Aircraft Certification Service
800 Independence Ave., S.W.
Washington, DC 20591
Published by: FAA, AFS-610, P.O. Box 26460, Oklahoma City, OK 73125
This is issued for informational purposes only, and any recommendation for corrective action is not mandatory.
The FAA has been alerted by Texaco Corporation, Exxon Corporation, and Phillips Petroleum that aviation gasoline (avgas) delivered to fixed-base operators (FBOs) from the Pennsauken, New Jersey, terminal after September 9, 1998, and from the Providence, Rhode Island, terminal between October 29 and November 25, 1998, was not in compliance with the applicable specification (ASTM D910). The subject avgas was delivered to FBOs in the New England and Eastern regions of the United States. Recommendations relating to the use of this avgas and to the dispositioning of the avgas stocks at the affected airports are contained in this special airworthiness information bulletin (SAIB).
In late November, samples of the subject avgas failed the copper strip corrosion test performed in accordance with the ASTM D130 test procedure. This test indicates the propensity of a fuel to tarnish or corrode copper or its alloys. The results of the D130 test indicated that the subject avgas produced a moderate to dark tarnish on the copper strip, as compared to the slight tarnish result that is required to pass the test. The subject avgas did not, however, produce the more severe condition of corrosion. The copper strip test is only one of a battery of tests to which the avgas was subjected, and in all other tests the avgas met ASTM D910 specification requirements.
The risk of engine or fuel system malfunction due to tarnishing or corrosion of aircraft parts exposed to a particular fuel is directly related to the corrosiveness of the fuel and the duration of exposure to the fuel. In this case, the worst-case exposure was limited to a two-month time period, and the subject avgas has only exhibited the potential for moderate to dark tarnish, but not corrosion. Therefore, evidence does not exist that a safety hazard exists with aircraft that have been serviced and operated with this fuel, and the following recommendations are provided only to ensure compliance with FAA regulations.
Aircraft owners and operators are advised that operation of certificated aircraft with a fuel that is not compliant with the fuel specification defined in the aircraft and engine design and service data is a violation of FAA regulations.
The following recommendations are applicable to aircraft that were serviced with the subject avgas:
1. Any of the subject avgas still remaining in the aircraft fuel system should be drained and replaced with avgas that is compliant with ASTM Specification D910.
2. After servicing with the new, compliant avgas, the engine should be operated for a sufficient period of time to ensure normal operating temperatures are achieved.
3. It is strongly recommended that aircraft not be stored without complying with steps 1 and 2 above, or for any period of time with the subject avgas remaining in the fuel system.
The following is recommended for the FBOs that the subject avgas was delivered to:
All avgas residing at the airport facility in storage tanks or mobile refuelers should be confirmed to be compliant with ASTM Specification D910. The fuel company that supplied the subject avgas should be consulted to determine the appropriate actions necessary to accomplish this.
For further information, contact:
Federal Aviation Administration, Mark Rumizen, ANE-110, 12 New England Executive Park, Burlington, MA 01803; 781/238-7113; fax 781/238-7199; e-mail [email protected].
December 11, 1998