Correct sampling and labeling of petroleum prod-
ucts is as important to fuels inspection as correct testing.
Improper containers of poorly drawn samples or incor-
rectly identified samples can cause laboratory results to
be meaningless or, worse, misleading.
Some cardinal rules in sampling follow:
1. The samplers hands or gloves must be clean.
2. A sample container must be meticulously clean.
It should be thoroughly cleaned and inspected before
use. Before a sample is taken, the clean container should
be rinsed and flushed three times with the fuel being
3. All samples must be representative of the prod-
uct being sampled. Any sample of fuel being delivered
to an aircraft should be taken from the fueling nozzle
and during actual fueling operations. A sample taken to
test a fixed filter/separator should be taken at the filter
d i s c h a r g e .
4. Each sample should be capped promptly with an
approved cap. Do not use sealing wax, rubber gaskets,
or caps with wax seals.
5. Each sample should be drawn from a connection
in a vertical pipe run where practical. If it must be drawn
from a horizontal run, the connection should be halfway
between the top and the bottom of the pipe.
6. A sample should be taken with the system oper-
ating at a normal and steady flow rate, if possible.
7. To prevent leakage due to increased pressure
caused by thermal expansion of the product, do not fill
any container above 90 percent capacity.
8. A container such as a drum should be sampled
with a thief sampler and not by tilting. Be careful to
remove all foreign matter from the area before the plug
is removed from the drum.
9. For nozzle samples, the sample should be taken
from the overwing nozzle during or immediately after
the fueling of an aircraft. A pressure nozzle has a
Gammon sample connection that allows a sample to be
taken while the aircraft is being fueled.
Sizes of Samples
The minimum size sample container for taking
samples of fuel is 1 quart. This size sample is of suffi-
cient size for sediment, water, and flash point tests only.
For other types of tests, the sample submitted should be
at least 1 gallon.
A sample container for sediment and water tests
must always be glass with a nonmetallic top.
Identification of Samples
Proper identification and accurate records of sam-
ples are necessary so the test results maybe correlated
with the samples submitted.
The following should be used as a guide for sam-
Sample serial number (activity number).
Type fuel (JP-5, MOGAS, and so on.).
Name and location of activity.
Date sample taken.
Approximate time the sample was taken.
Location of sample point (nozzle sample, filter
number, tank number, refueler number, and so on.).
7. Quantity of material represented, if applicable.
8. Classification of sample (routine or special
see the following section).
9. Name of person taking sample.
10. Tests required.
Samples are classified as either ROUTINE or
SPECIAL. ROUTINE samples are taken when no fuel
problems or aircraft problems attributable to fuel are
known or suspected. An example is the periodic sam-
pling taken as a part of a quality surveillance program.
These samples should be tested for sediment and
water, and for JP-5, flash point. SPECIAL samples are
submitted for test because the quality of the fuel is
suspected, either as the result of aircraft malfunctions
or other information. SPECIAL samples should have
the highest priority in handling, testing, and reporting.
The container for drawing a visual sample should
be at least 1 quart in size, round, and made of clear
glass. The top should be as large as possible to aid in
drawing the sample without spilling the fuel. The
cleaning procedures previously described under sam-
pling procedures should always be earned out when
you are taking a visual sample.