Faulty meter gives away 800 litres of fuel at Digby airport

Jonathan Riley, The Digby Courier
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Some customers who bought aviation fuel at the Digby Annapolis Regional Airport in late April received a little more than they paid for.

DNR pilot Dave Farrell fuels up at the Digby Area Airport in 2012.

RILEY/ File photo

A pilot first brought the problem to the attention of airport staff on the morning of Easter Monday, April 21 when he noticed the pump had given him more fuel than the meter indicated.

Staff dipped, or measured using a stick, the amount of fuel in the airport’s storage tank and discovered 800 litres were missing.

At a $1.85 a litre, the missing fuel would have sold for $1,480.

When they tested the pump’s meter by filling a five-litre can, the meter only showed 1.1 litres.

A technician arrived April 22 and discovered a broken brass shear pin was only sporadically activating the pump meter, resulting in the faulty measurements.

For that time of year, the Easter weekend was an unusually busy weekend at the airport with 35 planes coming and going and 10 fuel sales in three days.

Airport staff had carried out weekly dips on April 2, April 9 and April 17, all of which gave correct amounts.

According to the meter, 1,077.8 litres had been sold but the tank dip showed 16 inches which means about 1,882 litres had been pumped out.

Airport staff started doing two tank dips a week after April 22.

When apprised of the situation at the committee of the whole meeting on Monday, May 12, the council of Municipality of the District of Digby asked staff to dip daily.

The airport stores its fuel above ground in a doubled wall tank.

 

jriley@digbycourier.ca

 

 

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