FAA Issues SAFO on Jet Fuel Contamination

 - November 20, 2018, 10:56 AM

A new FAA Safety Alert for Operators warns operators of continuing instances of aircraft being refueled with jet fuel contaminated with diesel exhaust fluid (DEF). SAFO 18015 reiterates the information included in Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin (SAIB) HQ-18-08 that the agency issued in December 2017 after several instances of such contamination had occurred. 

Between August 12 and August 16 of this year, five aircraft were identified as being serviced with jet fuel containing DEF at Miami-Opa Locka Executive Airport (OPF). Also during that period, nine other aircraft were identified as being serviced using refueling equipment at OPF that had been exposed to DEF. Investigation revealed that DEF was inadvertently used instead of a fuel system icing inhibitor (FSII) on a refueling truck. 

That followed contamination that occurred between November 18 and November 21, 2017. Then seven aircraft were serviced with jet fuel containing DEF at Eppley Air Field Airport (OMA) in Omaha, Nebraska. During the same time period, an additional six aircraft were serviced using refueling equipment that had been exposed to DEF. Similarly, DEF was inadvertently used instead of FSII on two aircraft refueling trucks at OMA.

Although the FAA says a potential safety issue exists and that these incidents are “not isolated events, at this time the concern is not considered an unsafe condition that warrants an airworthiness directive.”