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Brad

Hangar self-fueling practices

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Since only 100LL is available at my field, I try when I can to self-fuel.  A nearby Sonoco station is a good stop to fill up a bunch of No-Spill 5 gallon containers with 93 octane.  I place a fuel mat on the wing and hoist the can up with me on a ladder to dispense the fuel through a No-Spill 6131 Gas Can Nozzle Assembly.  The process is cumbersome because the nozzle requires depressing a little green vent button while balancing the fuel container.  And, holding up the 5-gallon containers in a warm hangar is a sweat-producing exercise.  Instead, I'm considering getting something like a TERAPUMP TRHD05 2D Battery Operated Transfer Pump from Amazon that should allow me to prop my gas can on the fuel mat on the wing or on my ladder (which is one of the stable Little Giant ladders) and easily pump away.

 

Does anyone have a particularly good way to self-fuel?  In particular, I'm looking for ideas where the starting point is schlepping fuel in containers from the gas station in the back of my SUV.  Thank you in advance for the input!

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Don't know if they are available in the US, but I use a Polarn Pump and just carry the fuel in 20 litre jerry cans.

The standard pump kit needs the optional extension hose to reach into the tank opening on the top of the wing, but using one of these these you can empty a 20 litre can in about 45 seconds (the blurb with the pump says 30 but I'm an old codger now!!)

 

polarn.jpg

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I use 5 gal. Tough Jugs with Ripper Caps takes less than two minutes per jug to empty. I also use the rubber spacers- they allow you to fill the tanks full and full the fuel filler in the wing.

There have been a number of conversions about this issue if you do a search.

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Some airports don't permit this kind of fueling, but in many cases the rule is honored in the breach.

If you are worried about it, some transfer pumps such as you find in farm stores differentiate between those suitable for various liquids and those that are rated for gasoline. Price difference, too, of course.

I use 5 and 2.5 gal fuel cans and tip them upside down in a rather large rubber funnel. I use a stepladder. Naturally, I try to be sure there is no prying moment on the filler hole. I'm sure it's not the best way.

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I use 5 gal. Tough Jugs with Ripper Caps takes less than two minutes per jug to empty. I also use the rubber spacers- they allow you to fill the tanks full and full the fuel filler in the wing.

There have been a number of conversions about this issue if you do a search.

Rubber spacers? Do you have a link?

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I use a painter's platform type step ladder - a wider standing surface. I don't think I could use a trailer since I have no place to store it, and storing fuel in the hangar is not allowed (except in the open vented plane tanks, go figure). I also would not be overly thrilled pulling a fuel trailer down the highway in the winter. Hauling ten to twenty gallons at a time works just fine.

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I use the 2.5 gallon tuff-jugs. Highly recommended.   I find it easier to handle them up on the ladder than the 5 gallon. I don't use the rubber spacers anymore.  Like it better without.

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Some airports don't permit this kind of fueling, but in many cases the rule is honored in the breach.

 

Just so everyone is aware, in the USA, if the airport takes federal funding, they are not allowed to prohibit self-fueling (reasonable safety restrictions allowed).

 

See AC 150/5190-6 EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS AT FEDERALLY-OBLIGATED AIRPORTS

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I use No-Spill 2.5 gallon containers.  I find them much easier to heft onto the wing and the hold while they drain in comparison to 5 gallon containers.

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Just so everyone is aware, in the USA, if the airport takes federal funding, they are not allowed to prohibit self-fueling (reasonable safety restrictions allowed).

 

See AC 150/5190-6 EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS AT FEDERALLY-OBLIGATED AIRPORTS

We're all happy to know there is a non-regulatory document suggesting that airports can't deny self-service operations. We note that the document gives the airport operator plenty of room to require adherence to safety and other standards that may obviate us hoisting a gas can on the wing and draining it into our airplanes. Insurance and local fire codes are used by airport operators as rationale for their self-service restrictions.

 

The airport operator and airport commission can't be blamed for disliking the loss of revenue and fuel flowage.

 

Do you have some references or examples of where someone was restricted from self-fueling and used this AC to defeat the airport?

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We're all happy to know there is a non-regulatory document suggesting that airports can't deny self-service operations. We note that the document gives the airport operator plenty of room to require adherence to safety and other standards that may obviate us hoisting a gas can on the wing and draining it into our airplanes. Insurance and local fire codes are used by airport operators as rationale for their self-service restrictions.The airport operator and airport commission can't be blamed for disliking the loss of revenue and fuel flowage.Do you have some references or examples of where someone was restricted from self-fueling and used this AC to defeat the airport?

It is an advisory circular, but it clarifies FAA order 5190-6, which is descriptive of the procedures the FAA uses to enforce 49 USC § 47101, which is for federal funding under the airport improvement program, including grant assurances restricting the airport from granting any one particular entity exclusive rights to an operation on the airfield.

 

I couldn't give two shits about the airport authority's loss of revenue when they take taxpayer money. They can take a small fuel flow fee, so they aren't actually loosing out.

