Earlier this month, Air BP announced their new Airfield Automation technology — an innovative cloud-based platform that enhances safety, reliability and compliance in aircraft refueling operations. According to the Air BP press release:
“The cloud-based platform consolidates the data related to airport fueling operations and works via an app on a handheld device in the fueling vehicles. The appropriately named ‘safe2go’ app captures fuel volume readings and provides fuel grade checks to add an additional misfuelling barrier. It then electronically captures customer details which are confirmed with an electronic signature from the pilot or airline. By using this automated, end-to-end, paperless system, accuracy is enhanced and any potential miss-keying errors minimized”
Air BP tested the technology over the past two years at 9 separate locations in the UK, Cyprus and Portugal and expects it to be fully implemented at 350 locations by 2020. They believe it to be “the first commercially deployed system in the world to provide an engineering barrier to actively help prevent misfuelling. As a result, Air BP is currently pursuing patent protection for this distinctive technology”.
Kerry Rutherford the Technical Director for Air BP stated, “Misfuelling is one of the biggest risks we face in our industry, the new Air BP Airfield Automation technology provides an engineering barrier to stop it happening. As aircraft engine technology advances and new unleaded fuel grades are introduced, we anticipate that it will become even more relevant in the future”
NATA has long been an advocate in the fight against aircraft misfueling and offers a General Aviation Misfueling Prevention program free of charge. The program includes learning tracks for pilots, FBO managers, line service techs and CSRs to educate everyone involved in the refueling process about their role in misfueling prevention. To learn more visit www.preventmisfueling.com.
Most folks in the aviation fueling business are familiar with Gammon Technical Products (GTP) whether they realize it or not. GTP is the industry leader in the design and manufacture of aviation fuel quality control and handling products. In fact, if you’ve ever observed a filter differential pressure reading there is a good chance the gauge you read it on was a Gammon Gauge. Something you may not be aware of though is the excellent educational resource known as the GamGram. Every year GTP issues two or three GamGrams in an effort to share their wealth of knowledge with the industry.
There are currently 69 GamGrams in the GTP library, all of which are free of charge and offer expert advice in everything from filter sumps to misfuelling prevention, and jet fuel “bugs” to filter vessel concerns. One of the best thing about the GamGrams is that while they are written by experts, with expert technical advice, they are written in a way that is relatable and you don’t need an advanced degree to comprehend. If you receive, store, handle, or pump aviation fuel we highly recommend you check out the GamGram library at: http://www.gammontech.com/gamgrams.htm. You will either learn something you didn’t know before, or at the very least get a refresher on a topic you may have forgotten about. Check it out!
Last week, NATA held its third 2018 Advanced Line Service Workshop at the Centennial Airport Authority (APA) in Englewood, CO. The ALS workshops include a unique mix of technical and service training with sessions on motivation and leadership techniques, customer service training, misfueling prevention, Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasures (SPCC) training, and the impact of human factors on aviation ground handling.
Guest speakers Rick Spencer of Peco-Facet and Keith Clark of Phillips 66 led sessions on aviation fuel filtration, quality control and misfueling prevention. Attendees also toured Centennial Airport’s air traffic control tower, courtesy of Dennis Fria of the FAA.
NATA would like to thank Deborah Smith and all the staff of the Centennial Airport Authority for making this event possible.
Here is what ALS attendees had to say about the event:
“No matter how many years you have in the aviation industry, the Advanced Line Service Workshop is a must. Regulations are ever-changing and this class provides the information needed for any level of line service.” – Jerome Ballard, Signature Flight Support
“Everybody who decides to be in aviation fueling should take this course to stay up on all the new information and ideas on how to keep themselves and others safe.”- Dale Thresher, Fremont County Airport
NATA is hosting 4 more ALS workshops throughout the country in 2018. Click here for dates and registration information.
On June 20th, NATA’s Trainer/Content Manager Steve Berry participated in Air BP’s Product Quality and Operations Seminar in Grand Rapids, MI. Berry provided attendees with an industry update on ground handling safety, the latest in the Safety 1st redevelopment process and information on the IS-BAH (International Standard for Business Aircraft Handling) program. The one-day event included hands-on fueling procedure demonstrations and offered insight on aviation fuel filtration, product quality assurance, microbiological contamination, misfueling prevention, and fuel system maintenance.
Its been under two months since NATA released the Safety 1st Misfueling Prevention Program and nearly 1,500 users have completed the free awareness training. Misfueling prevention is a significant priority and fortunately, preventing misfuelings is not a complex task. As the Safety 1st Misfueling Prevention Program describes, a few simple steps completed by pilots, line service professionals, FBO customer service representatives and managers can dramatically reduce the risk of misfueling.
