I was looking over the wiki article on the Gimli Glider and noticed updates exchanged the term "floatstick" where "dripstick" was previously used. I had not heard this term but a little googling about indicates the former is a newer version of the latter, with the advantage being that it doesn't pour fuel out of the tank.

Looking on the web I found a number of references to fueling the 767, and this one is about the 767-200ER (which I believe is the same/super-similar as the -233?). It talks about the "magnetic type dripless fuel measuring sticks" which seems like it is a floatstick. But this is a very recent publication, 2019, so perhaps this refers only to in-service aircraft after modification?

I also found any number of pages and/or reports that referred to it being a dripstick. This included the final accident investigation report. I also found a diagram showing the 767 did use dripsticks, at least at some point, but it is also possible they simply called them that in spite of it being magnetic. Earlier references seem to use "magnetic dripstick" so it might just be confused terminology.


  1. When did floatsticks (magnetic dripsticks) become common in general, not 767 specifically?
  2. Did production 767's ever come with floatsticks from the factory? Always?
  3. If !2, were in-service aircraft updated to use a floatstick?

2 Answers 2


I would assume that all variants of the B767 came from Boeing with “dripless” fuel measuring sticks.

The final accident report you referenced states that these measuring sticks are designed to be dripless. Elsewhere in the report it states that even though they are “dripless”, they are commonly called “drip sticks”. (old habits die hard)

The accident aircraft was C-GAUN which was one of the earliest model B767-200 delivered to Air Canada in March 1983.

This is from page 28 of the report:

enter image description here

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ What's odd about this statement is that they say it does NOT drip fuel and that's why they call it a drip stick. Imagine what the author's brain was doing at that moment in time... $\endgroup$ Jan 3, 2023 at 16:01

The Fokker F28, first flight 1967, had 3 or 4 dripless sticks that extended from each underwing when turned 90 deg.

There was a square fluid filled inclinometer grid with a bubble (1-7 on one side and A-G on the other if memory serves) in the fuselage hatch where the refuelling controls were and a book in the cockpit to convert the readings into pounds of fuel.

A ‘drip’ reading was required before the first flight every day and had to agree with the uplift and gauges within 3%.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .