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Aviation Learning Center Document Meet Your Aircraft P-8740-29
Author: FAA Date: 1995
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Types of Equipment Questions to Ask
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The engine is a good place for transitioning pilots to start their study. Is it a turbine, or a reciprocating engine? If it is a reciprocating engine, is it carburetor equipped, fuel injected, or turbocharged? What type of fuel does it use? How much fuel does it carry? What is the usable fuel capacity? What is the average fuel burn rate in normal cruise? What type of fuel system does it have? Is it a single tank, or does it have multiple tanks? Is fuel drawn from one tank at a time, or is fuel drawn from multiple tanks simultaneously?

More questions: Does the fuel gauge automatically indicate the fuel in the tank that you have selected, or is there a separate switch that you must activate in order to get the fuel gauge to indicate the fuel quantity in th tank that you have selected? Some aircraft have a separate switch for the fuel gauge, and you can be looking at a fuel gauge that indicates plenty of fuel when the engine quits because you just drained a tank that the fuel quantity indicator was not set to display. If such a thing happens at low altitude, it could lead to a disaster. Even when the fuel quantity indicator indicates the tank selected or when there are multiple fuel quantity indicators, fuel starvation accidents have occurred because one tank was drained and the fuel selector had not been switched to the tank that had plenty of fuel remaining.

You will want to know how the crossfeed works. In multi-engine aircraft, the crossfeed system may work differently in different makes and models.

These are only a few of the kinds of questions that a pilot needs to answer when transitioning to a new aircraft.

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