|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||0601 To 1200|
|Locale Reference||airport : zzz.airport|
|Altitude||agl single value : 0|
|Controlling Facilities||tower : zzz.tower|
|Operator||common carrier : air carrier|
|Make Model Name||B737-800|
|Operating Under FAR Part||Part 121|
|Flight Phase||ground : pushback|
|Affiliation||company : air carrier|
|Function||flight crew : captain|
oversight : pic
|Function||observation : observer|
|Anomaly||ground encounters other|
non adherence : published procedure
|Independent Detector||other other : 2|
|Resolutory Action||none taken : detected after the fact|
|Problem Areas||Flight Crew Human Performance|
The aircraft on the adjacent gate pushed back to a position behind our aircraft; experienced a fuel spill which left a large pool of fuel on the ramp; and was then towed back to his gate. Our push crew did not know there had been a fuel spill behind us; nor; apparently; did the ramp tower. We were given permission to push back. Our crew pushed our aircraft back; gave us permission to start engines; and then stopped the aircraft with the left engine inlet over the fuel spill. The fuel spill was not visible to me and I was not aware of its presence. After both engines were started and just as I was about to start taxiing; a county pickup truck came up to the side of the aircraft and the driver gave the hand signal to shut down the left engine. I shut down both engines. Since we were not able to communicate directly with the county truck driver; it took a while to find out what the problem was. Eventually; I was informed that we had been sucking up large amounts of raw fuel into the left engine inlet. I then noticed a smell of jet fuel inside our aircraft. First officer and I discussed the possibility of a ground evacuate/evacuation but decided that that was not warranted. I had the aircraft towed back to the gate. Maintenance inspected the aircraft and decided that no harm had been done and that the aircraft was ok for service. There was still a smell of jet fuel inside the aircraft; however; and I wanted the smell; the fumes; and any liquid fuel that might be anywhere in the air conditioning system to be removed. The maintenance procedure to accomplish this required offloading the passenger; starting the left engine; running the packs at full hot for a few mins; and then cooling the aircraft cabin back down. This is what was done. Once I was satisfied that there was no smell of fuel left in the aircraft; the passenger were re-loaded and the flight departed.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: UNBEKNOWNST TO FLT CREW; B737-800 INGESTS FUEL FROM PRIOR FUEL SPILL ON RAMP. AC SYSTEM AND ACFT INTERIOR NEED TO BE EXPUNGED OF ODORS AND FUMES PRIOR TO SUBSEQUENT DEPARTURE.
Narrative: THE ACFT ON THE ADJACENT GATE PUSHED BACK TO A POS BEHIND OUR ACFT; EXPERIENCED A FUEL SPILL WHICH LEFT A LARGE POOL OF FUEL ON THE RAMP; AND WAS THEN TOWED BACK TO HIS GATE. OUR PUSH CREW DID NOT KNOW THERE HAD BEEN A FUEL SPILL BEHIND US; NOR; APPARENTLY; DID THE RAMP TWR. WE WERE GIVEN PERMISSION TO PUSH BACK. OUR CREW PUSHED OUR ACFT BACK; GAVE US PERMISSION TO START ENGS; AND THEN STOPPED THE ACFT WITH THE L ENG INLET OVER THE FUEL SPILL. THE FUEL SPILL WAS NOT VISIBLE TO ME AND I WAS NOT AWARE OF ITS PRESENCE. AFTER BOTH ENGS WERE STARTED AND JUST AS I WAS ABOUT TO START TAXIING; A COUNTY PICKUP TRUCK CAME UP TO THE SIDE OF THE ACFT AND THE DRIVER GAVE THE HAND SIGNAL TO SHUT DOWN THE L ENG. I SHUT DOWN BOTH ENGS. SINCE WE WERE NOT ABLE TO COMMUNICATE DIRECTLY WITH THE COUNTY TRUCK DRIVER; IT TOOK A WHILE TO FIND OUT WHAT THE PROB WAS. EVENTUALLY; I WAS INFORMED THAT WE HAD BEEN SUCKING UP LARGE AMOUNTS OF RAW FUEL INTO THE L ENG INLET. I THEN NOTICED A SMELL OF JET FUEL INSIDE OUR ACFT. FO AND I DISCUSSED THE POSSIBILITY OF A GND EVAC BUT DECIDED THAT THAT WAS NOT WARRANTED. I HAD THE ACFT TOWED BACK TO THE GATE. MAINT INSPECTED THE ACFT AND DECIDED THAT NO HARM HAD BEEN DONE AND THAT THE ACFT WAS OK FOR SVC. THERE WAS STILL A SMELL OF JET FUEL INSIDE THE ACFT; HOWEVER; AND I WANTED THE SMELL; THE FUMES; AND ANY LIQUID FUEL THAT MIGHT BE ANYWHERE IN THE AIR CONDITIONING SYS TO BE REMOVED. THE MAINT PROC TO ACCOMPLISH THIS REQUIRED OFFLOADING THE PAX; STARTING THE L ENG; RUNNING THE PACKS AT FULL HOT FOR A FEW MINS; AND THEN COOLING THE ACFT CABIN BACK DOWN. THIS IS WHAT WAS DONE. ONCE I WAS SATISFIED THAT THERE WAS NO SMELL OF FUEL LEFT IN THE ACFT; THE PAX WERE RE-LOADED AND THE FLT DEPARTED.
Data retrieved from NASA's ASRS site as of May 2009 and automatically converted to unabbreviated mixed upper/lowercase text. This report is for informational purposes with no guarantee of accuracy. See NASA's ASRS site for official report.