3 Issues at the same time Time to call emergency
a) Air Speed indicator to zero
b) Fuel pressure gauge to zero
c) Fuel smell
Leg one was KMQJ to KDAN...Fuel stop. No issues with the plane.
Leg two was filed for KDAN --KMLB -- MYGF.
Due to severe weather, I was rerouted towards KSVN and then south to complete my trip. Once heading south I noticed the Fuel Pressure gauge needle wasn’t at its normal position. Normally it’s midway between 18 and 40. Now the needle showed 18, end of green and beginning of yellow.. I looked at my fuel flow gauge and it was solid 15 with no fluctuation. At that point I adjusted the fuel flow to verify it was working and it immediately responded up to 17. I brought it back down to 15.
I noted, fuel flow was fine and what appeared to be a malfunctioning gauge. I wrote down the time as a reference point. About the time I was even with Jacksonville, the needle hadn’t moved, was still bottom of the green. Fuel flow was still strong. My background was an auto mechanic. After an hour or so, my intuition was bugging me. What has happened that my gauge just stopped working? At this point I called ATC and changed my flight plan to land at KFIN. ATC was nice. My plan was a fuel stop and find a mechanic to discuss what was happening.
Heres where it gets busy. And even though it's the same day, I don’t recall everything precisely in order.. Once I was switched to Tower at KFIN, I was given left base to final. No problems...getting close to turning final I glanced at my airspeed indicator when it swung wildly and then went to 0.
It took a second for that to register and then I assumed I was plummeting to earth and didn’t realize it. My first reaction was, pause, Altitude Gauge is still above 1,000. Engine sounds strong Ok, i’m not nosediving so I maintained level flight, turned final..and then started smelling fuel..
I looked at the fuel pressure gauge and it was buried to the left, in the red zone..and the fuel smell was pretty strong. Called emergency, turned off the electrical system, completed turn to final, Established good glide, Killed motor, smooth landing..
1) Airspeed Indicator, Bugs in Pito on Base..
2) Fuel Flow to zero because..
3) Fuel Line cracked, was spewing fuel in engine compartment
If I hadn't followed procedures, electrical off, power off, mechanics said it would have been a fireball. Reflecting on this, I’m glad I listened to my instinct that something was wrong. I feel pretty good that after getting hit with three things at once, I flew the plane.
Two hours later, Pito Bugs gone, new fuel hose in place...back in the air. Oh, and a fresh clean pair of pants.