C402 runs out of fuel over St. Petersburg

RDoug

Well-Known Member
#1
And just thirteen minutes after takeoff ! ? ! ? ! ?

Running on empty: plane ran out of fuel before landing on St. Petersburg road

Excerpt:
  • Pilot Manuel Izquierdo, 36, radioed air traffic controllers that he was "fuel critical" and had only 20 minutes of fuel left on board, according to a report released last week by the National Transportation Safety Board. That was only 13 minutes after taking off from Tampa International Airport.
  • "Unless he had a fuel leak," said Jim Brauchle, a South Carolina-based aviation lawyer who also served 10 years in the Air Force as an aviator. "But the way this is written, he took off without any gas, or very little gas."
 

Murdoughnut

Well sized member
#2
It was somewhat obvious it was probably fuel starvation, but for some reason I had thought the plane came from South Florida.

We do sell Avgas at TPA - I can confirm.

Seriously, this is some criminal negligence level stuff here.
 

gotWXdagain

Highly Visible Member
#3
It was somewhat obvious it was probably fuel starvation, but for some reason I had thought the plane came from South Florida.

We do sell Avgas at TPA - I can confirm.

Seriously, this is some criminal negligence level stuff here.
Starvation or Exhaustion? Starvation implies there's still gas left in the tanks, just not getting to the engine. But sans fuel leak (and a very big one at that) this guy probably ought to get a little government-sponsored "me" time to think about his mistake.
 

ATN_Pilot

Socialist Pig Member
#12
Although I will add, fueling at FBOs has gone seriously downhill since I was getting my ratings. Mistakes are caught nonstop. Almost all the ramp guys are minimum wage or close to it employees, and they aren't doing the job to be close to airplanes like they were back in the day. These aren't wannabe pilots trying to make money to pay for hours. They're just regular low paid hourly workers like you'd find anywhere else. When you had airplane nerds working these jobs, they knew their stuff. They knew that a 402 was different than a King Air and needed different fuel, and they knew the difference between a tip tank and a wing tank. Now I have to keep an eye on them every time to make sure they don't put Jet A in my 421.
 

bimmerphile

SuperCritical™ Member
#13
Although I will add, fueling at FBOs has gone seriously downhill since I was getting my ratings. Mistakes are caught nonstop. Almost all the ramp guys are minimum wage or close to it employees, and they aren't doing the job to be close to airplanes like they were back in the day. These aren't wannabe pilots trying to make money to pay for hours. They're just regular low paid hourly workers like you'd find anywhere else. When you had airplane nerds working these jobs, they knew their stuff. They knew that a 402 was different than a King Air and needed different fuel, and they knew the difference between a tip tank and a wing tank. Now I have to keep an eye on them every time to make sure they don't put Jet A in my 421.
The Big Box FBOs have their own special way of crushing the employee's spirit. I couldn't imagine being uninterested in airplanes and putting up with that nonsense every day
 

Autothrust Blue

"Get in, loser. We're going flying."
#14
Although I will add, fueling at FBOs has gone seriously downhill since I was getting my ratings. Mistakes are caught nonstop. Almost all the ramp guys are minimum wage or close to it employees, and they aren't doing the job to be close to airplanes like they were back in the day. These aren't wannabe pilots trying to make money to pay for hours. They're just regular low paid hourly workers like you'd find anywhere else. When you had airplane nerds working these jobs, they knew their stuff. They knew that a 402 was different than a King Air and needed different fuel, and they knew the difference between a tip tank and a wing tank. Now I have to keep an eye on them every time to make sure they don't put Jet A in my 421.
We declined to take on fuel at one of the FBOs in Marion, IL when the ramp asked if the Twin Bonanza needed jet fuel.

(We taxied across to the Competition, at that point.)

"Yes. Good for asking. You did, however, hear us coming in...right?"
 

ATN_Pilot

Socialist Pig Member
#15
We declined to take on fuel at one of the FBOs in Marion, IL when the ramp asked if the Twin Bonanza needed jet fuel.

(We taxied across to the Competition, at that point.)

"Yes. Good for asking. You did, however, hear us coming in...right?"
It's a HUGE problem in the cabin class twin community. Almost once a month someone is posting on the Twin Cessna owner's forum about Jet A being loaded on their 421 or 340. Most of us are now either watching them fuel every time or using the paper test (dip a strip of paper into the fuel tanks, and if it leaves oily residue after a minute, it's Jet A). After there were several accidents from misfuelings, the community figured out quick that the fuel strainer is just about useless. When Jet A is mixed with Avgas, you usually can't tell from looking at the strainer.
 

learhawkerbe400

Well-Known Member
#16
We declined to take on fuel at one of the FBOs in Marion, IL when the ramp asked if the Twin Bonanza needed jet fuel.

(We taxied across to the Competition, at that point.)

"Yes. Good for asking. You did, however, hear us coming in...right?"
Well to be fair a twin bonanza is so uncommon the minimum wage line guy did the right thing by asking.
 

Autothrust Blue

"Get in, loser. We're going flying."
#17
Well to be fair a twin bonanza is so uncommon the minimum wage line guy did the right thing by asking.
Don't get me wrong, I agree with you on that.

But...

It's a HUGE problem in the cabin class twin community. Almost once a month someone is posting on the Twin Cessna owner's forum about Jet A being loaded on their 421 or 340. Most of us are now either watching them fuel every time or using the paper test (dip a strip of paper into the fuel tanks, and if it leaves oily residue after a minute, it's Jet A). After there were several accidents from misfuelings, the community figured out quick that the fuel strainer is just about useless. When Jet A is mixed with Avgas, you usually can't tell from looking at the strainer.
It occurs to me that we have all sorts of backflips that we airline types have to go through when we fuel at an offline station.

For GA, "everywhere" that isn't your home base is really an offline station. Standing there and watching them do it is probably a good idea.
 

ATN_Pilot

Socialist Pig Member
#18
For GA, "everywhere" that isn't your home base is really an offline station. Standing there and watching them do it is probably a good idea.
Agreed. I do it when I can. Thankfully I'm usually at the same airports over and over again, and I know all the line guys, so I don't have to worry so much. But when I'm doing charity flights to new airports, I'm watching them like a hawk.
 

learhawkerbe400

Well-Known Member
#19
Don't get me wrong, I agree with you on that.

But...


It occurs to me that we have all sorts of backflips that we airline types have to go through when we fuel at an offline station.

For GA, "everywhere" that isn't your home base is really an offline station. Standing there and watching them do it is probably a good idea.
Oh i agree it’s a big problem. I’m just saying the guy did the right thing by asking, especially with the caliber of FBO employees at some places. I would have let them fill it up, supervised of course.

But it’s your plane so you’re free to get whoever to fuel it.
 
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