Claremont, Nh USA
My Posts: All Forum Topic
I just wanted to share an experience from last night for all the new-to-nitro guys who might not be aware of the importance of replacing your in-tank fuel pickup lines regularly. These lines will degrade every few gallons of fuel or so, break off inside the tank, and leave you in a motor out situation mid air with a tank still half full of fuel.
Last night I was flying my trusty Raptor that had been stored since last fall (and flown alot last season). I gave it a good check over before heading to the field and was confident everything was in order. I flew 3 good flights and all went well. It felt great to be back out again and my confidence was building. For my last flight I started shooting some autos to end my session. As a common practice, each time I land and take off into a hover again, I fly in front of myself and visually check the fuel level in my MAIN tank. I had been flying quite a while and I did notice the motor surging a bit on my last hard ascent to auto-altitude but figured it was just working out some 'storage cobwebs'. (Please don't ever assume this as I did with my over - confidence) Anyways, after I landed the auto I figured "Just 1 more and we will call it a day!" As I hovered in front of myself and observed a 1/4 tank of fuel in my MAIN tank still I thought, "wow I should be almost out by now".... As I was about to turn out and ascend hard I noticed my HEADER tank was almost bone dry. Crap! I knew immediately what the surging was (the engine was sucking air through the pickup line and about to run out of fuel from the header tank) and landed asap. Upon inspection at home my suspicion was confirmed as I found the pickup line in my MAIN tank was degraded and broke off, thus leaving the 1/4 tank of fuel still while my engine burned up what was in the header tank.
This is common knowledge for experienced guys but often overlooked by beginners. Guys, if you have a few gallons through that new nitro heli or its been stored for a while- replace those lines! Happy flying