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Learned Something That Day

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Flew into Andrews-Murphy NC (KRPH) last week after scenic flight in the smoky mountians. I parked my R22 at the fuel pumps to have it refueled . I walked into the FBO and was greeted warmly a young lineman. I informed him that I needed fuel and that I wanted to main tank topped off and three gallons in the auxiliary tank. He responeded "I am new to this so can you show me which tank is the main tank and which one is the auxiliary tank." I took him out and showed him which was which and left the rest to him while I went back inside to empty my bladder and take a break after the three hours of flying. I stood inside the FBO and watched him refuel while I chatted with a high-time Learjet pilot for quite a while. Somewhere during our conversation the Learjet pilot asked "I the heli turbine powered?" "Surely No. Why did you ask?" I asked curiously noting just how much time had past since the lineman first started the refueling. A scary look came upon his face and he said pointing to the lineman "He is messing you up buddy. That fuel truck he is using is a Jet A truck." A huge lump came up in my throat. :shock: I could not say a word. My first reaction was to dart out where he was and stop him. "What in the world are you pumping into this puppy?" I stuttered. "Nothing as of yet" he sighed. "Need to find a funnel to pump this stuff into this unusally small hole on your fuel tank." "100 LOW LEAD AVGAS IS WHAT THIS HELICOPTER USES. READ THE PLACARDS PLEASE" I was so relieved that he had not acually pumped anything into my heli, but still could not resolve the fact he was looking for a funnel to make it go in. It was obvious that he had not been properly trained about fill aircaft and about the big flat spouted nozzle for Jet A and the small round nozzle for AVGAS. Turned out not to be a problem, and I did not razz him about it for I could tell it was a mistake, but the incident certainly did shakeup the lineman pretty badly- even more so than me. I had to give the Learjet pilot a pat on the back for catching the mistake.


I learned a lot that day.

1. Always stand out with the lineman as he refuels your machine if there is mistake hopefully one of you will catch it.

2. Always clearly tell the lineman exactly which fuel your aircraft uses. the lineman told me that he was told all helicopters were Jet powered. I should have told him clearly 100LL instead of merely fuel.

3. Never assume the lineman knows what he is doing.

4. Never assume you know what your yourself are doing.

5. Experienced pilots are a necessity in aviation.

6. Double check eveything.

7. And much much more.

Don't think I'll let that happen again.

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Guest sharky

Almost the same thing happened to me in Cochrane, Ont a few years ago...


Landed an R44 by the big blue door that says "AVGAS 100LL" in huge letters. Gabbing with the refueller about the aircraft; 6 cylinders....200-odd horsepower, etc.


He slides open the big blue door and grabs the nozzle, and being helpful, I took the ladder and the grounding cable over to the aircraft for him and then starting thinking about my bladder.


As I walked away I hear "Oh! This takes AVGAS!!!" I stopped dead in my tracks. I was as fortunate as 06Heliman..he didn't start yet. Turns out that jet and avgas were both delivered from behind the big blue AVGAS door.


I kept thinking to myself "I told him it was a 6 cylinder lycoming!"


A lot of FBOs and rampies are not familar with piston helicopters, and assume if it's a helicotper, it takes jet fuel. I flew an R22 from West to East and along the way no one knew what it was......a toy? A kit helicopter? :rolleyes:


Make sure your fuel order is crystal clear, and/or load it yourself.

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It appears your company should review its elementary work training which includes fuelling and or the supervision of refuelling as required by Transport Canada. Its nice to learn this stuff before hand and not by your mistakes.




"Flew into Andrews-Murphy NC (KRPH) last week after scenic flight in the smoky mountians."


I don't think TC would give a s%*t about this one :bleh:



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