This week, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) joined the effort to prevent incidents of misfueling with the release of two Safety Alerts,
Both of these NTSB Safety Alerts specifically reference the Safety 1st Misfueling Prevention Program and emphasize the important steps for preventing misfueling outlined in the program.
Everyone has a stake in preventing misfuelings. Take a few minutes today to read the NTSB Safety Alerts and have your team view the Safety 1st Misfueling Prevention Program at:
This week, the National Air Transportation Association (NATA) released the Safety 1st General Aviation Misfueling Prevention Program – a free, online-based awareness program for pilots, line service professionals, FBO general managers and customer service representatives.
NATA, recognizing the need for an industry-wide misfueling prevention resource, developed the program to conform with standards from the Energy Institute and the NATA Safety 1st Operational Best Practices. The program consists of four different misfueling informational tracks, resources and certificates of completion.
NATA thanks the AOPA Air Safety Institute and the General Aviation Manufacturers Association for their assistance in producing this program. Additionally, the program was funded by grants from Eastern Aviation Fuels, EPIC Aviation, Phillips 66 and others.
The misfueling prevention program and additional resources can be found at www.preventmisfueling.com.
A misfueling is when an aircraft receives the incorrect type, grade or amount of fuel. NATA Safety 1st committee member, Bill Moody, from AirBP, contributes the following to help FBOs and pilots prevent aircraft misfueling.
“Everything was fine during our take-off…”
No Fair Warning: If an Avgas powered aircraft is inadvertently refueled with Jet Fuel, there can be sufficient Avgas remaining in the aircraft’s fuel lines and carburetors to enable the aircraft to taxi and even take off. When the Jet Fuel reaches the engine, often at a critical time during take-off, the engine can fail and cause a forced landing or worse – the aircraft may crash.
A similar situation can occur if Avgas is put onto an aircraft which should have been refueled with Jet Fuel. (Fortunately, the consequences of this are usually less serious).
The wrong fuel. The wrong choice.
Avgas and Jet-A Don’t Mix: Every year around the world a number of aircraft are refueled with the incorrect grade of fuel. Fortunately, this error is usually detected before the aircraft takes off but, sadly, this is not always the case. We continue to see reports of incidents and even aircraft crashes resulting from misfueling. You can reinforce refueling procedures and line service training and help to ensure that your aircraft is NEVER misfueled by taking the following actions:
- Trust But Verify
- Teamwork – Verbal/Visual Verification
- The simplest and most effective way to help prevent a Misfueling is for you to verbally and visually confirm the required fuel grade with the line service person before fueling your aircraft.
- Verbally verify the grade of fuel you require with the Line Service professional and visually check the fuel grade markings on the refueling vehicle or dispenser BEFORE fueling your aircraft.
- No Decal – No Fuel
- Fuel Grade Labels
- Most aircraft are placarded for fuel type at the fueling port. Fueling staff should be trained to check for those placards and deliver only the type and grade of fuel specified on those placards. We should encourage everyone to fit fuel grade and type placards to the over-wing refueling ports of aircraft.
- Look Before You Sign
- Signed Fuel Order Forms
- Many FBOs now require aircraft service requests be completed and signed by the pilot for all aircraft fuel services. This is an effective way for the pilot to confirm the aircraft identification, fuel grade required by their aircraft, fuel quantity, and other important service details before line service personnel begin to service the aircraft. We should encourage pilots to adopt this policy for all over-wing fuelings.
- Are you Nozzle Savvy?
- Selective Fuel Orifice
- Selective Fuel Nozzle Spouts and Aircraft Fuel Tank Restrictor Plates: Do you know which nozzle should be used on your aircraft, and why? All Avgas powered aircraft with over-wing fueling ports should have an opening smaller than 2”. Low cost restrictor plates are available for larger openings.
- Avgas Nozzle – 1” spout
- Jet Fuel Nozzle (J-Spout) – 2 ½” oval spout. The intent is that the 2 ½” J- spout for Jet Fuel will not fit into the tank opening on an avgas powered aircraft fitted with the restrictor plate.
- THE BAD GUY! Jet Fuel Nozzle (Straight Spout) – 1 ½” spout. Be on the lookout for Jet Fuel nozzles fitted with this spout. It will fit into an avgas aircraft even with the restrictor plate. These should not be installed on Jet Fuel nozzles!
ALWAYS MAKE SURE.
For more information or to complete the FREE Safety 1st General Aviation Misfueling Prevention Program by visiting: www.preventmisfueling.com.