AS 350B Compressor Damaged
During cruise flight, the flight crew noted fuel fumes at the same time that one of the extended range auxiliary fuel tanks was exhausted. To help isolate and understand the problem; the pilot instructed the engineer to investigate further. There was no indication that the exhausted auxiliary fuel tank was the source of the fumes. However, soon thereafter, raw fuel was seen being vented from an unknown source in the area of the #1 engine.
The pilot carried out approved emergency procedures and shutdown the #1 engine, as it was the area of immediate concern. Post-landing inspection found that a fuel bypass return line was broken near the upper B nut.
Transport Canada Comments:
The above scenario could have been much more serious as a result of raw fuel and fuel vapors, particularly in the engine area. Even a small leak or fuel vapors can produce an explosive atmosphere, which can be ignited by any kind of spark.
Fuel lines should frequently be inspected for kinks, scratches, abrasions, corrosion, dents or any kind of damage. Fuel hoses should be frequently inspected, especially at the ends where the fittings are installed.
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