Aircraft Fuel System; water contamination of fuel tank systems on SAIB CE-10-40R1

Aircraft Fuel System; water contamination of fuel tank systems on SAIB CE-10-40R1

    Aviation Safety    INFORMATION BULLETIN

    SUBJ:  Aircraft Fuel System; water contamination of fuel tank systems on    SAIB:    CE-10-40R1
    Cessna single engine airplanes    Date:    July 30, 2010
    This is information only. Recommendations aren¡¦t mandatory.
    This Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin is to inform pilots, owners, operators, and maintenance
    and service personnel of Cessna Aircraft Company (and formerly Reims Aviation S.A.) Model 100,
    200, or 300 series, any model and/or prefix and/or suffix in the series of airplanes as applicable of
    the hazards associated with water contamination of fuel tank systems. The fuel tank system consists of
    all tanks, components, lines, fittings, etc., from the fuel tank to the engine.
    This SAIB revises SAIB CE-10-40, dated July 27, 2010 as a result of comments received from an
    organization and other airworthiness authorities. It adds to the list of models potentially affected.
    At this time, the FAA has determined that this airworthiness concern is not an unsafe condition that
    would warrant airworthiness directive (AD) action under Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations
    (14 CFR) Part 39.
    Recent safety information on Cessna 150, 170, and 172 series airplanes caused us to re-examine our
    efforts on preventing accidents and incidents due to water contaminated fuel. Water may enter the fuel
    tank system via any penetration in the wing fuel tank. Water in the fuel may come out of solution, settle
    and make its way to a drain location in the form of a blob, pea, or BB-shaped translucent mass found at
    the bottom of the sampler cup. Water suspended in the fuel may lead to a cloudy or hazy appearance in
    the sampler cup. Water may have dissolved in the fuel, but the conditions have not yet occurred to cause
    the water to come out of solution and perhaps adhere to the dry tank upper surface or walls (similar to
    condensation). Understanding this, all pilots, owners, operators, maintenance, and service personnel of
    these type airplanes should assume some water exists in the fuel tank system on the airplane.
    We recommend you do the following:
    1. Check your fuel tank system to assure it is equipped with fuel drain valves (not plugs) at all
    permissible drain locations (i.e.; wing tanks, manifold tanks, selector valves, shut-off valves, strainers,
    low points, etc.). Become familiar with all drain locations on a specific model of airplane. From model
    to model in a series of airplanes, the number, type, and location of drains may not be the same. There is
    no single point of drainage that can be used to check for all fuel system contaminants simultaneously.
    Take the time to properly check all drain locations, all of the time.
    2. Check your fuel tank system to assure it is equipped with raised, umbrella-style fuel filler caps to
    preclude water ingress. Inclusion of reduced diameter adapters precludes misfueling also. Be sure the
    fuel vent system configuration of the airplane is maintained with any fuel cap selection. Incorrect fuel
    cap configuration may lead to reduced fuel flow, bladder collapse, oil-canning in flight, fuel hold-up in
    the tank, etc. with consequent engine failure.

    3. With the airplane in the normal ground attitude and starting at the highest drain location, check all
    drain locations for contaminants before every flight, whether or not refueling has occurred. Have fuel
    sample disposal provisions, proper lighting, and a small ladder at your disposal to properly check for
    fuel tank system contamination.
    „F    Drain at least one cup of fuel (using a clear sampler cup) from each drain location.
    „F    Drain the fuel strainer as required to completely flush its contents in each of the fuel selector
    „F    Check for water, clarity, cloudiness, haze, proper fuel type/grade (i.e.; 100LL is light blue in tint,
    jet fuel is clear or yellowish), odor, or other contaminants.
    „F    If any contamination is detected in the fuel tank system, thoroughly drain all drain locations
    „F    If contamination is observed, take further samples until the fuel appears clear, and gently rock
    the wings and lower the tail to the ground (or raise the tail and let back down on tail draggers) to
    move any additional contaminants to the drain points.
    „F    Take repeated samples from all drain locations until all contamination has been removed. If
    contaminants are still present, do not fly the airplane.
    „F    Have qualified maintenance personnel drain and purge the fuel tank system. Remove all
    evidence of contamination prior to further flight.
    4. Take proper precautions to preclude water from entering into your fuel tank system from an external
    source (washing, rain, snow, sleet, etc.). Regularly check all external entry sites (caps, access panels, etc.)
    for evidence of water ingress into the fuel tank system. When possible store the airplane indoors. If stored
    outdoors or exposed to wet conditions (washing, rain, snow, sleet, etc.), examine the fuel tank system
    drains for contamination more frequently. Pay particular attention to airplanes that have been externally
    cleaned and/or refinished also.
    5. During annual or 100-hour inspections do the following:
    „F    Check fuel caps, cap gaskets, cap adaptors, cap adaptor gaskets, fuel filler neck to adaptor sealer,
    fuel gage transmitter gaskets, gage transmitter access covers, and upper surface inspection covers
    for condition, proper sealing, security, alignment, etc. Ensure to service and clean these areas,
    replacing parts as necessary.
    „F    Drain and flush the fuel strainer and carburetor bowl completely.
    „F    Inspect the interior of metal fuel tanks for signs of corrosion, which may indicate water
    „F    Inspect the interior of bladder tanks for wrinkles, broken or missing hangers, etc.
    „F    If signs of contamination are found, alert the owner and fuel supplier of your findings for
    corrective action.
    6. Take precautions to preclude water migration in the fuel tank system from an internal source (free water
    coming out of solution). Keep fuel tanks full when the airplane will not be operated regularly. Keep fuel
    tanks full between flights, provided weight and balance limitations permit. Limit the fuel tanks exposure
    to large temperature fluctuations as much as possible. If the airplane has been exposed to sustained wing
    low or unusual attitudes or a fuel tank has been run dry, sump contaminants may have migrated
    throughout the fuel tank system.
    7. Know your fuel supplier. Regularly check and verify quality controls are in place to ensure you receive
    only dry, uncontaminated fuel from a supplier. Have on-field checks and verify to ensure continued supply
    of dry uncontaminated fuel to an operator. Gain assurance that the fuel supply has been checked for
    contamination and is properly filtered before allowing the airplane to be serviced. When ordering fuel,
    specifically state the exact fuel grade and quantity needed. Be present at each and every refueling and
    observe the fueling process.

