Chapter 11. Safety, Ground Operations, & Servicing
The volatility of aviation fuels creates a fire hazard that has plagued aviators and aviation engine designers since the beginning of powered flight. Volatility is the ability of a liquid to change into a gas at a relatively low temperature. In its liquid state, aviation fuel will not burn. It is, therefore, the vapors, or gaseous state to which the liquid fuel changes that is not only useful in powering the aircraft, but also a fire hazard.
Static electricity is a byproduct of one substance rubbing against another. Fuel flowing through a fuel line causes a certain amount of static electricity. The greatest static electricity concern around aircraft is that during flight, the aircraft moving through the air causes static electricity to build in the airframe. If that static electricity is not dissipated prior to refueling, the static electricity in the airframe will try to return to ground through the fuel line from the servicing unit. The spark caused by the static electricity can ignite any vaporized fuel.
Breathing the vapors from fuel can be harmful and should be limited. Any fuel spilled on the clothing or skin must be removed as soon as possible.
The proper fueling of an aircraft is the responsibility of the owner/operator. This does not, however, relieve the person doing the fueling of the responsibility to use the correct type of fuel and safe fueling procedures.
There are two basic procedures when fueling an aircraft. Smaller aircraft are fueled by the over-the-wing method. This method uses the fuel hose to fill through fueling ports on the top of the wing. The method used for larger aircraft is the single point fueling system. This type of fueling system uses receptacles in the bottom leading edge of the wing, which is used to fill all the tanks from this one point. This decreases the time it takes to refuel the aircraft, limits contamination, and reduces the chance of static electricity igniting the fuel. Most pressure fueling systems consist of a pressure fueling hose and a panel of controls and gauges that permit one person to fuel or defuel any or all fuel tanks of an aircraft. Each tank can be filled to a predetermined level. These procedures are illustrated in Figures 11-31 and 11-32.
Prior to fueling, the person fueling should check the following:
When using mobile fueling equipment:
When fueling from pits or cabinets, follow the same procedures as when using a truck. Pits or cabinets are usually designed with permanent grounding, eliminating the need to ground the equipment. However, the aircraft still must be grounded, and then the equipment must be grounded to the aircraft as it was with mobile equipment.
|©AvStop Online Magazine Contact Us Return To Books|
Grab this Headline Animator