Airport Business - 34

AUTHOR Curt Castagna

The Accelerating Danger of Diesel
Exhaust Fluid Contamination
Proper training and education can prevent tragedy.
LAST MAY, two Cessna Citation 550 twinjets on air ambulance
missions received fuel at a Southwest Florida airport that had
been contaminated with diesel exhaust fluid, or DEF. While the
two jets experienced engine failure, fortunately both landed
safely. This marked the third time in 18 months that DEF has
contaminated the fuel supply of a jet fuel truck and caused
multiple-inflight aircraft engine failures.
DEF is a clear urea and water-based
f luid used in the emission reduction
systems of modern diesel-engine vehicles
as required by federal environmental
mandates. When mistakenly added to
jet fuel, it may trigger the formation of
crystals that plug fuel filters and damage
other engine components - potentially
causing engine shutdowns. DEF is not an
additive, but is stored in a specialized tank
on the chassis of diesel engine vehicles
and then injected into the engine exhaust
to help reduce noxious emissions.
Details from previous jet fuel
contamination incidents find the greatest
risk in line service personnel mistaking
DEF for Fuel System Icing Inhibitor
(FSII). Since both are clear and colorless
liquids, it is nearly impossible to detect if
DEF is mistakenly added to a FSII storage
tank. While none of the recorded DEF
contamination incidents have resulted in


Curt Castagna, president and CEO of
Aeroplex/Aerolease Group, is a member
of the Los Angeles County Airport
Commission, president of the Van Nuys
and Long Beach Airport Associations,
and a board member of the National Air
Transportation Association. A certified
private and instrument-rated pilot,
he has instructed courses in aviation
administration at Cal State Los Angeles
for over two decades.

an aircraft crash or fatalities, they reveal
the urgency of developing procedures to
take preventive action.
Recognizing that the introduction of
DEF into an aircraft fuel system is not an
isolated incident and poses serious safety
risks, the Federal Aviation Administration
(FAA ) has addressed the problem in a
special airworthiness information
bulletin (SAIB HQ-18-28) and safety
alert for operators (SAFO 18015). In
addition, the National Air Transportation
Safety Association (NATA) offers DEF
Contamination Prevention training
course through its Safety 1st Supplemental
Safety Training Program free of charge
to those, particularly employees of fixedbase operators (FBOs) and other fuel
providers, who can help prevent future
incidents. NATA offers the following
best practices to reduce the risk of aircraft
misfueling with DEF.

Storage of Aviation
Fuel Additives
* DEF and other fluids, oils and chemicals
shall be stored in a separate location
from FSII (FSII, Prist, Dice DiEGME)
and other aviation fuel additives.
* Locks for DEF and other fluids, oils and
chemical storage areas shall be keyed
differently than for areas containing
FSII and other aviation fuel additive.
* Keys for locks shall be labelled and kept
on separate key rings.


NATA recommends labels
for DEG and FSII storage
containers be intact and
clearly legible.


Airport Business

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Airport Business

Inside the Fence
Industry Update
On the Wild Side
Change for Good
Cover Story: Economy Inflight
Williston Takes Flight
Enhance Airport and Airline Relations
FBOs and OEMs: Strange Bedfellows
Airport Guru
Solid Answers for Successful Airports
Product Focus
Animal Control on the Runway
Airport Business - 1
Airport Business - 2
Airport Business - 3
Airport Business - 4
Airport Business - 5
Airport Business - 6
Airport Business - Inside the Fence
Airport Business - Industry Update
Airport Business - 9
Airport Business - 10
Airport Business - 11
Airport Business - On the Wild Side
Airport Business - 13
Airport Business - 14
Airport Business - 15
Airport Business - Change for Good
Airport Business - 17
Airport Business - 18
Airport Business - 19
Airport Business - Cover Story: Economy Inflight
Airport Business - 21
Airport Business - 22
Airport Business - 23
Airport Business - 24
Airport Business - 25
Airport Business - Williston Takes Flight
Airport Business - 27
Airport Business - Enhance Airport and Airline Relations
Airport Business - 29
Airport Business - 30
Airport Business - 31
Airport Business - FBOs and OEMs: Strange Bedfellows
Airport Business - 33
Airport Business - Airport Guru
Airport Business - 35
Airport Business - Solid Answers for Successful Airports
Airport Business - 37
Airport Business - Product Focus
Airport Business - 39
Airport Business - Animal Control on the Runway
Airport Business - 41
Airport Business - 42
Airport Business - 43
Airport Business - 44