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The Chemistry of Combustion: A Molecular Look into Aviation Fuel

January 9, 2021 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

Due to the COVID-19 public health crisis, this seminar will only be available for online viewing. IN-PERSON ATTENDANCE WILL NOT BE PERMITTED.**

Click here to learn more about online viewing.

One of the first tasks a student pilot learns is to make sure during the preflight check that the proper fuel is loaded into the airplane. This is a critical step since having the wrong fuel onboard leads to engine malfunction and failure. Sadly, misfueling accidents continue to occur on a regular basis. But what is it that differentiates aviation fuels and why is it critical to have the proper fuel for the airplane?

In this seminar, join us as San Carlos Flight Center invites AGI Michel Vidal-Naquet as he gives a high level overview of the different fuels used in aviation: how fuel is produced from crude oil, what are the chemical differences between the grades of Avgas and Jet-fuel, and what is the chemistry of combustion and its relation to aircraft engine design. We will also address other issues such as the use of lead and discuss some misfueling accidents.

The seminar will lead to a deeper understanding of aviation fuel characteristics, and raise awareness about the critical importance of the fuel pre-flight check.


Michel Vidal-Naquet is an advanced and instrument ground instructor, and an instrument rated, commercial pilot with over 700 flight hours. He started flying in 2013 after settling in the Bay area to work as a computer scientist and engineer. His passion for aviation began during his early childhood when his family first took him on international flights. He brings a scientific point of view to his flying, and is always learning.


San Carlos Flight Center (SCFC) is the SF Bay Area’s most dynamic flying club, committed to building general aviation through safety, community, and adventure. AOPA has consistently recognized SCFC in their Best Flight School survey, most recently in 2019 as a Distinguished Flight School.

SCFC is committed to promoting safety in general aviation through our regular safety seminars and guest speaker programs. Space is often limited so it is important to sign up early. SCFC members may choose to watch the seminar live over the web at home, or recorded at a later date. Click here or contact a SCFC member service rep at (650) 946-1700 for more information about online access.



January 9, 2021
12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
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San Carlos Flight Center
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San Carlos Flight Center
(650) 946-1700
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