RussianJet
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Fuel-Related Mistakes/Accidents

Sun Jun 30, 2013 6:14 am

So, the last thread I posted on this got accidentally deleted while it was being moved from Civil Av, so here we go again.

I was thinking about the Tunisian ATR-72 crash, which was caused by an incorrect fuel gauge being installed. I got to wondering which other accidents or mishaps have been solely fuel-related.

Grateful for your suggestions and insight.

RJ
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Starlionblue
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RE: Fuel-Related Mistakes/Accidents

Sun Jun 30, 2013 8:22 am

No airliner accident is ever "solely" due to one thing, though the Tuninter flight 1153 that you mention is close. The flight and ground crew mismanaged fueling. Fuel systems in airliners are, if not unreliable, at least subject to frequent manual checking of the actual tanks for good reason.

The emergency might also have been handled a bit differently but this is debatable. If they had feathered the props immediately there was a chance of reaching Palermo or at least ditching close by.

With that caveat, a few notorious incidents follow.
- Air Canada flight 143, AKA "The Gimli Glider". https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gimli_Glider. Mainly caused by miscalculation due to confusion between US units (not quite Imperial) and metric units.
- Air Transat flight 236. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_Transat_Flight_236. Fuel leak due to wrong part fitted was mismanaged by the crew.
- United Airlines flight 173. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Airlines_Flight_173. Fuel starvation due to focusing on a problem and continuing to hold.
- Avianca flight 52. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avianca_Flight_52 Failed to declare a fuel emergency while approaching JFK and crashed due to fuel starvation.

[Edited 2013-06-30 01:23:47]

[Edited 2013-06-30 01:25:03]
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RussianJet
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RE: Fuel-Related Mistakes/Accidents

Sun Jun 30, 2013 12:07 pm

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 1):
No airliner accident is ever "solely" due to one thing,

Well yes, I understand that - but 'fuel' as a subject covers a multitude of potential issues;.
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rfields5421
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RE: Fuel-Related Mistakes/Accidents

Sun Jun 30, 2013 1:19 pm

The AOPA - Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association - in the United States - continually warns members of the dangers of putting the wrong fuel in the tanks.

Over the years there have been many accidents involving GA aircraft where Avgas was put in turbine aircraft, and jet fuel put in the tanks of piston aircraft.

I seem to remember a couple commercial passenger aircraft crashes due to wrong fuel. Back in the 50s when piston and turbine powered commercial aircraft were refueled on the same ramp - the wrong fuel happened too often.
 
flyingturtle
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RE: Fuel-Related Mistakes/Accidents

Sun Jun 30, 2013 3:04 pm

Have there been any accidents due to low fuel quality (e.g. too much sulphur, water or other contaminants)?


David
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roseflyer
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RE: Fuel-Related Mistakes/Accidents

Sun Jun 30, 2013 4:14 pm

If you ignore the conspiracy theorists, TWA 800 has had the biggest change in the industry due to fuel problems because of SFAR88 and nitrogen generation systems to prevent fuel tank ignition.
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CrimsonNL
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RE: Fuel-Related Mistakes/Accidents

Sun Jun 30, 2013 6:28 pm

An interesting article about a successful ditch by a TY-124 after running out of fuel

http://rt.com/news/pilot-saves-lives-by-landing-on-a-river-in-1963/

Martijn
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7BOEING7
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RE: Fuel-Related Mistakes/Accidents

Sun Jun 30, 2013 7:00 pm

In 1971 a U S Navy P-3A Orion crashed/ditched into Subic Bay shortly after takeoff from Cubi Point NAS in the Phillipines when all four engines overheated because a dry cleaning solvent rather than methanol alcohol was put in the ADI tank (water-methanol injection system).
 
Aircellist
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RE: Fuel-Related Mistakes/Accidents

Sun Jun 30, 2013 11:15 pm

I guess BA 38 fits the bill, somehow:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Airways_Flight_38
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BreninTW
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RE: Fuel-Related Mistakes/Accidents

Mon Jul 01, 2013 4:17 am

Quoting flyingturtle (Reply 4):
Have there been any accidents due to low fuel quality (e.g. too much sulphur, water or other contaminants)?

There was an issue with a CX A330 at HKG a year or two back that was caused by fuel contamination at the origin airport in Indonesia.
 
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HAWK21M
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RE: Fuel-Related Mistakes/Accidents

Fri Jul 05, 2013 4:25 pm

Talking about fuel related errors...........

The Gimli Glider comes to mind.Amazing story.
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UAL Bagsmasher
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RE: Fuel-Related Mistakes/Accidents

Sat Jul 06, 2013 5:21 pm

Let's not forget ALM 980. The aircraft was a DC-9 which was being flown JFK-SXM, which really pushed the range of the aircraft to the outer envelope. Through a series of events, the aircraft ended up ditching when it ran out of fuel. A good book was written about the accident a few years ago called "35 Miles from Shore."

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