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Thread: 24th Anniversary of the crash that led to SuperCub.Org

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    SJ's Avatar
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    24th Anniversary of the crash that led to SuperCub.Org

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    Most of you know the story of my airplane crash twenty four years ago today. If not, here is the recap from four years ago: https://youtu.be/53DYVD21bd4

    I've learned a lot since then and have PLENTY to be thankful for!

    Thanks to all of you!

    sj
    "Often Mistaken, but Never in Doubt"
    ------------------------------------------
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  2. #2
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    So glad you crashed that plane.
    My life is better for it.


    Sent from my iPhone using SuperCub.Org
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    tedwaltman1's Avatar
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    It takes a real man to own their mistakes. It takes a true humanitarian to share their hard lessons such that we can all learn.

    Thank you, Steve, for the countless hours then, now, and in the future making this site the world-class success that SuperCub.org is!
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  4. #4
    mvivion's Avatar
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    Yep, this is a time of year to offer thanks for the blessings we've been given and for the bullets we've dodged. I'm very thankful for this web forum, which is simply the best aviation forum there is....so, Thanks, Steve, for all you do!

    MTV
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  5. #5
    Dave Barras's Avatar
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    ^^^^
    well said MTV
    Dave


    YOU NEVER KNOW
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  6. #6
    JP's Avatar
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    Heck, you might even get a Special Hat...
    JP Russell--The Cub Therapist
    1947 PA-11 Cub Special
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  7. #7
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    I guess I might have created a flashback of sorts.
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers

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    SJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Pierce View Post
    I guess I might have created a flashback of sorts.
    HA! Actually some things strangely seem normal around some people...
    "Often Mistaken, but Never in Doubt"
    ------------------------------------------

  9. #9
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SJ View Post
    HA! Actually some things strangely seem normal around some people...
    Unfortunately I resemble that remark.
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers
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  10. #10
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    Several weeks ago Cathy and I planned a weekend getaway to northwest Arkansas, lunch with SJ and Laura in Bentonville and a long relaxing weekend at Gaston's. The night before I installed the pod and topped off the fuel tanks in the Super Cub. We arrived at the airport early, pushed the airplane out of the hangar. As I opened the pod and the smell of fiberglass hit me and Cathy mentioned smelling fuel. I told her it was probably the fiberglass she was smelling since her smeller has been messed up since COVID. We loaded up and departed with a really nice tailwind, 140 mph plus. A while into the flight I was bored and I did a hard wing waggle to make sure Cathy was awake. We both smelled fuel, I said I must have sloshed some out during the maneuver but made a note in my head to check it when we landed. Our first stop weather was not as forecast so we landed on down the road a bit. They had no fuel but we were good because of the tailwind. I planned to check the caps and got side tracked helping Cathy in and didn't do it. Most of you know where this is going but of course I just kept looking at the fuel totalizer and out the window, totally oblivious. I was getting close to the Northwest Arkansas NTL airspace and wanted to go direct so I called the tower to request permission. They told me to call Razorback. When I dialed up Razorback they were busy and I was almost in the airspace so I opted to go under and around. Shortly there after over some beautiful forest the engine started sputtering. I banked left towards a clearing and looked at the left site gauge and it was empty, looked at the right and it showed a little. Leveled wings and the engine sputtered again. I thought, I got no time to jack around. I had two hay fields on the hill tops. One was past a tree line and I didn't feel like I could make it and the other was directly under me requiring a tight turn. No other options I made the turn while putting it in a hard slip and pulling in all of the P-STOL flaps. Just before we touched down, the ground adjustable Sensenich prop stopped, looking at the tree line ahead Cathy said we aren't gonna make it to which I replied "Bullshit". We touched, I dumped flaps and got on the brakes and we got stopped with some room to spare. I told her I guess that month of practicing for the preceding weekend's STOL contest paid off. My heart racing I jumped out and up on the tire and sure as **** I had left one of my gas caps off. I called SJ and told him what I had done, my heart still racing. I sent him a pin drop of our location and he said it would be a while cause it take a while to drive there. I told him he could land here easily to which he asked if I had raised a ruckus. Nope, no one knows we are here but us. He loaded up 5 gallons of gas and flew out and saved my butt. In the meantime I called a friend at home who went down to my hangar and found my gas cap right where I had loaded. Bad thing was I had done the same thing leaving the STOL contest at Gainesville the Sunday before. Needless to say my gas caps are getting chains and I have got to be more aware. A few miles sooner or later and it could have ended badly. Gotta thank SJ for coming to our rescue and Cathy for getting back in the plane with my dumb ass.
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    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers
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  11. #11
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    Thanks for posting, Steve. Remember, admitting you have a problem is the first step towards recovery...

