There are two points in a flight when people outside the plane tend to watch and critique you: when you start the engine, and when you land.

Granted, unless you’re hand-propping, a starting error is much less dangerous than a landing error; however, failed starts happen far more often, and there’s nothing like the grating “chuff-chuff-chuff-chuff” of a failed start to make all the airport old guys look over and shak their heads in dismay.

Aviatrix has just posted two articles on starting carbureted piston engines, here and here, and they’ve generated a good number of interesting comments. Read them, if you haven’t done so already.

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3 Responses to Starting

  1. Rick Wilson says:

    How true! Of course the first time I had a terrible flooded engine problem on a hot day was with my father sitting there in the C-172N I was flying at the time. I think the expression he had could best be described as “baleful”. I managed to get it started on the third go, but that was the longest moment of the entire flight.

  2. Paul Tomblin says:

    My first flooded engine came on my long solo cross country as a student. I was in an unfamiliar airport, and all alone. I got out of the plane and there was fuel dripping out of the bottom of the cowling. I went inside, did a few maneuvers on the food simulators, and came out and tried starting without prime and with the mixture off, and it worked. I was amazed. The POH was actually right about something.

    Now I fly a fuel injected Piper Lance, and starting it is a bit of a black art, but those of us initiated into the fraternity have very little trouble, even when it’s hot. The secret is not to touch the throttle, prop or mixture controls (leave them right where they were when it was shut down) until the engine catches, and then quickly move the mixture knob from idle-cut-off to full on. The engine just idles at a nice steady 1000 RPM without the initial roar that you get with normally aspirated engines when you start them at full throttle.

  3. Pingback: Land and Hold Short » The perfect start

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