vtdl
Topic Author
Posts: 74
Joined: Fri Jul 23, 2004 10:15 am

Wrong Fuel?

Tue Jul 11, 2006 3:53 pm

I was on a CA flight from SFO to PEK. The flight was delayed. The reason was (as told second-handed from a FA) that the plane was filled with the "wrong fuel". The would have to pump the fuel out and refill it with the "correct fuel".

So, do all commercial planes use the same type of fuel? If not, is it because of cost (cheaper)? Or because of type of planes (our was 747-400)? Would it be a problem like cars that you fill diesel engine with unleaded gas, for example.
 
PhilSquares
Posts: 3371
Joined: Sun Mar 28, 2004 6:06 pm

RE: Wrong Fuel?

Tue Jul 11, 2006 4:27 pm

Quoting Vtdl (Thread starter):
I was on a CA flight from SFO to PEK. The flight was delayed. The reason was (as told second-handed from a FA) that the plane was filled with the "wrong fuel". The would have to pump the fuel out and refill it with the "correct fuel".

If the tanks were filled with the "wrong fuel" the entire fuel system would be contaminated. If you're talking about the744 during the refueling process the system feeds into all the tanks, except the horizontal stabilizer, at the same time. No one could guess what the contamination levels were in the specific tanks. In this case, the aircraft wouldn't be going anywhere for quite a while.

Generally, all turbofan commercial airlines take the same fuel. Sounds as if the aircraft could have been overfilled (too heavy) or the fuel truck broke and a new one has to be secured.
Fly fast, live slow
 
Tristarsteve
Posts: 3601
Joined: Tue Nov 22, 2005 11:04 pm

RE: Wrong Fuel?

Tue Jul 11, 2006 4:54 pm

Quoting Vtdl (Thread starter):
So, do all commercial planes use the same type of fuel?

Basically yes. All turbine powered commercial aircraft use the same type of fuel, but, there are many types of fuel.
In Europe the standard fuel is Jet A-1. This is to spec DERD2494 and has a freezing point of -47degC.
In the USA the standard fuel is Jet A. to spec ASTMD1655-74. This has a freezing point of -40degC.
Also available is Jet B (or JP4) to DERD2486 with a freezing point of -60degC.
and then there is JP5 to DERD2498 with freeze point -48degC.
Plus military fuels JP6 AVCAT AVTAG etc which can be used in commercial aircraft with restrictions.
As you can see the freeze point varies. Not knowing SFO perhaps thet stock JetA-1 as well as JetA to cater for polar flights where the freeze point can be critical.
 
n8076u
Posts: 419
Joined: Mon Jun 19, 2006 10:52 am

RE: Wrong Fuel?

Tue Jul 11, 2006 5:45 pm

I worked at SFO, and I only remember ever seeing one in-ground fuel hookup point on each side of the gates at the international terminals, so there is no "wrong" hookup point for the fueller to mistakenly use. All of the access covers to the in-ground fuel supplies also clearly state "Jet-A" and I've never seen them state anything else, as do the main fuel shutoff locations.

It may just be like PhilSquares said, and they mistakenly overfilled the tanks, and that information was lost in translation between the fueler, who talked with the the Air China rep, who talked to the pilot, who talked to the flight attendant, who talked to you. Maybe what you should have been told is they put in the "wrong fuel load", and they need to take out fuel and put in the "correct fuel load".

This sounds like the most plausible answer to me.  Wink

So was that an all pax or combi Air China 747-400 you flew on?

Chris
Don't blame me, I don't work here...
 
kaddyuk
Posts: 3697
Joined: Thu Nov 08, 2001 1:04 am

RE: Wrong Fuel?

Wed Jul 12, 2006 12:42 am

Quoting N8076U (Reply 3):
that information was lost in translation between the fueler, who talked with the the Air China rep

Its surprising how easy information gets lossed in translation... Its like playing chinese whispers as a kid, something starts off as "We need to change a wheel" and becomes "The wheel has fallen off an a full leg change needs to be carried out" Haha!
Whoever said "laughter is the best medicine" never had Gonorrhea
 
GQfluffy
Posts: 3072
Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2005 1:25 pm

RE: Wrong Fuel?

Wed Jul 12, 2006 3:13 am

Quoting N8076U (Reply 3):
Maybe what you should have been told is they put in the "wrong fuel load", and they need to take out fuel and put in the "correct fuel load".

To the average passenger nowadays....they would have no idea about the differences between wrong fuel and wrong fuel load.... It was a quick and easy explanation for the F/A's to make, and a "more or less" truthful one at that...
This isn't where I parked my car...
 
n8076u
Posts: 419
Joined: Mon Jun 19, 2006 10:52 am

RE: Wrong Fuel?

