Are you ready for the change?
Announced changes to the fuel filtration system on helicopter refuelling systems.
Why are we sharing this bulletin?
The purpose of this bulletin is to inform current users and purchasers of filter monitor systems, to prepare their aviation refuelling systems for the global changes within the aviation fuelling industry.
Filtration Bulletin EI17/074 issued by Energy Institute states that EI will not be maintaining or updating EI 1583 beyond its current 7th edition and that EI will withdraw the specification by no later than 31st December 2020.
Prior to this date the aviation fuel filtration industry will start the phase out of the filter monitor. To ensure the system can continue to be used beyond 2020, it must be upgraded. This bulletin will strengthen industry wide awareness of the importance of having a compliant helicopter refuelling system prior to the retirement of the EI 1583 specification.
What is the Event that made us publish this?
IATA SAP Special Investment Group has investigated the cases where Super Absorbent Polymer (SAP) used in filter monitor has been detected in engine fuel management components. Based on this investigation Energy
Institute issued bulletin EI 17/074 which includes the following statement: “Key industry stakeholders, meeting under the auspices of IATA, have agreed that a transition is required to the global use offiltration/sensing technology that does not contain SAP”.
Based on this the European Aviation Safety Agency has issued EASA SIB No.:2018-10 which states the following Long term (before end of 2020): Replacement of all existing Filter Monitor systems with alternative filtration options, following an extended qualification and field trial programme being undertaken by the industry.” The EI 1583 is the specification for the Filter Monitor
Element, and since this will be withdraw no later than 31st December the helicopter refuelling system owners must start preparing their refuelling system for the new future filtration solution.
What are the recommended corrective Actions?
Action #1: Short term:
Helifuel issued service bulletin 17/01 on the Helifuel website late year 2017 where the short-term recommendations from EI filtration bulletin EI17/074 was addressed. Helifuel stress the importance that instructions within this bulletin are followed to prevent hazardous situations and that this was done before 31
December 2018 as recommended by EI bulletin EI17/074, EASA bulletin SIB 2018-10, JIG bulletin 105 and A4A bulletin 2018.1.
Action #2: Temporary & Long term:
The aviation filtration industry is developing different filtration options, these filtration solutions have not yet passed the field test required by Energy Institute. One filtration option that are under development/testing are dirt defence filter, this filter type does not have water removal capability and must be combined with water sensing technology to confirm that fuel is dry. The dirt filter is soon due for 1-year field test, hence is not yet available.
The second filtration option which is under development is the water barrier filters which continuously remove particle and free water from aviation fuel. This filter technology is still under development and must pass the 1-year field test, hence is not yet available.
For now, there is no replacement filter which has the same functionality as the monitor filter. Helifuel stress the importance of starting the process to replace the Monitor Filter with new filter sensor technology. This is necessary to ensure the solutions are ready and in place when the announced changes by Energy Institute take effect.
The current technical solution from the aviation filtration industry is the water sensor technology. The sensor will monitor free water in your system and will give trend analysis of the refuelling system. This solution is available today. It is recommended to install a water sensor upstream of existing monitor filter vessel to monitor the trend of free water in the Helicopter refuelling system. Based on the findings provided by the sensor the optimal and most economical filtration solution can be selected for your future rebuilt helicopter refuelling system.
For those helicopter refuelling systems which have 3-stage filter vessels, Helifuel stress the importance thatthe differential pressure over the filter monitor is monitored. The quantity of water in your refuelling system can be analysed though the filter monitor differential pressure log, based on this log, future filtration solution can be evaluated. On a Helicopter refuelling system with 3-stage filter vessels which has negligible changes in the filter monitor differential pressure log, there is an optionto rebuild the 3-stage filter vessel from a 3-stage to a 2-stage filter water separator by removing the filter monitor element function from the vessel. This requires the vessel to be rebuilt and a new data plate fitted. If this solution is selected a water sensor must be installed downstream of the filter water separator to monitor water contamination. To prevent high water contaminated fuel entering the aircraft the electrical circuit must be upgraded with an PLC which can give alarm or ultimately shut down the helicopter refuelling system if high water contamination is detected.