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  • Engine failure in flight in a Cessna 150

    Hey all,
    Had a bit of excitement the other day and was hoping to see what you guys think. (Please forgive the book it took to tell the story!) I recently acquired a 1959 Cessna C-150 with a 0-200 to fly while my Taylorcraft is currently sitting sad, wing-less, and waiting for recover. The 150 was local and had been sitting for roughly two years in an open faced hangar prior to the day I picked her up. The plane had a pre-buy inspection and turned up nothing. It was then flown 10 minutes from a private strip to the airport where the annual was to be done. The flight was uneventful. The annual likewise turned up nothing of major concern. She then sat outside for about two weeks through two major rain storms before I was able to pick her up. The plane was fueled with 100LL prior to my arrival and due to pilot error I forgot to sump the tanks. The flight home was around 1 hour and 20 mins with 4 touch an go landings at an airport along the way. There was absolutely nothing abnormal about this flight and I arrived home without incident. The plane then sat in my heated shop for around a month or so with tanks a little over half full. I scheduled a BFR to maintain currency and the night before the flight I topped off the tanks with 87 octane ethanol free car gas and stored the plane back in the shop overnight. The next morning myself and a CFI departed from my private strip and again due to over sight the tanks went unsumped. We did 8 landings both full stop and touch and go at a near by airport and had been using the carb heat outside of the green arc. On the way back to my home we did a steep turn and a power on stall. At this time I pulled power out to perform a power off stall and carb heat was NOT applied. Within a second or two and with no observed sputtering the engine failed completely. The prop was also not windmilling. All attempts at restart failed. Luckily we were near my home out in flat farm country and we made a successful forced landing in one of my cut soybean fields about a half mile from my shop. After being on the ground about 5 minutes I gave her two shots of primer and a little throttle and she started and ran as if nothing had happened. Realizing my mistake I immediately sumped the tanks. I found no water but some small rust debris. There was great flow from the gascolator and nothing found in the screens. Upon further examination I found that the Silicon around the filler necks of the wing tanks was very shoddy and quite possibly could have let rain water enter the tanks, not to mention the possibility of condensation forming on the inside of the tank from sitting half full for a month. I also noticed a large build up of surface rust on the filler necks but the inside of the tanks show no signs of corrosion only very minor staining in small areas. Again I apologize for such a long post and for those of you still with me is it plausible that either water in the fuel or carb icing caused the engine to fail? Wouldn't it have to be a large shot of water to shut down an engine that fast? It just seems strange to me that there was no stammering or surging in RPM's but rather instant shut off. That day was a fairly high risk day for carburetor icing. Could carb icing form fast enough and great enough to shut down an engine after only a few seconds of idle power and no carb heat applied? Any information at all on this is would be greatly appreciated. I love flying and I love learning and I'm hoping to be able to keep doing both! Thanks to all in advance!

    Adam McPeck
    1950 Taylorcraft BC12-D N6627N
    1959 Cessna 150 N7950E
    Last edited by Adamo13; 11-13-2014, 01:33.
    Adam McPeck
    1950 Taylorcraft BC12-D N6627N
    1959 Cessna 150 N7950E
    1948 Beechcraft Bonanza N4578V

  • #2
    Re: Engine failure in flight in a Cessna 150

    One possibility:The fuel tank sumps on Cessna 150 will not necessarily get all the water out of the tanks. Your maneuvering could have moved a slug of water into the carburetor.

    Second possibility: The carburetor was already partially iced before you pulled power and pulling the power off finished the job. A Marvel Schebler carburetor can experience a 70 degree drop in temperature at the venturii.

    Recommendation is to put soup cans over your fuel filler necks when she is parked and get a carb temperature gauge.

    All the best...
    Best Regards,
    Mark Julicher

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Engine failure in flight in a Cessna 150

      Thanks for your input Mark. I've read some articles about the short comings of the sumps on high wing Cessnas. Talk about a controversial subject in the Cessna world! I am going to add a carb heat gauge. Does anyone have any experience with various models? I'm not sure if I'd rather have the gauge with color coding that reads temp or the probe that actually detects the formation of ice.
      Adam McPeck
      1950 Taylorcraft BC12-D N6627N
      1959 Cessna 150 N7950E
      1948 Beechcraft Bonanza N4578V

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Engine failure in flight in a Cessna 150

        Most C-150's have the Carb Heat Inlet on the right side of the cowling.

        Generally there are 2 inlets.

        The one with the scoop in for Cabin Heat.

        The other flush Inlet is somewhat sheltered from ice by the upper lip of the lower cowl.

        The Inlet goes into SCAT duct that continues down & then reverses & goes up.

        This makes a U - shaped "Holding Tank".

        Rain, screws critters DO enter the Inlet.

        When you pull Carb Heat the water then is

        sucked onto the hot muffler.

        Your engine will NOT run on this steam.

        I can almost GUARANTEE that when you remove

        the SCAT you will find the internal wire rusted away as well.

        This obviously allows the SCAT to collapse which will also make for a QUIET engine.

        Please to not fly until you check this.


        Oh yeah; the FIX.

        With the new SCAT in place put a tiny drain hole @ the lowest point .

        Does not have to be big to work.

