Re: How do fuel guages work?

From: (Jay Vassos-Libove)
Organization: MindSpring Enterprises
Date:         17 Aug 95 04:58:55 
References:   1 2
Followups:    1 2
Next article
View raw article
  or MIME structure (NADIR) (anonymously??) wrote:
>The only time I
>heard of a major airliner with a like problem was that Air Canada 767
>which was misfueled and subsequently made an emergency landing at a
>dragstrip!!..Wonder if they tried clocking his 100-0mph reaction

This incident became known as the Gimli Glider.  The 767 was misfueled
because all of its fuel gauges were either malfunctioning or were
incorrectly checked.  As a result, the aircraft (according to airline
rules) should not have been dispatched at all.  Instead, as it
was a new aircraft, and there was pressure to get the aircraft out
on time, the aircraft was fueled with checks done by converting
a dipstick measurement in the tanks from a linear (probably metric)
measurement to a volumetric (english, since it was a 767)
measurement... and somebody got a conversion factor exactly
backwards, resulting in *4 instead of /4, so they put 1/4 the
necessary fuel on board.

Gimli is a disused military airstrip, on which civilians were
drag racing and having fun that day - but it was an airstrip,
not really a dragstrip.  There is a not-too-bad made-for-TV
moving called, I believe, Silent Flight, about this incident.
It actually does go in to some detail about how the errors
occurred, and how the pilots figured out their options for
saving the aircraft, plus the luck and sweat that went in to
Gimli being in just about exactly the right spot.
Jay Vassos-Libove
11575 Laurel Lake Drive			+1 404 552 0543
Roswell, GA 30075			Ask me about MindSpring
U.S.A.					Internet access in Atlanta!