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Jet A Smells Bad, Any Idea Why?

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One other small item regarding that fuel. Should one decide that they will use it and think that if there is any water present that the "GO-NO-GO" will catch it........then please take note. Unless the PSI of the particular fuelling pump is kept within a certain small range, then water will most definitely pass through a "GO-No-GO". Also, unless Imperial Oil have changed their practices, for years they flushed-out all their refillable, used drums with a milky solution that would go through ANY filter.


My opinions perhaps? Not at all. It's the result of findings before the Supreme Court of Canada in the early 70's. This was all the result of a Bell 206 crash into the Straits of Belle Isle between NFLD and PQ. The pilot (a friend), a mother/father and child still reside in the 206 to this day. The case was pursued because the mother and father left behind 12 then orphaned children. Oh yeah..........and Imperial Oil lost the case big time.


So like Deuce tells ya.............use that paste brother....every stinking chance you get.

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but is a sample absolute overall proof of the cause. Out of thousands of things that could go wrong, with no aircraft recovered, how can you be absolutely sure it was fuel alone? We all have been there in the bush when you tip the drum or shorten the standpipe so the contaminants aren't getting sucked up. A drum with a inch of water does not prove it made it into the helicopter.

If i may say so, there were also rumours about a poacher admitting to shooting down the helicopter....so that alone would cast doubt and therefore the court case would be ?????


(and yes Mark, i am ignoring your comment)

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Shame on you Fenestron!!!!

Cap was recounting a story that we could all learn from...your comments are in very poor taste.







I disagree, I tried to get something out of Caps post, and it was vague as to what PSI the pumps co-operate with the GO-NO-GO filter, vague as to what milky fluid was used to clean the drums with and whether it was harmful when it went through the filter.


As well, I went through the Supreme Court of Canada case files from 1970 to 1984, I could not find it in the TSB Archives to verify what I was looking for other than IO's name, so I am not sure what you surmise we can learn from Caps last post Mark.


Though I whole heartedly agree with the paste useage each fueling. Anyway, the question was why does Jet A smell bad.

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Okay it time for somebody with better TSB links to give the offical report of the 1973 accident.

I was is Sept Illes around that time but my recall is minor.

I do remember that many years latter there had been a admission ( on his death bed) to shooting down ( by a poucher) of the helicopter because he thought it was a government aircraft.

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Date: I believe it was late summer-early Fall '71.

Company: Pegasus Helicopters Ltd., Oakville, Ont. (BEFORE the merger with Dominion Helicopters).

Aircraft: Bell 206B (almost brand-spanking new).

Registration: Forgotten

Pilot: Steve (I'll not be volunteering his last name without permission of his family).

Base: Blanc Sablon, PQ on the PQ/Labrador border and on the Strait of Belle Isle shoreline.

Pax: Doctor for community hospital and his wife......an RN at the same hospital. They both were accompanying

another child enroute to the hosptal at St. Anthony, NFLD.


The Doctor and his wife had resided in Blanc Sablon for a number of years. They had 12 children and he was the ONLY Doctor in the community. The hospital in toen had limited facilties for in-depth emergencies and for such eventualities, emergency trips were made to the hospital at St. Anthony, NFLD and the 206 was positioned there under contract for just that reason.


On the day in question, Steve, the Doctor and his wife (the RN), plus one of the Doctor's children who needed more medical help than was necessary at home, took-off and proceeded towards St. Anthony. They were eventually reported "Over-due" and a search conducted by various companies, including S & R out of St. John's, NFLD. The the downed a/c was eventually found by it's emergency beacon and approximately 1/2 way across the Straits of belle Isle. Various attempts were made to raise the a/c for the obvious reasons, but all to no avail because of the vicious weather that Straits of Belle Isle are known for and the extreme depths that it was positioned at.


The site that Steve used to fill-up and the drum fuel remaining there were all examined in depth. Duly noted were 7+ used Go-NO-GO filters. Various drums had small amounts of water in them and Steve was also noted for leaving his a/c fuelling pump in the drum, once it was opened and never took it out until empty.


A lawsuit was commenced on behalf of the Doctor and his wife's estate and also by the lawyers appointed to represent the surviving and now-orphaned children. Pegasus Helicopters also assisted this legal team and also had their own lawsuit in place. The lawsuit named Imperial Oil and it's subsiduary company that did the flushing and refilling of any re-usable fuel drums. The case eventually made it's way to the Supreme Court of Canada.


