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Drummed Jet Fuel - How Old Is Too Old?

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I believe it is only the B3e with the fuel running through the oil filter housing. Still require additives below -20'C I think. Probably someone with one could chime in.

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I believe it is only the B3e with the fuel running through the oil filter housing

 

The Arriel 2D engine has the fuel running through the oil filter housing. On the B3e.

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I think cloudy fuel when cold is almost always from paraffin, not water and that's why water tests are passed. Filters get clogged but no harm is done to the A/C... difficult to deal with still when clear and bright is not passed.

 

HV

 

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I think cloudy fuel when cold is almost always from paraffin, not water and that's why water tests are passed. Filters get clogged but no harm is done to the A/C... difficult to deal with still when clear and bright is not passed.

 

HV

 

attachicon.gifParaffin.PNG

According to this document, the "cloud point" of Jet A1 is -26C and the Cold Filter Plugging Point is -46C.

http://ilot.edu.pl/kones/2011/1_2011/2011_baczewski_szczawinski_investigation_properties.pdf

 

So why is cloudy fuel is being seen at warmer temps (-19c)? How do you explain his plugged filters? Could it be that some if his fuel was contaminated, but because all of the fuel had clouded (from FSII at cold temps) it was difficult to identify the drums that were contaminated?

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I agree with HV on this although I questioned the quantity of clean fuel getting into our competitors aircraft as their filters were not plugging.

 

As surmising the cloud point was higher due to poor quality fuel. Just because it has a seal on it means diddly.

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Qoute: So why is cloudy fuel is being seen at warmer temps (-19c)? How do you explain his plugged filters? Could it be that some if his fuel was contaminated, but because all of the fuel had clouded (from FSII at cold temps) it was difficult to identify the drums that were contaminated?

 

Not sure but when they list specs for fuel I think they're being slightly disingenuous because batches are different from one another and can vary considerably.

 

We had a batch of drums that appeared cloudy tested and it was definitely paraffin, confirmed in a lab. I think the paraffin content was higher than "normal" in that case.

 

FSII gets blamed for a lot of things it has nothing to do with but since each case is different when there are questions the fuel should be tested. We had a batch (bulk) of red fuel once that was of great concern but Shell tested it and said go ahead and burn it as it met "their" specs.

 

At any rate we have seen a lot of cloudy fuel over the last couple of years that passes clear and bright when it's warm.

 

FSII is hydrophilic (loves water) and the big issue with it is that as it enters water in the fuel at a certain point (approx 30% FSII to water by volume) the go-no-go filters will not stop the water. When you examine the filter after pumping that big slug of water through it there is no visible swelling of the medium at all and the filter looks fine. In fact it will still stop water no problem, but not the water-FSII mix.

 

To get this situation all set up, all you have to do is have standing water in Jet A or B with FSII and it will gather FSII from the fuel until it becomes a very dangerous slug just waiting to get in your aircraft. Never allowing standing water will prevent this.

 

I don't see how (mind you I'm not a fuel expert but I have had quite a few samples tested at the lab and I have spoken directly to the cooks at the refinery on several occasions) FSII would cause cloudy fuel that suddenly became clear with warmer temperatures.

 

Bottom line of course is don't use it when in doubt and send it to the lab if the concern is great enough.

 

HV

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With fuel containing FSII additive: How is the clear and bright test working out for you these days?

 

Absolutely fabulous thanks.....:)

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Qoute: So why is cloudy fuel is being seen at warmer temps (-19c)? How do you explain his plugged filters? Could it be that some if his fuel was contaminated, but because all of the fuel had clouded (from FSII at cold temps) it was difficult to identify the drums that were contaminated?

 

Not sure but when they list specs for fuel I think they're being slightly disingenuous because batches are different from one another and can vary considerably.

 

We had a batch of drums that appeared cloudy tested and it was definitely paraffin, confirmed in a lab. I think the paraffin content was higher than "normal" in that case.

 

FSII gets blamed for a lot of things it has nothing to do with but since each case is different when there are questions the fuel should be tested. We had a batch (bulk) of red fuel once that was of great concern but Shell tested it and said go ahead and burn it as it met "their" specs.

 

At any rate we have seen a lot of cloudy fuel over the last couple of years that passes clear and bright when it's warm.

 

FSII is hydrophilic (loves water) and the big issue with it is that as it enters water in the fuel at a certain point (approx 30% FSII to water by volume) the go-no-go filters will not stop the water. When you examine the filter after pumping that big slug of water through it there is no visible swelling of the medium at all and the filter looks fine. In fact it will still stop water no problem, but not the water-FSII mix.

 

To get this situation all set up, all you have to do is have standing water in Jet A or B with FSII and it will gather FSII from the fuel until it becomes a very dangerous slug just waiting to get in your aircraft. Never allowing standing water will prevent this.

 

I don't see how (mind you I'm not a fuel expert but I have had quite a few samples tested at the lab and I have spoken directly to the cooks at the refinery on several occasions) FSII would cause cloudy fuel that suddenly became clear with warmer temperatures.

 

Bottom line of course is don't use it when in doubt and send it to the lab if the concern is great enough.

 

HV

I agree 100% about not using questionable fuel. And as was mentioned it is usually what our families and passengers expect of us (not all the time apparently).

Saying that is as simple as sending it to the lab is a little misleading. The pilot has a lit if responsibility and pressure on him in this situation.

The variable you haven't mentioned is that usually the client has paid a HUGE cost to have this fuel (by the 100's of drums) shipped to the middle of nowhere. Often transported 6 drums at a time by helicopter or plane. What do you think he is going to say when the pilot tells him that his fuel is no good and he has to shut his program down (which will cost him a pile more).

 

Then what do you think he is going to say a couple weeks later when the lab confirms his fuel is good?Particularly when several other operators were willing to burn it. Of course they claim their superior training and equipment allows them to burn this fuel.

 

In this case, the operator is aware that the supplier has withdrawn the required certification of the fuel (based on age-until retest) prior to dispatching an aircraft. The clients exact words to us were the fuel was "expired in 2012". They could not even provide the suppliers name, let alone documentation. Yet, they (as well as another operator and pilot) are willing to use it long term; the desire to bring home a paycheck and save money is a powerful thing.

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I loved that post about having your boss and customer sign emails authorizing you to use outdated fuel....then you go flying. Huh??? Let's face it, an email signed by Her Majesty the Queen, His Holiness the Pope or even Justin Bieber won't make the aircraft any safer. You can either fly or you can't. These letters of endemnity simply prove you had prior knowledge of a hazard. Yes, our job is full of hazards, but it is up to us to minimize risk to an acceptable (flyable) level, or refuse the flight. Sadly, if something tragic does happen to you, I would suggest that your brother does not go looking for your emails.....they may put your grieving family and employer in a very bad position. So study your RFM, read the MSDS sheets and articles like this, then grow a pair and make an informed, clear decision. Kudos to those pilots above that refused and returned drums. That is what our passengers, employer and families expect from us.

 

I was being facetious of course. Like I said, I don't think anyone would ever accept to sign off on something like that...

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