More on passing gas


My wife and I appreciated the article titled “Passing Gas.” Steve Hanshew was willing to cover the most important aspects of aviation fuels and the attempt by the Feds to remove 100LL from existence.

I have been flying for over 52 years and have never suffered any ill effect from the use of tetra-ethyl lead in aviation fuel. When I began my flying career, one of the most pleasant odors emanating from my J-3 Cub was the smell of the 80-octane fuel being put into the tank. The next most pleasant odor was that of the exhaust of the fuel as the little 75-hp engine fired into life. During my college years, I poured thousands of gallons of 115-octane fuel into the TWA Connies for their hops from STL to LAX.

It has been very apparent that the federal government has done everything it can, without creating an immediate revolution, to emasculate aviation, particularly private aviation. There is no reason why 100LL should be almost $5 per gallon except that the government and the big oil companies, along with the air-headed environmentalists, want to control and eliminate as many American citizens from owning their own aircraft.

The aviation community must not roll over and play dead. We owe it to our children and grandchildren, as well as to the thousands of men and women who have flown before us.

E.W. MICKEY, via e-mail


  1. says

    So what part of supply and demand does Mr. Mickey and Dr. Butler not understand. Back when Connies were burning 115 / 145 and there were two or three grades of avgas at most airports all auto gasoline was leaded too and TEL was produced in this country. But today the refineries turn out 135+ billion gallons of unleaded mogas and about 185 million gallons of leaded avgas, which represents .14% of gasoline production and the TEL for avgas comes from one remaining production facility that isn’t even in the US. On top of all of that leaded avgas must be transported and handled separately by inefficient means, i.e. non pipeline transmission, so it doesn’t contaminate unleaded product. That is why avgas is $5 / gallon and it will only get worse because demand for avgas is declining every year.

  2. Larry D. Butler, Ph. D. says

    I have just read Mr. Mickey’s “Letter to the Editor”, regarding leaded aviation fuels. I can identify immediately with his statements, as I too have “lived” this same life through the “evolution of aviation” in this country. America was once the greatest “entrepreneur” of aviation and air transportation in the world. That life…that dream, has been destroyed by politicians, who could care less about its success or the very success of the people engaged in it. I have watched since the “heady days of aviation”, in the 60’s and early 70’s, only to watch as one President, who was “well paid” for his treachery, completely destroyed the air transportation industry completely, by bankrupting it We cannot allow a “further deterioration” of this industry, which so many have dedicated their lives to, allowing it to just disappear. Allowing the environmentalist to “control” aviation cannot be permitted! Therefore, do not accept as a “given” that 100LL must go the way of the dinosaur. Its’ time to stand up and fight the environmentalist, who would throw us all back to the stone age, just to satisfy their own corrupt personal agenda’s. The very fact that avgas is $5. a gallon, is as Mr. Mickey makes clear…politics and a government that could care less about the success of aviation! We as the aviation community must turn that around! Aviation in this country is rapidly becoming a “rich man’s game”. Evidence of this is the fact that a single engine aircraft now sells for over half a million dollars, when they sold for under $25,000.00, when Jimmy Carter entered office in 1977. That’s a 950% increase in 30 years, caused principally by the bankrupting of the aviation manufacturers and airlines by politicians! Politicians did this…no one else, make no mistake of it! That didn’t just happen…it was caused to happen and it must be not only stopped, but reversed! Prior to Jimmy Carter, the price of general aviation aircraft had risen only 20% in the previous 30 years and that increase was caused almost entirely by capricious lawsuits, which were completely without merit.

    I have been a specialist, aviator, teacher, manager and administrator in the aviation industry for more than 44 years. I watched as aviation soared and then plummeted to earth…shot down by those who didn’t care about those, whose lives were entwined in the industry. These “destroyers of lives and livelihoods”, must be eliminated without remorse, if the industry is to survive at all! I believe the current Administrator of the FAA has the necessary qualifications to do his job, but he must be supported. His predecessors for the previous 18 years were all idiots, who knew nothing about aviation and could care less about its success. This must never be allowed to occur again, otherwise aviation in this country will be only a “rumor” and a footnote in our history books.

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