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PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 12:28 pm 
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Location: Mountain Home Idaho USA
Soooo....In FSEconomy I bought a Cessna 172 down in Florida and decided to buy the A2A C172 Trainer to get full enjoyment of both FSE and FSX. I flew the A2A C172 all the way from Florida to Idaho via little muni airstrips without a hitch. Started just fine each and every time. Landed at a short muni in Idaho the other night and...honestly...landed long and went into the scruff surrounding the airport, but not into trees or the perimeter fence.

As soon as I parked and shut down I immediately did a walk around as if doing the preflight inspection. No damage or issues noted. Then I went in to the Maintenance Hangar expecting at least a nicked or bent prop tip. Nope, everything was fine. I breathed a sigh of relief. Powered down all the systems and plugged in the engine heat kit since the weather was going to get cold overnight. The next day, I got ready to take her to ID88, her "home" in FSEconomy...and she will not start. I did another preflight walk around the outside and then went in to the Maintenance Hangar. I decided after the long trip from Florida to change the oil, plugs, and all filters. The notepad said "Running Good" with no issues noted and no damage indicated. A compression check showed mid to high 70s out of 80on all four cylinders. Considering my lack of landing prowess the night before I felt I was a pretty lucky guy. This was all done before my first attempt to start her.

Went through the checklists after my walk around and turned the key. She fired her up but the engine was running very rough and the entire aircraft was shaking, not violently, but definitely not normal....and then the engine died. I went through the checklist for starting again, line by line (this time I only primed for 3 seconds instead of my normal five). Turned the key and again got a rough engine and shaking, but the engine died quicker this time. Seemed to me to be a fuel issue, so I went "outside" and double checked for fuel contamination...none. Then I went to the hangar and the notepad still said "Running Good" with no damage noted. I changed the injectors and tried again. Now she wouldn't even fire. I tried auto start and it would cough and sputter, run for 2 seconds shaking all the time...and then die! Went back to the hangar and changed the plugs again even though the notepad didn't say they were fouled. Changed the oil again, switching to a lighter weight. Changed all the filters again and then decided, what the heck, and I overhauled the entire engine!

Went back and tried autostart again and same thing, runs rough for two seconds and dies. Looked for everything I could think of and nothing will get this girl to fire and run. There is no indication of any problem, issue, or damage (except weak battery from trying to start her so much and I replaced that like 10 times). I'm at a loss. I am not a real world pilot, but I am a very experienced automotive mechanic and everything I am seeing and hearing during engine start sounds fuel related, but nothing I am seeing in any of the "Indication Screens" is pointing to a single problem.

I have not been able to start her for 4 days now. I try every morning, once in the afternoon, and once again in the evening. She will not even fire now, even with autostart.

I am at my wits end. I truly love the realism of the A2A C172, but this has gotten ridiculous. If I could "go outside and pop the cowl", and then have the local FBO owner...a good friend of mine in real life...come look at her we could figure it out. But by myself, virtually, I haven't got a clue.

Randy

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“A ship is always safe in the harbor. But that’s not why they build ships” --Michael Bevington ID 814931, Former VATSIM Board of Governors Vice President of Pilot Training


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 5:04 am 
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Hi.
Are you absolutly sure the fuel has no water contamination , its not easy to spot , i have missed it myself on one walk around , try defuelling and refuelling , and check again for fuel contamination , if temps went very cold overnight that water contamination is a possible cause.
Also what was the outside temp indicating , as another thing causing engine to fire run rough and die is carb ice , or not enough throttle , tick over idle speed should normally be 800 to 1000rpm.
regards alan. 8)

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 10:34 am 
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Location: Typically hanging around N07, 12N, KLDJ, KCDW
How are you fueling the aircraft? Are you issuing the Accusim Shift-4 menu or the FSX default menu our relying on FSE? Only the Shift-4 menu will work.

Also make sure that your default flight in FSX is not a saved flight. If the default flight is changed, it can result in odd behaviors as FSX and P3D don't initialize complex add-ons correctly when using a saved flight.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 11:04 am 
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Location: Mountain Home Idaho USA
Thank you, Alan, for your reply.

I suspect you are right about fuel contamination and, if that is true, the contamination is very, very difficult to see because the sample bottle obtained during the walk around pre-inspection looks the same each and every time I pull a sample as it did on day one after I installed the Cessna. I looked back through the manual many, many times during this ordeal and always returned to the page showing the drain sample bottle and wished that A2A had put a picture along side it that showed what a contaminated sample "looked" like. If one knows what to look for, what you are looking for is easier to spot.

