Wow, you'd think the Cirrus reps were out trolling the blogs making sure no one says anything bad about their product line!
I don't think there are "few pilots who know what they're doing" but the dumb ones certainly make the news often enough.
It sucks that a 2 pilots, one a CFI, managed to total a beautiful TAA over something so dumb. I almost feel sorry for them. Glad they didn't kill someone.
My airplane comes equipped with the best preventative for running out of fuel. My wife's tiny bladder ensures a stop every few hours. I plan my stops not just by fuel price but the availability of a clean restroom!
WHISKEY TANGO FOXTROT
I'd love to hear the interview with the pilot and CFI.....
The most amazing and disturbing part of this story is there was a flight instructor onboard.
Skymachines, I think you might be guilty of a bad decision here too. You just posted "very few pilots know what they're doing". Really? Don't you think you're going over the top a little bit? You might consider a pre-flight checklist of your comments before you post next time.
Must be one of the new generation "book smart " flight instructors . What ever happened to common sense and the role of the FAR's.
Seems like these Cirrus aircraft have been involved in a LOT of accidents lately!
Skymachines, speak for yourself about the comment very few pilots know what they are doing. There are careless pilots out there, but don't lump us all not that category. I take pride in careful preflight planning even for a short trip around the patch. No need to throw us all under the bus.....
All we know is that the tanks were empty, ( is that right ? ) do we know for certain that the fuel all exited via the engine ?
Course, that doesn't answer the question of why the empty fuel gauges were ignored - but were they showing empty ? I know nothing about the Cirrus, but are the gauges nice, simple, mechanical ones, or are they part of the magic 'glass cockpit' computer system, where nothing can go wrong, go wrong, go wrong, go wrong ?
Can't we wait until we know some hard f acts ?
Slightly aside, but a friend once ran a tank dry on a Cessna 182 many years ago, he'd not properly secured the cap which blew off, the fuel syphoned out, but the floor of the bladder tank rose up and kept the fuel gauge float lifted, every time he checked that tank the gauge was showing a positive reading.
Forget the gauges, know your consumption, know how much you start with, and work out how long you can stay airborne - then reduce it by a sensible 'fiddle factor". Murphy is always with us.
Seems the recent spate of accidents are caused by negating the simplest of the basic airmanship learned in the early flight training. Running out of fuel is ridiculous and an instructor on familiarisation flight is bordering on ludicrous.
With a CFI on board?
That must have been one sloppy CFI that was literally" just along for the ride" instead of doing any of the I in CFI.
What a shame. He needs a little remedial training. Your telling me a CFI sat there and never looked at the fuel gages once while all this was going on?
I hope there is more to this story that will some how exonerate this guy but I can't imagine how.
And then the pilot?
If it was a familiarity flight he must have been trained in one of those airplanes that don't have fuel gages and never saw one before.
And was never taught to check the tanks?
Working for FAA in Washington; I had a great compliment from a major, a retired AF flight instructor and federal traffic controller who had worked Indianapolis Center, who recommended flight instruction for me; I didn't pursue because of unbalanced/weak eye condition. This would have made me ineligible for a commercial license, which pays money, necessary today for gas prices. Younger, I was ready to go, but as I get older I realize that these things are dangerous! Too many relatively wealthy pilots are treating them like automobiles; however, it's a full-time job. I still drive like a pilot; they haven't caught me yet!
I haven't seen those brochures with the comment on running out of fuel, but the idea is scary. These guys had to work a little to end up like this. Assuming (reasonably so) that it was truly fuel exhaustion, consider this: like most low-wing aircraft, the Cirrus draws separately from each tank, controlled by a selector between the front seats. They had to drain one tank, switch to the other, and still not land for fuel. I am truly embarrassed for the CFI on board, and hope this is a true learning experience for all involved. I'm just glad they were not injured (beyond the pride).
This is a very interesting incident, particularly in view of the fact that a CFI was on board, which brings to mind a question: Does an individual lose the right to be an ignorant passenger aboard an airplane just because one has a CFI rating and is not acting in any professional or "crew" capacity?
I don't know whether the CFI in this instance was acting in any sort of official capacity or not, but it did lead me to wonder what legal obligations or responsibilities an instructor might have in such a situation.
If I had a CFI rating and I was aboard an aircraft as a passenger daydreaming away, I certainly would not accept any culpability for the decisions or actions of the PIC. This is not to say that I would remain silent and do nothing if I saw the PIC headed for disaster, but as a mere passenger I reserve the right to be inattentive, unaware, asleep or otherwise useless to the operation of the aircraft much the same as any other passenger.