Cary wrote:although I'd be hard pressed to find the post in the other forum.
I had some time to look at old posts and here it is: http://studentpilot.com/interact/forum/showthread.php?42296-First-lesson-in-complex-HP/page3
We had to park on a slope, so to preclude one tank of the Skylane draining into the other and out the vent, I turned the selector to off. I turned it on again during the preflight, loaded the family, then went into the FBO shack to get my clearance. As I came out, I discovered that Wife 1 had unloaded the kids and dog, so that the kids could go potty one last time. I reached into the airplane to turn off the fuel again, because it was coming out the lower vent in a steady stream. The kids and dog were reloaded after going potty, and my void time was coming up, so I hurriedly fired up and taxied the full length of the runway to take off. I pulled into the runup area, did a complete runup, and pulled out onto the runway for take-off. I firewalled the throttle, and a moment later, just as the AI was coming alive, the engine quit. I knew what had happened, but by the time I could turn on the selector, we'd used up too much of the 2181' runway to take off over the trees at the south end.
What it says in so many words is: You put your family in an airplane. You failed to use the checklist during engine start. You again failed to use the checkist during runup. You call what you did a "complete runup" although it didn't involve checking the fuel selector. By pure luck you had the engine quit during the takeoff run instead of 30 seconds later when it may have been disastrous. Then, you actually considered moving the fuel selector during the takeoff run and departing on an IFR flight and the only thing that stopped you from doing so was the length of the runway.
Normal human behavior is to perform at the highest level of caution and safety where their family is involved. If that is the level of judgment and the degree of care you demonstrate when you have your family aboard, I can only imagine what you do when you're solo?