Re: A second 757 crash -- off the Dominican coast

From: (Alan Browne)
Organization: Canadian Marconi Company
Date:         15 Mar 96 01:05:22 
References:   1 2 3 4 5
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In article <airliners.1996.351@ohare.Chicago.COM>,
>In article <airliners.1996.305@ohare.Chicago.COM>,
>(Jim Wolper) wrote:
>> Jets can run on avgas, but piston engines will suffer from detonation
>> and severe loss of power if run on kerosene (jet fuels).  For example,
>> the Garret engines in the Swear
  --------------   snipped --------------------------------------

I have first hand knowledge of a "kerosene" destroyed piston engine.  One of
our customers (when I worked for a small flying school) rented our one and
only float plane (R-172K [Cessna Hawk XP], 195 HP injected, AVGAS 100) and
went off to the great north for some fishing.  He dropped in at a helicopter
base that had a nice long lake and pulled up to the dock.  We later found
out that the attendant did not want to fill the XP with the only fuel
avaialble (JET A or JP-4, I can't remember), but the pilot INSISTED.

Well he managed to get home (two hours or so), but the engine was running
poorly and not developing full power.  When the mechanic was pulled in to
take a look, the smell of kerosene told him what happened long before the
cowling was pulled...

After the teardown of the engine, we saved the pistons as ashtrays (the
good-ole flying club days).  The face of the piston (cumbustion side) had a
crust of about 1 mm thick that could not be removed.  (I seem to remeber
that it was a sand color...not black).

Anyway, the school learned to be more selective of its float plane

There are some piston engines which accept a broader range of fuels, but the
Lycomings and Continentals of the world definitely want 80/87 or these days
100 or 100LL.

I remember that John Deere were trying to build a ceramic turbine for
automobiles and tractors.  It would spin in the 80,000 - 110,000 RPM range
(actually tested to over 130,000 RPM) and develop about 100 HP.  It was
designed to use just about anything that would burn from propane, LPG, LNG,
NG, ... Car gas, AVGAS, .... diesel .... Kerosene...without any "life
effects on the engine).  The advantage of Ceramic was that the "burn"
temperature could be optimized as high as possible resulting in greatest
efficiency.  This was of interest to my dad and I at a time when we
partipated in the "Flying Engineers" and were given a briefing at a meet in

Alan Browne