The NCAA, issued a ( NOTAM ) Notice to Airmen dated 25th July 2015, and circulated it within the aviation industry, in the capacity of an AlERT to airline operators, and other stake holders.
SAP ( SUPER ABSORBENT POLMER ) is a contaminant that has been found in the fuel control unit ( FCU ) of a ROLLS ROYCE TRENT 700 ENGINE POWERED AIRBUS 330 AIRCRAFT.
The operator of this airplane, name with held, had an issue elaborated on as regards the fuel control unit of the airplane ( FCU ) but it warranted that the engine manufacturer ROLLS ROYCE get involved, and a very extensive investigation, was carried out. The JET A1 fuel uplift was traced to haven taken place out of Lagos Airport (DNMM )
In very simple terms the fuel control unit ( FCU ) is a mini computer in modern airplanes that regulates the fuel to the engines of a jet airplane,SAP is found in ( JET A1 ) aircraft fuel, that has not been adequately processed, for 100% clearance ( quality& specifications ) for use in commercial airplanes.
What appears to be the case is that a consignment of JET A1 fuel contaminated with SAP was shipped into Nigeria, Fuel marketer not disclosed who imported this fuel into the country.This can cause airplane engines to flame out when the fuel control unit ( FCU ) becomes blocked with contaminants found in the fuel.Water,dust in Jet A1 fuel can be a contaminant as well
The issues at stake here, when will other Airplane engines start showing signs of the effects of SAP, given that there was a period when we had this consignment of SAP contaminated JET A1 fuel, or is this an isolated case, this AIRBUS 330 airplane.
Airplane engines vary in mechanical issues, and corrosion of parts,and we have no indication over what period this SAP contaminated JET A1 fuel was around for, and how many airplanes uplifted from this consignment.
We await the preliminary AIB ( Accident investigation board ) report of the recent Bristow Helicopters and Nigerian Air force crashes in Lagos and Kaduna, to know the cause of both crashes, whether a common factor was present….or if the cause of both crashes were similar, since a common factor is fuel, which was obtained in Nigeria
Sadly from line contamination tests of fuel, a normal engineering practice in combination with the fueller, SAP cannot not be detected, it requires more extensive lab tests.Such basic tests can detect water in the Fuel.
Let it not be a case that it is the damage that has already been down that is manifesting its self presently.
The NCAA HAVE DONE WELL TO ISSUE THIS NOTAM TO THE INDUSTRY.