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Kerosene-like Smell Before Taxiing

Mon Jul 26, 2004 10:35 pm

Most of the times I smell kerosene while sitting aboard, before starting to taxi.

I think it happens because air coming from the (first?) turbine stage is compressed into the cockpit, and while the engines are ideling, some of the exhaust gasses ara looped into the engines again (some rear wind may help).

Am I far from the truth?
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RE: Kerosene-like Smell Before Taxiing

Mon Jul 26, 2004 11:02 pm

The exhaust of a nearby jet is the most common source of a kerosene smell in the cabin of an airplane during ground operations. The exhaust is taken into the pack inlets and from there into the cabin. Clean coalesser bags in the system, used to filter the air, can reduce the odor; but some may still get through. There could be some sort of a malfunction or spill on the airplane with the odor that is the cause, but that is fairly rare.
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RE: Kerosene-like Smell Before Taxiing

Mon Jul 26, 2004 11:15 pm

ATF fumes passing through the bleed ducts on the Engine to the Air conditioning system.Sometimes if the start up is not allowing ideal burning of the Fuel-Air Mixture.

The exhaust is taken into the pack inlets and from there into the cabin.
The Inlet of a pack supplies cooling Ram Air which is NOT mixed with the Air used for Air Conditioning.

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RE: Kerosene-like Smell Before Taxiing

Mon Jul 26, 2004 11:45 pm

Bleed air comes from the COMPRESSOR, a long way before fuel is introduced into the engine, not from the TURBINE.

On hot days you´ll often get a kerosene smell around the wings of airplanes when they are getting refueled and the fumes escape from the tank vents in the wings.

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RE: Kerosene-like Smell Before Taxiing

Mon Jul 26, 2004 11:54 pm

Another reason for the smell might be that one or both engines might not have 'lit' right away, thereby a fine mist of fuel can be seen coming out the back end of the engine. Happens alot on cold days, first start of the day, etc. PW4000 series engines do that alot on cold starts.
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RE: Kerosene-like Smell Before Taxiing

Tue Jul 27, 2004 1:03 am

I think everyone's got a piece of this.

I believe its other aircraft running in the area (I usually notice it when we taxi behind running aircraft). The odor enters the running engine (or apu) and gets passed through to the bleed system. Then into the packs and airframe.

Hawk is correct, ram air is used for cooling at the heat exchangers and and is not used inside the aircraft.
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RE: Kerosene-like Smell Before Taxiing

Tue Jul 27, 2004 1:44 am

One other source for the smell is the front pit on the 737's and others.
The recirculated air to the cabin is drawn from the front bag pit on many planes.
When the bag smashers (their term not mine) have the door open outside air from the ramp is drawn into the system. That includes tank vents, running jets and the occasional flatulence of a ramper trying to get an overweight bag into the back of the pit.
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