Diesel Contaminated Aviation Fuel

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Sarahj
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Diesel Contaminated Aviation Fuel

Postby Sarahj » Thu Apr 13, 2017 8:41 pm

I have learned some hard lessons this week about contaminated 100LL fuel. I am not sure what the damage to my engine is yet but figured I would pass on what I have learned. Apparently a fuel tanker delivered 500 gallons of diesel and mistakenly dropped it into the 100LL avgas tank instead of the diesel tank. Just my luck the next day myself and a few others bought avgas from that very station. I ran roughly 25 gallons of the diesel avgas mix through my freshly rebuilt engine before I noticed. A simple test can be done when getting fuel to check for contamination. "The Paper Towel Test" By simply putting avgas on a paper towel and letting it dry will tell you if any contamination is present. Avgas or 100LL will dry out quickly leaving no trace or residue. If the avgas is contaminated with diesel or Jet A it will leave a spot or ring on the paper towel telling you not to use the fuel its contaminated. Buying fuel at an airport is much safer than buying from a gas station. No location be it on or off airport is 100% safe. A similar event happened at an airport in California this past week. Jet A was dropped into a 100LL tank. Luckily it was discovered and nobody was hurt or killed. The paper towel test is a simple and quick test that can save a great deal of time and heart ache. Over the next few weeks I will update this post and let everyone know how it turns out.

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Re: Diesel Contaminated Aviation Fuel

Postby Lwells » Thu Apr 13, 2017 9:25 pm

Diesel fuel shouldn't have hurt your engine. Diesel is very lubricating and with the mixture of 100ll should have smoked some while running but should not hurt anything. Your engine got a good lubrication and once the diesel is all out of the tank then it should go back to burning clean again and you should see the exhaust pipes gray back up instead of being slightly black inside. The wrong mixture of gas in a diesel engine will destroy a diesel but it has to be almost pure gas for I had five diesel trucks on a job site that the fuel delivery guy mistakenly put gas in all five diesels but they were half full of diesel at the time so it did no damage but they ran like they were on steroids. LoL We run automatic transmission fluid in our fuel on our diesels which cleans the internal parts and makes them run better. Oil or diesel in gas vehicles, no problem but gas in diesels at the right mixture can be damaging. Hope this makes you feel better.

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Rick McC.
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Re: Diesel Contaminated Aviation Fuel

Postby Rick McC. » Thu Apr 13, 2017 11:05 pm

:thumbleft:
"Sights are for the unenlightened."
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Sarahj
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Re: Diesel Contaminated Aviation Fuel

Postby Sarahj » Thu Apr 13, 2017 11:36 pm

The problem with running a diesel mixed fuel in an aircraft engine is detonation and excessive heat. Diesel lacks octane as well as the lead that is required to cool the engine. Depending on the mix and the power setting it can be a death sentence for an aircraft engine. Total engine failures can happen within minutes while some cause long term damage and shorten the engines lifespan. If the engine oil temp gets hot enough it can burn the carbon off the tops of the cylinder heads and the valves. Excessive heat can warp the rings and valves causing damage to the cylinder walls. The valves can become tuliped causing compression and power loss. In an aircraft that suffers contamination the engine is completely overhauled before its returned to service. On an airboat its not life or death just money. Hopefully the damage is minimal or none at all.
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Re: Diesel Contaminated Aviation Fuel

Postby boatair » Fri Apr 14, 2017 6:14 am

Are you going to tear the engine down or just keep running and see what happens?

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Re: Diesel Contaminated Aviation Fuel

Postby kwanjangnihm » Fri Apr 14, 2017 6:18 am

Sarahj can you share the location of this contaminated fuel source?
Thanks for sharing and hopefully your engine has no damage. :thumbleft:
" I don't care who you are back in the world, you give away our position one more time, I'll bleed ya, real quiet. Leave ya here. Got that? "

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Re: Diesel Contaminated Aviation Fuel

Postby Hambone79 » Fri Apr 14, 2017 11:54 am

I know this happened a while back at jimmy's off 60 but the pumps were shut down. not sure if any of that fuel made it into boats.