    8. Collect all sampled fuel in a safe container and dispose of properly.
    9. Replace all safety items removed during contamination checks. Correct all unsatisfactory conditions
    found during or any examination prior to further flight.
    For Further Information Contact
    Jeff Janusz, Aerospace Engineer, 1801 Airport Road, Rm. 100, Wichita, KS; phone: (316) 946-4148; fax:
    (316) 946-4107; e-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
    Related Advisory and Service Information
    Refer to Table I for a list of documents published by FAA, Cessna Aircraft Company, and the
    Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) Air Safety Foundation related to fuel tank system
    contamination and related issues.
    Advisory Circular
    Document No.    Date    Subject    Owner
    AC 00-34A    July 29, 1974    Aircraft Ground Handling and Servicing    FAA
    AC 20-43C    October 10, 1976    Aircraft Fuel Control    FAA
    AC 20-105B    June, 15 1998    Reciprocating Engine Power-Loss Accident Prevention and    FAA
    Trend Monitoring
    AC 20-106    April 1978    Aircraft Inspection for the General Aviation Aircraft Owner    FAA
    AC 20-122A    January 29, 1991    Anti - Misfueling Devices: Their Availability and Use    FAA
    AC 20-125    December 10, 1985    Water in Aviation Fuels    FAA
    AC 43.13-1B    October, 8 1998    Acceptable Methods, Techniques, and Practices ¡V Aircraft    FAA
    Inspection and Repair
    AC 91-13C    July 24, 1979    Cold Weather Operation of Aircraft    FAA
    AC 150/5230-4A    June 18, 2004    Aircraft Fuel Storage, Handling and Dispensing on Airports    FAA
    Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin
    Document No.    Date    Subject    Owner
    CE-07-06    October 27, 2006    Alcohol in auto gas    FAA
    CE-06-06    October, 2005    Steel fuel tanks    FAA
    CE-05-80    August 9, 2005    Cessna 120 and 140 Fuel Caps    FAA
    CE-04-11    October 28, 2003    Cessna 182 Series Fuel Caps    FAA
    CE-03-43R1    September 23, 2003    Cessna 100, 200, 200 and 400 series fuel quantity gauging    FAA
    Cessna Aircraft Company
    Document No.    Date    Subject    Owner
    SEB92-23    September 4, 1992    Fuel System Quick Drain Modification    Cessna
    SEB92-24    September 4, 1992    Fuel System Quick Drain Valve Installation    Cessna
    SEB92-25    September 4, 1992    Fuel System Quick Drain Valve Installation    Cessna
    SEB92-26    September 4, 1992    Additional Fuel Tank Drain Valves Installation    Cessna
    SEB 92-27    September 4, 1992    Raised Reduced Diameter Fuel Cap Installation    Cessna
    SE70-28    October 23, 1970    Fuel Tank Filler Neck Sealing    Cessna
    SE69-15    July 18, 1969    Fuel Tank Quick Drain Valves    Cessna
    SNL98-9    October 26, 1998    Pilot Safety and Warning Supplements    Cessna
    D5139-13    June 1, 1998    Pilot Safety and Warning Supplements (Reissue)    Cessna
    SNL85-53    November 27, 1985    Pilot Safety and Warning Supplements    Cessna
    D5139-13    October 2, 1985    Pilot Safety and Warning Supplements (Orig. Issue)    Cessna
    SE82-36    July 30, 1982    Fuel Contamination    Cessna
    SE80-87    October 27, 1980    Fuel Contamination    Cessna

    Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) Air Safety Foundation
    Document No.    Date    Subject    Owner
    Safety Advisor    Operations and    Fuel Awareness    AOPA
    Proficiency No. 5
    Safety Brief    No. 4    Misfueling    AOPA

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