The Fuel Level Check

Still busy on the UAV, Phil goes flying again. It was a midsummer day, and a lovely one for flying. Radios are working, I topped off the fuel last week in the anticipation of getting in the air, so all Phil had to do is to pre-flight the plane, hop in and go.

Check the fuel, even though your partner informed you that the tanks are full, right? Of course, it is a pre-flight check after all. Here comes the ladder, and…as Phil unscrews the tank cap “PUF” comes a strong fuel pressure release. What the heck is going on now, Phil muses. No flying today.

I got the call. Phil informed me about the pressure problem, and that the fuel caps were actually from a Cessna, and that the vent passages are likely obstructed. Since I bought the plane from an aircraft mechanic, I didn’t questioned the Cessna caps. Mechanics knows best, right? After all the aircraft passed its annual – well, think again.

Replacement fuel caps

New fuel caps

Back to the ADs. Here I discovered another airworthiness directive that was not done. Fortunately, Univair sells an PMA’d and STC’d replacement that takes care of the AD. I was taken aback a bit by the quote, but when the caps arrived, and knowing something about machining, I was very pleased with them. They are really first grade, beautifully machined, parts. All these fixes take time, the flying season was getting shorter and shorter, and the plane was mostly sitting on the ground, like a bird with its wings clipped.

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