    sj
    "Often Mistaken, but Never in Doubt"
    ------------------------------------------
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  12. #12
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    24th Anniversary of the crash that led to SuperCub.Org

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Pierce View Post
    Several weeks ago Cathy and I planned a weekend getaway to northwest Arkansas, lunch with SJ and Laura in Bentonville and a long relaxing weekend at Gaston's. The night before I installed the pod and topped off the fuel tanks in the Super Cub. We arrived at the airport early, pushed the airplane out of the hangar. As I opened the pod and the smell of fiberglass hit me and Cathy mentioned smelling fuel. I told her it was probably the fiberglass she was smelling since her smeller has been messed up since COVID. We loaded up and departed with a really nice tailwind, 140 mph plus. A while into the flight I was bored and I did a hard wing waggle to make sure Cathy was awake. We both smelled fuel, I said I must have sloshed some out during the maneuver but made a note in my head to check it when we landed. Our first stop weather was not as forecast so we landed on down the road a bit. They had no fuel but we were good because of the tailwind. I planned to check the caps and got side tracked helping Cathy in and didn't do it. Most of you know where this is going but of course I just kept looking at the fuel totalizer and out the window, totally oblivious. I was getting close to the Northwest Arkansas NTL airspace and wanted to go direct so I called the tower to request permission. They told me to call Razorback. When I dialed up Razorback they were busy and I was almost in the airspace so I opted to go under and around. Shortly there after over some beautiful forest the engine started sputtering. I banked left towards a clearing and looked at the left site gauge and it was empty, looked at the right and it showed a little. Leveled wings and the engine sputtered again. I thought, I got no time to jack around. I had two hay fields on the hill tops. One was past a tree line and I didn't feel like I could make it and the other was directly under me requiring a tight turn. No other options I made the turn while putting it in a hard slip and pulling in all of the P-STOL flaps. Just before we touched down, the ground adjustable Sensenich prop stopped, looking at the tree line ahead Cathy said we aren't gonna make it to which I replied "Bullshit". We touched, I dumped flaps and got on the brakes and we got stopped with some room to spare. I told her I guess that month of practicing for the preceding weekend's STOL contest paid off. My heart racing I jumped out and up on the tire and sure as **** I had left one of my gas caps off. I called SJ and told him what I had done, my heart still racing. I sent him a pin drop of our location and he said it would be a while cause it take a while to drive there. I told him he could land here easily to which he asked if I had raised a ruckus. Nope, no one knows we are here but us. He loaded up 5 gallons of gas and flew out and saved my butt. In the meantime I called a friend at home who went down to my hangar and found my gas cap right where I had loaded. Bad thing was I had done the same thing leaving the STOL contest at Gainesville the Sunday before. Needless to say my gas caps are getting chains and I have got to be more aware. A few miles sooner or later and it could have ended badly. Gotta thank SJ for coming to our rescue and Cathy for getting back in the plane with my dumb ass.
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    Wow! Glad you handled it so well and didnít end up bending that beautiful Cub. I left a cap off one time a long time ago. I double and triple check them now each time I fuel.

    Happy Thanksgiving!


    Sent from my iPad using SuperCub.Org mobile app

  13. #13
    brown bear's Avatar
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    Smile Old and forgetful

    Quote Originally Posted by jrussl View Post
    Wow! Glad you handled it so well and didnít end up bending that beautiful Cub. I left a cap off one time a long time ago. I double and triple check them now each time I fuel.

    Happy Thanksgiving!


    Sent from my iPad using SuperCub.Org mobile app
    I am always very conscious of where I laid my fuel cap. I never laying it on the wing, maybe on the ladder maybe on the pilot seat
    If on the ladder itíll fall off when I put the ladder up if in the pilot seat, Iíll sit on it when I get in, but never on the wing
    I am just trying to learn ways to deal with getting old and forgetful🤔
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  14. #14

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    What I learned from this event... a missing fuel cap will siphon fuel from that tank AND THE OTHER ONE. I had no idea.

