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  #1  
Old 10-21-2014, 06:26 AM
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riseric riseric is offline
 
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Default Gascolator "requirement" in Canada

Folks,

Many posts and threads here on VAF mention the Canadian, or MD-RA "requirement" of needing a gascolator either with a carburated or fuel injected engine.

I don't want to start a debate about the need or no-need of the gascolator versus the different engine choices.

As it goes, from reading posts and acknowledging first hand witnesses, the MD-RA requires a gascolator. Some might question if it's still relevant in some cases.

Being in the planning/building stage of my fuel system (see this post), and after Kevin Horton's post in my thread, I propose to find out if in fact a Canadian certified aircraft with a fuel injection system is flying without the gascolator.

If anyone out there aware of this, can it be shared here?
If there is, it might conclude to having the record set straight about this between the MD-RA, Transport Canada and home-builders about this "requirement".

If in fact, there is no such certified aircraft, so be it... At least we will know where we stand.

Thanks,
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  #2  
Old 10-21-2014, 07:29 AM
tailcreek_flyer tailcreek_flyer is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by riseric View Post
If in fact, there is no such certified aircraft, so be it... At least we will know where we stand.
Hi Eric,
Having gone thru the very same gascolator discussion with my MDRA inspector last year and again last month, I can tell you that there is little relevance between their assigned mandate and what's installed in a certified aircraft. They are charged with task of making sure all aircraft inspected are as safe as possible and the gascolator is right up there in the list of things that must be present (along with drain holes drilled everywhere, whiskey compass and huge bi-lingual warning signs). I can appreciate where you are coming from but you can churn up a lot of energy and make little to no progress dealing with a delgated organization with bureaucratic roots.
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  #3  
Old 10-21-2014, 07:29 AM
kamikaze kamikaze is offline
 
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Just to make sure we lay blame where it belongs ... MD-RA requires nothing, they're not regulators. Transport Canada requires the gascolator in their 549.01 exemption letter.

According to the CAR 523.997 : http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/civilaviatio...74.htm#523_997

"There must be a fuel strainer or filter between the fuel tank outlet and the inlet of either the fuel metering device or an engine driven positive displacement pump, whichever is nearer the fuel tank outlet."

Unless the 549.01 standards for amateur-built aircraft overrides this, which it doesn't, then this requirement also applies to amateur-built.

So, as I interpret this anyways, for any aircraft to obtain a certificate of airworthiness these days, they'd need to have one.

This doesn't make it impossible for a certified aircraft to be without one however, if there was a point in time in the past when gascolators were NOT required at the time of certification. If an aircraft was fully certified without a gascolator, because the rule didn't exist at that time, it may still be around today, still flying without one! I'd expect those would be rather rare, if they exist at all.

Cherokees (like the one I fly) were certified based on regulations dated 1956, and they have gascolators.

This copy of CAR 3 (what came before the current FAA FARs): http://www.navioneer.org/riprelay/Ye.../car_part3.pdf

Says this:

"§ 3.552 Fuel strainer. A fuel strainer shall
be provided between the fuel tank outlet and the
carburetor inlet. If an engine-driven fuel pump is
provided, the strainer shall be located between
the tank outlet and the engine-driven pump inlet.
The strainer shall be accessible for drainage and
cleaning, and the strainer screen shall be
removable."

And that revision is for Nov 1 1949.

So yeah ... not sure you're going to have much luck finding a type-certified aircraft without one, unless it's a really really really old one ...
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  #4  
Old 10-21-2014, 08:35 AM
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Ironflight Ironflight is offline
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My memory might be completely failing, but I don't recall there being a gascolator on my Grumman Yankee, a U.S. Certified aircraft that I know was owned by many Canadians.That might possibly be an avenue to explore.
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  #5  
Old 10-21-2014, 10:13 AM
sblack sblack is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tailcreek_flyer View Post
Hi Eric,
They are charged with task of making sure all aircraft inspected are as safe as possible now"
Just a slight correction, they are charged with making sure the airplane is compliant with the regulations, not as safe as possible. There is a significant difference. If they were charged with making it as safe as possible they would remove the propellors from all the airplanes so that we couldn't fly! They have a set of requirements, they have to enforce them and they have no latittude in applying common sense or giving credit for new technology. That has to come in the form of a regulatory change.

I too am a Transport Canada delegate in the certified aircraft world and appreciate their position, although it can be exasperating at times.
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  #6  
Old 10-21-2014, 10:18 AM
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Kevin Horton Kevin Horton is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kamikaze View Post
Just to make sure we lay blame where it belongs ... MD-RA requires nothing, they're not regulators. Transport Canada requires the gascolator in their 549.01 exemption letter.

According to the CAR 523.997 : http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/civilaviatio...74.htm#523_997

"There must be a fuel strainer or filter between the fuel tank outlet and the inlet of either the fuel metering device or an engine driven positive displacement pump, whichever is nearer the fuel tank outlet."

Unless the 549.01 standards for amateur-built aircraft overrides this, which it doesn't, then this requirement also applies to amateur-built.

