How you can prepare for the end of 100LL

I am constantly asked what we can do to prepare for the coming fuel debacle if no timely replacement for 100LL is found.

Work on our aviation alphabets to support two pumps on every airport selling fuel.  Some 20 years ago, this was mostly the case.  What is ironic is that in the proposals the aviation alphabet groups have published, or talked about publicly, they admit that they will probably need a two fuel solution, especially during any transition from 100 LL.

We propose that aviation quit being so proud and independent and start acting like the ethanol industry.  Ask Congress for subsidies and tax credits.  The ethanol industry has been getting them for 30 years.  They have generous tax credits for gas station infrastructure upgrades for E85.  Why can’t the touted General Aviation Caucus in Congress pass generous tax credits for adding fueling infrastructure on our public use airports?

Where were the alphabet groups when Congress was giving stimulus money to any “shovel ready” project?  You can drop a modular, above-ground fuel delivery system on an airport in months — most of it is paperwork. Those pumps could be pumping premium unleaded now and create the demand for 94UL when it is approved — that way 80% of GA can keep flying even if no economic replacement for 100LL is found or the one TEL plant in the world stops making it for any reason. Without a significant number of additional pumps on airports, 94UL will go nowhere, just like 82UL.  And remember, any mogas or 94UL pumped into an airplane “gets the lead out,” which should be our mantra.

The other program we have proposed is to get citizens to demand that their legislatures pass legislation for a state ban on ethanol blending in premium unleaded gasoline before there is a debacle in their marine and aviation industry and public safety. If a state can pass a law mandating gasoline have 10% ethanol in it, it can mandate that premium unleaded be ethanol free.

So, there are things you can do.  What are you waiting for?

(Submitted by Dean Billing)

The GAfuels Blog is written by three private pilots concerned about the future availability of fuels for piston-engine aircraft. They are:

  • Dean Billing (Sisters, Ore.) – an expert on autogas and ethanol
  • Kent Misegades (Cary, N.C.) – an aerospace engineer and aviation journalist
  • Todd Petersen (Minden, Neb.) – former aerial applicator and owner of more than 150 Mogas STCs for aircraft

For a list of airports that have ethanol-free fuel and those no longer pumping it, compiled by the authors, follow this link.

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