Keeping Oil Off the Windshield after Engine Failure

Discussion in 'Firewall Forward / Props / Fuel system' started by SVSUSteve, Sep 6, 2019.

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  1. Sep 9, 2019 #41

    Pops

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    I caught a large oak tree about 3' off the ground with the rear wheel in a Mud/Pipe VW Buggy one time. Never thought of being an airborne midair. :)
     
  2. Sep 9, 2019 #42

    AdrianS

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    If you've ever tried to put out an engine fire with a handheld extinguisher, you would go for a plumbed in system.
    For a start, how do you get the cowl open to get to the seat of the fire?
     
  3. Sep 9, 2019 #43

    Turd Ferguson

    Turd Ferguson

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    On the ground I would just open the door, exit and spray the fire extinguisher in the general direction of the plane while I use my other hand to call the insurance company. There is no way I'd accept the weight, complexity and cost of a fire detection and extinguishing system in a light plane because the incidence of fire is very, very low.
     
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  4. Sep 9, 2019 #44

    AdrianS

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    So you were flying with VW power back then too!
     
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  5. Sep 9, 2019 #45

    Pops

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    Yes. :)
     
  6. Sep 9, 2019 #46

    Dan Thomas

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    As I've suggested before, a reading of FAR 23 is in order. Since the rewrite in 2015, a lot of that stuff is now in advisory circulars instead of in the FARs, so you need to get the circulars or the historical FARs. If that's too much bother, just go to the Canadian Aviation Regulations and check CAR Standard 523; it's all the same stuff. If you read it and think about why the governments make such rules, it soon enough becomes apparent. Common-sense. And most of it was written in someone's blood. If one reads about things like firewalls and electrical and fuel systems, one can learn a lot about what the certified manufacturers have to meet. Then if one goes to a fly-in and looks at some of the typical homebuilder systems, you start to recognize numerous dangerous shortcomings.

    Inflight fires are very rare in certified ships; why are they more common in homebuilts? Deficient systems, that's why. Electrical system failures in certified airplanes is also rare, especially once you get past the most common factors like worn-out alternator brushes (a 500-hour inspection item), poor maintenance practices that leave places for short-circuits or intermittent supply--loose and corroded connections---and so on. Building an airplane to FAR23 doesn't guarantee safety if you cheap out on maintenance. The regulations require that the airplane be maintained to (A)Type Design and (B) in a condition fit and safe for flight. You wouldn't believe how many times I have found those two requirements violated.

    Yes, better occupant restraints are in order. That's one of the advances that comes about as investigators find that an accident would have been survivable if a shoulder harness had been available, or if the available harness had been used. Had a friend die in a homebuilt accident because he left the shoulder harness off. It was there because it was required; just not employed. Certified airplanes weren't required to have them until about 1970. Shoot, cars didn't have seat belts until 1963 or so, and even then we didn't wear them until the feds told us we had to. And some still don't. We are our own worst enemies.

    At the flight school we had five-point Hooker harnesses in the Citabrias. You sure were clamped in there good, but since there were no inertia reels it was difficult to get at the flap lever in the 7GCBC. Now one can buy BAS four-point systems with inertia reels for certified airplanes and they're nice. I've installed a few. But only a few buy them, since they're not that cheap. And there's the real problem with homebuilders: we want everything as affordable as possible, and safety suffers. Again, we're often our own worst enemies.

    I like to harp on training as a real solution to most hazards. Technically, there is no such thing as teaching; you can only help people learn. So, training can also involve reading FAR 23. Self-study. Laws that will alert you to the various ways things can fail. You gain a bunch of knowledge, and knowledge is power. Employing that knowledge is wisdom, and wisdom can save your life.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2019
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  7. Sep 9, 2019 #47

    bmcj

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    I’m not sure that opening the cowl is the best approach. With the engine cowl keeping the engine in a confined space, I would think that you could empty the extinguisher through on of the openings (cooling ducts or oil check door) and suffocate the fire by displacing the oxygen (with the extinguisher retardant).
     
