Mogas refuelling best practices

H. Paul Shuch is a Light Sport Repairman with Maintenance ratings for airplanes, gliders, weight shift control, and powered parachutes, as well as an independent Rotax Maintenance Technician at the Heavy Maintenance level. He holds a PhD in Air Transportation Engineering from the University of California, and serves as Director of Maintenance for AvSport of Lock Haven.

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ash31Mi
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Mogas refuelling best practices

Postby ash31Mi » Mon Jan 07, 2019 12:17 am

I plan on using mogas in my recently-purchased Tecnam Astore but have some concerns about the whole process of filling multiple 5 gallon polyethylene fuel containers at the gas station, transporting them to the airport, then refueling the aircraft's fuel tanks (in each wing on the Astore). Common sense suggests refuelling out in the open, but I'm concerned about static electricity and yet it doesn't seem that using a standard grounding wire to the aircraft such as one uses at the airport's 100LL facility would be effective.

What do others do in this situation, and what are the best safety practices for the end-to-end process?

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Re: Mogas refuelling best practices

Postby rcpilot » Mon Jan 07, 2019 7:33 am

When I put mogas in my plane I just pour it in from the 5 gallon can. Never really thought about the grounding issue.

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Warmi
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Re: Mogas refuelling best practices

Postby Warmi » Mon Jan 07, 2019 8:35 am

Same here ... I ground myself first by touching something grounded as to avoid some kind of accumulated discharge, and the plane is grounded with the permanent grounding wire , but I don't have anything any special grounding for the container I am using.
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Re: Mogas refuelling best practices

Postby roger lee » Mon Jan 07, 2019 8:37 am

Hundreds of millions of people have fueled this way for decades. Cars, motorcycles, boats, planes, lawnmowers, ect.... I have fueled planes like this for 38 years. I was a Tucson Firefighter. The city has never had a fire from a plastic container from someone filling. If this was as big an issue as some wive's tale tellers make it it would probably have been banned decades ago and there wouldn't be plastic gas cans for sale sitting on the shelves still.
Just use some common sense.
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ShawnM
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Re: Mogas refuelling best practices

Postby ShawnM » Mon Jan 07, 2019 8:52 am

I do that exact procedure. I buy ethanol free 93 octane fuel at a local oil company here in Clearwater and transport it to the airport. I own four of the "No Spill" 5 gallon fuel cans and absolutely love them. They are by far the BEST fuel can you can buy. Don't take my word for it, just google "no spill fuel cans". There are many youtube videos as well. Never worry about spilling fuel as they automatically shut off if the tank gets full. (if you happen to top off the tanks)

Mine is a low wing also and I just lay a towel on my wing and the 5 gallon cans sits all by itself while it empties. My hangar has a grounding reel in the back but I dont use it and static hasn't been an issue. I've always fueled in the hangar with the doors open, never closed. The rule of thumb is to have the plastic nozzle of the fuel can touching the side of the filler opening while you are filling. Mine is metal and so it the aircraft, not composite.

This has been my only procedure for the last 5 years with no issues or concerns.

No-Spill can sitting on wing (Custom).JPG
No-Spill can sitting on wing (Custom).JPG (71 KiB) Viewed 7141 times

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ash31Mi
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Re: Mogas refuelling best practices

Postby ash31Mi » Mon Jan 07, 2019 9:27 am

Thank you everyone for your input, sounds like I've started off correctly. Roger, I'm in the Phoenix area and I'm sure I'll be getting in touch regarding Rotax maintenance in due course.

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ash31Mi
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Re: Mogas refuelling best practices

Postby ash31Mi » Mon Jan 07, 2019 9:46 am

SHawnM, thanks for describing the 'No Spill" containers; I've started off using some high-density polyethylene containers that I've also used for refuelling my self-launching sailplane, but the No Spill is an even better solution and I'm going to try these out.

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Re: Mogas refuelling best practices

Postby Wm.Ince » Mon Jan 07, 2019 10:56 am

roger lee wrote:Just use some common sense.

