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Talking with a pilot about checking for water in fuel, he reckons it’s a waste of time after a refuel as the liquid is stirred up that much it wouldn’t settle out in the bottom of the tank, only time is before first flight after it has sat for a while, any thoughts?

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Talking with a pilot about checking for water in fuel, he reckons it’s a waste of time after a refuel as the liquid is stirred up that much it wouldn’t settle out in the bottom of the tank, only time is before first flight after it has sat for a while, any thoughts?

There are many pilots; some good, some bad.

I think you'll find most training says ALWAYS do a water check after a fuel fill, because dirty drums, tanks can sometimes contain unbelievable amounts of water. Aircraft have crashed and killed people because the check wasn't done.

If you want to check for yourself put a small amount of water in a jug and pour in petrol through a funnel. Then put a larger amount, maybe 10% of water in, and pour petrol into the jug. Measure the amount of time it takes for each to give you an indication.

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The bloke doesn't sound like a pilot I'd want to fly with. Water settles quite rapidly in fuel, unless it's constantly or regularly agitated.

Be very wary of fuel from drums, they're notorious for containing water. Drum bung seals are only adequate while they're still capped.

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Talking with a pilot about checking for water in fuel, he reckons it’s a waste of time after a refuel as the liquid is stirred up that much it wouldn’t settle out in the bottom of the tank, only time is before first flight after it has sat for a while, any thoughts?

In fifty years of flying I have twice found water in the fuel. On both occasions the aircraft had been re-fueled within the last five minutes. Once was a brand new drum, the other was a commercial fuel-bowser.

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I don't know first hand, but if there is ethanol in the fuel, a certain amount of water will stay mixed in. In fact. I think this is a test for finding out if you have ethanol in the fuel.

In over 50 years of car driving and 20 years of plane flying I have never come across this problem. But I sure liked JMLIS's story. How stupid to be caught by something so easy to check for. And I reckon that if the amount was so small that it stayed mixed in even for a short time, then it wouldn't be likely to stop your engine.

Just imagine some practical joker had filled the bowser with water... wouldn't it be dumb to try and fly with this? ( Apologies to the 3 stooges , but I have half a memory of a comedy skit where some bad person had filled the fire extinguishers with petrol )

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I always smell fuel, throw it on the ground and watch for signs of evaporation.

If you get a full test of water it is easy to think it's clear pure fuel.

It has happened to me once, drained up to 500 mls of water off before fuel came out.

Aircraft hirer before me had left aircraft out in a rain storm and it sucked in water through the filler cap seals.

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I always smell fuel, throw it on the ground and watch for signs of evaporation.

 

Do that at a metropolitan airport in Australia and you are in breach of

AIRPORTS (ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION) REGULATIONS 1997 - REG 4.01

General duty to avoid polluting

(1) The operator of an undertaking at an airport must take all reasonable and practicable measures:

 

(a) to prevent the generation of pollution from the undertaking; or

 

(b) if prevention is not reasonable or practicable--to minimise the generation of pollution from the undertaking.

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Do that at a metropolitan airport in Australia and you are in breach of

AIRPORTS (ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION) REGULATIONS 1997 - REG 4.01

General duty to avoid polluting

(1) The operator of an undertaking at an airport must take all reasonable and practicable measures:

 

(a) to prevent the generation of pollution from the undertaking; or

 

(b) if prevention is not reasonable or practicable--to minimise the generation of pollution from the undertaking.

Ok 'we have buckets filled with gravel to tip our sample into!

Personally I don't give a -uck !

I'd rather know I was safe to fly.

I knew some BRAIN would troll me?

I'll just ad it to the Corona Virus , climate change and every other anal thing out there that can make me depressed.

I give up :pull hair:

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If anyone questions you throw a match down; if there's no water the evidence is gone, if there's water you haven't breached the Act; simple.

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But - what happens with regard to the, "NO SMOKING - NO NAKED FLAMES - NO MATCHES" warnings, around aircraft refuelling points!? :freaked:

I think Turbo might have been taking the Piss :oh yeah:

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If there is water in the fuel you are putting in your plane it is going straight to the bottom of the tank and then to the lowest point. THe only thing that will stop it getting to the fuel drain is if the fuel drain is not the lowest point because the plane is on a slope, or there ire too many ribs in the way.

If you don't check, you could well regret it. I agree with the smelling of the samples all water will look like all fuel.

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Talking with a pilot about checking for water in fuel, he reckons it’s a waste of time after a refuel as the liquid is stirred up that much it wouldn’t settle out in the bottom of the tank, only time is before first flight after it has sat for a while, any thoughts?

 

The water will settle out very quickly, put a teaspoon of water in a coke bottle of your favourite fuel and shake it, watch what happens. With ethanol fuels the water may disappear.

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Ok 'we have buckets filled with gravel to tip our sample into!

From that statement, do I assume that your original statement about throwing fuel samples onto the ground was having a pull of my leg?

 

knew some BRAIN would troll me?

 

I take offence at your implication that I was trolling you.

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From that statement, do I assume that your original statement about throwing fuel samples onto the ground was having a pull of my leg?

Not really, I mainly fly from country airfields that don't have disposal points close to aircraft parking areas.

If they are there I always use them where possible.

I take offence at your implication that I was trolling you.

Sorry mate, I was just making a point about seeing whether fuel would evaporate. I was a bit peeved about being ticked off.

It was only a sarcastic remark, I'm sure you weren't Trolling. :sorry:

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Sorry mate, I'm sure you weren't Trolling.

 

No sweat.

 

The reason I posted the Regulation, which only applies to the main capitol city airports, is that it relates to the prevention of pollution by aircraft users. That actual Regulation does not apply to the airports listed as one of those the Regulations apply to, but as responsible aviation people, we must always make an effort of reduce our environmental impact on soil and water, no matter how trivial the amount of impact that might be.

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Fuel will melt the bitumen surface of an airport. I have never seen it melt grass or gravel. I tend to put it back in if there is no water in the sample.

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