December 2001 Issue

Letters: 12/01

Pump Pros and Cons
I want to encourage the FAA and/or the NTSB to institute a change in the instrumentation of small-airplane vacuum systems so that a vacuum failure is more survivable in heavy instrument conditions.

Having watched the ABC “Prime Time Thursday” report on 9/3/01 and having had two vacuum pump failures myself, I understand the problem. I think that the solution could be very inexpensive.

There should be no need for a potentially failure-prone back-up pump but a warning to the pilot that there has been a failure. Currently, the vacuum pump pressure gauge is the smallest indicator on the panel and is well out of the scan pattern.

If an additional indicator...

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