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View Full Version : How much fuel can you legally carry in Jerry Cans in/on a microlight ?



P Kelsey
28-03-12, 11:46 AM
Marilyn raised the question of how fuel can you legally carry in Jerry Cans in/on a microlight ?
As I thought this was a very interesting question that might get comprehensively debated and possibly 'sidetrack' Marilyn's GST achievement thread I posted a separate thread to keep her achievements on subject
:eureka:

Now 'legally' I would imagine the answer is " You can't due to Dangerous Goods Act " however in the 'practical world " I am sure quite a few do carry jerry cans filled with fuel with them.
:?
RMH certainly subscribes to the 'practical world ' thesis as do many others.

I was given this advice about a year back and tended to agree with 1-5 but considered 6 was just pure lunacy for reasons that should be obvious
:geek:
(as seen @ http://www.pprune.org/6470160-post24.html )
Disregarding all "authority, permissions, legalities etc.
To answer the questions:
1/ Use standard steel jerry cans with good seals & no sign of rust.
2/ Place them on the ground when filling (not in the back of a pickup truck)
3/ Place them on the ground for 30 mins or so before loading to allow any static to discharge.
4/ Lash them securely in the a/c, preferably upright cos it looks better, the seals should hold even when they are inverted.
5/ Place them on the ground for a while to discharge any static picked up whilst airborne before earthing them to the frame & to the funnel & to ground before refueling from them.
6/ Preferably fill them with water rather than carry them empty.



So now let the debate commence
:flying:

marilyn
28-03-12, 11:53 AM
Hmmm....my examiner said by all means take empty jerry cans, but no fuel can be carried except in the tank thus designed.

Gentreau
28-03-12, 11:58 AM
What about if you carry it in one of these ? (http://www.turtlepac.com/products/bush-plane-long-range-fuel-bladder.html)

VinceG
28-03-12, 12:09 PM
Dave, spokesair's quik had a separate tank fitted in the back seat, however, I'm sure it was a "mod"

billyh42
28-03-12, 12:17 PM
The general consensus is that the old metal Jerry cans aren't the best or safest option anymore.

Most of the World's forces are going over to the US Military 'Scepter' style plastic Jerry cans which can carry almost any type of fuel.

They don't suffer from the metal can problems of corrosion and the internal coatings flaking off.

They are almost double the price however but probably worth it as they will last longer.

Supplied in the UK by Frost. See:- http://tinyurl.com/7yuxfe7 (http://tinyurl.com/7yuxfe7)

P Kelsey
28-03-12, 12:22 PM
Purchasing a Turtlepac will actually outweigh the saving you will make by carrying it as against paying avgas prices at airfields.

I have used Turtlepac's in some GA aircraft and they make sense but in a microlight I just think 'False economy'

I had 80 litres in Jerry Cans on a trip to India as the makers of AVGAS in Saudi Arabia couldn't supply AVGAS for under $6.08 a litre, the same applied in Egypt.

Very interesting that you can carry empty Jerry cans but not full ones :-P So RMH was sucking air from his jerry cans to his main tank :salute:

I can see the benefits of having empty jerry cans for getting fuel at a nearby filling station at your destination, but what are you supposed to do if you put 20 litres in your can and then only manage to get 17 litres into your main tank ?


What about if you carry it in one of these ? (http://www.turtlepac.com/products/bush-plane-long-range-fuel-bladder.html)

Gentreau
28-03-12, 12:54 PM
...I have used Turtlepac's in some GA aircraft and they make sense but in a microlight I just think 'False economy'......

Unless you particularly need more range than the standard tanks provide.
In some microlights, an extra 68ltrs would double the range.

Dave Morton
28-03-12, 17:15 PM
I think Kev Armstrong, AKA Factory fit devised a seperate fuel tank that sat on the rear seat, I think he did all the paperwork too to make it legal..

Parky
28-03-12, 18:30 PM
If I fit the 65 litre tank mod in the flash,at current fuel usage 9 litres per hour I could travel for 6 hours max (leaving 11 litres reserve) at 50 mph air speed.So at that rate about 300 miles on a calm day .I think I would find fuel somewhere wouldn't I ?
Even in a tanker strike.
Besides, If Pete had one of them babies on board and it had of caught fire in the accident,up side down,he would'nt be here now to debate it. I can't see anywhere on the info that says they are fire resistant.But stand to be corrected.It seems a big lump to lift up for refuelling in one go too.

