Squawk Box

February 2000 Issue

Chained Lightning

Metal fuel cap retaining chains pose danger of lightning-induced damage

The following information is derived from the FAA’s Service Difficulty Reports and Aviation Maintenance Alerts. Click here to view "Airworthiness Directives."


Some current production aircraft and replacement fuel cap kits include metal retention chains. These aircraft, often not originally equipped with any type of fuel cap retention device, were not certificated to meet the lightning protection rules that are currently required. The current required lightning certification criteria, explained in FAA Advisory Circular 20-53A, recognizes the contribution of metal chains to the potential of fuel tank explosions induced by lightning st...

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