FAA Issues Fuel Contamination Warning
The FAA has issued a special notice, warning aircraft operators of a jet-A contamination problem that it believes stemmed from a Nebraska FBO. While the agency is still looking into the scope of the problem, it noted that effects have included blockages in fuel filters, nozzles and tanks. These have resulted in engine flameouts and other erratic performance issues. The FAA is advising all operators to closely follow fuel sampling protocols and report any discovery of contamination or erratic engine operation to their flight standards district office or nearest FAA facility.
According to the U.S. Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), two Air Force aircraft that refueled at Tac Air's FBO at Eppley Airfield in Omaha on November 18 were forced to make emergency landings after their departure. As a result DLA has suspended fueling of government aircraft there until further notice. A source familiar with the situation reported that a pair of Learjets also experienced difficulties after refueling there later in the month.
“TAC Air is currently investigating the situation surrounding jet fuel quality in Omaha with more results to come,” noted Tad Perryman, TAC Air’s vice president of marketing. “Jet fuel [without additive] was tested [to ASTM D1655 specifications] at both the distribution terminal and FBO trucks and has passed." He said TAC Air is cooperating with DLA in its further investigation into the situation and expects the DLA ban to be lifted as soon as the investigation concludes.
In a later statement, the FAA said it believes there is substantial evidence indicating the contamination is isolated to general aviation and military aircraft that uplifted fuel at Eppley between November 18 and 20. It is continuing to investigate and will provide further information via Notam.