|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1201 To 1800|
|Locale Reference||airport : stl|
|Altitude||msl bound lower : 600|
msl bound upper : 18000
|Controlling Facilities||tower : stl|
|Operator||common carrier : air carrier|
|Make Model Name||Medium Large Transport, Low Wing, 2 Turbojet Eng|
|Flight Phase||climbout : intermediate altitude|
climbout : takeoff
|Affiliation||company : air carrier|
|Function||flight crew : captain|
oversight : pic
|Qualification||pilot : atp|
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 180|
flight time total : 12000
flight time type : 1700
|Function||flight crew : first officer|
|Qualification||pilot : commercial|
pilot : instrument
|Anomaly||aircraft equipment problem : less severe|
other anomaly other
|Independent Detector||other controllera|
other other : unspecified
|Resolutory Action||none taken : unable|
|Air Traffic Incident||other|
Flight departed with no deferred or open items in logbook. Just after rotation, tower reported fuel venting from right wing. My initial thought was that the surge vent tank dumped its contents during rotation. I immediately went tank to engine confign to see if any fuel loss was noticeable above engine burn figures. I sent first officer back to check after aircraft reached 10000' MSL. He reported back that he could see no fuel vapor, but added that a woman passenger said that she saw fuel spilling during taxi out. I elected to continue flight since there was no evidence of any further venting. Just after the flight left FL180, one of the cabin attendants called on interphone and reported fuel coming out of the wing again. I immediately requested and was granted clearance back to the departure airport. Inspection after blocking in revealed that fuel had been porting from a normally dry area of the wing outboard of the surge tank. Discussions with maintenance it came to my attention that there was an entry in the maintenance computer for an inspection to be performed on the next layover to determine the source of a possible fuel leak. The company's procedure of keeping some item in logbook and some in computer leaves the PIC in a very tight place when it comes to the true airworthiness of the aircraft.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: ACR MLG VENTING FUEL ON TKOF AND CLB RETURNED TO DEP STATION FOR PRECAUTIONARY LNDG.
Narrative: FLT DEPARTED WITH NO DEFERRED OR OPEN ITEMS IN LOGBOOK. JUST AFTER ROTATION, TWR RPTED FUEL VENTING FROM RIGHT WING. MY INITIAL THOUGHT WAS THAT THE SURGE VENT TANK DUMPED ITS CONTENTS DURING ROTATION. I IMMEDIATELY WENT TANK TO ENG CONFIGN TO SEE IF ANY FUEL LOSS WAS NOTICEABLE ABOVE ENG BURN FIGURES. I SENT F/O BACK TO CHK AFTER ACFT REACHED 10000' MSL. HE RPTED BACK THAT HE COULD SEE NO FUEL VAPOR, BUT ADDED THAT A WOMAN PAX SAID THAT SHE SAW FUEL SPILLING DURING TAXI OUT. I ELECTED TO CONTINUE FLT SINCE THERE WAS NO EVIDENCE OF ANY FURTHER VENTING. JUST AFTER THE FLT LEFT FL180, ONE OF THE CABIN ATTENDANTS CALLED ON INTERPHONE AND RPTED FUEL COMING OUT OF THE WING AGAIN. I IMMEDIATELY REQUESTED AND WAS GRANTED CLRNC BACK TO THE DEP ARPT. INSPECTION AFTER BLOCKING IN REVEALED THAT FUEL HAD BEEN PORTING FROM A NORMALLY DRY AREA OF THE WING OUTBOARD OF THE SURGE TANK. DISCUSSIONS WITH MAINT IT CAME TO MY ATTN THAT THERE WAS AN ENTRY IN THE MAINT COMPUTER FOR AN INSPECTION TO BE PERFORMED ON THE NEXT LAYOVER TO DETERMINE THE SOURCE OF A POSSIBLE FUEL LEAK. THE COMPANY'S PROC OF KEEPING SOME ITEM IN LOGBOOK AND SOME IN COMPUTER LEAVES THE PIC IN A VERY TIGHT PLACE WHEN IT COMES TO THE TRUE AIRWORTHINESS OF THE ACFT.
Data retrieved from NASA's ASRS site as of August 2007 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.