    Thanks Steve, and Steve.

    C

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Pierce View Post
    Several weeks ago Cathy and I planned a weekend getaway to northwest Arkansas, lunch with SJ and Laura in Bentonville and a long relaxing weekend at Gaston's. The night before I installed the pod and topped off the fuel tanks in the Super Cub. We arrived at the airport early, pushed the airplane out of the hangar. As I opened the pod and the smell of fiberglass hit me and Cathy mentioned smelling fuel. I told her it was probably the fiberglass she was smelling since her smeller has been messed up since COVID. We loaded up and departed with a really nice tailwind, 140 mph plus. A while into the flight I was bored and I did a hard wing waggle to make sure Cathy was awake. We both smelled fuel, I said I must have sloshed some out during the maneuver but made a note in my head to check it when we landed. Our first stop weather was not as forecast so we landed on down the road a bit. They had no fuel but we were good because of the tailwind. I planned to check the caps and got side tracked helping Cathy in and didn't do it. Most of you know where this is going but of course I just kept looking at the fuel totalizer and out the window, totally oblivious. I was getting close to the Northwest Arkansas NTL airspace and wanted to go direct so I called the tower to request permission. They told me to call Razorback. When I dialed up Razorback they were busy and I was almost in the airspace so I opted to go under and around. Shortly there after over some beautiful forest the engine started sputtering. I banked left towards a clearing and looked at the left site gauge and it was empty, looked at the right and it showed a little. Leveled wings and the engine sputtered again. I thought, I got no time to jack around. I had two hay fields on the hill tops. One was past a tree line and I didn't feel like I could make it and the other was directly under me requiring a tight turn. No other options I made the turn while putting it in a hard slip and pulling in all of the P-STOL flaps. Just before we touched down, the ground adjustable Sensenich prop stopped, looking at the tree line ahead Cathy said we aren't gonna make it to which I replied "Bullshit". We touched, I dumped flaps and got on the brakes and we got stopped with some room to spare. I told her I guess that month of practicing for the preceding weekend's STOL contest paid off. My heart racing I jumped out and up on the tire and sure as **** I had left one of my gas caps off. I called SJ and told him what I had done, my heart still racing. I sent him a pin drop of our location and he said it would be a while cause it take a while to drive there. I told him he could land here easily to which he asked if I had raised a ruckus. Nope, no one knows we are here but us. He loaded up 5 gallons of gas and flew out and saved my butt. In the meantime I called a friend at home who went down to my hangar and found my gas cap right where I had loaded. Bad thing was I had done the same thing leaving the STOL contest at Gainesville the Sunday before. Needless to say my gas caps are getting chains and I have got to be more aware. A few miles sooner or later and it could have ended badly. Gotta thank SJ for coming to our rescue and Cathy for getting back in the plane with my dumb ass.
    Were you wearing your new belt buckle?
    "Sometimes a Cigar is just a Cigar"
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    tedwaltman1's Avatar
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    Thank you Steve for posting the gas cap story. We all learn from these events. Yep…chains on the caps…good ideas brown bear!
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  17. #17
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brown bear View Post
    I am always very conscious of where I laid my fuel cap. I never laying it on the wing, maybe on the ladder maybe on the pilot seat
    If on the ladder it’ll fall off when I put the ladder up if in the pilot seat, I’ll sit on it when I get in, but never on the wing
    I am just trying to learn ways to deal with getting old and forgetful樂
    I had been hooking the snorkle vent into the lifting eye. Chains and stainless rod are my next little project.
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers

  18. #18
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cgibber View Post
    What I learned from this event... a missing fuel cap will siphon fuel from that tank AND THE OTHER ONE. I had no idea.

    Thanks Steve, and Steve.

    C
    Siphoned 9.8 gallons out but because I was on the Both position I didn't have what I thought I did. A good reason for Left, Right, Off I guess.
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers
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  19. #19
    S2D's Avatar
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    Two of the many things I learned the hard way.
    1. never pull the nozzle out without the cap in hand.
    2. Never walk away from an airplane with the tow bar attached----anywhere.

