The Gas Caps
Story circa May 4th, 2007 | View Post


A photo of N733CP, the plane I was flying in this story. Note that this picture was not taken at the same time
The following story takes place at the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, the Lockhart Municipal Airport, and 3,000 feet above the ground between those two locales.

On the second flight I ever made during my flight training, I was responsible for the pre-flight inspection. Though neither Dustin nor myself had a great deal of experience with these sorts of procedures just yet, I decided that I'd be able to figure it out one way or another. Of course, the 'or another' part of that was preparing to reveal itself to me.

We had been taught in the previous lesson that there is a very specific methodology to doing a pre-flight inspection. The formula is mainly just geared at making sure you don't overlook any obvious steps and so it's important to always go in order. For a person like myself who likes to do many things at once, this linearity took a little getting used to. Nevertheless, I did the flight inspection as requested and was ready to get going.

Upon completion of my pre-flight inspection, our new instructor Garrett came out to greet Dustin and I just prior to the flight. We were planning a short comfortable afternoon voyage out to Lockhart (50R) as we had done the week before. For those who don't know, Lockhart is a small town located about 30 miles south of Austin. From ABIA, it's a straight shot and thus makes for a great training facility.

I taxied out of ABIA and took to the skies, heading south towards Lockhart. When we got into the area, Garrett had me doing all sorts of aerial drills. I was mostly working on turning around a point, controlling my altitude, and some basic navigation. After about 20 or so minutes of this, we entered the pattern at Lockhart and touched down.

Garrett instructed me to taxi the plane over to the gas pump there (gas is sold much cheaper in Lockhart than at ABIA) and was planning on having us gas up the plane. As I parked and killed the engine, he got out and climbed onto the sidestep to see the top of the plane. When he came down, he very calmly asked me to step out of the plane. I did. He asked me to walk around the plane and take a look at the top of the plane and see if I noticed anything of interest.

I climbed atop the plane as requested and much to my great surprise, the plane was missing both of its gas caps!

I could tell that Garrett was pretty angry at the situation, but he did his best to remain in good spirits and was not too outwardly angry with me. We called in the problem to someone back in Austin and as it turns out, I had simply left them on top of the plane and they must have fallen onto the ground as soon as I engaged the throttle. We had to wait about 30 minutes, but someone brought them to us and all was well.

Months later I was speaking with a flight instructor who was adamant about the fact that planes cannot fly without gas caps since the lack of pressure would simply suck the gas right out of the wings.

While I'm sure it's ideal to have them in place, I had to respectfully disagree with this person's analysis.

Newest Albums


Recent Posts
Packing Everything Up!
Sporting Clays
Kayaking the Missouri River
My Retirement Video
Round-the-World Map
Final Round of Shots
Getting my Thailand Tourist Visa
Starting Price Sheet
Vaccinations Complete
Equipment Layout


Blog Archives
Recent Posts
August 2017 ( 7 )
July 2017 ( 5 )
December 2016
November 2016
November 2015
October 2015
March 2015 ( 3 )
January 2015
October 2014
September 2014 ( 4 )
August 2014 ( 6 )
July 2014 ( 7 )
June 2014 ( 8 )
May 2014 ( 3 )
April 2014 ( 2 )
February 2014
January 2014 ( 4 )
December 2013 ( 4 )
November 2013 ( 2 )
September 2013
August 2013 ( 3 )
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013 ( 2 )
March 2013 ( 2 )
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012 ( 4 )
October 2012 ( 2 )
September 2012 ( 4 )
August 2012
July 2012 ( 8 )
June 2012
May 2012 ( 6 )
April 2012 ( 7 )
March 2012 ( 4 )
February 2012 ( 5 )
January 2012 ( 4 )
December 2011 ( 5 )
November 2011 ( 2 )
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011 ( 5 )
July 2011 ( 6 )
June 2011 ( 2 )
May 2011 ( 3 )
April 2011 ( 3 )
March 2011 ( 2 )
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010 ( 2 )
November 2010 ( 2 )
September 2010
August 2010
June 2010
March 2010
February 2010 ( 3 )
November 2009
June 2009
May 2009 ( 3 )
April 2009
March 2009 ( 2 )
February 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
May 2008 ( 2 )
March 2008
January 2008
December 2007
July 2007 ( 2 )
June 2007 ( 2 )
May 2007
December 2006
October 2006 ( 3 )
July 2006
May 2006 ( 2 )
April 2006
December 2005
October 2005
September 2005 ( 5 )
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005 ( 3 )
May 2005
April 2005
December 2004
November 2004 ( 6 )
May 2004
February 2004 ( 3 )
January 2004
December 2003 ( 9 )
November 2003 ( 5 )
August 2003
July 2003 ( 15 )
June 2003
September 2002
August 2002
May 2002
April 2002
December 2001 ( 2 )
July 2001
April 2001 ( 3 )
February 2001 ( 5 )
November 2000
September 2000
May 2000 ( 2 )
March 2000 ( 2 )
December 1999
November 1999 ( 3 )
October 1999 ( 5 )
September 1999
August 1999
July 1999 ( 8 )
June 1999 ( 2 )
May 1999 ( 3 )
April 1999
March 1999
December 1998
November 1998 ( 2 )
October 1998 ( 3 )
September 1998
July 1998 ( 2 )
June 1998
April 1998
March 1998
November 1997
October 1997 ( 2 )
March 1997
February 1997
January 1997
November 1995
September 1995 ( 2 )
Complete Listing