posted on Jun, 24 2008 @ 03:54 PM
reply to post by Dr Love
Dr Love.....JFK Jr owned a Piper Saratoga, if memory serves (I'll go look it up if needed)
If I remember Piper designs, they usually did not have a 'Both' position on the fuel selector valve. Cessnas did (do).
Of course, a high-wing gravity feed design would naturally have a 'Both' position, theory being both tanks would feed equally, over time.
As to the Fuel selector being in the 'Off' position.....could you link a source to that?? Would be much appreciated.
What I had been led to understand regarding JFK Jr's accident, was he relied on the AutoPilot to an extent that he forgot to pay attention to fuel
management. He was in a single-engine airplane, and could only burn from one wing tank at a time. The A/P would compensate as a fuel imbalance
developed, but only up to a point.
Either the A/P will disconnect when the aileron input needed to correct the imbalance exceeds it's parameters, or when JFK Jr disconnected the A/P he
was startled, and dis-oriented by the roll moment. Additionally, it was twilight, with no well defined horizon due to the haze.
It seems that they were victims of the typical 'death spiral' due to spatial dis-orientation.
As to the Fuel Selector.....heck, if it were in 'Off', then they'd be in a glider after the engine failed. And, even a pilot with ten hours would
know to look down and check the Fuel Selector!!!