Re: Over wing fuel leak

From:         dave lawson <>
Organization: Dave Lawson
Date:         21 Oct 96 02:29:17 
References:   1
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alain arnaud wrote:
> Last week I was on a UA757 LAX to BOS. About 90mn in the flight we got
> diverted into Denver due to an over the wing fuel leak. The fuel cap
> seal was defective and fuel was leaking from the tank. A passenger noticed that
> there was a liquid streaming from the trailing edge of the wing, he notified
> the flight attendent, and after separate inspection by the crew the captain
> decided to divert.
> We were met on the runway by multiple fire engines and other vehicles. We
> stopped at the end of the taxiway for an inspection before heading to the gate.
> The repair took about 30mn and then we were back on our way.

That is not terribly surprising.  I have been involved in a modification
program on MD-80s that involves doing an upper surface tank test as part
of the aicraft preparation.  We draw vacuum on a full tank and always
find several fasteners and usually an access cover that leak.

The black streaks on the upper wing (normally light grey paint) give
away the presence of leaking fasteners/hatches.  Most airlines live with
the problem until the quantity of fuel lost is significant or they have
a heavy check.  Tank diving is not fun.

Dave Lawson