I had not thought about carb ice. How does one "defeat" that in the C172, higher rpms? I do not see a knob for Carb Heat in the cockpit.

At any rate, quite by accident, it was an FSEconomy flight that "solved" my problem. I decided to try another flight with the A2A C172 in FSEconomy and hoped against hope that she would start...though I was doubtful after three days. As one of the conditions prior to the flight, I had to add some fuel from the aircraft. FSEconomy is very "particular" about fuel loads (always given in gallons) and to get my aircraft fuel load to match what FSEconomy expected I have found it best when adding fuel to first take both tanks to zero (using the Shift+4 window) and then raising it up to the level FSE expects. I had never thought of this procedure as actually draining the aircraft tanks, but that is in fact what I was doing, right?

She started right up and purred like a kitten.

I had not done this the morning this whole ordeal started because, being stingy, I did not want to buy fuel at someone else's FBO when I was 20 minutes from an FBO I owned so the fuel would be "free" so to speak. So the fuel level was approximately only 5 gallons in each tank.

Bottom line...problem solved and lesson learned. Now let's work on what to do about Carb Ice and finding a picture of what the drain sample fuel bottle "looks" like when contaminated. :)

@Oracle...well, that is an excellent point...but confusing. By it's very nature the "default flight" in FSX is always a saved flight unless you are speaking of the very first load of the very first day you start FSX which has the default flight in the Trike at Friday Harbour in the air already. I immediately got rid of that. Starting the air is never a good thing. The only difference is the "default flight" when saved uses the tick box "Make this my default flight". My default flight in FSX is the FSX default C172 sitting on the ground cold and dark (Mixture at 0%, Throttle at 0%, all switches off, ignition off, avionics off, and battery and alternator switch off...which is as close to "cold and dark" as you can get with a default FSX Cessna) at U76, Mountain Home Municipal Airport. Then I switch to the A2A Cessna at the same airport. Also, I always use the "Shift+4" process to fuel/defuel the A2A Cessna.

Randy

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“A ship is always safe in the harbor. But that’s not why they build ships” --Michael Bevington ID 814931, Former VATSIM Board of Governors Vice President of Pilot Training


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 11:19 am 
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Location: Typically hanging around N07, 12N, KLDJ, KCDW
Good you hear you got it sorted. Your default flight is not the default flight that came with FSX. It should be the trike at Friday Harbor. That said, I would refrain from choosing any other saved fight as the "default" going forward. These things tend to introduce very strange behaviors and sometimes not so obvious ones. The only way to recreate the default flight is to delete the default flight from the directory using explorer. I would leave it for now as you are running ok again.

There is no carburetor on this model 172, so you do not need to worry about carb icing. If you had a carburetor, you would need to note if the weather conditions favor carb icing. There needs to be sufficient moisture in the air and this is especially the case as the temp dewpoint spread gets closer. The temp in the carb throat can drop up to 70F! You cab ice up badly even on a summer day at altitude.

Warmer air can hold more water vapor, so icing risk tends to be reduced in very cold and dry air. As I live and fly on the east coast near NYC, I have a high risk of carb icing pretty much all year round.

As for water in the fuel. If you see clear liquid at the bottom of the sample cup, that is water.It can go from a few small beads to a big volume in the cup. I don't know what it looks like when A2A shows water in the fuel, but it should be pretty obvious when you see those the clear liquid on the bottom. IRL, I tilt the cup from side to side to check for movement of the water beads. It's rare, but I do find a few drops from time to time in our fuel. It is likely from condensation from the air coming in the vent lines to the tanks.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 2:17 pm 
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Location: Mountain Home Idaho USA
Thank you for a very informative reply, Oracle. I should have known there was no carburetor because it has injectors. That was my fault.

I also knew that water was heavier than gasoline and settled to the bottom. Many years ago I had to "dip the tanks" at my father's gas station to check for water. The paste was always put on the bottom of the stick. Duh. I have been looking at the top of the sample bottle for water despite my firsthand, real world knowledge of fuel/water issues. We are never to old to "relearn", eh?

Many thanks.

Randy

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“A ship is always safe in the harbor. But that’s not why they build ships” --Michael Bevington ID 814931, Former VATSIM Board of Governors Vice President of Pilot Training


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