FAA To Cessna Drivers: Check For Water In Fuel

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The FAA says pilots of Cessna 100-, 200-, and 300-series airplanes should intensify their efforts to check for water in the fuel before every flight. "All pilots, owners, operators, maintenance, and service personnel of these type airplanes should assume some water exists in the fuel tank system," the FAA said in a Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin posted last week. Water may enter the fuel system via any penetration in the tank, or it may come out of solution in the fuel and settle or adhere to the inside of the tank walls. The bulletin recommends that owners should ensure the airplanes have plenty of drains at a variety of locations, and check them prior to every flight, taking at least one cup of fuel from each location.

The FAA also suggests that fuel filler caps should be the raised umbrella-style type that shed water, and airplanes should be stored indoors when possible. Pilots should keep the tanks full, know their fuel suppliers and monitor the fueling procedures. The bulletin provides guidance and education but compliance is not mandatory. The complete text of the SAIB, including more details and suggestions for annual and 100-hour inspections, is available online.