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Sarahj
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Re: Diesel Contaminated Aviation Fuel

Postby Sarahj » Fri Apr 14, 2017 6:48 pm

kwanjangnihm wrote:Sarahj can you share the location of this contaminated fuel source?
Thanks for sharing and hopefully your engine has no damage. :thumbleft:


The Miccosukee gas station on 41 was the location. I really did not want to mention them because so far they are doing everything they can to make it right. The fuel company's driver is really the one to blame in all this. Their tanks are clearly marked so he has no excuse :slap:. Even if he no hablo the engrish the signs are in spanish as well. I am sure he is having a real hard time explaining what went wrong. As far as the station goes their tanks are clean and back online.
Last edited by Sarahj on Fri Apr 14, 2017 7:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Sarahj
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Re: Diesel Contaminated Aviation Fuel

Postby Sarahj » Fri Apr 14, 2017 6:54 pm

boatair wrote:Are you going to tear the engine down or just keep running and see what happens?


So far everything has checked out with no damage so I will keep running it. Changed the oil, the plugs, and flushed the fuel system. The borescope showed no signs of damage so I am going to keep running it. I think we lucked out with the mix. It was 500 gallons of diesel mixed with 2000 gallons of 100LL. If it was 50/50 things would have not turned out so good.
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Re: Diesel Contaminated Aviation Fuel

Postby Lwells » Fri Apr 14, 2017 9:44 pm

sarahj: you will find that if you file a claim for damage with the fuel bulk plant that delivered the fuel their insurance company will settle with you due to the possibility of damage that isn't showing at this time. When the distributor delivered gas in my diesels they settled for a substantial amount due to the choice we gave them, either pay to have all five of my diesels down and overhaul them due to them running on gas in the fuel or settle with us on a lesser amount and we would absorb the risk factor should one or more of the engines go down. They settled and never batted an eye for they felt they got off easy. Their insurance paid all so they were out nothing but the station isn't the problem, the distributor is who you need to deal with and I think you will find them very happy to work with you for otherwise all you have to do is say you have no way of saying for sure that your engine will survive this so tell them they have a choice , if you decide to go this route, tell them you want your engine rebuilt or pay you a reasonable settlement and you will take a chance. But whatever you decide you will find the distributor will go out of his way to work with you for they don't want this in the news or all over the internet. If you don't want to take a chance you will find that they will overhaul your engine. All you need is a fuel ticket or proof you pumped it should they want proof. Hope this helps forBEEN THERE DONE THAT.

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Sarahj
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Re: Diesel Contaminated Aviation Fuel

Postby Sarahj » Sat Apr 15, 2017 5:40 am

Lwells: Thanks for the info. So far the fuel company has been working with everyone who bought fuel. They seem willing to pay for fuel system cleaning, oil changes, and spark pug replacements. Around $500 is what they offered but that is not even close to what a total cylinder rebuild would cost. Not sure how far to take it but thanks for the info.
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Re: Diesel Contaminated Aviation Fuel

Postby SWAMPHUNTER45 » Sat Apr 15, 2017 7:12 am

Not a bad idea to save a jar full of the contaminated fuel either!

It is the evidence of wrong doing.

You will also want to preserve any communications that admit or acknowledge blame should they change position at a later date.

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Re: Diesel Contaminated Aviation Fuel

Postby fishonhenson » Sun Apr 16, 2017 6:16 pm

email all contact, no phone calls

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Re: Diesel Contaminated Aviation Fuel

Postby Moritz » Tue Apr 18, 2017 10:07 pm

The way I was taught to check the fuel when I learned to fly was to put some one you finger . Smell
it for diesel.
Then rub you fingers together if it feels greasy then you have diesel or jet A

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Re: Diesel Contaminated Aviation Fuel

