Understanding FAR 91.205

MarkE

I blew up your planet? Good!
I decided to take a few spins around the pattern late this morning. During the preflight I noticed on the squawk sheet that the oil pressure gauge was giving "false readings." It was then signed off as looked at and ok. During the run-up it was reading just a hair into the yellow. Was cleared for take off, advanced to full throttle, it was still reading just a hair into the yellow, checked for airspeed to come alive, looked back at the oil pressure and saw that it was pegged all the way into the red. I aborted the take off, parked and tied down. Let the dispatcher know what was up and he said "yeah, it's been giving funny readings lately. A CFI had been up earlier in the morning and said it was reading the same way."

From my understanding of FAR 91.205 an operating oil pressure gauge is required VFR equipment and I don't see anything in 91.213 that would make this plane legal to fly. Am I understanding this correctly?
 

X-Forces

Big Black Guy
I decided to take a few spins around the pattern late this morning. During the preflight I noticed on the squawk sheet that the oil pressure gauge was giving "false readings." It was then signed off as looked at and ok. During the run-up it was reading just a hair into the yellow. Was cleared for take off, advanced to full throttle, it was still reading just a hair into the yellow, checked for airspeed to come alive, looked back at the oil pressure and saw that it was pegged all the way into the red. I aborted the take off, parked and tied down. Let the dispatcher know what was up and he said "yeah, it's been giving funny readings lately. A CFI had been up earlier in the morning and said it was reading the same way."

From my understanding of FAR 91.205 an operating oil pressure gauge is required VFR equipment and I don't see anything in 91.213 that would make this plane legal to fly. Am I understanding this correctly?
You are.

An oil pressure gauge is a required VFR day instrument, which means that it can not be MEL'ed, nor can the aircraft be operated without it unless under a SFP.
 

unclenobby

Well-Known Member
Maybe the oil pressure gauge is working just fine and it's maintenance/distpatch that's being unreliable. I had the same last week, Ammeter was showing extremely high excessive charge during run up, reduced the load, recycled ALT and Batt, not much difference. Taxied back to the ramp, called the Mx guy who said "yeah, Alternator been acting funny lately, a few people wrote it, was checked but it's OK"......shut down the AC and gave the keys back. I never saw it before flying that AC. Not worth the risk.
 

MarkE

I blew up your planet? Good!
You are.

An oil pressure gauge is a required VFR day instrument, which means that it can not be MEL'ed, nor can the aircraft be operated without it unless under a SFP.
Thanks. When I saw that it was "looked at and ok" I thought that meant it was fixed. Not looked at and that even though it's giving a false reading the engine is fine. Either way I'm not taking it up cause 1, what if the time that I'm flying the gauge is reading correctly and 2, I don't want to take a plane up that's not airworthy. I find it a little disturbing that it was kept on the line in that condition.
 

X-Forces

Big Black Guy
Thanks. When I saw that it was "looked at and ok" I thought that meant it was fixed. Not looked at and that even though it's giving a false reading the engine is fine. Either way I'm not taking it up cause 1, what if the time that I'm flying the gauge is reading correctly and 2, I don't want to take a plane up that's not airworthy. I find it a little disturbing that it was kept on the line in that condition.
Smart man.

To be honest there are going to be times where a flight is conducted with an instrument that is not 100% operational, happens all the time.

A slightly flaky altimeter is discovered right before a 20 nm local, VFR clear and a million day, what are you going to do?

The correct thing to do is sqwak the A/C and cancel the flight. Does that always happen? Of course not.

However, an engine instrument? Now that is a different story all together. Not wanting to take the A/C up in an airworthy condition is certainly the right choice, not wanting to get yourself killed is certainly a smart choice.
 

jtrain609

I'm a carnal, organic anagram.
What if the fuel flow gauge goes to zero, do you land off airport because the gauge told you the engine was about to stop running?

What if the engine keeps running but the gauge stops responding?

The fuel's still flowing, the guage is busted.

Further what if your next rent payment depends on somebody finding that gauge being busted, say, at the end of the week? What do you do?

I'm not advocating breaking rules, but what do you do?
 

meritflyer

Well-Known Member
If the aircraft was IAW a MEL, certain procedures *could* dictate measures that could allow the aircraft to be operated without a whole host of engine indications. Granted it's not 91, I remember MEL'ing the fuel indications on the ERJ by using dipsticks in the wings.

Train knows what I am talking about.
 

CoffeeIcePapers

Well-Hung Member
What if the fuel flow gauge goes to zero, do you land off airport because the gauge told you the engine was about to stop running?

What if the engine keeps running but the gauge stops responding?

The fuel's still flowing, the guage is busted.

Further what if your next rent payment depends on somebody finding that gauge being busted, say, at the end of the week? What do you do?

I'm not advocating breaking rules, but what do you do?
"It worked fine during the runup. Must have failed in flight."
 

MidlifeFlyer

Well-Known Member
What if the fuel flow gauge goes to zero, do you land off airport because the gauge told you the engine was about to stop running?

What if the engine keeps running but the gauge stops responding?

The fuel's still flowing, the guage is busted.

Further what if your next rent payment depends on somebody finding that gauge being busted, say, at the end of the week? What do you do?

I'm not advocating breaking rules, but what do you do?
You do whatever your sense of right and wrong allow you to do.
 

jtrain609

I'm a carnal, organic anagram.
You do whatever your sense of right and wrong allow you to do.
See I don't quite things that's the right answer. At times it has more to do with what's left in your pocket book allows you to do, and at other times it has more to do with whether you're interested in getting killed on your next flight.

