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When refueling any aircraft caution should be taken due to static electricity. Static electricity is formed when by the fraction of air passing over the surface of an aircraft as well as when fuel is flowing the hose and nozzle during refueling of an aircraft.

Pilots should be aware that curtain types of clothing material are very prone to creating and discharging static electricity, such as:

  • Nylon

  • Dacron

  • Wool

To protect against any possible static electricity igniting the fuel fumes, a ground wire should be connected to the aircraft before the fuel caps are removed. When using a fuel truck, the truck should be grounded prior to the fuel nozzle contacting the aircraft.

TIP: A good way to remember the grounding procedure is remember this saying, “ground the airplane.”

In most remote places especially in Alaska where refueling needs to be done using fuel drums or cans. Drums need to be placed near grounding posts, and a curtain bonding sequence needs to be followed.

  • Drum to ground

  • Ground to aircraft

  • Drum to aircraft or nozzle to aircraft before removing the fuel caps.

Allows disconnect in the reverse order.

If using cans to refuel an aircraft, again the aircraft grounded first then the nozzle needs to be bonded to the aircraft. Under no circumstances should a plastic bucket or contain be used in this type of refueling operation.


  • Ground the airplane.



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