Business & General Aviation

Simple, Fast, Cost-Effective testing

The simple, fast, cost effective, under wing, go no-go test kit for the detection of microbial contamination to aid airworthiness procedures.

For owners and repairers (FBOs) of business and/or private jets, microbial contamination, commonly known as ‘jet fuel fungus’ is a big issue which needs to be kept under control.

Microbial contamination can grow, especially in hot and humid climates, in just a few weeks so from what was a ‘clean’ tank to a heavily contaminated tank could be much faster than you anticipated. Testing only on suspicion of contamination may be too late resulting in heavy costs and operational delays.

Eliminating water from jet fuel is the ‘holy grail,’ at all levels of the aviation industry, to minimise the risks of contamination; however, this is almost impossible in day to day operations. This is made worse by the fact that business and private jets may be on the ground for days or even weeks at a time when compared to their larger cousins, commercial aircraft.

Any water present in the fuel will sink to the bottom of the fuel tanks. Once settled it is this water bottom which creates an ideal environment for microbiological growth to occur and is further enhanced by less frequent fuelling and de-fuelling processes.

Microbial Contamination can cause operational concerns like fuel quantity indication issues, filter problems and, corrosion of the wing structures. In severe cases there may be a safety of life issue if total engine failure is caused by contamination totally restricting fuel supply to the engines.

There is a growing wariness regarding the regular, precautionary dosing of biocide. Biocide is not only expensive; it is also generally regarded as a hazardous substance. But what if the regular use of biocide was also counter-productive? Organisms evolve and over time some may become immune which in turn reduces the effectiveness of a biocide.

It is therefore potentially more cost effective and operationally beneficial to conduct periodic microbial contamination testing under the wing and only conduct biocide treatment when necessary.

simple, rapid alternative

FUELSTAT® offers the fuel supply chain a simple, rapid alternative to sending samples for testing off-site for days or even weeks and gets around the fact that often site conditions are not sterile with the risk of samples getting cross contaminated.

The importance of testing under the wing is emphasised by ASTM D6469 which highlights that if a sample cannot be tested on-site it should be transported on ice and tested within 4 and no more than 24hrs or the sample may no longer be a true representation of the environment from which it came.

FUELSTAT® is based on immunoassay technology, which is widely used in the medical industry to rapidly and accurately detect such things as pregnancy, prostate cancer and hypoglycaemia. Put simply FUELSTAT® only searches for the specific microorganisms that are known to thrive and do damage in diesel and jet fuel.

FUELSTAT® is the simple to use under wing test solution for detecting microbial contamination. Simply add the sample to the bottle provided with the test kit, shake it, place 4 drops onto a piece of tissue to remove any fuel trapped in the nozzle before adding 4 drops to each of the sample wells on the test paddle before waiting 10 minutes for the results to appear. FUELSTAT® requires little instruction and little in way of rigid sterility controls on-board except for a clean sampling jar. The components of the test kit are also recyclable; however, the fuel sample must be disposed of as per each individual organisation’s own protocol.

If you want instant verification of the result which can be sent to or received by Headquarters within minutes, then the free to download app FUELSTAT® Result will tell you in seconds on your smartphone device.

FUELSTAT® Result

FUELSTAT® Result will not only enable a fully transparent and traceable audit trail to track trends and hotspots, but also provide accurate information to enable effective and more cost-efficient maintenance programs to be undertaken.

Over 100,000 FUELSTAT® tests are used every year all over the globe in many highly regulated industries to monitor microbial contamination in middle distillate fuels. It is compliant with ASTM D8070 International Standard and is a listed product in many industry guidance documents such as IATA, JIG etc.