    Where has the time gone SJ.
    You're a little grayer from putting up with us but other than that you're aging well.
    AFNB
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  20. #20
    mvivion's Avatar
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    Flying floats teaches you mighty quick two things:

    1. Never lay a gas cap on a wing while fueling
    2. Always carry a spare in the plane.

    Been there, done that. Put gas cap in shirt pocket.....chains work also, but then if you forget to re-attach them, and take off.....you may be repairing damage to wing. They are noisy, though.

    MTV
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvivion View Post
    Flying floats teaches you mighty quick two things:

    1. Never lay a gas cap on a wing while fueling
    2. Always carry a spare in the plane.

    Been there, done that. ...
    MTV
    Yup and yup. Thank goodness the Mighty PA-11 does not go fast enough to siphon. And somewhere in the grass in Rockland, Maine, is a very lonely gas cap....
    JP Russell--The Cub Therapist
    1947 PA-11 Cub Special

  22. #22

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    Time to toss an old gas cap in the crap bag, I did and haven't needed it since I started carrying it, before that is a different story.
    Remember, These are the Good old Days!

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    Quote Originally Posted by cgibber View Post
    What I learned from this event... a missing fuel cap will siphon fuel from that tank AND THE OTHER ONE. I had no idea.

    Thanks Steve, and Steve.

    C
    About the only downside to the BOTH selectors.
    Remember, These are the Good old Days!

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by OLDCROWE View Post
    Time to toss an old gas cap in the crap bag, I did and haven't needed it since I started carrying it, before that is a different story.
    You need to have a spare... to loan to your friends...
    "Often Mistaken, but Never in Doubt"
    ------------------------------------------
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  25. #25
    BC12D-4-85's Avatar
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    The time I did this no cap flying, fuel visibly sprayed off the back of the left wing after takeoff. I happened to look for traffic and wondered why it was. Put cap in pocket and carry spare.

    Gary

  26. #26
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    One advantage of my low wing PA-28 is that I can check both gas caps one last time while I'm in the seat. I have not left one off the FX-3 yet but I will admit to putting one on backwards. It was a short flight and I don't know how much gas, if any, that I lost.

    It's amazing how stupid we can be sometimes and still get away with it. I had rigged an optical sensor powered by a 9V battery on my right wing tip. It was used to record the flash pattern of the strobe. The sensor board was taped over the stobe and the 9V battery taped on top of the wing. Low grip masking tape was just there to stop it falling off while I was taking measurements in the hangar.

    When I did a walk round after landing at a local dirt strip I found the sensor and battery in place just as they had been for the test. I suppose that's one advantage of not flying very fast.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by OLDCROWE View Post
    About the only downside to the BOTH selectors.
    I like L and R on longer trips. Time one tank from takeoff for an hour......then one hour from the other tank.......run the first tank dry and time that.......the second tank will have that much time left before empty given TO fuel used from first tank.
    That's assuming you put your fuel caps on.
    "Sometimes a Cigar is just a Cigar"
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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by frequent_flyer View Post
    One advantage of my low wing PA-28 is that I can check both gas caps one last time while I'm in the seat.

    It's amazing how stupid we can be sometimes and still get away with it..
    You mean 20 feet in the air with a full load of spray isn't the best time to double check the caps??
    T shirts make good gas caps in a pinch. Just saying. No proof that I would know any thing for a fact. Nobody would do that 3 times before they wisened up about bad habits would they ??
    AFNB

