Fuel Warning Issued

Jet fuel isnt just any kind of kerosene


When visiting a parachute jump zone airport, an FAA Aviation Safety Inspector discovered the operator was using K1 kerosene to fuel its turbine-powered aircraft.

K1, sold for home heating use, does not meet the American Society for Testing and Materials standards for aviation turbine-engine fuel. It also does not meet FAA requirements specified in aircraft type certificates.

Using such unapproved fuel creates a situation in which the airplanes performance may not be predictable. Although the kerosene may work for a long time in routine operations, quality control is not nearly as stringent, increasing the possibility that the airplane will be filled with bad fuel.

ASTM D-3699-98 and ASTM D-1655 outline the standards used to manufacture K1 kerosene and Jet A, respectively.

Beech E33 Bonanza
Engine oil leak

Immediately after takeoff, an observer on the ground notified the pilot that the aircraft was trailing smoke. The pilot returned and landed safely.The engine had lost about 6 quarts of oil through a broken oil pressure indicator line. The pilot reported that there was no smoke in the cockpit and that the oil pressure indicator remained in the green range.The 1/8-inch copper line had flare fittings at each end. The line had failed around the circumference just behind the flare connection at the engine.Part total time – 4,450 hours.

Beech B300 King Air
Nose gear vibration

The pilot reported a severe vibration from the nose of the plane from takeoff until the landing gear was retracted.Technicians discovered that the tire balance patch in the nose gear had come loose inside the tire.Balance patches are used in many makes and model airplanes. They are glued inside the tire to balance the tire during rotation. However, severe vibration can result if the adhesive fails.Part total time – 55 hours.

Lake LA-4-250 Renegade
Wing attachment hole crack

During repair of the lower right forward spar cap, technicians discovered a crack at a wing attachment bolt hole.The crack appeared to have originated at a machined notch in the lower spar cap. The crack ran vertically from the lower edge of the spar cap upward to the wing attachment bolt hole.Part total time – 970 hours.

Navion A
Defective nose gear

During an annual inspection, technicians detected several serious defects in the nose landing gear.The nose gear fork was bent and cracked, paint bubbling was observed on the fork and, under four layers of paint, severe corrosion was found.The trunnion attachment points had worn bearings and the nose gear attachment bolts were worn.Part total time – 2,400 hours.

Piper PA28-180
Animal damage

During the annual inspection, technicians removed the left wing fuel tank to replace deteriorated hoses. Removal of the tank revealed a large mouse nest. The nest was inboard of the fuel cell and forward of the wing spar. Removal of the nest debris revealed a considerable amount of severe corrosion.

Piper PA34-220T Seneca
Landing gear valve failure

During an operational test of the landing gear during an annual inspection, technicians discovered that the gear motor ran intermittently.The emergency landing gear free-fall valve was leaking internally, allowing the hydraulic system to bleed pressure. The motor would detect low pressure and operate to raise pressure again.

Teledyne Continental GTSIO-520-L
Defective oil pump housing

Upon receiving a new engine oil pump housing from a distributor, technicians discovered several defects.The housing chamber depth was below minimums and the manufacturer failed to clean up a radius step after machining. The less-than-specified housing depth would have caused the gears to be higher in the chamber bore, which would have eliminated end clearance and, with the scavenge pump installed, the gears to bind.Part total time – 0 hours.

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