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5 Answers

Switching Fuel Tanks

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Light Sport Aircraft

Imagine flying using the left wing tank and it's time to change to the right one. What to do? Select the right wing tank and turn the electrical fuel pump on?.... or Turn the electrical pump on and select the right wing tank? Why?

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5 Answers

  1. Andrew Leonard on Oct 20, 2010

    It depends entirely on the type of aircraft being flown. Some gravity-fed aircraft with a selectable tank feed don’t have an electric fuel pump. In that case, you just switch tanks. If I recall right, flying in a 206, we didn’t even switch on the boost pump before our hourly tank switch.
    The whole idea of switching on the boost pump would be to ensure that you don’t get a stoppage of fuel while switching. It would be hence pointless to turn on the boost pump after you’ve switched tanks. So, if you were concerned or protocol called for it, the boost pump comes on before the tank switch.
    Someone please correct me if I’m wrong.

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  2. Ryan on Oct 20, 2010

    typically it goes like this:
    Time to switch tanks
    check fuel pressure
    Boost pump/fuel pump – ON
    Switch Tanks
    Check fuel pressure to ensure it’s in the green
    Boost pump/fuel pump – OFF

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  3. Mike Pastore on Oct 20, 2010

    Short answer….do exactly as written in the POH.  Many airplanes require nothing more than switching the position of the fuel selector valve.  As well, many airplanes don’t have electric or engine driven fuel pumps or fuel pressure gauges to check.  Often, if there is an electric boost pump, it is not called for in any operation other than priming or in an emergency.

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  4. Jason Schappert on Oct 21, 2010

    Fuel pump on ALWAYS first
    Switch Tanks
    MAKE SURE IT’S LOCKED IN PLACE! (In piper aircraft there is a “detent” it’s crucial that when switching tanks you move it all the way into the detent not before or after it.)
    Check fuel pressure
    Turn off fuel pump

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  5. Earl Kessler on Jan 30, 2011

    One more item.  I always want to have a landing site in view prior to switching tanks.  So, pump on, find landing site, switch tanks, etc.  It is a good idea to have the gps on nearest airport, just in case you need to steer toward it.

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