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

A 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!