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Commuter Aircraft Batteries  
User currently offlineScaredflyer21 From United States of America, joined Oct 2000, 355 posts, RR: 0
Posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 2108 times:

Let's say a B1900 is overnighting at an airport with no external power capabilities. I assume that, since there is no apu on the aircraft, that the plane is started with battery power? What happens if the aircraft requires multiple start attempts and there is not sufficient battery supply; what happens in this case?

Additionally, when boarding the aircraft is all of the power just from the batteries (e.g. reading lamps, etc.)? It just seems like these aux. items would drain the battery very fast.

Thanks for the replies!

Scaredflyer21

30 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineRalgha From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 1614 posts, RR: 6
Reply 1, posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 2101 times:

It would be very poor business planning to intentionally overnight an airplane with no APU at a station with no external power. I'm not familiar with the 1900, but you'll probably only get one shot to start an engine, and that doesn't even count the first flight checklists and boarding which may not leave enough juice for even one attempt.


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User currently offlineEMBQA From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 9364 posts, RR: 11
Reply 2, posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 2063 times:

The batteries on board are more then capable of several start attempts. On the down side, with most engines if you don't get it started on the third attempt your down for maintenance and the engine must be inspected. Also, battery starts give you a much better start then ground power, but before you can start the second engine you must wait for the amps to draw down and that can take a few minutes.

Also, batteries only power the ESC BUS.. which only powers essential items. Reading lights are not one of them.

[Edited 2006-10-30 19:00:36]


"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog"
User currently offlinePhilSquares From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 2061 times:

Quoting EMBQA (Reply 2):
On the down side, with most engines if you don't get it started on the third attempt your down for maintenance and the engine must be inspected

That's a new one on me! I've never heard or read anything like that, but I've only been flying for 30+ years......


User currently offlineScaredflyer21 From United States of America, joined Oct 2000, 355 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 2016 times:

Quoting EMBQA (Reply 2):
On the down side, with most engines if you don't get it started on the third attempt your down for maintenance and the engine must be inspected.

How typical is it for an aircraft to take 2+ attempts to start? Is it typical for this to occur on the first start of the day, or in colder weather?

Also, if a start attempt fails, must the crew wait for the prop to stop spinning or can they simply reengage the starter? What are the procedures for this?

Scaredflyer21


User currently offlineEMBQA From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 9364 posts, RR: 11
Reply 5, posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 2009 times:

Quoting Scaredflyer21 (Reply 4):
How typical is it for an aircraft to take 2+ attempts to start? Is it typical for this to occur on the first start of the day, or in colder weather?

Very-very rare. I've had it happen twice in 12 years of running airplanes. Jet engines love cold weather and start much better in it.

Quoting Scaredflyer21 (Reply 4):
Also, if a start attempt fails, must the crew wait for the prop to stop spinning or can they simply reengage the starter? What are the procedures for this?

You need to wait. The PGB by spinning is also driving the starter to turn, so you don't want to re-engauge it or you might break the shaft.



"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog"
User currently offlineKELPkid From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 6388 posts, RR: 3
Reply 6, posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 1994 times:

Quoting EMBQA (Reply 5):
Quoting Scaredflyer21 (Reply 4):
How typical is it for an aircraft to take 2+ attempts to start? Is it typical for this to occur on the first start of the day, or in colder weather?

Very-very rare. I've had it happen twice in 12 years of running airplanes. Jet engines love cold weather and start much better in it.

I've heard, off-handed, that the PWC PT6 is notoriously hard to start when there's a tail wind on the ramp...you have to be on your guard against a hot start. Of course, I have no practical operating experience with any turbine power plant  Wink So, refute as necessary.



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User currently offlineEMBQA From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 9364 posts, RR: 11
Reply 7, posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 1965 times:

Quoting KELPkid (Reply 6):
I've heard, off-handed, that the PWC PT6 is notoriously hard to start when there's a tail wind on the ramp

Not so sure about that because the PT-6 is mounted backwards. The exhaust is in front, the intake in the rear. The air passes into the intake and is then routed to the rear of the engine where it enters the engine, then goes forward to the turbine. The PT-6 is also a free-flow turbine, so unless it was hurricane forced winds I doubt it would effect its starting.



