As a petroleum laboratory NCO you play an important role in evaluating the quality surveillance procedures at
aviation unit refueling facilities. You must have a thorough base knowledge of contamination sources, sampling
procedures, sample testing, and SOPs in order to make the right decisions. You will be responsible for evaluating
the unit's operational SOP to verify that procedures for maintaining the quality of a petroleum product are
established and make recommendations, when required.
PART A MONITORING LABORATORY TESTING FACILITIES
One of the many responsibilities you will take on, will be the monitoring of petroleum testing operations at
aviation unit refueling facilities. Due to their size and mission, it is not always possible to maintain petroleum
supply specialists in these units, with the experience required to ensure quality surveillance on aviation fuels.
Due to the complex nature of aircraft, safety considerations, and expense, quality surveillance at these facilities
is of the utmost importance. When assigned to this type of duty, your primary function will be to perform the
Monitor Sampling and Gaging Procedures.
Verify annotation in sample log box.
Inspect sample submission procedures.
Records Inspection. Inspect logbooks/records to verify that required quality surveillance procedures are being
Inspect product rotation history.
Review completed DA Form 2077 (Petroleum Products Laboratory Analysis Report).
Review DA Form 4702-R (Monthly Bulk Petroleum Accounting Summary).
Crash Investigations. Provide assistance in the investigation of aircraft crashes.
Testing of aviation fuels for possible contamination/deterioration.
Report results of findings to proper investigating agencies.
PART B - IDENTIFY POTENTIAL SOURCES OF CONTAMINATION FOR
Contamination with other products. This type of contamination is usually a result of inadvertent mixing
with other petroleum products during transportation and storage. Contamination is detected by laboratory tests.
Contamination with Water, Solids, and Microbiological Growth. These types of contamination
can usually be detected visually since they are not mixable with the fuel. A detailed list of the frequently
encountered types including appearance, characteristics, and effects on aircraft performance can be found in
Table X, MIL-HDBK-200.
Water. Water in fuel may be either fresh or salt and may be present either as dissolved or free water.
Dissolved water is that which has been absorbed by the fuel and is not visible. Free water may be in the
form of a cloud, emulsion, droplets, or in large amounts in the bottom of a tank or container. Free water
can cause icing in an aircraft fuel system, malfunctioning of fuel quantity probes, and corrosion of fuel
system components. Saltwater will promote corrosion more rapidly than fresh water.
Sediment. Sediment appears as dust, flakes, or granular or fibrous materials. Total sediment includes
both organic and inorganic materials. Presence of appreciable quantities of fibrous materials is
indicative of filter element breakdown due to a ruptured element or mechanical disintegration of the filter
element in the fuel system. Sediment or solid contamination will be either coarse or fine. Coarse
sediment is ordinarily 10 microns in size or larger. It easily settles out of the fuel or can be removed by
adequate filtration. Fine sediment is smaller than 10 microns and to a limited degree can be removed by
settling, filtration, or centrifuging.
Microbiological growth. Microbiological growth consists of living organisms that grow at the fuel water
interface. These organisms include protozoa, fungus, and bacteria, all of which can cause problems
associated with microbiological contamination of aviation turbine fuels. Microbiological growth is