Everything Fine ... 'Til Takeoff

A number of recent misfueling incidents from around the world demonstrate that while it may be rare, misfueling remains a serious threat.

Signed Fuel Order Forms

Many FBOs now require that aircraft service requests be completed and signed by the pilot for all aircraft fuel services. This is an effective way for the pilot to confirm the aircraft identification, fuel grade required by their aircraft, fuel quantity, and other important service details before line service personnel begin to service the aircraft. We urge pilots to adopt this policy for all over-wing fuelings.

Swiss Cheese Method of Risk Management

The best way to prevent an incident is to employ multiple layers of protection, each aimed at preventing the various failures that lead to an incident.

Envision each as a piece of Swiss cheese. The hope being that even if one layer of protection fails, another will stop the incident. If not enough layers of protection are used, or all fail, then the holes will line up and an incident or loss will occur.

The layers of protection in preventing a misfueling should include;

  • Complete, certified training (such as NATA's Safety 1st) for all fueling staff

  • Use of fuel order forms, and required for all over-wing fuelings on aircraft without grade decals

  • Refueling equipment with clear and obvious grade markings

  • Fuel grade decals on all aircraft (Red = Avgas) (Black = Jet Fuel)

  • Use of J-Spout on all over-wing jet fuel nozzles

  • Close control and supervision on use of “rogue” round spout on jet fuel nozzles

  • Verbal and visual verification of required fuel grade by pilot and line service professional

The wrong fuel grade can be deadly, so when it comes to fuel grades, never speculate.

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