Have you learned the proper technique for fueling your airplane? Some student pilots develop this important skill during their first flight lessons, while others may fly from facilities where refueling is handled by others—and have to figure it out on their own at an unfamiliar airport.
Most important is filling the aircraft with the correct fuel. Almost all piston-engine aircraft use 100-octane, low-lead (100LL) aviation gasoline. Turbine-powered aircraft use a kerosene-like fuel; Jet-A is most common. Fuel trucks and self-serve fuel facilities should be marked clearly with bright red 100LL or Jet-A placards.
Fueling a piston aircraft with jet fuel usually results in a complete loss of engine power. While fuel nozzles and aircraft fuel-tank fillers are designed to prevent misfueling, the possibility is always there because of nozzle modifications or the use of nonstandard nozzles. And the fact that some piston aircraft engines can be replaced with turbine engines can cause confusion among line personnel.
Before refueling, look at the fuel gauges and estimate how many gallons of fuel will be required. This will help to assure that you leave with the desired amount of fuel on board. And it’s always a good idea to compare the amount of fuel you used on a flight with the fuel requirement you calculated, to validate the aircraft’s actual fuel consumption.