A Highly Unusual Discovery

Restoration staff inspecting an A-1E Skyraider at the National Museum of the US Air Force in Dayton, Ohio, last week found that the aircraft still contained an estimated 200 gallons of fuel, even though records indicated that museum workers had purged its fuel when it arrived there in 1968, according to museum officials. That discovery led to the temporary closure of some of the museum’s galleries while workers defueled the Skyraider for safety reasons, according to the museum’s Dec. 17 release. “Discovering fuel in an aircraft on display in the museum is highly unusual and we regret having to inconvenience our visitors by temporarily closing several galleries,” stated Museum Director Jack Hudson. He added, “Safety must always come first though, and the team did a superb job in resolving this matter.” After the fuel’s discovery on Dec. 14, workers spent the next several days removing it, enabling the galleries’ re-opening on Dec. 17. Museum procedures call for defueling and purging remaining fuel from all aircraft before they are placed on display. (Dayton report by Rob Bardua)