Jiggles
28-03-12, 19:09 PM
Do what the big boys do, only carry enough for what you need plus half an hour. The more fuel that you carry the more weight, the more weight the more LPH you burn, the more LPH you burn the less benefit to carrying all that unecessary fuel, seems rather self defeating don't it? When planning a long journey, see where you can uplift fuel from and check that they've got some, or can get you some.
Boring I know but at least you'll call into airfields that you wont have done otherwise.

John

NigelJ
28-03-12, 19:52 PM
If you fill your jerrycan at a garage at the moment people will think you are fuel hoarding! As for the Turtlepac I don't think I would like a big bag of petrol sat on a seat next (or behind) me. As Parky says it's not what you would want sitting there in a fire and the idea of filling it while it's still in the plane seems crazy to me. As always it seems impossible to get clear info on this - it appears to be illegal to carry them inside an aircraft, but is the back seat of a flex "inside"? Also the older WW2 type jerries are illegal anyway because they don't have a locking pin to secure the cap and some forecourts won't let you fill them, likewise filling the can when it's in your car as you could be filling an illegal container. I was under the impression that you carry a full can on the back seat when solo to balance the flex, but 20 litres of water isn't much use for anything.

The only way you will find out if you are breaking the law is probably in a crash investigation.

P Kelsey
28-03-12, 20:00 PM
Parky,
I take your point entirely about the extra fuel being a fire hazard ( if you crash ) but ironically I do know that I still had in excess of 15 litres and most likely 20 litres still in the tanks when I departed the aircraft and it could certainly have toasted me !!

Perhaps it is time to say the aircraft blew over to the upside position after I was out..... it was very much on it's side when I stepped out of the debris.


If I fit the 65 litre tank mod in the flash,at current fuel usage 9 litres per hour I could travel for 6 hours max (leaving 11 litres reserve) at 50 mph air speed.So at that rate about 300 miles on a calm day .I think I would find fuel somewhere wouldn't I ?
Even in a tanker strike.
Besides, If Pete had one of them babies on board and it had of caught fire in the accident,up side down,he would'nt be here now to debate it. I can't see anywhere on the info that says they are fire resistant.But stand to be corrected.It seems a big lump to lift up for refuelling in one go too.

Russp
28-03-12, 20:00 PM
I think Kev Armstrong, AKA Factory fit devised a seperate fuel tank that sat on the rear seat, I think he did all the paperwork too to make it legal..

He certainly did - the additional tank (35 litre) is sat in my garage, connects to the fuel tank via plumbed in fuel lines and once the main tank is half full you can transfer the fuel from the auxillary to the main tank. Not tried it yet mind but it's an approved mod.

ANDY1973
28-03-12, 20:10 PM
Do what the big boys do, only carry enough for what you need plus half an hour.
John

I think that the big boys carry quite a bit more fuel than that!

A

marilyn
28-03-12, 20:51 PM
Well, this is an interesting topic from all angles. We used to fly our GT450 with a full tank of 65 litres no matter where we going. The thinking was that we never wanted to be short of fuel.

There were a number of factors which came together to give the circumstances of the accident which wrecked our plane (mostly the failure to go round when the approach was upset by turbulence) - landing on a short runway, running out of space, deciding to go round too late, we possibly could have scraped through/above the hedge if we didn't have a full tank of petrol. Some high tensile wire in the hedge grabbed our wheels and flipped us over. Without so much fuel would we have cleared those wires enough to get away with a close shave?

Now I am loathe to fly two up with a full tank of fuel if we are only going for a bimble. 9 - 12 hours litres per hour fuel burn means 30 litres is plenty. I re-evaluate everything now and discretion is my philosophy. It's for each of us to decide and useful for a thread like this. Really good that a question on an oral exam can spark such a lot of posts. I said to my examiner it is the "mobile phone law" of microlighting - the most commonly ignored.

Joe McIvor
28-03-12, 22:07 PM
If you fill your jerrycan at a garage at the moment people will think you are fuel hoarding! As for the Turtlepac I don't think I would like a big bag of petrol sat on a seat next (or behind) me. As Parky says it's not what you would want sitting there in a fire and the idea of filling it while it's still in the plane seems crazy to me. As always it seems impossible to get clear info on this - it appears to be illegal to carry them inside an aircraft, but is the back seat of a flex "inside"? Also the older WW2 type jerries are illegal anyway because they don't have a locking pin to secure the cap and some forecourts won't let you fill them, likewise filling the can when it's in your car as you could be filling an illegal container. I was under the impression that you carry a full can on the back seat when solo to balance the flex, but 20 litres of water isn't much use for anything.

