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alasizon
Posts: 2563
Joined: Sat Apr 28, 2007 8:57 pm

Re: American Airlines A321 fuel leak_31-Aug-2019_San Juan-L Munoz Marin Intl Airport_Puerto Rico

Sat Aug 31, 2019 6:46 pm

Happens more often than you would think. Fuelers fail to watch the panel as well as they should or they overfill a tank and it vents.

Looks to me like probably about 25-30 gallons. Jet A spreads really quickly once it is on the ground.
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LimaFoxTango
Posts: 963
Joined: Wed Jun 16, 2004 11:33 pm

Re: American Airlines A321 fuel leak_31-Aug-2019_San Juan-L Munoz Marin Intl Airport_Puerto Rico

Sat Aug 31, 2019 7:31 pm

alasizon wrote:
Happens more often than you would think. Fuelers fail to watch the panel as well as they should or they overfill a tank and it vents.

Looks to me like probably about 25-30 gallons. Jet A spreads really quickly once it is on the ground.


I somehow doubt that's what happened here. In most if not all commercial aircraft, the refueller (or other designated personell) would set a fuel load (in kg or lbs) and the fueling stops automatically at that pre set amount. The system will not allow one to deliberately overfill the tanks. Expanded fuel will go into a surge tank and drain back into the main tank when cooled.

What happened here looks like a failure of one of the aforementioned systems and not a careless refueler.
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jetmatt777
Posts: 4248
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Re: American Airlines A321 fuel leak_31-Aug-2019_San Juan-L Munoz Marin Intl Airport_Puerto Rico

Sat Aug 31, 2019 9:01 pm

LimaFoxTango wrote:
alasizon wrote:
Happens more often than you would think. Fuelers fail to watch the panel as well as they should or they overfill a tank and it vents.

Looks to me like probably about 25-30 gallons. Jet A spreads really quickly once it is on the ground.


I somehow doubt that's what happened here. In most if not all commercial aircraft, the refueller (or other designated personell) would set a fuel load (in kg or lbs) and the fueling stops automatically at that pre set amount. The system will not allow one to deliberately overfill the tanks. Expanded fuel will go into a surge tank and drain back into the main tank when cooled.

What happened here looks like a failure of one of the aforementioned systems and not a careless refueler.


You can refuel in manual mode on the Airbus - also most airplanes I ever fueled don't have preselect. It's been 6 or 7 years since I was a refueler, but it seemed to me I always fueled the Airbus in manual mode because the preselect mode was always so wonky. I can't remember what the issue with it was, but it seemed like it would always shut me off about 600-700 lbs under what I had selected. I always fueled airplanes up to about 400 lbs greater than what the airline ordered anyway. The pilots usually appreciate this because most fuelers would give them exactly what's on the card, and by the time the APU was running for 20 minutes while the ramp and boarding finished they'd be several hundred pounds under their fuel plan.
 
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millionsofmiles
Posts: 374
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Re: American Airlines A321 fuel leak_31-Aug-2019_San Juan-L Munoz Marin Intl Airport_Puerto Rico

Sun Sep 01, 2019 12:53 am

Slow news day, apparently. I guess Dorian hasn’t yet become a thing to most people.

How is this news? I’ve seen many fuel leaks on the ramp. The worst I ever saw was a fuel leak from a Braniff II 727-200 at the gate at LGA shortly after their startup in early 1984. Big deal.
 
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September11
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Re: American Airlines A321 fuel leak_31-Aug-2019_San Juan-L Munoz Marin Intl Airport_Puerto Rico

Sun Sep 01, 2019 2:20 am

Interesting incident
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OB1504
Posts: 3930
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Re: American Airlines A321 fuel leak_31-Aug-2019_San Juan-L Munoz Marin Intl Airport_Puerto Rico

Sun Sep 01, 2019 2:46 am

LimaFoxTango wrote:
alasizon wrote:
Happens more often than you would think. Fuelers fail to watch the panel as well as they should or they overfill a tank and it vents.

Looks to me like probably about 25-30 gallons. Jet A spreads really quickly once it is on the ground.


I somehow doubt that's what happened here. In most if not all commercial aircraft, the refueller (or other designated personell) would set a fuel load (in kg or lbs) and the fueling stops automatically at that pre set amount. The system will not allow one to deliberately overfill the tanks. Expanded fuel will go into a surge tank and drain back into the main tank when cooled.

What happened here looks like a failure of one of the aforementioned systems and not a careless refueler.


But when the surge tank is full, it ends up on the ground. It’s up to the fueler to monitor the panel to make sure the tanks aren’t exceeding their maximum capacity. The A320 series in particular seems to be prone to fuel spills if you’re not paying close attention.

