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CAO Confusion/Consistancy??

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I'm currently doing some study and have come across some confusing numbers with regard to CAO 20.9 s/s4 refueling and 20.9 s/s 5 Engine Operation in my Dyson Holland notes.


Section 4 regarding refuelling states that no vents or filling points be within;


  1. 5mt of a sealed building
  2. 6mt of stationary aircraft
  3. 15 of exposed public area
  4. 9 of of an unsealed building



Section 5 states that piston engines must not be operated within;


  1. 5mt of a sealed building
  2. 8 of another aircraft
  3. 15 of exposed public area
  4. 8 of an unsealed building



My questions are


  1. Why the difference in points 2 and 4 above? As I read it in point 2 I can refuel my aircraft 6mt away from another aircraft and then have to drag it 2mt further away to start it, legally...
  2. Why different distances at all? Surely a similar distance for all the four circumstances above would be easier to comply with and remember?




I have never flown at a busy aerodrome therefore these issues of refuelling and starting close to other aircraft haven't been an issue and our fuel pump has plenty of hose to allow me to stay well away from buildings etc.


Thanks for your help 033_scratching_head.gif.b541836ec2811b6655a8e435f4c1b53a.gif



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Good afternoon Propfarmer,


One of our more senior forumites, CFIcare, signs off his posts with:


"As we know,


There are known knowns.


There are things we know we know.


We also know


There are known unknowns.


That is to say


We know there are some things


We do not know.


But there are also unknown unknowns,


The ones we don't know


We don't know.


....buggered if I know!"


I'm going to borrow part of what he says to answer your questions.... buggered if I know!


One thing I will say though: Experience has taught me that the CAOs and CARs are riddled with the sort of anomalies you have quoted. Experience has also taught me that if I use the more restrictive of the limits being considered, I won't get my butt chewed. EG: In this case, don't refuel or start you're aircraft if it's closer than 30 feet (9mtrs) to another aircraft or building, or 50 feet (15 mtrs) of a public area. You may need to remember the other numbers to pass your exam though. So I do that by remembering the two numbers I'm going to use in practise, and the two (edit: oops, it's actually three) I'm going to need for the exam.


Hoping that helps.


Keep the sunny side up,





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Found this note in the CAO's - doesn't answer your question, but. Here's a link to the said CAO's http://www.comlaw.gov.au/Details/F2011C00687


Note Fuelling equipment does not include equipment and outlet points of an installation located below ground level when the equipment is stowed and covering hatches are in place.




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Glad to hear that it doesn't make sense to others out there. Sounds like a can of worms to me? (and NO I don't know what a can of worms sounds like for all those comedians amongst us who may wish to ask!)


Anyhow enough of that, I reckon I'll just stay on the cautious side of what is needed and I shouldn't get burnt!!


ps. Yay !! only 1 or 2 hrs til solo time.........or so ''he" says......ha ha



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I've got friends that assert some of my white wine tastes like camels piss. I am prepared to take their word for it, and remain ignorant.


Regarding the documents you refer to, it is a disgrace that they are so difficult to comprehend. If an employer wrote documents relating to OH&S matters in such a way he would be required to re-do them and would be seen as culpable if they are not clear and unambiguous. Nev



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