"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog"
User currently offlineAviopic From Netherlands, joined Mar 2004, 2681 posts, RR: 41
Reply 8, posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 1942 times:

Quoting Scaredflyer21 (Thread starter):
I assume that, since there is no apu on the aircraft, that the plane is started with battery power?

Even if there is an apu it does not always mean that it is capable of delivering enough power for an engine start.
On some they are just capable to supply other systems of enough power but an engine start is done on battery power anyway.
Don't know about the B1900 though.
For example this Connie which does feature an apu.

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Photo © Willem Honders



Quoting EMBQA (Reply 2):
Also, batteries only power the ESC BUS.. which only powers essential items. Reading lights are not one of them.

Depends on A/C type.
Besides if there is no apu running and no external power availble you have no choice then to use battery power also for internal lights.
In which case the AC bus is fed by an inverter.
Like on this F27.

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Willem Honders




The truth lives in one’s mind, it doesn’t really exist
User currently offlineFlyHoss From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 598 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 1929 times:

Quoting EMBQA (Reply 7):
Quoting KELPkid (Reply 6):
I've heard, off-handed, that the PWC PT6 is notoriously hard to start when there's a tail wind on the ramp

Not so sure about that because the PT-6 is mounted backwards. The exhaust is in front, the intake in the rear. The air passes into the intake and is then routed to the rear of the engine where it enters the engine, then goes forward to the turbine. The PT-6 is also a free-flow turbine, so unless it was hurricane forced winds I doubt it would effect its starting.

Difficult to start in a tailwind, yes, if that tailwind was greater than 10 knots.

When I flew PT-6 powered aircraft, if the wind was more than 10 knots I'd consider parking into the wind and if the wind was more than 15 knots, I'd definitely park facing into the wind.

The PT-6 is a reverse flow engine as stated above. A tailwind can and will enter the engine through the exhaust stacks (at the forward part of the engine) and interfere with the start.

I've flown nearly 10,000 hours behind PT-6 power and still regard this engine family to be the best all around turboprop engine family.



A little bit louder now, a lil bit louder now...
User currently offlineKELPkid From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 6388 posts, RR: 3
Reply 10, posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 1894 times:

Quoting FlyHoss (Reply 9):
When I flew PT-6 powered aircraft, if the wind was more than 10 knots I'd consider parking into the wind and if the wind was more than 15 knots, I'd definitely park facing into the wind.

What would you do when the lineboy was trying to marshall you into the parking area in front of the FBO, pointed the "proper" way (for rolling out the red carpet for a VIP aircraft) Big grin Enquiring former lineboys would like to know  Smile



Celebrating the birth of KELPkidJR on August 5, 2009 :-)
User currently offlineLowrider From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 3220 posts, RR: 10
Reply 11, posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 1870 times:

Quoting KELPkid (Reply 10):
What would you do when the lineboy was trying to marshall you into the parking area in front of the FBO, pointed the "proper" way (for rolling out the red carpet for a VIP aircraft) Enquiring former lineboys would like to know

Not to be rude, but if an FBO marshaller is giving me improper directions, I will go with what is right. I had one at an Atlantic actually git in my face and yell at me, but a quick chat with his manager settled him down nicely.

Quoting EMBQA (Reply 5):
You need to wait. The PGB by spinning is also driving the starter to turn, so you don't want to re-engauge it or you might break the shaft.

Not the case with the PT6. The starter only turns the gas generator section. There is not physical connection between the gas generator and the power turbine, which turns the prop gear box. This is why it is sometimes refered to as a free turbine engine. Theroretically, you could tie off the the prop, and just run the gas gen. Sometimes you will see a PT6 windmilling in one direction, only to slowly stop and reverse directions as the starter builds rpms.

Quoting EMBQA (Reply 2):
On the down side, with most engines if you don't get it started on the third attempt your down for maintenance and the engine must be inspected

I have never heard this with regards to the PT6. The only limiting factor I know of is the starter duty cycle, which will vary with application. Now if a turbine engine does not start after 3 attempts, the odds are good that something is broken.

Quoting EMBQA (Reply 5):
Jet engines love cold weather and start much better in it.

Depends on how cold. You may get lower starting temps, you will also build rpms much slower. If you have a weak starter it may take two attempts just to get the min rpm to attempt a light off.

Quoting Scaredflyer21 (Thread starter):
I assume that, since there is no apu on the aircraft, that the plane is started with battery power?

