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  #1  
Old 02-11-2007, 03:01 PM
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John Slade John Slade is offline
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Default VariEze in-flight fire

People who don't read the Cozy list might have missed the final report on Glenn Saunder's sad accident. I met Glenn at Buly's hangar once and showed him around the Kitty. Nice guy. He will be missed.

The information linked by Marc might be considered required reading for any airplane builder:

See http://www.cozybuilders.org/Glenn_Saunders/
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  #2  
Old 02-11-2007, 05:34 PM
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Quite a thorough report and some good lessons here. Interesting when I contacted the TSB many months ago about obtaining a copy of their investigation, they stated that no report would be published in this case since "it was not in the public interest". I guess they changed their minds, maybe figuring that the results would in fact be useful for others.
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  #3  
Old 02-11-2007, 10:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rv6ejguy View Post
Quite a thorough report and some good lessons here. Interesting when I contacted the TSB many months ago about obtaining a copy of their investigation, they stated that no report would be published in this case since "it was not in the public interest". I guess they changed their minds, maybe figuring that the results would in fact be useful for others.
They didn't change their minds. They have not published the report, they made it available to Glenn's wife. She made it available to the group, hoping we may learn from it.

I can't believe the board thought "it was not in the public interest".
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  #4  
Old 02-12-2007, 11:32 AM
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Well over a year ago, I requested to receive the results of this investigation and they stated they would put me on the list to receive this information. Months after that, I sent an E-mail asking if they have finished the investigation. It was then that they told me that nothing would be published and gave their reason.

I was under the false impression that nothing would be forthcoming.

They do state on their website that in many cases, full details will only be available to selected agencies and individuals. I assume this is out of respect for the deceased and their families.

It was very nice that Glen's widow forwarded this to Buly despite the fact that this must have been painful for her. I'm going to address a couple things on my aircraft as a result.
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  #5  
Old 02-12-2007, 11:37 AM
Wayne Hicks Wayne Hicks is offline
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A few golden rules for the engine compartment:

(1) Steel fittings only. Not aluminum and certainly no plastics.
(2) Isolate engine sensors from vibration.
(3) Have a method for shutting off fuel to the engine.

I'm sure there are many more.
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  #6  
Old 02-12-2007, 11:52 AM
Marc Zeitlin Marc Zeitlin is offline
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Originally Posted by rv6ejguy View Post
It was very nice that Glen's widow forwarded this to Buly .....
She didn't. She posted a notice on the canard-aviator's mailing list (the main mailing list for canard aircraft) and offered the reports to anyone that asked. I told her that I'd be happy to post them on my web site so that she wouldn't get inundated with email requests. She forwarded them to me and I posted them, along with notices on the C-A list and COZY list.
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  #7  
Old 02-12-2007, 11:55 AM
Marc Zeitlin Marc Zeitlin is offline
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Originally Posted by Wayne Hicks View Post
(1) Steel fittings only. Not aluminum ...
Although I've heard this from a number of folks, I have a hard time buying this one. The whole freaking engine is aluminum. Most of the fuel lines are aluminum. All of the baffling is aluminum. The Ellison Throttle Body is aluminum. The prop extension is aluminum.

Can I really believe that a few steel fittings are what's standing between me and death, given the info above? Not so much...
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Old 02-12-2007, 12:04 PM
SteveWrightNZ SteveWrightNZ is offline
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Originally Posted by Marc Zeitlin View Post
The whole freaking engine is aluminum. Most of the fuel lines are aluminum. All of the baffling is aluminum. The Ellison Throttle Body is aluminum. The prop extension is aluminum.
Yes but those parts are large and rigid, where a thin alloy pipe is easily cracked when wrenched. Wayne is right.

S
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  #9  
Old 02-12-2007, 12:07 PM
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What really boils my broccoli is the the manufacturer (Navman) of the fuel mizer wrote the transportation board that their unit is not designed for aviation use. However ACS sells their unit and someone (don't remember who) has a letter from the manufacturer stating that the unit meets criteria for Australian aviation use.

Me thinks someone is trying a little CYA here.
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  #10  
Old 02-12-2007, 12:53 PM
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Default Brass fittings

Failure mode of brass fittings is at root of thread on male ends.
Thinnest cross section, cut (not rolled) threads, highest stress point.

JP
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  #11  
Old 02-12-2007, 01:37 PM
Marc Zeitlin Marc Zeitlin is offline
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Originally Posted by SteveWrightNZ View Post
Yes but those parts are large and rigid, where a thin alloy pipe is easily cracked when wrenched. Wayne is right.
The claim is that the FITTINGS should be steel. How does that affect the aluminum tubing commonly used as fuel lines? Tightening aluminum fittings or tightening steel fittings, both on aluminum tubing - what's the difference?

The claim is made that they should be aluminum to minimize things that can burn in a fire. With all the other aluminum, thin and otherwise, fittings are the least of the worries from a fire standpoint.
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Old 02-12-2007, 02:02 PM
Wayne Hicks Wayne Hicks is offline
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Marc, I've read it in some of the practical standards that are out there, and I've been warned by the likes of Steve Wright, Ken Miller, Vance and others that aluminum fittings -- when used to fasten a sensor directly to an engine -- will fatigue from the constant bending. It's one of the reasons "best practices" says to mount the sensor off the engine. I've seen first hand aluminum fittings that have failed in this exact manner on aircraft at Suffolk (non-canards).

I don't know of anyone who runs aluminum fuel lines from the firewall to the engine. Most use flexible braided hoses wrapped in fire sleeve.

I stand by my comment.
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  #13  
Old 02-12-2007, 02:11 PM
Marc Zeitlin Marc Zeitlin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayne Hicks View Post
Marc, I've read it in some of the practical standards that are out there, and I've been warned by the likes of Steve Wright, Ken Miller, Vance and others that aluminum fittings -- when used to fasten a sensor directly to an engine -- will fatigue from the constant bending.
I'm not arguing with remote mounting of sensors - I agree 100% with that. But then there's a flexible line to the sensor. Assuming that you use flexible lines to attach sensors, what then would be the objection to aluminum fittings? That's the question.

Quote:
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I don't know of anyone who runs aluminum fuel lines from the firewall to the engine. Most use flexible braided hoses wrapped in fire sleeve.
As do I. But there's about 3 feet of aluminum tubing on the engine side of the firewall, coming through the firewall, going to the gascolator, and thence to the electric fuel pump. From there, flexible lines are used.
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Old 02-12-2007, 02:14 PM
Wayne Hicks Wayne Hicks is offline
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Oh, okay. I see now. I'll clarify....yes, it's very bad to attach a sensor directly to the engine using an aluminum fitting.
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  #15  
Old 02-12-2007, 02:40 PM
SteveWrightNZ SteveWrightNZ is offline
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Originally Posted by Marc Zeitlin View Post
The claim is that the FITTINGS should be steel.
That is what I was referring to. Wayne is correct - aluminum fittings, particularly short and small diameter cast or machined ones will fracture in a severe vibration environment.

I read some time back, that engine transducers should not be mounted on the engine, and this I found puzzling, since in automotive use it is done extensively. It seems they are referring to alloy-bodied sensors.

I would trust a small-bodied metal transducer mounted directly to the engine block, or a larger one with a right-angle steel fitting to reduce the vibration arm and a bracket on it. This would be more reliable than a crimped reinforced hose in my opinion.

I would emphatically not trust a larger body sensor, even if it were steel, if it were mounted directly out from the engine.

S
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