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  8. Sep 9, 2019 #48

    Dan Thomas

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    You shoot the retardant into the cowl's air outlet. The fire is drawing air from below and sending hot gases out the front inlets. Blowing retardant in the front or top is a waste of time. It won't reach the source of the flame.
     
  9. Sep 9, 2019 #49

    Jerry Lytle

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    I was asked to pick up a T-Craft just annualed and deliver it to the new owner. About a thirty minute flight. About halfway there it started depositing a little oil on the windscreen. This was brand new oil and did not hurt vivibility to any degree. Upon delivering to the new owner it was obvious the main seal was leaking. He called the shop and they said bring it back. The oil level was still showing full and I thought it might be caused by an overfill. The return flight was under a lowering ceiling, but there was a good low altitude route back, a little longer, but OK. Then it began to rain. Rain and oil even very clean oil or not, forward visibility went totally away.. T-Craft had sliding windows and I did the Lindberg thing and compleated the flight sticking my head out in the slipstream. After landing it was the same thing, zig zag back to the shop. The mechanic said they had put in a new seal and sometimes this happens (shrug).
    A week later after replacing the seal the delivery flight was uneventful. After shutting down the owner asked me to help drag his new purchase into his brand new T-hanger. He had mis-guessed on the width of the T-Craft tail feathers. I didn't fit. Not my problem. Owner hadn't soloed yet, he delivered me home by automobile.
     
  10. Sep 10, 2019 #50

    Charles_says

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    NAH! Solvent is even worse for the windshield. Like Gasoline it'll crack and craze the plastic.
     
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  11. Sep 10, 2019 #51

    Dan Thomas

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    I wasn't serious. WIndshield wipers never worked on plastic, anyway.

    I splashed a bit of gasoline on my Jodel's Lexan windshield once while fuelling it, and it immediately cracked, rather violently. I think it had started to craze after 20 years, and the sudden thermal shock set it off.
     
  12. Sep 11, 2019 #52

    Charles_says

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    I knew that! :)
     
  13. Sep 11, 2019 #53

    Doran Jaffas

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  14. Sep 11, 2019 #54

    Doran Jaffas

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    I had a Cisler Cygnet with a Great Plains 2180. Oil under the belly and in the engine compartment every flight. Looked for a year. Sealed everything I could find. The breather tube? Didn't appear to be. It flew great but I will not ( probably) fly another V W conversion again. Had one in a Sonerai II and would lose a cylinder every few hrs. Figured that one out.
     
  15. Sep 11, 2019 #55

    Pops

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    There are 3 common places for a oil leak on a VW engine IF you are not getting oil out of your breather tube. Push rod tube seals on each end of the tubes. Valve cover gasket leak and real main crankshaft seal.
    Not much difference from the Cont or Lyc except for the rear main seal. Lyc is the oil return aluminum tube hose to case and valve cover gasket. Cont is the push rod tube rubber gaskets to case, or around the upper pushrod tube with the rolled grove seal between the tube and head of the cylinder.

    Sonerai II loosing a cylinder every few hrs. Sounds like high CHT's.

    The 1835 cc, 60 hp,VW engine in the SSSC stays bone dry after fixing the location of the case vent tube outlet. Uses about a cup of oil in the 25 hrs with the oil looking almost new. Cool running engine and just producing about 33 hp at cruise of 75/80 mph.
     
  16. Sep 12, 2019 #56

    SVSUSteve

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    Not installed yet but a FWF fire suppression system (basically what is used in racing) has been planned since I first seriously considered coming up with my own design. It’s going to be backed up with a well insulated firewall. I also have thought about a way to close the cowl vents to keep the agent in there (it would require a couple of steps so that they don’t get closed except in a dire emergency) An in-flight fire is second only to an in-flight structural failure on my worst nightmares list.

    I don’t know of any stats in GA but I know the systems on large aircraft seem to work pretty well.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2019
  17. Sep 12, 2019 #57

    Topaz

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    Three pages and everyone has completely missed the obvious.

    <---- Get rid of the motor! :D
     
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