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EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) has made Fuel Tank Safety Training mandatory for Part 145

Organization. Every maintenance personnel should do it . This course includes an examination at the end as required by EASA regulation. Course is divided into History (Reason), Legislation and System Understanding.

The Phase-1 (Awareness Training) is designed for persons representing the maintenance management structure, quality managers and the staff required to monitor the quality. The Phase-2 (Detailed Training) meets the requirements for personnel involved in review of the continuing airworthiness of aircraft and personnel required to plan, perform, supervise, inspect and certify the maintenance of aircraft and fuel system components.

Since 1959 there have been 17 fuel tank ignition accidents/incidents resulting in: 542 fatalities 11 hull loses 3 other substantial damage


4 caused by External Wing Fires 4 Electrostatics 2 Lightning Strike 2 Pumps and Wiring suspected 1 by Small Bomb 1 Maintenance Action 3 Unknown

YEAR May 1990

EVENTS Philippines Airline 737, CWT exploded after pushback on May 11, 1990. CWT was not filled since March 1990. AC packs had been running on the ground before pushback (for approx 30 to 45 minutes) and ambient temperature was 35C TWA 800, B747-131 CWT exploded in mid air Killing all persons on board resulting in 230 fatalities. 25 years old aircraft. Arriving at JFK airport at 4:30 pm from Greece Standing at airport for 4 hours (approx) with AC packs working before departure to Paris at 8:19 pm and outside temperature was 28C. Plane exploded 20 minutes later while climbing at 13,760 ft. FAA formed two Committees ARAC-I & II ARAC-I Study Flammability Reduction (Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee) ARAC-II Study Flammability Reduction System.

July 1996


DOT assigned case to NTSB but they could not find any source of Ignition.

May 1997-July 1998

NTSB examined 43 jets of ages up to 27.5 Yrs. Their finding revealed Sharp Metal shavings and a layer of a sticky substance termed Syrup both on and between wires in bundles as a probable ignition source, and also formation of Copper Sulphate on the terminals of FQIS wires inside the fuel tank, as a source of localized heat which may cause Auto Ignition of fuel vapors.

July 1998

ARAC-I Final Report predicted gloomily that flammable vapors in CWT could be expected to explode at an average rate of about once every 4.5 years (54 months). For Ignition Prevention, ARAC recommended following steps (i) FQI wires segregation (ii) Specific Bonding resistance (iii) Fuel pump friction must be minimum (iv) Tank unit (Fuel probe) Gap should be proper


FAA issued FAR25 which give guidance to the aircraft manufacturer/designers and set standards for the issue of type certificate, for transport category airplanes.



March 2001 CWT of Thai Airways B-737 exploded at Bangkok followed 18 minutes later by an explosion in right wing tank. Residual fuel was in CWT AC packs had been running since last flight Aircraft was about 40 minutes on ground Ambient temperature was about 90 F (32 C ) It was 17th accident related with fuel It was right on time as predicted by ARAC-I final report after TWA accident. (56 months)

May 2001

After whole study, FAA issued SFAR-88 with the philosophy of Ignition Source Prevention & Flammability Reduction. Applicable on all Civil transport aircrafts with Pax capacity of 30 or more or having Pay Load capacity of greater than 7500 pounds. Requirement for all TC and STC holders to conduct a one time Safety Review of all Fuel System components to ensure that their design meets the new standards and requirements. Requirement for Operators to prepare Special Maintenance Inspection for continued Safety and Airworthiness of the Fuel System. FAR 25 Now tells aircraft designer how to design future aircraft to avoid fuel tank explosions.

b/w 20012003

JAA issued TGL-47 . Additional guidelines for achieving Harmonized approach within the JAA community & FAA. Identified the phenomenon that can result ignition of the fuel vapors inside the fuel tank viz. 1- Electrical Arcs 2-Friction Sparks 3- Hot Surface Ignition. JAA issued INT/POL/25/12 for continued Fuel tank safety. EASA formed in 2003.


Left Wing Tank of Malaysian Registered B-727 (Transmile Airline) exploded on ground during towing In Bangalore, India NTSB found that regardless of the following up all the AD of FAA, the wire arcing within the fuel tank caused explosion. NTSB recommended the flammability reduction. Flammability reduction methods are Foam filled tank, Tank membrane and Nitrogen Inerting System.


2009/006/R AMC for Part M 2009/007/R AMC for Part 145 2009/008/R AMC for Part 66.
EASA made Mandatory Fuel Tank Safety Training for Part 145 Organization: Phase I for Managers and Quality personnel Phase II for Maintenance Personnel. EASA issued Safety Information Bulletin SIB-2010-10 a mandatory requirement for manufacturers to install FRS on their production after 31-12-2011. EASA issued Notice of Proposed Amendments NPA mandating 50% of each Operator fleet to be modified within 04 Years and 100% of the fleet within 07 years.





Airbus uses the term FRS (Flammability Reduction System) while Boeing uses the term NGS (Nitrogen Generating System)
NGS is an on board inert gas system that uses ASM (Air Separation Module) to separate nitrogen from the oxygen. NEA nitrogen Enriched Air is supplied to the CWT while OES Oxygen Enriched Air is vented ovrerboard. FAA Technical Centre has determined that an oxygen level of 12% is sufficient to prevent ignition.


NEADS (Nitrogen Enriched Air Distribution System) has ASM to perform this task. ATA chapter 47 is for NEADS. B-787 and A-350 are the first Boeing and Airbus to be fitted with Fuel tank Inerting system.


Jet Fuel is a mixture of large number of different Hydrocarbons. It is clear to straw colored. Normally Jet A and Jet B fuel are used in aviation They both contains a number of additives. These are compounds added to fuel in small quantity Purpose of these additives are * Anti-oxidants * Corrosion inhibitors * Fuel system Icing Inhibitors * Static Dissipater It is Kerosene grade of fuel suitable for most turbine engines. Flash point 38C ( 100F) Freezing Point 47C ( -53C) Auto ignition Temperature 210C (410F) Normally only available in the U.S.A. Flash point 38C ( 100F) (same as JET A-1) Freezing Point 40C ( - 40 F) A mixture of Gasoline and Kerosene Freezing point - 65C ( - 85F) Can be used as an alternative to Jet A-1 Higher flammability- more difficult to handle





Flash point of the flammable liquid is the lowest temperature at which it can form an ignitable mixture in air. At this temperature, the vapour may cease to burn when the source of ignition is removed. For example 38C for Jet A-1
It is slightly higher than flash point. It is the temperature of the flammable liquid at which the vapour continues to burn after being ignited



The lowest temperature at which the flammable liquid spontaneously ignite in a normal atmosphere without an external source of ignition such as a flame or spark. For Example 210C for Jet A-1

CDCCL Critical Design Configuration Control Limitations identify the critical design features (such as proper wire separation, proper installation of a panel gasket, minimum bonding jumper resistance levels, etc.) that must be maintained in exactly the same manner throughout the service life of the aircraft and must be maintained during modification, repair or maintenance.

CDCCL are mandatory and cannot be changed or deleted without the approval of FAA,ACO or regulatory agency. CDCCL are identified areas of AMM where substitution of practices, procedures, material and tooling are not allowed without written permission from the manufacturer or your engineering department..