Wed Jul 12, 2006 3:54 am

Quoting GQfluffy (Reply 5):
To the average passenger nowadays....they would have no idea about the differences between wrong fuel and wrong fuel load.... It was a quick and easy explanation for the F/A's to make, and a "more or less" truthful one at that...

True, the average passenger probably wouldn't know the difference or even care about hearing excuses for why the departure is late, and since the F/A probably didn't know the difference herself between a wrong fuel (jet-A vs jet-A1 or avgas) and a wrong fuel load (370,000lbs...oops, should be 350,000lbs on board), I wouldn't expect to hear a completely accurate statement.

But someone that does know the difference or an A.net member who would pay attention to little details may get worried by hearing the wrong thing, causing them undue stress, even if what they were told was "more or less accurate". "Vtdl" asked a question because what he heard confused him, and I tried to give him a plausible explanation as to what must have really happened.

Chris
Don't blame me, I don't work here...
 
jap
Posts: 2196
Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2005 7:25 am

RE: Wrong Fuel?

Wed Jul 12, 2006 5:14 am

I'm a big beliver that all the passengers NEED to know is "Technical Delay" not that there is a problem with the *insert component here*. The more you tell people the more worried they become... And passengers dont NEED to know untill they NEED to know... if you get what i mean...
Scandinavian chick with a scandinavian horse- oh yeah! :D
 
GQfluffy
Posts: 3072
Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2005 1:25 pm

RE: Wrong Fuel?

Wed Jul 12, 2006 5:26 am

Quoting Jap (Reply 7):
passengers dont NEED to know untill they NEED to know...

There are some that keep hounding you and hounding you to know EXACTLY what is wrong. So thats when I (if I'm working gate that day) give them too much information. Overload them, like.  Wink
This isn't where I parked my car...
 
vc10
Posts: 1412
Joined: Thu Nov 15, 2001 4:13 am

RE: Wrong Fuel?

Wed Jul 12, 2006 5:34 am

Surely at this point in time the crew are on boaard so just ask the Captain to make an announcement, after all if he is there it is his aircraft. If he declines then the best thing for other staff to do is say nothing

littlevc10
 
greasespot
Posts: 2965
Joined: Sat Apr 24, 2004 10:48 am

RE: Wrong Fuel?

Wed Jul 12, 2006 9:53 am

Plus it can take a few hours to de-fuel an aircraft as small as a B737.....Since the fuel needs to be put into bowsers.....And a b747 takes a lot of fuel this would be a multiple hour delay.....

Plus a jet engine can pretty much burn every kind of jet fuel on the planet fuel except avgas (even tht can be used in an emergency)

GS
Sometimes all you can do is look them in the eye and ask " how much did your mom drink when she was pregnant with you?"
 
n8076u
Posts: 419
Joined: Mon Jun 19, 2006 10:52 am

RE: Wrong Fuel?

Wed Jul 12, 2006 12:43 pm

Quoting Greasespot (Reply 10):
Plus a jet engine can pretty much burn every kind of jet fuel on the planet fuel except avgas (even tht can be used in an emergency)

True, very true. The four jet engines on the B-36 used the same avgas that the six radial engines did, but those engines were modified just a little.  Wink

Chris
Don't blame me, I don't work here...
 
User avatar
HAWK21M
Posts: 30050
Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2001 10:05 pm

RE: Wrong Fuel?

Wed Jul 12, 2006 1:47 pm

Quoting Vtdl (Thread starter):
The reason was (as told second-handed from a FA) that the plane was filled with the "wrong fuel". The would have to pump the fuel out and refill it with the "correct fuel".

Was it Correct Fuel or Correct Qty of fuel.
How long was the Delay.
Shouldn't Contamination with Wrong fuel necessate certain checks which would incur a long delay.
regds
MEL
I may not win often, but I damn well never lose!!! ;)
 
n8076u
Posts: 419
Joined: Mon Jun 19, 2006 10:52 am

RE: Wrong Fuel?

Wed Jul 12, 2006 1:56 pm

Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 12):
Shouldn't Contamination with Wrong fuel necessate certain checks which would incur a long delay.

Yes it would. The aircraft would be down for days.

But at SFO, since the fuel trucks uplift the fuel from underground supply pipes at connection points at the gates right up to the aircraft wing, this seems very improbable, as all the gates in the area would have the same problem. It is far more likely they just uplifted the wrong quantity.

Chris
Don't blame me, I don't work here...
 
vtdl
Topic Author
Posts: 74
Joined: Fri Jul 23, 2004 10:15 am

RE: Wrong Fuel?

