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KU Aerospace Short Course Program

Introduction to 25.981 - Fuel Tank Safety and Ignition Prevention

Instructor: Franklin Cummins
Printable Course Information (PDF)

Course Schedule

September 18-22, 2017, San Diego, California

Early registration course fee: $2,495 if you register and pay by August 4, 2017

Regular registration course fee: $2,695 if you register and pay after August 4, 2017

San Diego Lodging and Travel Information

You can also bring this course to your workplace. Learn more about our on-site program.





(Note: This course was formerly titled: Fuel Tank Explosion Prevention Certification Requirements - Airworthiness Standard 14 CFR 25.981 [25-125]).

This course provides details for all elements of fuel tank design needed for compliance with the regulation, with specific emphasis on the electrical design aspects. Some review of regulatory history and 25.981 [25-102] is included for reference and TCA, STC work. Specific design implementations are examined and evaluated. The course will also include a high-level overview of Electromagnetic Effects and Compatibility (EME / EMC), Lightning Effects (direct and indirect), High Intensity Radiated Fields (HIRF), Precipitation Static (P-Static), electrical bonding requirements, and requirements for Electrical Wiring and Installation System (EWIS).

Course fee includes instruction, materials, refreshments and lunches.


  • The electromagnetic environment: considerations for 25.981
  • Metallic and composite aircraft structures: considerations for 25.981
  • The history of fuel tank protection requirements for aircraft certification
  • Direct and indirect effects of lightning and HIRF testing for 25.981 compliance
  • Requirements for in-tank mounted equipment (including FQIS)
  • Requirements for out-of-tank mounted FQIS
  • Requirements for fuel control equipment mounted out-of-tank
  • Fuel tank bonding and continued safety
  • 25.981 ICA; critical design configuration control limitations

Who Should Attend?

This course is designed for all design engineering disciplines, project managers, project engineers and laboratory personnel whose aircraft system may require protection of the airplane’s fuel system from ignition/explosion.

Times / CEUs

31.50 classroom hours
3.150 CEUs

Certificate Tracks

Aerospace Compliance, Aircraft Maintenance and Safety, Electromagnetic Effects, Electrical Wiring Interconnection System (EWIS)

Learning Objectives

  • FAA certification process and requirements
  • Direct effects of lightning zoning and criticalities
  • RTCA/DO-160 levels for direct effects testing
  • Indirect effects of lightning
  • RTCA/DO-160 levels for indirect bench testing

Course Outline

Day One

Purpose and overview

  • General/definitions
  • Regulatory environment

Background and regulatory actions

  • 25.981 [25-16] “Fuel Tank Temperature” – 1967-2001
  • TWA 800/SFAR 88
  • 25.981 [25-102] “Fuel Tank Ignition Prevention” – 2001-2008
  • 25.981 [25-125] “Fuel Tank Explosion Prevention” – 2008
  • 24 CFR26/Lessons learned

Electromagnetic Effects and Electromagnetic Compatibility (EME/EMC)

The HIRF environment

Electrical bonding

Electrostatic Discharge (ESD)

Prescription Static (P-STATIC)

FAA certification process and requirements

25.981 team workshop

Day Two

Compliance considerations

  • FQIS
  • EWIS
  • AC25-981
  • AC120-97A

Design implementations

  • Establish design requirements with the following considerations
  • Temperature threat and design mitigations – heat sources
  • Auto ignition temperature and margin
  • Consideration of latent failure(s)
  • Temperature of fuel tank wall
  • Temperature of components within the fuel tank
  • Temperature of components adjacent to the fuel tank

25.981 team workshop

Day Three

Fuel Tank Construction

  • Fuel and Sealing
  • Bonding

Electrical (Spark) threat

  • Consideration of Latent Failure
  • Ground Return Fault
  • Connections Fault
  • Wire harness runs internal and external

Lightning Threat and Design Mitigations

  • Consideration of latent failure
  • Lightning flashover
  • Lightning transients
  • E-field streamers and vents
  • 25.981 team workshop

Day Four

Compliance implementation

  • 14 CFR 25.981, Amendment 102/125
  • Aircraft wiring and shielding
  • Bonding
  • Electrical Wiring Interconnect System (EWIS)

Verification and validation

  • V&V methods
  • Validate requirements as established in compliance plan are correct
  • Verify design requirements established in implementation have been met

25.981  team workshop

Day Five

  • Teams will prepare final 14 CFR 25.981 report-out
  • Teams will report on their simulated compliance models and provide examples of appropriate compliance statements for FAA/EASA including design review, testing, analysis, and compliance inspections of the fuels system’s type design
  • ICA/COS (keeping the initial design compliant)
  • EWIS and product changes
  • Final Q&A/test

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On-site Contact Information

To learn about bringing a course to your workplace, contact Sarah Williams, on-site program manager, for a no-cost, no-obligation proposal.
Email ProfessionalPrograms@ku.edu
Phone 913-897-8782

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