LAS VEGAS — While exhibitors for the AS3/GSE Expo were setting up booths at the annual convention held here in May, line service supervisors were undergoing two days of training for the National Air Transportation Association’s Line Service Supervisor Training seminar. Speakers shared tips and procedures on everything from training employees, proper delivery of fuel, to being a good supervisor and hiring/firing practices.
Day one featured speakers from Air BP, Gammon Technical, Velcon Filters, and Hammonds.
Walter Chartrand, Air BP, emphasizes the importance of training for all employees to prevent fuel contamination, aircraft misfueling, fuel spills, and personal injury. “We ask [the line service workers] to do a lot,” he says. “Do we provide the proper training for them to operate safely?”
He says an established training program should be in place at each service company. The program should not be dependent on merely one employee. In the event that person is not available or leaves the company, there should always be someone available who knows the processes and procedures.
To ensure safe operations, Chartrand says it’s necessary to think ahead and use risk assessment. That is, where might the dangers be?
Chartrand adds that it’s necessary to document all training because that will serve as the most effective tool in the defense of a lawsuit.
To prevent misfueling and contamination, it’s imperative that fuel is inspected before being deposited in a fixed base operator’s tanks.
When receiving fuel, Jim Gammon, Gammon Technical Products, Inc., offers the following guidelines:
- Check the paperwork. the loading ticket; bill of lading; freight bill; and any other paperwork to make sure it matches, and the trailer number is correct. Also verify from the paperwork that the fuel is at the correct facility and is the correct fuel. Find out what type fuel was last carried in the truck. (Is there flushing paperwork?)
- Check the fuel quality. It’s imperative to check the delivery hose for any debris or wear; check the truck’s pump if it’s used to unload the fuel; use the white bucket test at each compartment (fuel should be clean and bright); and use a hydrometer to test for mixed fuels.
- Jet-A can range from clear as water to amber as straw; 80/87 Avgas should be red; 100/LL Avgas should be blue; and 100/130 Avgas should be green. Pipings for each fuel should also be clearly marked at the fuel farm. Jet-A pipes are to have white letters on a black background with one black band around the pipe; 80/87 Avgas pipes are marked with white letters on a red background with one red band; 100/LL Avgas is designated by white letters on a red background with one blue band; and 100/130 Avgas is marked by white letters on a red background with one green band.
- If there is any doubt about the integrity of the fuel, refuse the load.
- Before unloading the fuel into storage, stick the tank to make sure there is enough room for the volume of fuel that is going to be deposited. Any water from the tank and filter should be sumped. The differential pressure on the filter should be monitored and the fuel should be sampled with a minimonitor or millipore tester. Check the filter sump and the tank volume after unloading and record the data.
According to Chartrand, a misfueling prevention program is an example of how an FBO can protect itself from what could be a disastrous mistake. The program should include: thorough training, selective couplings, J-spout Jet-A nozzles, signed service orders, aircraft fuel grade decals prominently displayed, and refuelers with prominent fuel grade markings.
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