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Flying Magazine – January 2017

Flying Magazine
January 2017

“Think your fuel gauges are unreliable? They don’t have to be. Newer types of digital sensor technology are bringing increased accuracy to fuel measurement, supplanting capacitive-type mechanical senders, which can provide unreliable readings.

MEASURING FUEL MORE ACCURATELY
“A saying in general aviation that has been around forever tells us we should never trust our fuel gauges. There’s even a rumor that makes the audacious (and erroneous) claim that a fuel gauge is required to read zero only when the tank is empty, but otherwise it can read any crazy thing it wants. C’mon – does that make any sense? What the FAA regulations actually say is that zero on the gauge is required to correspond to zero remaining usable fuel – not a bone-dry tank. On some airplanes, there’s a significant difference. The regs clearly state you must have a working fuel gauge, and it needs to show you the amount of fuel in the tank in flight over a whole range. If your fuel gauges are wildly inaccurate, it’s time to see your mechanic.

There is a rumor the makes the audacious (and erroneous) claim that a fuel gauge is required to read zero only when the tank is empty.

“Thankfully, digital fuel-sender technology available in some general aviation airplanes is extremely accurate. The
digital sender shown here, developed by CiES Inc. of Bend, Oregon, uses magnetic-field sensor technology that is simple yet spot on. Like the capacitive fuel senders used in aviation applications since the 1940s, this magnetic­-field sensor uses a fuel float but an extremely accurate one that can measure the fuel in the tank to within one hundredth of a gallon.

“The sender is retrofittable in several aircraft models, including those from Cirrus, Cessna, Beechcraft, Piper and more.”