The FAA Safety Team have issued a mysterious new Notam today, about a possible fuel contamination problem at airports in the central U.S.
Update: The FAA has sent a follow up, seems things weren’t as widespread as they made it sound:
SPECIAL..NOTICE.. THE FAA CONTINUES TO INVESTIGATE A FUEL CONTAMINATION PROBLEM. SUBSTANTIAL EVIDENCE INDICATES THE CONTAMINATION HAS BEEN ISOLATED TO GENERAL AVIATION AND MILITARY AIRCRAFT AT EPPLEY AIRFIELD, OMAHA, NE (KOMA) DURING THE TIME PERIOD NOVEMBER 18-20, 2017. FAA RECOMMENDS THAT ALL AIRCRAFT OPERATORS CHECK NOTAMS FREQUENTLY FOR POSSIBLE CHANGES TO THIS ONGOING SITUATION. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT FLIGHT STANDARDS AIR TRANSPORTATION DIVISION AT 202-267-8166.
Here’s what they have to say:
FDC 7/4900 (A1362/17) - FL..SPECIAL NOTICE..THE FAA IS CURRENTLY INVESTIGATING A FUEL CONTAMINATION PROBLEM THAT HAS RECENTLY APPEARED IN JET FUEL WI THE CENTRAL U.S. THE EXACT SOURCE AND THE GEOGRAPHICAL SCOPE OF THE CONTAMINATION IS UNKNOWN. THERE HAVE BEEN REPORTS OF BLOCKAGES IN FUEL FILTERS, FUEL NOZZLES, AND FUEL TANKS. THIS HAS RESULTED IN SEVERAL ENGINE FLAMEOUTS AND OTHER ERRATIC ENGINE OPS. ALL OPERATORS ARE ADZ TO CLOSELY FOLLOW FUEL SAMPLING PROC AND REPORT ANY DISCOVERY OF CONTAMINATION OR ERRATIC ENGINE OPS TO THEIR FLIGHT STANDARDS DISTRICT OFFICE OR NEAREST FAA FACILITY. 30 NOV 00:20 2017 UNTIL 30 DEC 00:20 2017. CREATED: 30 NOV 00:48 2017
We haven’t seen or heard any reports about this issue recently. The FAA Safety Team say that this is currently still under investigation, and can’t provide any additional information just yet. We’ve also reached out to a few of the major suppliers, who are saying pretty much the same thing – no more info yet, beyond the Notam.
Several sources are telling us the NOTAM is related to a fuel issue at KOMA, limited to a single truck at a single FBO:
F0013/17 NOTAMN Q) ZMP/QFUXX/IV/NBO/A/000/999/4118N09553W005 A) KOMA B) 1711211550 C) 1712212359 E) [DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY ENERGY ADVISORY] CONTRACT FUEL NOT AVAILABLE TRUMAN ARNOLD COMPANIES DBA TAC AIR IS HEREBY NOTIFIED TO CEASE REFUELING ON ALL U.S. AIRCRAFT UNDER INTO-PLANE CONTRACT SPE600-16-D-0066 AT LOCATION KOMA – EPPLEY AIRFIELD AIRPORT, NEBRASKA. DUE TO SAFETY OF FLIGHT ISSUES REPORTED ON TWO AIR FORCE AIRCRAFT REFUELED AT THEIR FACILITY 18 NOV 2017 THAT RESULTED IN EMERGENCY LANDINGS. REFUELING OF U.S. GOVERNMENT AIRCRAFT IS IMMEDIATELY SUSPENDED AND SHALL REMAIN SO UNTIL THE DLA ENERGY CONTRACTING OFFICER NOTIFIES YOU OTHERWISE IN WRITING. If you’ve experienced any fuel contamination issues recently, we’d love to hear about it! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org