Technically: From Multi-Engine Turboprop Communiqué # ME-TP-006

Technically: From Multi-Engine Turboprop Communiqué # ME-TP-006



Date: December 2017

ATA 28 − Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin (SAIB) HQ-18-08

The FAA has released Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin (SAIB) HQ-18-08, [information shown below], for a fuel contamination on 36 civilian aircraft. Some of the affected aircraft are Textron Aviation turboprops. (Editor’s Note: King Airs included on SAIB are listed below for your convenience/reference.) If your aircraft is called out as one of the affected aircraft, it is Textron Aviation’s recommendation that you inspect the fuel cells for a dry white powdery substance (reference photo shown). Contamination may only be visible in a dry fuel cell. If this substance is found, please contact Turboprop Technical Support at 1 (800) 429-5372 or teamturboprop@txtav.com for further instructions.

FAA’s SPECIAL AIRWORTHINESS INFORMATION BULLETIN, #HQ-18-08

Subject: Engine Fuel and Control – Operation with Contaminated Jet Fuel

Date: December 20, 2017

King Airs Affected were Fueled by TAC Air (KOMA), Nov. 16-21, 2017:

Date             Registration        Model                   S/N                  Fuel Qty (gals)

11/17/17        N50VP                     BE-C90A                LJ-1185              105 & 108

11/17/17        N846                        BE BE-300            FA-16                  119

11/18/17       N813JB                     BE-C90                 LJ-899                131

11/19/17       N200RS                    BE-200                 BB-1481              330

11/19/17       N793DC                    BE-200                 BB-1404             299

11/20/17      N460EM                   BE-C90A              LJ-1593              210

This is information only. Recommendations aren’t mandatory.

Introduction

This Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin (SAIB) advises airplane operators, Fixed Base Operators (FBOs), FAA repair stations and Flight Standard District Offices (FSDOs), and foreign civil aviation authorities of certain airplanes that operated with jet fuel contaminated with diesel exhaust fluid (DEF). This SAIB also requests feedback regarding any service difficulties or operational anomalies of the identified airplanes and recommends that the owners of those airplanes consult with the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) of their airplane, engine, and auxiliary power unit (APU) to determine the appropriate inspection and corrective maintenance actions on their airplane.

At this time, the airworthiness concern is not con-sidered an unsafe condition that would warrant air-worthiness directive (AD) action under Title 14 of the Code of Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR) part 39.

Background

During the period between November 16 and November 21, 2017, 36 airplanes with civilian registry identified [King Airs listed left] along with 17 other airplanes were serviced with jet fuel containing DEF at Eppley Air Field Airport, Omaha, Nebraska (KOMA). The DEF was inadvertently used instead of fuel system icing inhibitor (FSII) on two refueling trucks at KOMA and injected into the fuel with each truck’s FSII injection system. Only those airplanes identified in Appendix 1 received the contaminated fuel.

DEF is a urea-based chemical that is not approved for use in jet fuel. When mixed with jet fuel, DEF will react with certain jet fuel chemical components to form crystalline deposits in the fuel system. These deposits will flow through the aircraft fuel system and may accumulate on filters, fuel metering components, other fuel system components, or engine fuel nozzles. The deposits may also settle in the fuel tanks or other areas of the aircraft fuel system where they may potentially become dislodged over time and accumulate downstream in the fuel system as described. Several of the identified airplanes have already experienced clogged fuel filters and fuel nozzle deposits that lead to service difficulties and unplanned diversions.

The crystalline deposits are not soluble in fuel, so they cannot be removed by flushing the airplane fuel system with jet fuel. The deposits are soluble in methanol and other polar solvents, but use of these chemicals may have adverse consequences on airplanes and engine fuel system materials. Consequently, OEMs should be contacted to develop inspection techniques and corrective maintenance actions appropriate for each specific aircraft model type.

Jet fuel that has been contaminated with DEF no longer meets the aviation fuel operating limitations of airplanes certificated to operate on Jet A fuel, and therefore cannot be used on those airplanes. Jet fuel that has been removed from airplanes listed should be downgraded to other non–aviation fuel grades and not used on airplanes in the future.

The FAA is monitoring the situation to determine if additional action is required. We are requesting that any service difficulties and maintenance and inspection findings on the aircraft identified be reported to us in support of this effort.

Recommendations

The FAA recommends the following:

  1. Owners or operators of airplanes identified contact their airplane, engine, and APU OEMs to determine the appropriate inspections and maintenance actions to remove urea-based crystalline deposits from the fuel system. This may include the removal and replacement of fuel system parts or components affected by exposure to these deposits.
  2. Owners or operators of airplanes identified report to the FAA any service difficulties (including fuel filter bypass and clogging incidents), fuel system repairs, and fuel system inspection results related to the presence of these urea-based crystalline deposits.
  3. Jet fuel suspected of being contaminated with DEF that has been removed from the airplanes listed be downgraded to other non-aviation fuel grades, and not be used on airplanes.

Paperwork Reduction Act Burden Statement: A federal agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, nor shall a person be subject to a penalty for failure to comply with a
collection of information subject to the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act unless that collection of information displays a currently valid OMB Control Number. The OMB Control Number for this information collection is 2120-0731. Public reporting for this collection of information is estimated to be approximately five minutes per response, including the time for reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and maintaining the data needed, completing and reviewing the collection of information. All responses to this collection of information are voluntary. Send comments regarding this burden estimate or any other aspect of this collection of information, including suggestions for reducing this burden to the FAA at: 800 Independence Ave. SW, Washington, DC 20591, Attn: Information Collection Clearance Officer, ASP-110.

For Further Information Contact

Mark Rumizen, Senior Technical Specialist, FAA, 12 New England Executive Park, Burlington, MA 01803; phone: (781) 238-7113; mobile: (781) 402-4609; fax: (781) 238-7199; email: mark.rumizen@faa.gov.

The above information is abbreviated for space purposes. For the entire communication, go to www.txtavsupport.com.

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