December 2008 Issue

Fuel-Cap Covers: Effective on Most Wings

The Stay-Sealed cap will keep water out if you can get it to latch on correctly, but so will an aircraft cover. Filtering the water out of a sample works great.

Part of every piston-pilotís preflight ritual is sumping the fuel tanks to check for water. Given that a modern Cessna has 13 of these fuel drains, wouldnít it be better just to keep the water out? Thatís what Stay-Sealed attempts with a fuel cap to put in place over your existing fuel cap. The company offers covers that fit most single-engine Cessnas and Pipers. The covers arenít interchangeable, so order the right type for your airplane. The cap is applied by pressing down and physically locking over the existing fuel cap. You need to pull up on the ring at the center to make sure itís really in place. It shouldnít pop off. The company claims it will stay on in an 80 mph wind. It comes off with a slight pop when you pull from the corner with no scuffing to the paint. We tested the Stay-Sealed cover on two high-wing Cessnas by smearing a paste that changes color in the presence of water just inside the filler neck, closing the cap and then drenching the wing until there was standing water. We tried it with an unprotected fuel cap, a canvas aircraft cover and the Stay Sealed cover. (A big thanks to the folks at Cumberland and York Aviation in Biddeford, Maine, for their help with this.)

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