That being said, a spill of this magnitude is almost certainly a major malfunction independent of the fueler’s actions. I once responded to a 737 fuel spill that was a similar torrent. Most spills tend to be only a few gallons.

jetmatt777 wrote:
You can refuel in manual mode on the Airbus - also most airplanes I ever fueled don't have preselect. It's been 6 or 7 years since I was a refueler, but it seemed to me I always fueled the Airbus in manual mode because the preselect mode was always so wonky. I can't remember what the issue with it was, but it seemed like it would always shut me off about 600-700 lbs under what I had selected. I always fueled airplanes up to about 400 lbs greater than what the airline ordered anyway. The pilots usually appreciate this because most fuelers would give them exactly what's on the card, and by the time the APU was running for 20 minutes while the ramp and boarding finished they'd be several hundred pounds under their fuel plan.


Nowadays most airlines are very insistent that their Airbus aircraft should only be fueled in manual mode. AA is taking it to the next level by installing a plastic cover over the individual valve switches so you can’t fuel in manual mode without unscrewing the whole thing off.

In my experience, the A320 series consistently shuts off within 100-200 pounds of the preselected amount. Some aircraft have the indicated quantity roll up by several hundred pounds once the flow stops. I really don’t trust those gauges while fuel is going in.
 
WayexTDI
Posts: 1706
Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2018 4:38 pm

Re: American Airlines A321 fuel leak_31-Aug-2019_San Juan-L Munoz Marin Intl Airport_Puerto Rico

Sun Sep 01, 2019 3:44 am

alasizon wrote:
Happens more often than you would think. Fuelers fail to watch the panel as well as they should or they overfill a tank and it vents.

Looks to me like probably about 25-30 gallons. Jet A spreads really quickly once it is on the ground.

Given the size of the "leak", it looks like the Overpressure Protector acting as designed; it's a carbon disk designed to burst above a certain pressure. Could the vents have become clogged, not allowing the air to escape, building up pressure inside the tanks until the disk burst.
 
jetmatt777
Posts: 4248
Joined: Sun Jun 26, 2005 2:16 am

Re: American Airlines A321 fuel leak_31-Aug-2019_San Juan-L Munoz Marin Intl Airport_Puerto Rico

Sun Sep 01, 2019 4:00 am

OB1504 wrote:
LimaFoxTango wrote:
alasizon wrote:
Happens more often than you would think. Fuelers fail to watch the panel as well as they should or they overfill a tank and it vents.

Looks to me like probably about 25-30 gallons. Jet A spreads really quickly once it is on the ground.


I somehow doubt that's what happened here. In most if not all commercial aircraft, the refueller (or other designated personell) would set a fuel load (in kg or lbs) and the fueling stops automatically at that pre set amount. The system will not allow one to deliberately overfill the tanks. Expanded fuel will go into a surge tank and drain back into the main tank when cooled.

What happened here looks like a failure of one of the aforementioned systems and not a careless refueler.


But when the surge tank is full, it ends up on the ground. It’s up to the fueler to monitor the panel to make sure the tanks aren’t exceeding their maximum capacity. The A320 series in particular seems to be prone to fuel spills if you’re not paying close attention.

That being said, a spill of this magnitude is almost certainly a major malfunction independent of the fueler’s actions. I once responded to a 737 fuel spill that was a similar torrent. Most spills tend to be only a few gallons.

jetmatt777 wrote:
You can refuel in manual mode on the Airbus - also most airplanes I ever fueled don't have preselect. It's been 6 or 7 years since I was a refueler, but it seemed to me I always fueled the Airbus in manual mode because the preselect mode was always so wonky. I can't remember what the issue with it was, but it seemed like it would always shut me off about 600-700 lbs under what I had selected. I always fueled airplanes up to about 400 lbs greater than what the airline ordered anyway. The pilots usually appreciate this because most fuelers would give them exactly what's on the card, and by the time the APU was running for 20 minutes while the ramp and boarding finished they'd be several hundred pounds under their fuel plan.


Nowadays most airlines are very insistent that their Airbus aircraft should only be fueled in manual mode. AA is taking it to the next level by installing a plastic cover over the individual valve switches so you can’t fuel in manual mode without unscrewing the whole thing off.

In my experience, the A320 series consistently shuts off within 100-200 pounds of the preselected amount. Some aircraft have the indicated quantity roll up by several hundred pounds once the flow stops. I really don’t trust those gauges while fuel is going in.


The Airbus certainly did have a tendency to roll. I loved fueling 737 NG’s. You’d stop the fuel and the gauge would only roll 20-60lbs at most. Very accurate. Same with the MD80.

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