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RE: REFLECTOR: Fuel system safety

Dear Al and other Reflectorites:
   I know personally of four deaths (not Velocities) caused by fuel 
shutoffs being partially off during start-up, taxi and run-up.  With full 
power for take-off, the engines quit soon after a return to the airport was 
impossible.  Stall/spin or trees resulted in the destruction of the 
airplanes and the pilots.  We had one Velocity here for an annual 
inspection that had a fuel shut-off mounted remotely under the rear seat 
bulkhead.  Exactly where one could and would be stepped on when entering 
the rear seats.  When we inspected the airplane, the valve was in the 45 
degree position and could have very easily caused an engine failure with 
full throttle application.
   Don't get me wrong, I have no problem with a fuel shut-off. I just 
remind all of you that if you decide to install one, make it as failsafe as 
possible.  J.C. Whitney sells a rotary electric valve that will stay in 
whatever position it is set as long as power is available to change the   
position,  but as Martin pointed out, it won't shut off if the master 
switch is turned off before the switch to the valve is changed.
   Sincerely,  Duane Swing
-----Original Message-----
From:	Al Gietzen [SMTP:alventures@email.msn.com]
Sent:	Sunday, February 21, 1999 2:53 PM
To:	reflector
Subject:	REFLECTOR: Fuel system safety

Not that I like raising tough and uncomfortable questions; but something to

This fuel shutoff/no fuel shutoff debate still bothers me.  On certified
airplanes emergency check list for a forced landing is always "turn off 
fuel supply"; hopefull to reduce the likelyhood of a serious fire.  One of
the major causes of serious injury or death after a crash is fire.  Is our
rear engine composite fundamentally different in its fire hazard?

A shutoff valve between sump tank and engine would reduce the risks of
sustained fire aft of the engine bulkhead.  But, of course, we have fuel
lines and a fuel tank inside our cabin.  What precautions can/should we 
to reduce hazard of a fuel fed fire after a crash?  Should we use only
metalic fireproof lines?  Does firesleeve over any flexible neoprene line
help the situation.  Does a shutoff valve at the exit from each main tank
make any sense?  How do we fireproof the sump tank?

It seems like some creative thought to these questions might have some 
in risk reduction.  Perhaps others who have thought this through can shed
some light.


Al Gietzen