Wed Jul 12, 2006 3:05 pm

Thanks everyone for the explanations. I think you guys are right. The fuel tanks must be "overfilled" and needed to unload the extra fuel. Like I said, it was second-handed info and probably lost-in-translation anyway. I didn't think about hounding the FA for an explanation unless you guys tell me there is a fuel contamination risk (well, for next time).

I can't say how knowledgeable the CA F/A are. I will have another question regarding 744 Air Conditioner on a separate topic thread which I don't really believe either.

BTW, all 5 CA flights were delayed by an hour, fuel overfilled or not

Van
 
User avatar
HAWK21M
Posts: 30050
Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2001 10:05 pm

RE: Wrong Fuel?

Wed Jul 12, 2006 3:56 pm

Quoting Vtdl (Reply 14):
The fuel tanks must be "overfilled" and needed to unload the extra fuel.

De-Fuelling is a Different Procedure & Out here requires the De-Fuelled Fuel to be Collected in a seperate Fuel Bowser,after necessary Checks for Contamination & water is carried out.This fuel when it reaches the Fuel Station warehouse is Thorourly rechecked as per the QC procedure of that Agency before it is Recirculated/Distributed to other Aircraft.

regds
MEL
I may not win often, but I damn well never lose!!! ;)
 
n8076u
Posts: 419
Joined: Mon Jun 19, 2006 10:52 am

RE: Wrong Fuel?

Wed Jul 12, 2006 4:25 pm

Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 15):
requires the De-Fuelled Fuel to be Collected in a seperate Fuel Bowser,

True, we had large fuel tankers used for that purpose, and the person offloading the fuel would be a fuel rated and trained mechanic, rather than the fueler that uploads fuel at the gates.

Chris
Don't blame me, I don't work here...
 
User avatar
HAWK21M
Posts: 30050
Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2001 10:05 pm

RE: Wrong Fuel?

Wed Jul 12, 2006 5:01 pm

Quoting N8076U (Reply 16):
True, we had large fuel tankers used for that purpose, and the person offloading the fuel would be a fuel rated and trained mechanic, rather than the fueler that uploads fuel at the gates.

Also As in Refuelling,De-Fuelling operations has some Paperwork Involved between the Fuelling Agency & the Mx personnell in charge on that Aircraft.
regds
MEL
I may not win often, but I damn well never lose!!! ;)
 
n8076u
Posts: 419
Joined: Mon Jun 19, 2006 10:52 am

RE: Wrong Fuel?

Wed Jul 12, 2006 5:33 pm

Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 17):
Also As in Refuelling,De-Fuelling operations has some Paperwork Involved between the Fuelling Agency & the Mx personnell in charge on that Aircraft.

Normally, the fueler uplifts the fuel, and gives the paperwork to the pilots and the airline representative. Mx isn't involved in that at all.

This scenario is if the aircraft is an Air China aircraft, with ASI as the fuelling company, and UA is the Mx taking care of the aircraft at the gate, responsible for maintenance activities, receipt and pushback. As soon as there is a problem, and fuel offload is involved, the fueler is out of the picture. A write-up is made for the problem in the logbook, and the UA Mx fuel-qualified personnel take over. That paperwork and the bill goes from the UA maintenance supervisor to the Air China representative, and then the Air China representative needs to deal with the fueler's company seperately.

If this were a UA aircraft with UA Mx, then no paperwork for the mechanics other than the write-ups, big paperwork regarding billing is handled by the supervisor, UA sends a bill to the fueling company when all is done.

These contract flights were always a pain in the a$$, as you're always dealing with a middleman, the airline rep, and he usually had to call his home office to get the okay for things, so it was all a big hassle when something went wrong.

Chris
Don't blame me, I don't work here...
 
User avatar
HAWK21M
Posts: 30050
Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2001 10:05 pm

RE: Wrong Fuel?

Wed Jul 12, 2006 6:01 pm

Quoting N8076U (Reply 18):
Normally, the fueler uplifts the fuel, and gives the paperwork to the pilots and the airline representative. Mx isn't involved in that at all

Out here.Mx does the Refuelling & Defuelling.The Pilots are no Involved unless it a Diversion Flight due Adverse Weather and theres no Mx personnell around.

The Refueller personnell only hooks up & Disconnects the Fuel hose & Issues the Receipt.

regds
MEL
I may not win often, but I damn well never lose!!! ;)
 
Tristarsteve
Posts: 3601
Joined: Tue Nov 22, 2005 11:04 pm

RE: Wrong Fuel?