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Pierce View Post
    Several weeks ago Cathy and I planned a weekend getaway to northwest Arkansas, lunch with SJ and Laura in Bentonville and a long relaxing weekend at Gaston's. The night before I installed the pod and topped off the fuel tanks in the Super Cub. We arrived at the airport early, pushed the airplane out of the hangar. As I opened the pod and the smell of fiberglass hit me and Cathy mentioned smelling fuel. I told her it was probably the fiberglass she was smelling since her smeller has been messed up since COVID. We loaded up and departed with a really nice tailwind, 140 mph plus. A while into the flight I was bored and I did a hard wing waggle to make sure Cathy was awake. We both smelled fuel, I said I must have sloshed some out during the maneuver but made a note in my head to check it when we landed. Our first stop weather was not as forecast so we landed on down the road a bit. They had no fuel but we were good because of the tailwind. I planned to check the caps and got side tracked helping Cathy in and didn't do it. Most of you know where this is going but of course I just kept looking at the fuel totalizer and out the window, totally oblivious. I was getting close to the Northwest Arkansas NTL airspace and wanted to go direct so I called the tower to request permission. They told me to call Razorback. When I dialed up Razorback they were busy and I was almost in the airspace so I opted to go under and around. Shortly there after over some beautiful forest the engine started sputtering. I banked left towards a clearing and looked at the left site gauge and it was empty, looked at the right and it showed a little. Leveled wings and the engine sputtered again. I thought, I got no time to jack around. I had two hay fields on the hill tops. One was past a tree line and I didn't feel like I could make it and the other was directly under me requiring a tight turn. No other options I made the turn while putting it in a hard slip and pulling in all of the P-STOL flaps. Just before we touched down, the ground adjustable Sensenich prop stopped, looking at the tree line ahead Cathy said we aren't gonna make it to which I replied "Bullshit". We touched, I dumped flaps and got on the brakes and we got stopped with some room to spare. I told her I guess that month of practicing for the preceding weekend's STOL contest paid off. My heart racing I jumped out and up on the tire and sure as **** I had left one of my gas caps off. I called SJ and told him what I had done, my heart still racing. I sent him a pin drop of our location and he said it would be a while cause it take a while to drive there. I told him he could land here easily to which he asked if I had raised a ruckus. Nope, no one knows we are here but us. He loaded up 5 gallons of gas and flew out and saved my butt. In the meantime I called a friend at home who went down to my hangar and found my gas cap right where I had loaded. Bad thing was I had done the same thing leaving the STOL contest at Gainesville the Sunday before. Needless to say my gas caps are getting chains and I have got to be more aware. A few miles sooner or later and it could have ended badly. Gotta thank SJ for coming to our rescue and Cathy for getting back in the plane with my dumb ass.
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    Vented caps fit in the atlee lifting eyes nicely. And they wonít fall out on a 20 mile flight. Or so Iíve heard.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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  30. #30
    BC12D-4-85's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RaisedByWolves View Post
    Vented caps fit in the atlee lifting eyes nicely. And they won’t fall out on a 20 mile flight. Or so I’ve heard
    Had that pair of AD parts near each other on four planes and never tried for a fit. Like a goose..every day's a new one. Thanks.

    Gary

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by RaisedByWolves View Post
    Vented caps fit in the atlee lifting eyes nicely. And they won’t fall out on a 20 mile flight. Or so I’ve heard.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    That is the way I learned to do it when on floats and I still do it.

    sj
    "Often Mistaken, but Never in Doubt"
    ------------------------------------------

  32. #32
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    Mine came out at the grass runway at Gainesville. The spare cap was non-snorkle and was right where we loaded. I ordered some stuff from McMaster Carr last night to cable them to the filler neck. My Clipper was that way and only left it of once and was a quick ride around the patch due to the banging on the tank lid. Putting the cap on the ladder is a good idea as well.
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers
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  33. #33
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    I guess I better buy a pair of gas caps.

    No need to talk about baggage doors.
    If it ain't broke - improve it

  34. #34
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    I have used my cell phone camera through the skylight before to confirm I was missing/not missing a cap... handy trick if you find yourself wondering..

    sj
    "Often Mistaken, but Never in Doubt"
    ------------------------------------------
    Likes Kid Durango, cub yellow, tedwaltman1 liked this post

  35. #35
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SJ View Post
    I have used my cell phone camera through the skylight before to confirm I was missing/not missing a cap... handy trick if you find yourself wondering..

    sj
    That is a great idea.
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers

  36. #36
    DJ's Avatar
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    Great idea SJ. Yep I've craned my neck a few times too with no success.
    Glad you guys and the plane are OK Steve. Thanks for the lesson. I've been sticking the caps in a back pocket but it needs to become a deliberate habit.

    Sent from my SM-G965U1 using SuperCub.Org mobile app
    The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands. Psalms 19:1

  37. #37

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    I've done it. Is there anyone who hasn't?!
    Thanks KevinJ thanked for this post
    Likes DENNY liked this post

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