Postby Lwells » Tue Apr 18, 2017 10:11 pm

Don't be afraid to threaten them with an attorney if they don't want to cooperate for as I said before diesel will lube more than damage under most circumstances but again, you never are for sure. I don't know how long you ran it but if it was ran awhile or was started with the diesel in it that is grounds enough for them to pay for a rebuild. Other thing you might ask them is if they will only pay $500 for changing the oil and cleaning then would they sign a contract stating that there man contaminated the aircraft fuel you bought and that should your engine go down at a later date that they would pay for the overhaul. Usually, oil companys never question this, they pay you to rebuild the engine and you take it and get it done or you pocket the money and wait to see what happens and you have the money should it be needed. That's why they have insurance. You might also ask them if they will guarantee you there is no damage to your engine after starting it with the contaminated fuel. Their trying to buy their way out of this cheaply and walk away and I bet they want you to sign something if you take the $500. I would remind them that your not fooling with a car engine , you have a very, very expensive aircraft engine and that you didn't possibly damage it , THEY DID. But, again, ask the insurance people, or the oil distributor if any of them is willing to sign something stating that they guarantee there is no damage to your engine. I'm betting none of them will. I'm very surprised they are going this route with you but you have them by the b_lls and they know it but are trying to chisel their way out of it. Hell, that's why they pay for insurance so its no skin off their butts. Hang in there, you have all the aces and their the ones trying to bluff. It doesn't really matter whether your engine was damaged from this or not, they contaminated the fuel that you purchased and put in your fuel tank and run your engine with it, that is enough, their guilty of this and there is no guarantees your engine will survive it and that's the bottom line. Oh ya, and if they still just want to give you $500 and walk away then tell them your getting a lawyer for until your engine is taken apart to see if there could be damage that you will always have in the back of your mind that you might go out one day it it quit on you and leave you stranded. I don't know you from Adam but I hate to see folks put in your position and tried to make believe you don't have a choice. Good luck on this and PM me anytime you have a question and need help for I've been in many battles similar to this and you can't win if you don't stand your ground when you right. But, If you never started that engine with that fuel mixture and ran it long enough to pull contaminated fuel into the engine then best thing you can do is take the $500 and walk away with a smile on your face.LOL Good Luck

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Re: Diesel Contaminated Aviation Fuel

Postby Moritz » Wed Apr 19, 2017 3:22 pm

Do u know what compression ratio you have

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Sarahj
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Re: Diesel Contaminated Aviation Fuel

Postby Sarahj » Wed Apr 19, 2017 10:27 pm

Moritz wrote:Do u know what compression ratio you have

High compression but not sure of the exact numbers
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Sarahj
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Re: Diesel Contaminated Aviation Fuel

Postby Sarahj » Wed Apr 19, 2017 10:30 pm

Moritz wrote:The way I was taught to check the fuel when I learned to fly was to put some one you finger . Smell
it for diesel.
Then rub you fingers together if it feels greasy then you have diesel or jet A



That is a great method and its exactly how the contamination was first discovered. Avgas will also turn any cracks on your hands white.
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Sarahj
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Re: Diesel Contaminated Aviation Fuel

Postby Sarahj » Wed Apr 19, 2017 10:40 pm

Lwells: The engine checks out fine and runs just as it did before. I am going to keep things fair. Oil change, spark plugs, and fuel replacement. I am happy with how they are handling the situation so at the end of the day all is well. After talking to my aircraft mechanic it seems like a rebuild is not needed. I will have to trial the boat this weekend in 3A to make sure everything is ok. It could take several days. :toothy7:
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kwanjangnihm
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Re: Diesel Contaminated Aviation Fuel

Postby kwanjangnihm » Thu Apr 20, 2017 10:20 am

Will diesel affect rubber, seals, o-rings or gaskets differently than 100LL? :scratch:
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Re: Diesel Contaminated Aviation Fuel

Postby John Fenner » Thu Apr 20, 2017 12:43 pm

kwanjangnihm wrote:Will diesel affect rubber, seals, o-rings or gaskets differently than 100LL? :scratch:

Not at all, diesel is a light weight oil in essence, the engine just had a nice top oil run through it, no harm done at all.
I never finish anyth,,,.


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