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Blue Skies and Blue Gas: A Pilot’s Favorite Scenario

by Joel Pierce

feature_maint_1A pilot is enticed to fly by clear, blue skies. What else about the color blue is important to a pilot? Before each flight, pilots check to ensure their aircraft contains the correct type as well as quality of fuel. To make it easy, the aircraft has a placard placed at each fueling port that provides this information. For those of us who fly small, single-engine aircraft, we normally use 100LL Avgas. This fuel is easily recognized by its blue coloring. If there happens to be water in the fuel tank, this will be indicated in the fuel sample as a clear fluid. Since water is denser than 100LL Avgas, it will separate from the fuel and sit at the bottom of the test tube. So, always obtain a sample from all of the appropriate fuel sample ports. Make sure the entire sample has a blue tint and is free of particle contaminants. This test confirms that your fuel tank has the appropriate, clean fuel it needs to keep the engine spinning, which in turn keeps the pilot cool and happy!

Joel Pierce

General Manager & Chief Flight Instructor

A fan of flight ever since childhood, Joel earned his private pilot certificate in September 2002. In 2003, he attended the International ALERT Academy, where he obtained his instrument rating along with his commercial and flight instructor certificates. After graduating, he joined the ALERT faculty as a flight instructor and an assistant department manager. During this time, Joel met his wife, Laura. They married in 2006 and now have two children. In 2008, Joel became the flight operations director for Smith Field Air Service and now leads the staff at Sweet Aviation. Joel has over 5,000 hours of flight instruction and is driven by a passion for helping customers achieve their dreams. Joel is type rated in Sweet Aviation’s Cirrus Vision Jet, certified to fly a customer’s T-28, able to go fly some aerobatic maneuvers in the Super Decathlon, and on top of all this, he gets to share his intense passion for flying with so many other aviation enthusiasts in the Fort Wayne area.

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