Battery or external DC power

Quoting Scaredflyer21 (Thread starter):
What happens if the aircraft requires multiple start attempts and there is not sufficient battery supply; what happens in this case?

Hope you packed a good book, you might be there a while.

Quoting Scaredflyer21 (Thread starter):
Additionally, when boarding the aircraft is all of the power just from the batteries (e.g. reading lamps, etc.)? It just seems like these aux. items would drain the battery very fast.

These batteries are more robust than your typical Sears Diehards. That said, a smart crew will be very disciplined about battery usage if external power is not available. There are several lighting configurations which can be used for boarding in the 1900. They range from all the lights on to just 2 lights on.



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User currently offlineScaredflyer21 From United States of America, joined Oct 2000, 355 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 1860 times:

What regional aircraft actually have aux. power units? Does the E120? ATR?

Scaredflyer21


User currently offlineLowrider From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 3220 posts, RR: 10
Reply 13, posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 1840 times:

Quoting Scaredflyer21 (Reply 12):
What regional aircraft actually have aux. power units

All the RJ's, the E120s, Dornier 328 turboprops, and Dash 8s. The ATRs can use a prop brake system where they can run the right engine without turning the prop. A few Saab 340's have APUs, but I think they are all in corporate service. I am not sure about the Britsh Aerospace ATP.



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User currently offlineEMBQA From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 9364 posts, RR: 11
Reply 14, posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 1825 times:

Quoting Lowrider (Reply 13):
A few Saab 340's have APUs, but I think they are all in corporate service

Correct.. there are only 3 that have it and all are corporate.



"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog"
User currently offlineRalgha From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 1614 posts, RR: 6
Reply 15, posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 1815 times:

Quoting EMBQA (Reply 2):
The batteries on board are more then capable of several start attempts. On the down side, with most engines if you don't get it started on the third attempt your down for maintenance and the engine must be inspected. Also, battery starts give you a much better start then ground power, but before you can start the second engine you must wait for the amps to draw down and that can take a few minutes.

Also, batteries only power the ESC BUS.. which only powers essential items. Reading lights are not one of them.

You are referring only to the 1900 right? Because basically that entire statement doesn't apply to an EMB 120.



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User currently offlineAPFPilot1985 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 1810 times:

Quoting Lowrider (Reply 11):

Not to be rude, but if an FBO marshaller is giving me improper directions, I will go with what is right.

While the directions may be improper from a wind point of view, shouldn't you consider that maybe the reason that they were pointing you in a direction was due to other concerns such as moving aircraft, trying to avoid blasting others or vehicles on the ramp. Wouldn't the more professional option be to follow the directions of the individual who can see the whole picture (unless it is something that is causing an immediate and obvious risk?) and then ask to be spun around before start?


User currently offlineLowrider From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 3220 posts, RR: 10
Reply 17, posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 1789 times:

Quoting APFPilot1985 (Reply 16):
While the directions may be improper from a wind point of view, shouldn't you consider that maybe the reason that they were pointing you in a direction was due to other concerns such as moving aircraft, trying to avoid blasting others or vehicles on the ramp. Wouldn't the more professional option be to follow the directions of the individual who can see the whole picture (unless it is something that is causing an immediate and obvious risk?) and then ask to be spun around before start?

Depends. You think I am not aware of these other factors? I have seen so many blatantly wrong directions from FBO marshallers that I no longer trust them. If I don't think I can safely complete a maneuver, I will set the parking brake and, if necessary, shut down and get out to sort it out there. Most of the time, there is no guarantee that the FBO has a tug capable of moving my aircraft. Since I will bear the blame for damaging the aircraft or delaying a flight, I will decide if the spot the FBO has in mind is acceptable.



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User currently offlineAPFPilot1985 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 1782 times:

Quoting Lowrider (Reply 17):
I will set the parking brake and, if necessary, shut down and get out to sort it out there.

now that I agree with, however I have seen plenty of pilots just completely disregard what the marshaller is saying and then proceed to taxi into parked cars, block in other aircraft, once one even blasted a pax off steps and into a nasty fall.


User currently offlineAerowrench From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 52 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 1744 times:

Quoting Lowrider (Reply 13):

All the RJ's, the E120s, Dornier 328 turboprops, and Dash 8s.

Mesa Airlines Dash 8 200's do not have APUs installed.


