Even though I am the lead twin instructor at Aircraft Simulator Training, my commuter office aircraft is my Mooney. As I have aged I am more a twin engine guy with about 50 hours a month in the air mostly twins. I not only use my aircraft for training but I commute in my twins. For six years I commuted between Santa Rosa California and Houston Texas in a 340 and 421 aircraft. Recently I have had the 340 and 421 in for either extensive maintenance or annuals. I also have a 172 kept from my primary teach training years but I do not fly this except as a backup to pick up another aircraft and usually with one of my mentor pilots. I always have a mentor pilot who I worked with from their low time until they were confident on the gauges. I have “mentor pilots” flying Gulfstreams and for the airlines.
For a couple of the flights in the Mooney between Burnet Texas and T78 I had a gasoline smell after fueling. Anyone who flies Cessna 172, 182, 150, or 152 have had this smell as the equalization tube sometime gives you a slight odor. A Mooney does not due this. I blew it off because I only had a “whiff” of fuel and no indication of fuel anywhere in or around the aircraft.
On the leg from Houston area to Burnet I taxied out after fueling and gasoline was dripping out from under the copilot’s panel. It was bad. Electrical off, taxi back to hanger, FAST, vent cabin.
I determined it was the dual fuel pressure/manifold pressure gauge. I pulled it and found the fuel attachment loose. I tightened this and flew to Burnet. Three days later I was leaving Burnet, fueled up, and had the same problem. Back to the hanger where I do not have all my tools. I pulled the gauge and it looked ok, put it back – no good, still leaking. It started again. I know the fuel pressure gauge system, and I knew it was a “double edge problem.” I did not need to even look at the service manual.
Murphy’s law says that if it can happen again it will. What am I trying to say? You have to know your systems. It does you no good to fly an aircraft and not understand how it “ticks.” Even a Mooney can be tricky.
No aircraft is any good if the pilot does not understand the system. Aircraft Simulator Training teaches systems.
Remember: Train Hard, Fly Safe at Aircraft Simulator Training.