NATA Safety 1st is currently redeveloping its online training content to incorporate improvements and new features suggested by our members and users. As part of this process, we are seeking new photographs of ground handling activities, such as aircraft fuel and oil servicing, quality control checks, and towing operations. If your company is interested in sharing photos of ground handling operations at your facilities, and possibly having these images featured in the redeveloped NATA Safety 1st training program, please contact our Trainer/Content Manager Steve Berry at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Demonstrations of this new system at upcoming Schedulers & Dispatchers Conference
Wednesday, the National Air Transportation Association (NATA) unveiled the Safety 1st Fuel QC Management System (Safety 1st FQMS), a cloud-based digital tool for general and business aviation fuel quality management inspections, record keeping and auditing. NATA will demonstrate this breakthrough tool during the upcoming Schedulers & Dispatchers Conference in Long Beach, CA, at NATA’s Booth 840 on February 7th (3:30pm – 4:00pm) and 8th (2:00pm – 2:30pm). You may also schedule an individual appointment to view this and other NATA products and services at https://nataatsdc.setmore.com/.
The Safety 1st FQMS replaces traditional pen and paper record keeping with an intelligent system that increases management visibility, employee accountability and operational safety. Key features include digital storage and access to all quality control (QC) records; an easy-to-use, mobile-optimized inspection platform; and Compliance Sentry technology that provides a 24-7 eye on your QC system. Location and date/time-stamping of inspections increases team accountability by enabling managers to verify where and when inspections were performed.
“As an association that works to continuously enhance safety best practices and provide value to its members, NATA is pleased to offer the Safety 1st Fuel QC Management System — an important advancement in fuel quality management,” stated NATA President Martin H. Hiller. “The Safety 1st FQMS enables FBOs and other fuel providers to leverage technology to increase efficiency and visibility into their fuel quality management efforts and affords Part 135, Part 91 and Part 91k operators the ability to remotely audit fuel quality control.”
“The Safety 1st FQMS is offered at an affordable, monthly rate to NATA members, allowing even the smallest FBOs to benefit from this technology,” added NATA Managing Director of Safety and Training Michael France.
Visit NATA at the upcoming NBAA Schedulers & Dispatchers Conference, Booth 840, or go to www.nata.aero/fqms for more information or to schedule an online demonstration today!
Click here to view the full press release.
NATA would like to thank everyone who attended last week’s webinar on recent changes concerning filter monitors and give a special thanks to our expert panelists Amy Carico of Airlines for America (A4A) and John Leonard of Facet Filters.
The webinar was held to update our members on the status of filter monitors following the International Air Transportation Association (IATA), and Energy Institute’s (EI) position statement that filter monitors be phased out of all aviation fuel handling systems. The position statement came after eight separate documented incidents in which super absorbent polymer or SAP (which is the media used in filter monitors) was found downstream in engine/airframe fuel system components.
We have provided a summary of the questions and answers covered during the webinar below:
Q: How has A4A responded to the findings of the IATA and EI special interest group on SAP?
A: A4A has issued the following 6 actions to be implemented at sites which use filter monitors and operate to the ATA 103 standard:
Q: What if my site is not required to meet the ATA 103?
A: The recommendations of A4A concerning the action items above come after thorough industry research and are recommended to be implemented at all facilities currently using filter monitor elements. NATA also recommends you contact your filter manufacturer and fuel provider for additional guidance.
Q: Do the same concerns that exist regarding filter monitors for use with jet fuel also apply to avgas?
A: Yes, and while the ATA 103 does not provide a standard for avgas, the same recommendations provided for use with jet fuel are also recommended for avgas. NATA recommends you contact your filter manufacturer and fuel provider for specific guidance.
Q: The EI outlined a December 31st, 2020 revocation date for the 1583 qualification standard for filter monitors. What does that mean for my location if we use filter monitors?
A: Filter manufacturers are currently working with the EI and other industry partners to develop a replacement for filter monitors by December 31st, 2020. Until a replacement is decided upon and approved industry wide, the six action items outlined above should be implemented as a precaution against SAP media migration downstream.
Q: Is there currently a 7th edition specification approved for 2’’, 5’’ and 6’’ in-to-out flow filter monitors?
A: 2’’ monitors have received 7th edition EI qualification and are currently available from all three filter manufactures. 5’’ and 6’’ elements are currently awaiting EI 7th edition qualification. NATA recommends you contact your filter manufacturer for timelines.
Q: What should I do if my site currently uses 6’’ in-to-out flow monitor elements?
A: 6’’ in-to-out flow monitor elements were developed to convert existing filter/water separator vessels (FWS), also known as coalescer/separator vessels, to monitor filtration. As noted by A4A in the table above, these vessels should be converted back to using filter/water separator elements. It is important to note, that FWS vessels require water defense systems so you must ensure that your vessel is equipped with a functioning water defense.
Q: What about 5’’ and 6’’ out-to-in flow monitor elements used in small canister vessels like the VF-61, VF-21, and VF-22?
A: The three major filter element manufacturers Facet, Velcon, and Faudi all make single-element filter/separator filters for these vessels so you should contact your filter supplier to determine the element which would be required. Like traditional FWS vessels however, a water defense system must be installed.
Courtesy of our friends at Airlines for America (A4A), the link below is a Technical Bulletin from the Joint Inspection Group (JIG) outlining possible hazards from split tip winglets on newer Boeing 737 models.
What is the proper procedure for topping off a C90 King Air, an older over-wing Hawker, or how about an MU-2? While there are general procedures that are applicable to fueling (or servicing) all aircraft, each aircraft type may have specific procedures that need to be followed to safely complete the operation. Those who have fueled an MU-2 over-wing alone have probably experienced this when trying to recall maximum tip tank differential as one tank drops lower and lower when adding fuel!
This week I was astounded by a phone call I received from an FBO and the story they told me. A line service professional at this FBO asked a transient pilot of a turbojet aircraft to review the specific procedures for refueling his aircraft since he had not fueled this particular aircraft before. To the line technician’s surprise, the pilot was infuriated by this request and stated that the questioning was a a sign that this was a “dangerous operation.” The pilot even called the airport manager and complained about how the question was a sure indication that the FBO was not safely fueling aircraft.
Now, in the interest of being fair, I understand that there are often two sides to every story, but, that being said, it is no wonder why we are all still having to work so hard to instill proper safety culture across our industry.
From the Long-Ez to the G650, general aviation has hundreds if not thousands of aircraft types. Expecting a line service professional to know the specific safety procedures by heart for each one is not practical. If we accept this fact, then the appropriate attitude about safety demands that we instill in our team the notion that if they don’t know how to do something, they should ask! We must follow through with that commitment as well. Punishing someone for asking a question, whether formally or informally through attitudes, anger or even facial expressions, sends the message that “if you don’t know how to do something, figure it out, but don’t ask!”
The goal is to safely fuel the aircraft. And that involves everyone, from the pilot to the refueler to the customer service representative. If each person in that chain accepts their responsibility to ask when they are not completely clear of a task and to assist if needed, we will go a long way to eliminating safety concerns in aircraft refueling. Anything less than that places something else ahead of safety.
I hope the pilot that was involved in that situation runs across this blog. I would like to tell him that what happened on that ramp was not an indication of an unsafe situation but was a clear indication that this FBO valued safety and instilled the proper attitude in their line service professionals!
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