User currently offlineCRJonBeez From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 317 posts, RR: 3
Reply 20, posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 1744 times:

Quoting Lowrider (Reply 17):
Depends. You think I am not aware of these other factors? I have seen so many blatantly wrong directions from FBO marshallers that I no longer trust them. If I don't think I can safely complete a maneuver, I will set the parking brake and, if necessary, shut down and get out to sort it out there. Most of the time, there is no guarantee that the FBO has a tug capable of moving my aircraft. Since I will bear the blame for damaging the aircraft or delaying a flight, I will decide if the spot the FBO has in mind is acceptable.

understandable. how many cities have you stopped in that don't have a tug capable of moving your plane? i can't speak for all the other FBO facilities out there, but if for god knows what reason we have no tugs available, we WILL figure something out for you. in fact, a group of us had to actually push a citation 2 by hand a few years ago. all turbine powered a/c go into the wind as far as i'm concerned, unless otherwise requested enroute. however, there are times when it seems i can't win no matter what. we had a G4 (not a very friendly fortune 500 pilot) in quite a while ago. the pilot refused to leave the a/c in it's current spot. the a/c was parked in front of the FBO facing east, door pointed at the building. the light wind was out of the north, deflected by the building and hangar itself. we assured the pilot that if the winds changed, we would reposition the a/c and be sure they blew into the fans. that was not enough. we had to move the a/c to the far corner of the ramp, only to watch the pilot put the engine covers on for 3 hours of down time. aside from concerns of FOD, what's the purpose? weather was clear, winds calm. we had never seen the company in town, so there were no negative experiences.

however, there are many outside factors that several pilots have not been aware of. ramp design always comes to mind. we try our best to make sure you are parked on the ramp in a spot where you or your passengers aren't required to walk through rain. how about other a/c enroute that will need to be moved, but you take up too much space in the spot you're trying to get to. unless you monitor every conversation held through the FBO on the phones, the unicom, and on the ground, there will always be an outside factor you aren't aware of. like i said before, we do our damn best to make sure all jets face the wind, but when you start collecting multiple gulfstreams on the ramp, things can get a bit hairy.

just because you have sharp eyes on the ramp does not mean everybody else does. it's good to know you take proper care when on the ground, but not every pilot is as alert as you seem to be. i understand you must think that everybody on the ground doesn't know what they're doing for safety purposes, but we must treat the a/c coming and going the same.


User currently offlineLowrider From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 3220 posts, RR: 10
Reply 21, posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 1728 times:

Quoting CRJonBeez (Reply 20):
how many cities have you stopped in that don't have a tug capable of moving your plane?

As it is somewhat of an oddball a/c, most do not. I worry less about the wind as I can usually find some combination of ground power or downwind engine being masked by the fuselage, and more about being able to get out of the ramp. We try our best to communicate our needs to FBOs ahead of time, but unfortunately things don't always work so smoothly.



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User currently offline474218 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6340 posts, RR: 9
Reply 22, posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 1728 times:

Quoting Aviopic (Reply 8):
For example this Connie which does feature an apu.

Where is the APU on a Constellation?


User currently offlineAPFPilot1985 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 1723 times:

Quoting Lowrider (Reply 21):
As it is somewhat of an oddball a/c, most do not

care to share the type?


User currently offlineLowrider From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 3220 posts, RR: 10
Reply 24, posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 1714 times:

Quoting APFPilot1985 (Reply 23):
care to share the type?

No offense, but no. My employer would become readily apparent, and I am not always the most PC.



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25 FlyHoss : Good question. In my General Aviation days (various models of King Airs) I don't recall ever being faced with this situation. In my Regional Airline
26 Charlienorth : It would be a difficult towbar to find! When I started a PT6 with a tailwind I would let it spin up a little higher before I fed in the fuel and fire
27 CRJonBeez : i suppose in that situation, i can understand. of all the biz jets i have seen myself, the only one we didn't have a towbar for was the BBJ. that's c
28 APFPilot1985 : all you need is a big bad lektro
29 CRJonBeez : ante up the money for it! we're only an FBO. we've got a tug capable of pushing it on hand, we just don't have the bar for it. those things are EXPEN
30 Aviopic : We have a little 2 cylinder engine in the back of the fuselage because this 749 Connie is infact a militairy C121 which as far as I know all had an A
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