 

Here's an FAA docket on self fueling rights. http://www.faa.gov/airports/resources/publications/orders/compliance_5190_6/media/5190_6b_chap11.pdf

 

Here is a brochure on airport user rights. Of particular interest is the part regarding grant assurance 22(f): http://www.faa.gov/airports/airport_compliance/media/airportSponsorAndUserRightsBrochure.pdf

 

Here is more documentation: http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/acrp/acrp_lrd_008.pdf

 

There is an online FAA repository documenting these complaints and their outcomes, here: http://part16.airports.faa.gov/index.cfm?page=CaseFileResults

 

Here is a particular case about the FAA cracking down on a town preventing an organization from being able to offer commercial services and self fuel: http://www.watskylaw.com/wp-content/themes/watskylaw/inc/FAA%20Final%20Order%208-08.pdf

 

Here is the program assurances for airport sponsors document, which includes the grant assurances relevant to this conversation: http://www.faa.gov/airports/aip/grant_assurances/media/airport-sponsor-assurances-aip.pdf

 

Here is an aopa summary: http://www.aopa.org/Advocacy/Get-Involved/Airport-Support-Network/Guide-to-Obtaining-Community-Support-for-Your-Local-Airport/AOPA-Airport-Protection-Publications/Airport-Frequently-Asked-Questions-Exclusive-Rights-and-Minimum-Standards-for-Commercial-Aeronautical-Activities

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Great input - thank you!  My observations:

 

1.  Charlie Tango's trailer, Tony & Rose's transfer tank, and Dan Kent's Fun Fueler are certainly the high-capacity - and pricey - solutions, but storage and transportation make them non-starters for me.

2.  Ian's jerry can approach may have been a contender.  While the jerry can is available on Amazon, the Polarn Pump does not appear to be available in the US, and a quick search did not reveal any reasonable alternatives.

3.  Paul - I know you mentioned the 2.5 gallon Tuff Jugs when I last saw you, but for me it seems like too many trips up and down the ladder.

 

Doug - I like your suggestion of the 5 gallon Tuff Jugs (and associated spacer) based on the ease of use and flow rate.  I've ordered one to try and will report on my experience.  If I'm lucky, the spout will fit my existing No Spill containers.  BTW - I did try a search, but oftentimes find that searching forums is notoriously difficult if you aren't familiar with the right search terminology.

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The most effective, safest, and sure way to self-fuel is to put a DOT approved transfer tank and electric pump with farm nozzle and 12 foot hose in a truck. Or do the same thing on a small trailer. I have both. One at one hangar, one at another. Each tank is 55 gallons. It takes little more than a 3 foot step ladder, two rags, and 2 mins to fill a wing entirely. I also have static reels for each setup. The trailer also has it's own deep charge battery which after 10 fillups has yet to need a charge.

Some places don't allow you to store fuel trailers. I have no place to keep the trailer (either at the hangar, or at home) and, as I said earlier, pulling it on ice covered highways in the winter is not something I care to do.

As far as the 5 gal. vs. the 2.5 gal. containers. I am nearly 65 with rotator cuff tears in both shoulders. I have no issues with the 5 gal. containers, but to each his/her own.

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I just passed the Medicare threshold, and 5 gal cans are no issue.

 

I put some foam rubber matting on the wing so I can set it down without marring the paint and can just tilt it when it's at it's heaviest.

 

I have 2x5 gal and 3x2.5 gal containers.

 

Bear in mind, my fuel capacity is only 18 gals, so that makes things easier when fueling, though there's an obvious downside as well.

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I use the 5 gallon Tuff Jugs and I love them.  I have two currently (I rarely need to add more than ten gallons at a time, and the gas station is 1/4 mile away) and plan to buy at least two more.

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Andy, I have four 5 gal. Tuff Jugs, but have only used all four once. I too seldom add more than 10 gal. (Actually 10.4 gallons because I fill each to 5.2 gallons.) I keep track of what is in the plane in my phone (Evernote app - nice cross platform note app.) so I know what I need on my way to the hangar and am able to empty all I bring it so I don't need to worry about storing fuel in the containers.

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Andy, I have four 5 gal. Tuff Jugs, but have only used all four once. I too seldom add more than 10 gal. (Actually 10.4 gallons because I fill each to 5.2 gallons.) I keep track of what is in the plane in my phone (Evernote app - nice cross platform note app.) so I know what I need on my way to the hangar and am able to empty all I bring it so I don't need to worry about storing fuel in the containers.

I do the exact same, 5.2g per jug. 5.0 just seems not quite full.

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Here we go again! Burgers, how well do you know w my situation? I know you don't read what I post with any accuracy. I cannot, and do not, store any fuel in "gas cans." It is the one specific thing I was told in renting the hangar.

Because of the way the Tuff Jugs work I do not spill anything on the wing. I suspect you drop more from your nozzle. I also am not using a metal nozzle that can damage the wing.

I am not afraid to pull the trailer, but it doesn't make sense. I have lived my entire life in the upper plains states. What is your experience pulling trailers in blowing snow and slippery roads with strong winds?

I resent you telling me what I should do!

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