Can you hear me now?

Kip Pratt, director at Berkeley County Airport (50J) at Moncks Corner, S.C., recently wrote to let me know that my article, “”Stay safe while fueling your plane”” in the March 24 issue, would be posted around the airport “”in hopes that my tenants who use auto fuel will take heed.””


Kip Pratt, director at Berkeley County Airport (50J) at Moncks Corner, S.C., recently wrote to let me know that my article, “”Stay safe while fueling your plane”” in the March 24 issue, would be posted around the airport “”in hopes that my tenants who use auto fuel will take heed.””

He also asked if I had any experience or information regarding the use of cell phones around fueling operations.

I have not heard of any problems with the new models. As I understand it, the new models are all solid state with no contacts. The concerns about phones came from the old models that did have contacts and could be a source of ignition. (If any reader has information on problems relating to cell phones, I would appreciate an email.)

While cell phones may not be a significant problem, many other electrical tools or appliances can cause problems. Most people realize that when fueling an aircraft at the pump, you need to have explosion-proof electrical equipment. However, most people forget about these concerns when draining tanks or other fuel system components in the shop. They also may not worry about them when refueling an aircraft in an enclosed hangar.

You must always remember that fuel vapor is heavier than air. Whenever you refuel an aircraft, some of the fuel will vaporize during the transfer process ? and the fuel added to the tank will force an equal volume of fuel vapor out of the tank. This vapor will settle to the floor and, if there is a spark source, things can happen quickly.

Refueling and defueling a plane should always be done in a well ventilated space and with the utmost caution.

WHERE TO BUY?

Responding to the same column, Gary Anderson of North Dakota, was wondering where he could buy a water separating funnel, which should be used whenever fuel is transferred from a fuel can to an aircraft.

The funnel that I use is from Mr. Funnel, model F8C-5GPM. For more information: MrFunnel.com or Mr. Funnel, Inc., 3119 SW 42nd Ave., Palm City, Fla., 34990.

If any readers know of another company that offers this type of funnel, please email me and I will pass the information on in an upcoming column.

Ben Visser is an aviation fuels and lubricants expert who spent 33 years with Shell Oil. He has been a private pilot since 1985. You can contact him at Visser@GeneralAviationNews.com

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