A lot of repetitive incidents have occurred in our Nepalese aviation, can they not be a result of fuel contamination??

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Barrels to transport and store the ATF

A lot of repetitive incidents have occurred in our Nepalese aviation, can they not be a result of fuel contamination??

Kathmandu – 24 October 2016

The vision of Nepal Government towards the management and enhancement of Aviation industry is very futile. We have seen lot of examples around us that continuously invoke this fact. The attempts of government are very pathetic and no individual people have been impressed with those. The repetitive unpredictable crashes have shown how safe the sky of Nepal is. The aviation industry has been proved to be the safest way of travel worldwide but the aviation travel of Nepal has got a name of the ‘most unsafe way of transportation’ ridiculously.

The imagination of traveling through air only, provides a rush of nervousness among the people of Nepal and it is not uncommon to see that people always want to stay far from this medium of transportation. An aircraft never is old, if aircraft undergoes with necessary replacement of serviceable items within required time interval along with required approved documents from local authority.

 barrels to transport and store the ATF
Barrels to transport and store the ATF

The incidents have been occurring in a repetitive way in Nepal Aviation. There might not be any maintenance crew or flight crew who are untrained about Human Factor. The aviation experts report that their small mistakes are contributing for a big fatal disaster consequently in aviation. But still the government seems to be unaware towards the big issues that it has to overcome in the current aviation world for enhancement of aviation standard and aviation safety of Nepal.

An exclusive example can be seen from the Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) that all the airlines have been using and the system associated with the storage of this ATF. The faulty system of ATF storage may invite severe cases of fuel contamination issues. The ATF contamination related to poor ATF storage system can result a very adverse consequence, which everybody has to know now. The ATF contamination issue is not negligible but it is in face a massive issue in safety of aviation industry that has not been discussed yet in our country.

Crash resulted from fuel contamination

  1. Cathay Pacific Flight 780

Cathay Pacific flight 780, that took off from Surabaya International Airport, Indonesia to Hong Kong International Airport, Hong Kong landed emergency in Hong Kong. All the 309 passengers on board the aircraft were landed safe with the effort of Australian Captain Maleoling Water and First Officer David Hayhoe after the engine failure. The cause of the engine failure in flight the Cathay Pacific flight that day was Fuel Contamination that was found on investigation later.

  1. Crystal Air and Aviation

Canadian CL-600-2B16 Challenger 601-317, suffered a dual engine flame out at flight level 370 and flight level 410 in the vicinity of Bassett, Nebraska. The aircraft made a force landing in an unidentified airfield. Although there were no passengers in the aircraft the crew of two pilots suffered serious injuries. The National Transport Safety board (NTSB) investigated the incident and found out the samples of contaminated fuel directly from the fuel collector of right and left wing fuel tanks. The fuel contamination was the ultimate cause of the engine flame out that flight.

A lot of repetitive incidents have occurred in our Nepalese aviation, can they not be a result of fuel contamination?? The issue that has never been discussed for safety of aviation.

Besides the rough handling and fuel adulteration one of the other major cause of fuel contamination is Microbiological organism.

Microbiological Growth (as per ICAO, DOC 9977 AN/489)

A various kind of microbiological species, microbes can result contamination of aviation fuels, fuel storage systems, fuel handling equipment and even aircraft fuel tanks. These microbes can spoil the fuel quality and cause a severe damage to the equipment and create blockage in the fuel filters and fuel lines of aircraft.

1 2 contaminated-fuel-filter-1

As per the source, the airliner operators of Nepal also are very carelessly storing the aviation fuel going beyond the aviation standards. The rough handling of the operators can lead into a serious fuel contamination or adulteration very easily. Because all the domestic airports in Nepal are not equipped with proper refueling system, the airliners use jerry cans and barrels to transport and store the fuel, is it safe to use such system of fuel storage, which probably has not been authorized by the regulating bodies of Nepal. This ill managed system of fuel storage can seriously contribute in the microbiological growth and fuel contamination, which possibly can be cause of repetitive engine failures in the Nepalese sky towards which the concerned authorities have not focused on.

Barrel of ATF
Barrel of ATF

The authorities of CAAN knowingly also ignores this prime fact. The CAAN authorities who frequently visit TIA have not diverted their attention towards this system. What an ordinary person can see is that the fuel which enters from out station to TIA is stored for a long period in the unapproved storage barrels like jerry cans and is refueled in the tanks of aircraft again. Is this the safe operation of fuel system in Nepal? How can a person be confident to fly in a Nepalese operator aircraft if the issues are ignored straight?

 jerry cans to carry ATF
Jerry cans to carry ATF

As per the source, The ground staffs of some airline operators have not been provided any training related to the proper fuel handling, proper fuel storage and overall fuel safety. When these people have no awareness about the fuel safety the whole system will suffer. They just know that the fuel storage tanks must be clean, but only the cleanliness is not enough to make storage of aviation fuel in unstandardized way which they are unaware about.


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