Easy for you to say.
Over the last 2 decades, that has been in short supply.
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RV12Heal
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Re: Mogas refuelling best practices

Postby RV12Heal » Mon Jan 07, 2019 11:36 am

You should be concerned about the static charge aspect of refueling. Bonding of the fuel vessel to the airframe is more important than "grounding" to earth -- although including proper grounding is a good thing too. I installed a vent in my plastic container (see various videos on YouTube at "Plastic fuel can vent"). I also modified the green on/off deadman's valve so that it could be held "on" without having to hold it continuously with my thumb -- I drilled two small holes through the yellow wings and insert a pin through the holes to hold the green button in the "on" position while fueling. A while back, CAFE Foundation did a report on refueling at: https://cafe.foundation/v2/pdf_cafe_rep ... Safety.pdf

This is what I do -- You do what you think is best and safe for your operations. Despite widespread everyday use of plastic refueling vessels over the years, refueling fires do occur and are in large part preventable with proper precautions. Stay safe!

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Re: Mogas refuelling best practices

Postby ShawnM » Mon Jan 07, 2019 11:40 am

ash31Mi wrote:SHawnM, thanks for describing the 'No Spill" containers; I've started off using some high-density polyethylene containers that I've also used for refuelling my self-launching sailplane, but the No Spill is an even better solution and I'm going to try these out.


Glad to help, I love the fuel can and wouldn't use anything else. You can get them online of course but I bought mine at my local Tractor Supply store. They are just a few dollars more than a traditional fuel can. Around $30 each if I remember correctly.

I'd also suggest the mod to the pushbutton so you dont have to hold the button down while it's filling. The spring on the pushbutton is pretty strong and your thumb will ache when your done, ask me how I know. :mrgreen: I ended up drilling 2 holes through the ears so I can slip a nail into the holes and this now holds down the button. I can simply insert the nail and go add fuel to the other tank. The can will stop flowing automatically if you top off and the can has large flat surfaces so it's very stable on my wing. I can shake the plane while it's filling and the can doesn't move nor will it ever tip over. I dont know where the fuel cap is on your Astore but it sits real flat on my SportCruiser wing.

Here's a pic of the mod.

pushbutton mod.JPG
pushbutton mod.JPG (84.86 KiB) Viewed 7112 times

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ash31Mi
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Re: Mogas refuelling best practices

Postby ash31Mi » Mon Jan 07, 2019 11:58 am

Around $33 on Amazon, I ordered some this morning. The Astore fuel cap configuration is very similar and I'll make the same mod to the push button. Thanks again everyone for your input - safety with fuel is clearly an important item and it's good to confirm I'm on the right track.

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Jim Hardin
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Re: Mogas refuelling best practices

Postby Jim Hardin » Mon Jan 07, 2019 12:50 pm

Shawn, is that an AN nail? :D

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drseti
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Re: Mogas refuelling best practices

Postby drseti » Mon Jan 07, 2019 1:00 pm

Jim Hardin wrote:Shawn, is that an AN nail? :D


If it's being used to fuel an SLSA, Jim, it need only be ASTM approved.
The opinions posted are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the FAA or its lawyers.
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TimTaylor
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Re: Mogas refuelling best practices

Postby TimTaylor » Mon Jan 07, 2019 1:56 pm

If I owned an airplane that burned auto fuel, I would look into building a fuel trailer with on-board fuel pump, etc. That is, if I lived someone that you could keep such a device. Cecil Koupal, a former poster, had a really nice one to fuel his Flight Design CTLS.
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Re: Mogas refuelling best practices

Postby 3Dreaming » Mon Jan 07, 2019 3:11 pm

TimTaylor wrote:If I owned an airplane that burned auto fuel, I would look into building a fuel trailer with on-board fuel pump, etc. That is, if I lived someone that you could keep such a device. Cecil Koupal, a former poster, had a really nice one to fuel his Flight Design CTLS.


I'm proud of you. That is the first time I can remember you using "Cecil", and "Nice" in the same post.


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