The lawyers for Imperial Oil used the 7+ filters found at the fuelling site and the fact that two witnesses had both seen Steve use-up that many during his hurried fuelling before take-off. They stated that what happened was therefore 100% his fault and that they're was no case. The lawyers for the estate di not deny that position, but entered evidence that Imperial Oil was using a solution(the chemical name escapes me now) that was milky-coloured and used at their refilling facilities to clean out the drums before refilling. They had demonstrated proof that the solution in question would pass through ANY known filter on the market. They entered evidence that some of the soultion was found in two of the remaining drums of JP-4. They also entered evidence that GO -No-GO would indeed provide proper filtration as they stated, BUT only between certain PSI numbers ( I knew them for eons, but those number are now gone from my memory). Steve was using a electric fuelling pump, but he also had access to a "wobble-pump" and had used both. It was demonstrated that when one starts to fuel manually, they do so at a certain speed (PSI) and as the arm tires, so does the speed (PSI). Too MUCH speed (PSI) would inhibit the filtration capabilities of the filter and too LITTLE speed (PSI) also inhibited it's filtration abilities. This also was noted to also apply to electric or gas-powered portable refulling units. As noted before, the Imperial Oil cleaning solution passed through ALL filters then available on the market.


The immediate result of all this for Pegasus Helicopters was the invention and installation of the "Coalesser (Sp?) Filter" where an extremely large filter body was used with as much as 9-12 GO-NO-GO filters inside and all working together. Imperial Oil ceased forthwith using the named solution for cleaning their returned, refillable drums. This was the beginning days of the "lined drums" and although that changed years later, at that time there were no known problems with "lined drums".


Fenestron -----no need for the apology sir. If I was going to have an old "wound" opened, then I'd bleed to death because long before I met Steve I'd already lost more and closer friends in a place far, far away. The ensuing years in this business haven't been kind either and the names are mounting much too fast.....so no offense intended?....none taken. The a/c was never raised and remains there, with the bodies onboard, to this day. It was considered that there was more than enough evidence left behind at the refulling site to proceed forwards with the trail. The a/c had maybe 50 hrs TOTAL TIME from Bell FT. Worth and had just gone through an extensive inspection before. Company DOM at the time was a very, very good one.......Jimmy Briton......years later DOM for Trans Canada Pipelines.....and now deceased.


Mark_ --------thank you, but I wasn't offended. Nobody kicked-over my glass of Single Malt Scotch. :lol:


Lineworker ------ I have no idea where all you looked or investigated, BUT I can tell you those were the events, I flew for that company at the time and I had flown that Doctor and his wife myself before also out of the same place. It's an ugly area to operate in and you best know the rocks, shoreline and hills on a first name basis or you go home for your time-off in a body bag. It was/is no place for "Joe Dynamic" to be based if he likes to "push weather" because you are constantly dealing with "PNR" figures on your fuel loads. Miscalculate on fuel load and somebody was coming looking for you sooner or later....or worse. This time-frame also pre-empts the development of Range Extenders. Company CP at the time was Vic Schriebler (killed years later east of Edmonton on line patrol for Trans Canada Pipelines). Others of the time that are still alive to validate what I'm stating were pilot Jim MacLean ( now retired someplace on Vancouver Island) and pilot Mel Barton of Calgary, AB and flies corporate biz-jets out of there at this time. I've lost track of the rest, although Blackmac also knew many of them and a lot probably retired in his part of Canada.


Elvis -----this is the first I have heard of such an admission by anybody. I DO KNOW that what I related above did in fact happen and the children were amptly awarded a large amount for their upkeep and futures.




I didn't want to relate "The Gettysburg Address" here and that's why I was brief before......obviously a mistake. Take it easy on my memory of such events because those were the days of partying, raging hormones, lots of flying hours and really, really fine-looking French Canadian women.....grrrrrrrrrr and very fine Sept-Iles French cuisine. I'm also kinda surprised I remembered the details that I did.

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Cap, thank you for taking the time to reply. However, there is still too many unanswered questions for me to be convinced. I know if I was a jury member on such a case, I wouldn't let the facts presented go thru quite so easily. I'd have made those lawyers work for their case.

In todays accident investigations, even though we love to criticise TSB for their lack of knowledge in some instances, we have a far better investigation system in place, much more is known, much more has has been learned over the years. If the same accident happened this day, we'd likely have a different outcome in the judicial system.

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Cap: I was just wondering where the H you keep all that info. I used to fly that area when working with Universal (Canadian), flew over the site quite often.


Vic, was actually killed going into power lines doing a gas line inspection for an outfit out of Sarnia. An ex employee of CHL/Viking (DB) does it now.


I remember Vic checking me out on a Gazelle at King City, sitting in the left hand seat doing a RH approach and 180 onto the runway in an autorotation explaining to me that this thing does an auto just like a 206, I said if you don't reapply power we are liable to land on the C172 just below us. :oops:


For those not familiar with procedures the C172 was doing circuits & bumps at a lower altitude with left hand approachs.




PS: RIP, Vic.

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