The only way you will find out if you are breaking the law is probably in a crash investigation.

sorted


6726

Jiggles
28-03-12, 22:32 PM
Andy, you know as well as I do that the big boys calculate exactly what they need and add 30mins for a go around! They carry no more than what is absolutely necessary.
John

Gentreau
28-03-12, 23:37 PM
Andy, you know as well as I do that the big boys calculate exactly what they need and add 30mins for a go around! They carry no more than what is absolutely necessary.
John

Not exactly John, it depends upon a lot of variables. I believe the standard is actually 45 minutes reserve, once possible headwinds, holding patterns and available diversions are included. If the nearest available diversion to the destination is one hour away, they would include that PLUS the normal reserve.

I think you are referring to those airlines operating short sectors over heavily inhabited areas with plenty of diversions available, who sell seats at 99p !

P Kelsey
28-03-12, 23:48 PM
Marilyn,
Reading your analysis of the circumstances that you had in your accident, it would seem numerous factors are relevant to your accident and also in mine, though some factors are reversed by opinions after the event.

You subscribed to the " You can never have too much fuel in your tanks " theory, which is exactly how I feel on the subject ( and still do ).

Where there are differences in our accidents is: I wanted to depart with full ( or fuller ) tanks and was strongly advised against doing so due to Runway softness and questionable take off performance, the main concern was whether I would get airborne in the available distance if I uploaded more fuel...... reluctantly I broke my rule of always having full tanks on departure and departed on half tanks. As it happens I was airborne in half the runway albeit with a pathetic climb rate, now I still question whether uploading the spare 30 litres would have decayed my take off performance and climb rate to a point where my flight would have terminated in the upwind hedge?

For me the niggling thoughts are: If I had uplifted more fuel I wouldn't have needed to go into the airstrip that I actually had my accident at, but still the uplift may have terminated my flight at my departure airstrip ? So I can only accept I took advice based on knowledge of my departure airfield from users instead of going with what I personally set as a benchmark.
My desire to depart with fuller tanks would have allowed me to have more options regarding endurance and range, but hindsight is 20/20 and to be honest I am now speaking retrospectively after seeing that I only used 50% of the runway ( Would 100% fuel have equated to 100% of the runway ? ) More to the point would my 260fpm climb rate have diminished to a far lesser figure ?

As you can see my trail of thought emulates yours to some degree in as much as a hedge clearance was a factor and made me go with a fuel load I wasn't entirely happy with ( you say you had too much, I had too little and wanted more ).

Anyway we are all still here to discuss what happened and we should just be grateful to be given that chance
:yeahthat:


Well, this is an interesting topic from all angles. We used to fly our GT450 with a full tank of 65 litres no matter where we going. The thinking was that we never wanted to be short of fuel.

There were a number of factors which came together to give the circumstances of the accident which wrecked our plane (mostly the failure to go round when the approach was upset by turbulence) - landing on a short runway, running out of space, deciding to go round too late, we possibly could have scraped through/above the hedge if we didn't have a full tank of petrol. Some high tensile wire in the hedge grabbed our wheels and flipped us over. Without so much fuel would we have cleared those wires enough to get away with a close shave?

Now I am loathe to fly two up with a full tank of fuel if we are only going for a bimble. 9 - 12 hours litres per hour fuel burn means 30 litres is plenty. I re-evaluate everything now and discretion is my philosophy. It's for each of us to decide and useful for a thread like this. Really good that a question on an oral exam can spark such a lot of posts. I said to my examiner it is the "mobile phone law" of microlighting - the most commonly ignored.

Grelly
29-03-12, 09:43 AM
Andy, you know as well as I do that the big boys calculate exactly what they need and add 30mins for a go around! They carry no more than what is absolutely necessary.
John

I was always taught to leave the aircraft with the tanks full as air in the tank contains moisture. The more air, the more moisture. And as we all know, water in your fuel is bad.

marilyn
29-03-12, 10:04 AM
I was always taught to leave the aircraft with the tanks full as air in the tank contains moisture. The more air, the more moisture. And as we all know, water in your fuel is bad.

If left for awhile, I am sure that is right. In fact, if leaving an aircraft unflown for some time, might there be a good argument for emptying the tank completely (either on wrapping up the aircraft or unwrapping it) ... it can always go in the car. But if an aircraft is being flown every day in weather like we are currently having, I'd judge the risk of condensation to be low. Correct me if my blonde logic is flawed.