        Let us know the outcome.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Engine failure in flight in a Cessna 150

          Look in the tech reference section for a 337 that I did on an F-19 for an engine monitoring system, it was fairly compact and easy to install. Tim
          N29787
          '41 BC12-65

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Engine failure in flight in a Cessna 150

            Update: As you predicted magman... the wire in the SCAT ducting at the bottom of the U in the carb heat run was rusted and no longer holding shape. From the exterior it looked normal but when pinched It would completely collapse in that 3" area. I also found that the same SCAT run was wire tied in such a way that the ducting was reduced in size to approximately 3/4" to an 1" . Could it be possible that the carb was not getting full heat with the hose bottled up? The carb heat checked out fine on the run up that day with proper RPM drop. Do you think this had anything to do with the engine failure that day? As far as the fix goes, do I just drill a small hole right in the new ducting itself between the embedded wire? And roughly how small would you recommend? Thanks for the heads up on this deal! I really appreciate it. Could have caused some real problems if left unnoticed.
            Attached Files
            Adam McPeck
            1950 Taylorcraft BC12-D N6627N
            1959 Cessna 150 N7950E
            1948 Beechcraft Bonanza N4578V

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Engine failure in flight in a Cessna 150

              Here are some pictures to go with the book! One thing I found very interesting is the sump plug in the picture is only about a month old! How could so much residue form while it's soaking in 100LL in such a short time!? The rust debris was all removed from inside the tanks and most likely got there from being knocked off the inside of the filler neck while being refueled.

              Adam McPeck
              1950 Taylorcraft BC12-D N6627N
              1959 Cessna 150 N7950E
              Attached Files
              Adam McPeck
              1950 Taylorcraft BC12-D N6627N
              1959 Cessna 150 N7950E
              1948 Beechcraft Bonanza N4578V

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Engine failure in flight in a Cessna 150

                When I've encountered this it was like this.

                Carb Heat Oper. was normal @ typical 1700 RPM check on ground.

                However; in flight as when pulling heat ON while on downwind the RPM would drop a LOT & IMMEDIATELY.

                Likely the water that was trapped moved due to a higher volume of air in the duct.

                Higher Engine RPM & Airspeed would be the reason.

                The water would then splash on the hot muffler.

                The resultant STEAM in then ingested into the Carb.

                Throws the Combustion Process out of wack.


                A small hole between the wires is all you need.

                I usually use a #40 ( 3/32) as that is handy for me.

                Easy to pour water in & OP. Ck.

                All you need is a little drip.


                Since you are replacing the SCAT:

                1. Assure that the wire end and the string are captured by the clamp.

                2. Use RTV ( Room Temp Vulcanizing aka Silicone) & run a bead lengthwise to

                secure the string.

                If the string moves the duct WILL collapse.

                It will help the SCAT last much longer.


                Note that when I inspect 150's it is VERY common to find FOD

                in the Intake Duct Loop.

                Very accessible for birds provides straw & stones.

                Also it is TOOO handy when folks are working in the area

                so that screws placed nearby wind up in the duct.

                Per FAR there should not be a screen over the Inlet as

                it could easily become obstructed.

                A plug tied to the Cowl Plugs or Prop would be good.

                The problem does NOT originate in Flight.

                Good Luck!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Engine failure in flight in a Cessna 150

                  Crazy Snow here in Buffalo area.

                  Also crazy writing about a 150 on a Taylorcraft Forum.


                  Oft overlooked is the BOTTOM Sump ; NOT the Firewall!

                  Some have a Drain Valve added via STC.

                  Most still have the AN Cap secured by a plate with a screw.

                  Common to find water/trash there as it is the lowest point in the Fuel Sys.

                  Ea as it is right below the Selector.sy to check

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Engine failure in flight in a Cessna 150

                    A common way for water to enter the tank is from the Wells around the Filler Caps.

                    Water is held for extended periods & some wicks down the screws & enters the tank.

                    Brings along some rust as well.

                    EZ fix is to seal the top of the screw with something I discovered years ago.

                    RTV was used to seal shrouds in the Afterburner area of fighter aircraft.

                    Works fine here.

                    Do NOT ignore this.

                    1. The rust may cause the Drain Valve not to seal.

                    2. The very fine rust CAN move through the Strainers & into the Carb.

                    At that point the Carb fails to function.

                    Not good on ground.

                    Worse in Flight!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Engine failure in flight in a Cessna 150

                      Hi all,

                      I am not being a smart Alec (not sure why Alec got saddled with that term) nor am I chasing you away.

                      This thread was interesting and I would think that there is a Cessna 150 forum somewhere that needs to see this stuff.

                      Adamo13 you should check that out.

                      Dave

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Engine failure in flight in a Cessna 150

                        Yea, the thread may not have been on Taylorcrafts, but I sure saw a lot of interesting things in it. Don't stop with the cross talk, but who knows how to get it to the 150 guys?

                        Hank

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Engine failure in flight in a Cessna 150

                          This IS in the "Hangar Mates" section, so it's perfectly alright. And there's nothing wrong with the C150 either...it does exactly what it was designed for!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Engine failure in flight in a Cessna 150

                            My thought is that ALL of us that have some knowledge that may reduce the chances of danger or injury to another have a RESPONSIBILITY to share that

                            knowledge with other folks.

                            If you have been in Aviation any length of time I'm sure you can share stories of needless tragedy.

                            I do participate in other forums.

                            Sometimes I learn; other times others do.

                            That is the great thing about forums & Aviation people.

                            fyi- The first aircraft I worked on when I received my A & P was a Taylorcraft.

                            Wanted to clarify that as many people think it was a Bleriot!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Engine failure in flight in a Cessna 150

                              Originally posted by Robert Lees View Post
                              This IS in the "Hangar Mates" section, so it's perfectly alright. And there's nothing wrong with the C150 either...it does exactly what it was designed for!
                              I don't think anyone is taking issue with it being here, but rather that it should be shared on a Cessna 150 forum too.

                              Comment

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