We don't operate 100% airworthy aircraft, nobody does. There's always SOMETHING that should *legally* ground every airplane out there, I'm sure of that much. We say we'll operate exactly, 100% by the book all the time, but that's impossible. So what I'm asking, is where is that grey line? I don't think any sense of right or wrong provides the correct answer for this, and it's disingenuous to ignore the other (financial/safety) factors involved.

It's something that most of us that make our living by operating airplanes for a living have had to deal with. Thankfully I'm at a job now where things are very clear, and I'll be paid to do my job whether the flight goes or not, but that wasn't always the case.

I don't have an answer for this, BTW, just some things to think about.
 

surreal1221

Well-Known Member
Okay John. . .we get it dude - 121 / 135 and even some Part 91 flying that brings the flying crew a paycheck. . .sometimes decisions must be made. . .;). . .

But in the training/rental environment. . .if a flying craft does not meet the requirements of 91.205, it's time to call it a day and have the plane grounded until it complies.

Agreed? :)

Also, to anyone that finds a similar situation. . .write the plane up again. Stating very clearly, "Oil gauge INOP, providing false readings. Aircraft compliance with 91.205 minimum equipment for Day VFR flight is in question."

That there, should, send up red flags to anyone else who ends up getting the aircraft - if the staff at the school / rental location is dumb enough hand the keys over again.
 

tgrayson

New Member
So what I'm asking, is where is that grey line? I don't think any sense of right or wrong provides the correct answer for this
There is no gray line, there is a continuous change from white to black.

Everything in life is a probability distribution. There is a certain probability that on any given day, with a perfectly working airplane and perfect performance on your part, you'll get killed. Meteorite, shot down by a Mig, whatever. The probability is low on any given day, but probably reaches 1.0 if you fly every day for a 1,000 years.

There is another probability that you can jump into an unairworthy aircraft and act like a complete knucklehead and nothing at all will happen to you. The probability is still low that you will die on any given flight, but most likely much higher than the above situation. The probability approaches 1.0 in a much shorter time span than above, maybe, oh, 5 years.

Real world, most of us are somewhere between the two extremes. All of our effort is to move us more towards the former than the latter, at least if we care about safety. But in the end it remains a probability, and improbable things happen every day. Mr. Perfect might have his wings fall off on his first flight and Mr. Knucklehead might live to a ripe old age.

You don't necessarily get what you deserve and understanding that saves a lot of agonizing. As the saying goes, "You pays your money and takes your chances."
 

jtrain609

I'm a carnal, organic anagram.
I won't disagree with you, tgrayson...but that's kind of what I'd define as grey, being a mixing of black and white. It's obvious that the FINAL outcome is black or white, but the PREDICTED outcome I would define as being grey.

But I think we're saying the same thing.
 

MidlifeFlyer

Well-Known Member
See I don't quite things that's the right answer. At times it has more to do with what's left in your pocket book allows you to do, and at other times it has more to do with whether you're interested in getting killed on your next flight.

We don't operate 100% airworthy aircraft, nobody does. There's always SOMETHING that should *legally* ground every airplane out there, I'm sure of that much. We say we'll operate exactly, 100% by the book all the time, but that's impossible. So what I'm asking, is where is that grey line? I don't think any sense of right or wrong provides the correct answer for this, and it's disingenuous to ignore the other (financial/safety) factors involved.

It's something that most of us that make our living by operating airplanes for a living have had to deal with. Thankfully I'm at a job now where things are very clear, and I'll be paid to do my job whether the flight goes or not, but that wasn't always the case.

I don't have an answer for this, BTW, just some things to think about.
You may have misunderstood my answer. I was not suggesting that flying with a minor piece of inoperative equipment is inherently "wrong."

And I am not ignoring the other factors. What your sense of right and wrong tell you to do is based on a variety of factors. If you decide to fly with that inoperative fuel gauge despite the reg because it's perfectly safe to do so, it would cost too much to fix, and you need to make the trip to get paid, and that the likelihood of getting caught is minimal, you are making a personal right/wrong calculation that flying without it is "right" for you in that situation. Someone else's moral compass may lead to a completely different decision.
 

KLB

Well-Known Member
To go even further...There is always the pressures in 121, 135, and 91K operations to fly an aircraft that has inoperative equipment that can be deferred which does not necessarily equal safe operations.

I know that there are a few deferrable items on my current aircraft that in some instances I would consider "no go" items.

I guess thats what being PIC is all about. You are the final authority. You make the best decisions with the information you have which allows you to be more than willing to deal with the consequences of your actions.
 

MarkE

I blew up your planet? Good!
For me, as a renter and someone who was just going up to have some fun in the pattern, it was really a no brainer decision. Although I do have to admit that within that 5 seconds of rolling down the runway I did think "well I can take it up, go around once and see what happens." But then thought this is a flight I don't HAVE to take, I have my s.o. with me, so why even F around and just chalk it up as a learning experience.

I'm still very new to aviation and like anything else in this world I like to do and THINK that things are done by the book. I know in the real world that just doesn't happen. Especially when you're employed by someone to fly their plane.

One thing I do find disturbing about this incident is that the plane was going up on a training flight right after me. It's disillusioning to me that if they see the same problems with the gauge that the CFI might dismiss it and continue the flight. Not really the kind of attitude that should be taught to primary students.
 
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