So, as I interpret this anyways, for any aircraft to obtain a certificate of airworthiness these days, they'd need to have one.

This doesn't make it impossible for a certified aircraft to be without one however, if there was a point in time in the past when gascolators were NOT required at the time of certification. If an aircraft was fully certified without a gascolator, because the rule didn't exist at that time, it may still be around today, still flying without one! I'd expect those would be rather rare, if they exist at all.

Cherokees (like the one I fly) were certified based on regulations dated 1956, and they have gascolators.

This copy of CAR 3 (what came before the current FAA FARs): http://www.navioneer.org/riprelay/Ye.../car_part3.pdf

Says this:

" 3.552 Fuel strainer. A fuel strainer shall
be provided between the fuel tank outlet and the
carburetor inlet. If an engine-driven fuel pump is
provided, the strainer shall be located between
the tank outlet and the engine-driven pump inlet.
The strainer shall be accessible for drainage and
cleaning, and the strainer screen shall be
removable."

And that revision is for Nov 1 1949.

So yeah ... not sure you're going to have much luck finding a type-certified aircraft without one, unless it's a really really really old one ...
I wasn't aware that TC had snuck that gascolator item into the exemption from 549.01. Thanks for finding it. I work in the same building as the TC folks who are in charge of amateur-built design requirements. I'll try to track down the responsible party to discuss the issue. But, even if they agree that perhaps gascolators should not be required for some aircraft, I know there is already a huge regulatory backlog, and this would be too low a priority to see the light of day in the next five years.

As far as the text from 523.997 - that is for type-certificated aircraft, and a fuel filter would be all that is required to comply with the requirement - i.e. you wouldn't need a gascolator.
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  #7  
Old 10-21-2014, 10:53 AM
Tom Martin Tom Martin is offline
 
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This issue just keeps popping up and I wonder why the gascolator has been seen as such a bad item. As it is already required on homebuilts in Canada and is installed in almost all the small certified aircraft in the world I have to ask the question, "are there airplanes falling out of the sky due to the use of gascolators"?
The "modern" gascolator as sold by Van's (the blue one) and the Andair gascolator are nothing like the old units found on tractors and lawn mowers, they are a quality item.
I have concerns about using filters in systems that can not be sumped, prior to flight. How do you know if there is foreign material in your filter device. If when I am testing the gascolator, before flight, I start to see material it is most surely time to see what is going on with my fuel system.
Are there filters on the market that have the ability to be sumped? I would consider units like that in my next build.
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Last edited by Tom Martin : 10-21-2014 at 10:56 AM.
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  #8  
Old 10-21-2014, 11:41 AM
kamikaze kamikaze is offline
 
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Fair enough on the certification thing, though I'm not sure a fuel filter can be drained and cleaned and have an easily removable screen. Would you not need a gascolator for that?

A regular old filter will always be full of fuel, unless you place it at just he right spot beyond the fuel selector valve.

In fact, if you place a gascolator in your RV wing root, how do you shut off the fuel so you can drain it and inspect it? Same scenario with a fuel filter mind you.

As for the exemption letter ... it's about the only spot on the entire TC web site that explicitly uses the word "gascolator"! I don't know why they didn't use the "Fuel strain or filter" verbiage instead ...
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  #9  
Old 10-21-2014, 11:44 AM
kamikaze kamikaze is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Martin View Post
This issue just keeps popping up and I wonder why the gascolator has been seen as such a bad item. As it is already required on homebuilts in Canada and is installed in almost all the small certified aircraft in the world I have to ask the question, "are there airplanes falling out of the sky due to the use of gascolators"?
The "modern" gascolator as sold by Van's (the blue one) and the Andair gascolator are nothing like the old units found on tractors and lawn mowers, they are a quality item.
I have concerns about using filters in systems that can not be sumped, prior to flight. How do you know if there is foreign material in your filter device. If when I am testing the gascolator, before flight, I start to see material it is most surely time to see what is going on with my fuel system.
Are there filters on the market that have the ability to be sumped? I would consider units like that in my next build.
Well maybe it's my "certified aircraft owner" brain talking, but I'm also not understanding all this anti-gascolator talk.

Seems to me filtering your fuel is a pretty good idea, wouldn't take much to plug up an injector or even just the nozzle in your carburetor ...

When I inspect my gascolator in my cherokee, I find stuff in there, every year ... not much, but there is something, and it takes is one grain of sand, or very small stone, to ruin your day ...
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  #10  
Old 10-21-2014, 12:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kamikaze View Post

In fact, if you place a gascolator in your RV wing root, how do you shut off the fuel so you can drain it and inspect it?
It can be done......

I ran my fuel lines from both tanks into the Selector then back out to the right wing root, through a gascolator then back into the centre, through the electric fuel pump, etc.

This lets you shut off the fuel when you want to inspect the gascolator and keeps it in a cool location (not FW forward, which is the alternative) so helps avoid potential vapour lock. Plus you only need one gascolator, not two ( one in each wing root, as some have done). Just makes the pipe work a little trickier!

Steve
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