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Old 08-10-2022, 07:15 PM
Rocinante Rocinante is offline
Join Date: Apr 2021
Location: Fishers
Posts: 16
Default Self healing fuel tank seep?

Yes I know; itís not possible for a tank seep to heal itself, iím just trying to understand the process that could make it seem so.

upon a rival at OSH, I was curious about the fuel burn, I dipped the tanks, and noticed what I thought was a slight inconsistency between the two tanks (Long story short there, I believe it is a bit of math error on my part), but that lead me to do a much closer inspection of the tanks, and noticed stains indicating a moderate seep from the left tank.

I figured out my math error, and after arriving back home after the convention, I pulled that left cosmetic plate between the wing root and fuselage to see what was going on. The previous owner had apparently had a leak there before, and really slathered a lot of proseal in there to fix the problem at the time, so apparently, this had happen before.

I read up here on fuel tank seeps/leaks, and I am planning the repair, but upon observation of the area where the apparent seep is taking place(evidenced by the lovely blue dye left behind), I noticed both the culprit site, and everywhere in the area, were completely dry and had remain so for some time.

In other words, it looked like the seep had healed itself. I know that thatís not possible, Iím just trying to understand how there couldíve been evidence of such a significant seep that has somehow stopped in the meantime. I had cleaned away the majority of the blue dye, to see if it would return, and even did an hour of touching goes just to see what would happen, but upon checking afterwards, there was no indication that any new fuel had leaked out of the original seep site, or anywhere else.

I know it surely will start again, Iím just looking for insight as to how such a thing could be intermittent instead of more or less continuous.

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Old 08-11-2022, 08:39 AM
wawrzynskivp wawrzynskivp is offline
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Incline Village Nv
Posts: 337
Default Need more info


Probably helpful to know the where and when of the observed staining.

If in your shoes I would start by finding a good stout balloon, the kind that you CAN blow up by mouth but almost blows out your eustachian tubes in the effort (not a little water balloon). Blow that thing up and affix to your fuel vent on a full tank. That should safely pressurize the tank higher than any service condition and give you plenty of time to watch for leaks.
Vincent 'Duck' Wawrzynski
LtCol USMC (Ret)
F-18/F-5/F-16, AH-1/UH-1/CH-53/CH-46, C-130/AN-2
RV-7 complete with all the gadgets
Aviation Safety/Accident Inspector/Investigator
San Jose State University Av Faculty, CFI/GFI S/M (I)

Last edited by wawrzynskivp : 08-11-2022 at 10:24 AM.
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