May 1999 Issue

Power to Decide

Firing a turbine with K-1 may save money, or not

Recently the FAA issued a warning to operators of jets and turboprops not to substitute K-1 kerosene (used for home heating, among other things) for Jet-A. The FAA had discovered a parachuting operation using K-1 in its fleet of turboprops and warned other turbine operators not to do the same.

“The kerosene used in this case may work for a considerable amount of time until one gets a load of ‘bad fuel,’” the FAA reported. “The manufacturing quality control system used to produce K-1 kerosene is far less stringent than for Jet-A aviation fuel.”

The use of kerosene in certified aircraft is a violation of the aircraft’s type certificate, but warbird aficionados have wondered what differen...

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