Bob T
29-03-12, 10:18 AM
Small military aircraft are refuelled before they are put to bed, but not only to minimise condensation. Petrol/Avgas is explosive, but only when air is present, and a tank half full of petrol fumes is much more combustible than one full of fuel with no air.
I would prefer a diesel engine and a tank full of diesel as that is a pig to light with hardly any vapour.

paultheparaglider
29-03-12, 10:19 AM
Grelly, that isn't nearly as important with plastic tanks as it is with metal tanks.

The thing about microlights is that performance is markedly affected by weight. Those of us who have flown our 2 seaters solo know just how big a difference that big (and often noisy) lump on the back seat makes to how fast we take off, how short we can land, and how fast we climb. Added to this, in a flexwing additional weight makes the handling heavier (although on a bumpy day this can be a benefit). Now, in the old days when fuel tanks were fairly small this didn't matter too much, but with 912 engines that are economical and tanks that are 65 to 70 litres it makes more sense to only load the fuel needed for the flight plus adequate reserves. Also, it is worth bearing in mind that it is also now possible to trade fuel for passenger weight, and if we don't check our fuel loads we can easily go overweight. On some aircraft, this will make a massive difference to takeoff performance. Add to this, the more weight you carry means the higher the fuel burn. So less is more as long as safe margins are covered in my opinion.

We also have one major advantage over normal GA. We can make a precautionary landing pretty much anywhere if in doubt. Yesterday, I flew from near Newport in South Wales up to Caernarfon via Knockin. For once, I fuelled to within about five or 10 litres of the brim. By the time I landed in Caernarfon, I had a shade over 30 litres left. Now, based on the trip up, this should have been good for 3 hours at least and the flight plan home indicated 2 hours only. However, on the way back the fuel computer was indicating 14 litres per hour for what seemed like ages and I was using slightly higher revs due to sinky air in the mountains, and the groundspeed was a little slower than expected, so I started to think fuel might become marginal. Had the fuel guage (which seems quite accurate in the Blade) not been telling me all was ok, I would have simply landed in a field on the way back to physically check the fuel. As it was, I landed with 15 litres left, so no precautionary landing had been needed.

So, is there anything less useful than empty space in the tank? In my opinion, yes. Uneeded fuel in the tank. Put in what you need plus safe reserves, and if winds pick up and your safe reserves look like not being enough any more, then do the sensible thing and land somewhere. Don't push it and run out in the air.

As for carrying fuel in jerry cans on the back seat, we have been doing it for pretty much ever in microlighting. Strictly legal or not, it certainly isn't something I'd lose any sleep over.

Roger Mole
01-04-12, 15:59 PM
:-)
In a week or so's time I'm heading off with 54 litres in my tanks plus two full jerry cans (a further 40 litres) on the seat beside me. So if anything goes wrong at least I should make a memorable show of it

Rick Moss
01-04-12, 18:02 PM
I subscribe to the theory that the only time you can have too much fuel is when you're on fire (subject to weight limits if your of that persuasion).

When touring, I "brim" the sky ranger tanks at 53 litres and have 2 10 litre metal cans in the passenger footwell. With me and luggage, I'm at MTOW when solo.

Polski
01-04-12, 18:35 PM
I tend to just fill my two wing tanks ( 45 litres each), beer in the wing lockers, more beer on the passenger seat, beer behind the seats, beer in the passenger footwell and sandwiches in the glove box.:rofl:

Bill Scott
05-04-12, 15:32 PM
I've just been to my usual independent local petrol station and have been informed they've had a visit from Trading standards. Big Brother has decreed that they're not allowed to sell more than 15Ltrs to a customer for transportation in portable containers. I usually put 15 Ltrs in a jerrycan and I will carry on as before, I generally buy 30 Ltrs each time I go there. However, it has confirmed my fears that we would see official scrutiny in the aftermath of panic hoarding and people setting fire toi themselves in their kitchens.

If I need 20 Ltrs in each can, I will stop at the garage in my village and put 5 Ltrs in each can, then go 7 miles to my usual supplier and top up with 15 Ltrs in each can ;-) Oh, the joy of living in a free society where we can go about our innocent pastimes unhindered.... Or, maybe not!

Russp
10-04-12, 03:55 AM
From the HSE website - http://www.hse.gov.uk/fireandexplosion/petroleum-faqs.htm

How many containers can I fill at a petrol station?

Petrol filling stations may have their own internal policy on the types and numbers of containers they are prepared to fill - frequently one or two 5 litre plastic and/or one or two 10 litre metal. This is a decision made by the filling station operator and is not a legal requirement.

Petrol filling stations usually have to abide by a licence condition to allow only 'suitable' containers to be filled. This is usually interpreted as metal containers up to a maximum size of 23 litres or plastic containers up to a maximum size of 5 litres. A licence condition has the same effect as a legal requirement. The licence condition does not limit how many containers one customer may fill.

