused you concern. You can post without registering a username, registered users can log out to post
#1303083
Well, you may learn something from this, I know that I certainly did.
Flying the Bulldog out of Bournemouth last year on the day of the airshow.
Great I thought, see the Red Arrows from the air.
Didn't realise that the airspace around Bournemouth would be closed for 45 minutes.
S**t, and then the fuel gauges were getting quite low, and they're not very accurate.
After a while I radio'd Bournemouth Radar to suggest that I was running low on fuel, and was asked "Do you wish to declare an emergency?"
S**t once again I thought.
I could imagine the Red Arrows having to stop displaying whilst I landed back at Bournemouth.
Or I was suggested to divert to Compton.
I thought better of it and decided to risk it, and leaned the engine as much as possible.
It all worked out for the best though as I got to land right behind the Red Arrows, and got some great pictures of them from behind whilst taxi'ing.
What made it all worse though was having my wife with me, and she's not the happiest flyer as it is.
Oh well, it's good to share.
User avatar
By William
#1303138
adhawkins wrote:Without wishing to point the finger, but presumably this airspace closure was NOTAMed?

Andy


In my experience of flying from Bournemouth during the air show is it's not NOTAMed as closed but due to the huge increase in traffic slots become more limited and you have to be prepared for delays - especially when requesting a re-join. I remember on one occasion being kept out of the zone for well over twenty minutes (and have heard many stories of others suffering from similar delays), so for those who elect to fly over that period, delays are par for the course, and they need to take that into account and plan to have sufficient fuel on board.

The other thing with the Bulldog is that, as it is being used, in the main, for aerobatics, it seldom departs with totally full tanks, and as the OP stated, the gauges are not particularly accurate (are they in any aircraft?). I now work on the principle that if I can't see the fuel in the tanks I ask for a re-fuel. Even on a beautifully clear day (when I'm only planning a 30-40 minute aeros slot), whose to say that for some reason the airfield might not be open on my return and I'm going to need to divert. Not something I want to be doing on fumes!

Glad to hear that all ended well on the day. 8)
User avatar
By CaptChaos
#1303158
Can I respectfully suggest some revisions of flight planning with an instructor. The RAFAT normally display within an RA(T) of 5NM radius in which nothing moves (I wasn't flying there that day so don't know if there was any variation). This would include Bournemouth airport. Proper flight planning would have identified this and also ensured correct fuel loading. I may have misinterpreted your comment in deciding to "risk it" rather than divert or declare an emergency but what was your plan if the engine stopped due to fuel shortage with the consequences to your passenger and those on the ground?

The post was probably a bit of humour rather than what actually happened, but if it was how it was, you need to rethink your airmanship fast.
#1303975
Thanks William for your helpful advice.
Thanks as well to CaptChaos although there was meant to be a touch of humour in the post.
It's the Bulldogs fault though (honest) as the bloody fuel gauges are Carp as William so rightly points out.
No excuses though but the New Forest does have a couple of lovely unused airfields to land on if the need ever arises.
By geehils
#1305412
Sounds like proper fuel planning at the outset or diverting to Compton would have mitigated the risk.

Presumably once you were flying and having spoken with the controllers you knew how long you would have to be airborne for. On our aircraft log we show fuel uplift. If you do the same you could have used the log info to give you a better idea of remaining fuel. Not ideal - a bit finger in the air.

What will you do differently as a result of your experience?
User avatar
By Squadgy
#1305665
Didn't realise that the airspace around Bournemouth would be closed for 45 minutes.


Was this a local flight, from and to Bournemouth? If so I would have thought ATC would have warned you when you booked out.

If it was a flight inbound from another airfield, it's unlikely they would have known about the RA(T)
User avatar
By Paul_Sengupta
#1306236
William wrote:the gauges are not particularly accurate (are they in any aircraft?).


They are in my Bulldog...
#1306454
My fuel gauge is a bit of cork (looks like a stopper for a really big bottle) with a piece of wire stuck in it. It is very reliable and accurate. I have also flown in aircraft with sight gauges as well as aircraft with transprent fuel tanks, where a series of marks made with a felt tip pen give you the fuel quantity. In my experience simple is good.
User avatar
By Sharpie
#1310281
Paul_Sengupta wrote:
William wrote:the gauges are not particularly accurate (are they in any aircraft?).


They are in my Bulldog...


Ahh, but do you rely on them?
User avatar
By Paul_Sengupta
#1310287
Sharpie wrote:
Paul_Sengupta wrote:
William wrote:the gauges are not particularly accurate (are they in any aircraft?).


They are in my Bulldog...


Ahh, but do you rely on them?


Yes.
User avatar
By MarkieMark
#1335531
The lesson that I learnt was that don't trust fuel gauges and expect the unexpected.
I also learnt that **** poor planning leads to **** poor performance, mine in this instance.
I've also learnt that not many people own up to their errors on here, a shame as we all make them.
Lived to tell the tale though, and a lesson learnt.