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Safety Advisories

Beware of Deer on the airport when arriving or departing Trenton,
especially at dawn or dusk. The airport is not fenced, and the increase in tree coverage over the last ten years has provided ample deer habitat. Add in the fact that deer are being hunted less and less, and you've got a bloom in Deer populations. During dusk and dawn operations, be wary of Deer.

Fuel Starvation-A Leading Cause of Aviation Accidents.

 Full Power Run-ups-
Many ultralights and light sport aircraft have very high horsepower to weight ratios compared to most general aviation aircraft.  Often it is difficult if not impossible to to do a full-power run-up of the engine due to inadequate brakes or the risk of a "nose over". The "nose over" problem is common in high-powered tail draggers.  Engine-out scenarios are more frequent when an aircraft has been sitting up for long periods of time. The cause of a sudden engine failure can be stale fuel, contaminated fuel, oil mix separation, air leaks, or simply failing to turn your fuel valves on. An often overlooked cause of fuel starvation is failure to adequately vent your fuel tank. Mud dobbers can completely clog a tank vent in a day or less. Routine inspection of tank vents should be a part of your preflight. More often than not, this check is completely overlooked by most pilots and instructors. The most common reason for fuel starvation is simply not having any in your tanks. In fact, it is the leading cause of private aircraft accidents. Always do a visual check of your fuel levels. Relying on fuel guages is is a good way to get killed. If your aircraft has not flown for several weeks, always do a full power run-up of the engine after checking for fuel contamination and oil separation. Replace stale fuel with fresh fuel. Securely chock the wheels and secure the tail of the aircraft so that you can do a full power run-up. Consider a run-up of 2-3 minutes that simulates the climb-out power setting you would normally use.  Make sure the engine is at proper operating temperature before you run the motor up.  Closely monitor the engine EGT's for normal operating ranges and pay attention to any miss-firing.  It is much better to identify any engine issues on the ground rather than just over the tree tops.

Purolator Fuel Filters-  Change your filter element every 3-6 months. These filters are excellent, however; the false security they give by being able to visually inspect the filter through the glass outer shell is a hazard. We've seen these filters almost

completely clogged, yet show no visible appearance of clogging  via the inspection glass.  Be strict with your filter changing regime. This is very important if you mix oil with your fuel, refuel from gas cans or allow your aircraft to set dormant for weeks at a time. In colder weather, a marginal filter will become even more dangerous, especially when used with pre-mixed fuel. A clogged fuel filter will fail you when you need it full power during take off. . For less than the cost of a hamburger, you can prevent this potential hazard. When in doubt, change it out...!

Avoid Paper Fuel Filters- Many paper filters are sold and routinely used for small 2 and 4 stroke motors.

These filters should be avoided for use in ultralights or experimental aircraft.  Small amounts of water can all but clog these filters resulting in engine fuel starvation. Additionally, paper filter performance will be reduced when oil is mixed with the gas. When you add small amounts of water to the mix, you can introduce dramatic clogging of these filters. Paper filters are especially vulnerable to clogging from old fuel. If your bird has been sitting up for a month or more....drain the old fuel and change out your filters. It could save your life.
Water Seperators-
 Gascolators are a great safety feature. They allow water to collect in a sump. Racor makes a line of water seperation units that actually remove the water regardless of the sump, along with micron level filtration. While many of these are approved for marine use only, they have applications in experimental and ultralight aircraft.  Consult your aircraft manufacturer or a qualified engineer before using one of the Racor products for aviation applications.


Low & Slow-The Silent Killer

Rule No. One- Make sure you concentrate on flying your airplane, especially when you are close to the ground!

Most pilots will play with the stall characteristics of their aircraft when at a safe altitude. For most aircraft, stalling is an uneventful mush or momentary drop of the nose. We get lulled into a sense of easy recovery. While your altimeter will show you instantly lost significant altitude, it really seems very manageable in most aircraft. As we gain more time in a particular type of aircraft, our confidence level increases, and we begin focusing more of our attention on the world around us. Often this change of focus has been deadly, especially when close to the ground.  The difference between life and death is a moment’s lapse of focus on airspeed and attitude. This is especially true when close to the ground. As you get closer to the ground, your sense of airspeed increases because the ground seems to be going by faster. Unless you keep an eye on the airspeed indicator, you could be lulled into a false sense of security. You also begin receiving other inputs into the flying equation. These inputs include, looking for pattern traffic, watching activities on the ground, and radio work.  Adding to the
risk are the low level turns associated with pattern work.  As we increase our confidence level, we tend to make the turns a little tighter and steeper. All of these factors contribute to stall related accidents.  Countless accidents have occurred when pilots fixated on ground activities. These accidents can happen to both very high-time and low-time pilots. As soon as you loose the "all important focus" on airspeed and attitude, you've entered the dead zone. Avoiding complacency close to the ground can save your life.