Storage

What is the limit of the amount of petrol I can store for domestic use?

The Petroleum Spirit (Motor Vehicles etc.) Regulations 1929 and the Petroleum Spirit (Plastic Containers) Regulations 1982 limit the amount of petrol that can be kept in a domestic garageor within six metres of a building (e.g. most domestic driveways). The limit is a maximum of two suitable metal containers each of a maximum capacity of ten litres and two plastic containers (which have to be of an approved design) each of a maximum capacity of five litres. These limits also apply to any containers kept in a vehicle parked in the garage or on the driveway (but not to the internal fuel tank of the vehicle). Under no circumstances should the petrol containers be stored in the home itself.

Anyone who wishes to store larger quantities than this, or use larger containers, is required to notify the local Petroleum Licensing Authority (PLA) and to store the petrol in a prescribed manner set out in the 1929 Regulations mentioned above - enquirers who want further details should contact their local PLA. Storage of more than 275 litres (60 gallons) of petrol requires a petrol licence - again, contact the local PLA.

factory-fit
27-03-13, 23:14 PM
8985You can add a 27 litre plastic Eltex fuel tank on the back seat, official mod.

92 litre capacity is handy when you can only get Avgas in France.

Kev8984

MadamBreakneck
28-03-13, 15:52 PM
While we're listing rules and regs related to fuel, there's also the Carriage of Dangerous Goods regulations
http://www.caa.co.uk/default.aspx?catid=1219&pagetype=90

Accoding to CAA prosecutions list there was a chap done for this in 2011; given a conditional discharge and a grand costs. Another couple of convictins in 2009/10 delivered a) conditional discharge plus £3700 costs and b) £4000 fine plus £2300 costs. It all depends, I suppose, whether you get caught and what they think of you at the time.

11th Commandment: "Thou shalt not get caught" :-)

Joan

PS. Kev, that was another of your magic and creative mods. As you told me once (my translation) why be illegal if it's possiible, and safer, to be legal.

MadamBreakneck
28-03-13, 16:09 PM
...beer in the wing lockers...:rofl:
I recall reading (someone might recall it better) that there was a time when Adolf Galland (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/obituary--general-adolf-galland-1318925.html)was ferrying his Messerschmitt to a new location and had loaded up with a crate of beer for a celebration with some fellow officers. If I recall the story correctly he was bounced en route by an allied fighter and he had to go through the entire fight aware that he had this crate, not tied down, in the cockpit with him. He lived to tell the tale...
:smiley-vault-charac
Joan

jjones
06-04-13, 21:37 PM
never mind beer in wing lockers:

9047

microlight181
06-04-13, 21:44 PM
Not sure if I have missed something in this thread, but is the general opinion that can you legally carry a jerry can of petrol? Its a bit odd if you can get an official mod for the back seat if you then cant carry a can in the same place?

Russ_H
06-04-13, 21:49 PM
never mind beer in wing lockers:

9047

They had their priorities right in those days:cheers:

Rick Moss
06-04-13, 21:53 PM
If a question has ambiguous answers, it's best not to ask for clarity.

microlight181
06-04-13, 21:58 PM
Well true enough........ I would be a real pain not being able to carry that's for sure.

factory-fit
08-04-13, 09:20 AM
The tip Roger Pattrick gave was that the Ikarus tank was an excellent fit in the rear seat, providing huge ferry capacity. I was cautious in only adding 27litres, as you could then refuel in France at garages and avoid using Avgas.

International Marine Supplies in Lincolnshire have loads of potentially useful tank shapes, but not all have handles! You could use the Eltex 27 litre but don't bother with plumbing it in, as the BMAA and CAA have accepted it is safe when strapped through the top loop.

Cheers

Kev

Joe McIvor
08-04-13, 11:28 AM
If a question has ambiguous answers, it's best not to ask for clarity.

http://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1235562205p2/1654.jpg (http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1654.Terry_Pratchett)“Albert grunted. "Do you know what happens to lads who ask too many questions?"
Mort thought for a moment.
"No," he said eventually, "what?"
There was silence.
Then Albert straightened up and said, "Damned if I know. Probably they get answers, and serve 'em right.”
― Terry Pratchett (http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1654.Terry_Pratchett), Mort (http://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/1857065)

http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/questions

DaveyLew
08-04-13, 20:46 PM
http://www.caa.co.uk/application.aspx?catid=33&pagetype=65&appid=11&mode=detail&id=5479