Thu Jul 13, 2006 2:38 am

Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 19):
Out here.Mx does the Refuelling & Defuelling.The Pilots are no Involved unless it a Diversion Flight due Adverse Weather and theres no Mx personnell around.

In Europe I would say that about 95% of refuelling is done by the refuellers with no Maint involvement. If you go back about 10 years it was the other way round, but as mechanics cost more than refuellers then it is cheaper to get the refuellers to fuel the planes. We only get involved is there is a MEL item that means that autorefuel does not work.
 
n8076u
Posts: 419
Joined: Mon Jun 19, 2006 10:52 am

RE: Wrong Fuel?

Thu Jul 13, 2006 4:39 am

Quoting TristarSteve (Reply 20):
In Europe I would say that about 95% of refuelling is done by the refuellers with no Maint involvement.

Is the refuelling normally done by an outside company, or do airlines have their own people for quality-control reasons?

I can't say how it is now, but at least a couple years ago when I still worked there at SFO, UA had their own fuelers. They were specially trained ramp service personnel (ramp service loads/unloads the aircraft and deal with baggage and cargo). But, an outside company had a contract with the airport. So at the UA terminal, UA fueled their own aircraft. Every other airline used the outside company to fuel their aircraft. At the international terminal, though, due to the contract's stipulations, the outside company fueled all aircraft, including UA's aircraft. But any fueling for maintenance reasons, and a mechanic was involved, and depending on what the problem is, may even take over rather than just oversee. For defueling a UA aircraft or another airline that UA had a maintenance contract with, maintenance had to do it.

Because we had a large maintenance base there, we also had fuel mechanics, and that's all they did. Any tank entry or other big jobs would be done by them at the maintenance base.

Chris
Don't blame me, I don't work here...
 
User avatar
fr8mech
Posts: 7790
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2005 9:00 am

RE: Wrong Fuel?

Thu Jul 13, 2006 9:28 am

Quoting Greasespot (Reply 10):
Plus it can take a few hours to de-fuel an aircraft as small as a B737.....Since the fuel needs to be put into bowsers.....And a b747 takes a lot of fuel this would be a multiple hour delay.....

You're kidding, right? Defuel into a bowser. We sump into bowsers, we defuel into empty fuel trucks. Then we pump that fuel right into another aircraft. No contamination checks, no nothing.

The fuel is considered contaminated when it exits the aircraft/truck loop. As long as the fuel is in the truck, the aircraft or the hoses, it is good fuel.
When seconds count...the police are minutes away.
Unless it's expressly prohibited, it's allowed.
You are not entitled to a public safe space.
Ego Bibere Capulus, Ut Aliis Sit Vivere
 
greasespot
Posts: 2965
Joined: Sat Apr 24, 2004 10:48 am

RE: Wrong Fuel?

Thu Jul 13, 2006 12:01 pm

Quoting Fr8Mech (Reply 22):
You're kidding, right? Defuel into a bowser. We sump into bowsers, we defuel into empty fuel trucks. Then we pump that fuel right into another aircraft. No contamination checks, no nothing.

Nope we do not...Once an airplane is de-fueled we do not use it in another airplane..Company policy (except on c-check then it goes back into the same airplane...... If the de-fuel takes place at one of our arctic bases it is used as heating oil....

GS
Sometimes all you can do is look them in the eye and ask " how much did your mom drink when she was pregnant with you?"
 
VC-10
Posts: 3552
Joined: Tue Oct 26, 1999 11:34 am

RE: Wrong Fuel?

Thu Jul 13, 2006 5:11 pm

Quoting Fr8Mech (Reply 22):
You're kidding, right? Defuel into a bowser. We sump into bowsers, we defuel into empty fuel trucks. Then we pump that fuel right into another aircraft. No contamination checks, no nothing.

A bowser is a fuel truck. I don't know where the term originates but I do know the RAF used since way back before WW2.

In the UK the policy concerning defuelled fuel is you can put straight back on an a/c of the same operator without carrying out checks, other wise the fuel is downgraded to fuel oil
 
User avatar
HAWK21M
Posts: 30050
Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2001 10:05 pm

RE: Wrong Fuel?

Thu Jul 13, 2006 7:01 pm

Quoting Fr8Mech (Reply 22):
You're kidding, right? Defuel into a bowser. We sump into bowsers, we defuel into empty fuel trucks. Then we pump that fuel right into another aircraft. No contamination checks, no nothing.

Irrespective if the Operator is the Same.Out here.De-Fuelled fuel into a Bowser is not reused unless specific checks as stated above are carried out.
regds
MEL
I may not win often, but I damn well never lose!!! ;)

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: FredrikHAD, N47, Tjoeker and 41 guests

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos