In the Dec. 15, 2006, issue in the Accident Reports the headline reads “Contaminated fuel contributes to crash that kills two.” After reading the full narrative of the probable cause I found no reference in the report to suggest that “fuel contamination” was the cause for the tragedy. Your report also stated “there was speculation that the engine had quit in flight because of contaminated fuel.” Who was this speculation from? Except for the pilot’s son’s statement, there is no “speculation” in any part of the report, except your article.
“The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows: The loss of engine power for undetermined reasons.”
FBOs and all branded fuel suppliers take great pride in the checks and balances and quality control they have in effect to deliver “clean and dry fuel” to their customers every time they fuel an aircraft. Fuel farms and trucks are checked on a daily basis and safeguards, especially against water contamination, have been installed to disable pumps before this contamination can reach the aircraft. Proper sumping of the aircraft before each flight will also ensure the elimination of any type of fuel contamination.
I enjoy the educational aspects of your Accident Reports section of your paper, but feel that only the facts should be included, not opinion.
Eastern Aviation Fuels
Editor’s Note: We agree. The headline should have read “Contaminated fuel may have contributed to crash.”