The aircraft fueler operates the fueling equipment sometimes with the help of a driver. Generally, the aircraft fueling process entails driving a truck filled with aviation fuel to a waiting aircraft. After the fueler grounds the fuel tank and supply line, he or she usually climbs onto the wings of the aircraft with the fuel hose in order to reach the fuel tank openings and fill the plane with fuel. Fuelers also assist in keeping the fuel trucks filled. Fuelers must work outdoors in all types of weather and conditions, and they must be efficient and punctual, since timing is essential to a smooth flight schedule. Fuelers are an important part of the ramp crew, ensuring that aircraft have enough fuel to reach their destination. In some cases, the fueler may deliver supplies and equipment in addition to or in place of fuel. Fuelers will also sometimes assist with lavatory or ramp services. Fuelers are required to wear uniforms and may be issued picture identification for security purposes.
Fuelers can work their way up into senior levels of airline management. Working in the airlines industry is exciting, and many enjoy the fast pace of working behind the scenes.
Aircraft fuelers jobs require people who don’t mind working outside and in all weather conditions. This is especially challenging in extremely cold, icy, rainy, or hot locations. Working with fuel, especially aviation fuel, or avgas as it’s known, can be hazardous. If the fueler does not properly ground the fuel source, static electricity can ignite the gas fumes and result in a fire, explosion, or both. Fuel hoses can be heavy and awkward to manage, particularly when the hose is uncoiled for a great distance. The weight of one section of hose can be as much as 60 lbs and it has to be lifted high overhead. Also, with some aircraft, climbing is required in order to reach the fuel cap. This means that those who are afraid of heights can have a problem with some aircraft whose reach is very high. The job requires a lot of up and down movement using ladders and can be physically demanding, particularly on the knees. While driving the fuel truck on airport grounds, the fueler must avoid taxiing aircraft and pay strict attention to radio instructions from ground control who direct ground traffic at the airport.
The FAA requires fuelers to be certified but the company usually works with new employees to help them attain the necessary certification. The ability to drive a vehicle and operate machinery is necessary. Prospective fuelers must pass a 10-year FBI background check.
High school diploma or equivalent. Fuelers must be at least 18 years old, have a valid driver’s license, and a clean driving record.
Aircraft fueler trainingÂ is done by the employer after hiring.
Salary and Benefits
On average, fuelers make from $9-$13.75 per hour.