Mogas for the masses — if you dare

Jamie Beckett is a CFI and A&P mechanic who stepped into the political arena in an effort to promote and protect GA at his local airport.

Prepare yourself for a blatant plug. I’m going to suggest you click on a link that will take you to a General Aviation News blog post on the topic of GA Fuels. You can find the post that I was drawn into here:  Legislative confusion in Maine over ethanol and Mogas.

Now you may not be a chemist by trade, and you may not even care about the debate that rages in the aviation community about 100LL and the search for a suitable replacement. But I’m willing to bet that you’re spectacularly interested in your wallet, and your personal safety.May I respectfully suggest that you take a look at Mogas? I suspect you’ll be glad you did.

A few facts are in order. There are currently tens of thousands of airplanes flying around the world, fueled by Mogas, or what automobile drivers simply refer to as premium. In short, it’s a high octane gasoline. It’s unleaded, so it is a superior choice environmentally to the 100LL so many of us have been using for so many years. And that’s an advantage, frankly. Because this unleaded fuel may leave you with lower maintenance costs, as well as a lower risk of fouled plugs or sticking valves.

If you’re unfamiliar with the Mogas option, you may be surprised to find that it is available to an astounding number of aircraft, either via an STC that allows you to fill your tanks with Mogas, or because many newer aircraft run Rotax engines that were designed to run on Mogas. In fact, if your powerplant was made by Continental, Franklin, Jacobs, or Lycoming, there’s a good chance that Mogas is a viable alternative for you. Even round engines with the Pratt & Whitney eagle emblem emblazoned on them can run on Mogas – and remain as reliable as their slogan suggests they are.

Oh yes, Mogas is substantially less expensive than 100LL, too. So you might be able to afford to fly more often, or farther, or faster than you normally would.

In short, there are plenty of benefits to Mogas. That’s the good news.

The hitch may be the government’s push to provide the cars of America with an ethanol blend that is less than desirable in an aviation application. That’s where the GAFuel blog post comes in. GAN’s own Kent Misegades knows more about the fuel dust-up than I ever will. And his partner in GAFuel commentary, Dean Billing, is an expert on the issue of autogas and ethanol. Together, they share their insights well. They also delve into my realm with this particular blog post, with a plea that you write to your state legislators to let them know how ethanol is affecting you as a pilot.

You see, politics extends far beyond the confines of city hall, the county seat, or a conference room in a large stately building. It has a direct effect on the fuel we put in our aircraft – and with all the hubbub these days about the evils of leaded fuel, wouldn’t it be nice if our elected officials were aware that a suitable replacement fuel is available right now – if they would just stop screwing it up by insisting that ethanol be injected into each and every gallon sold at the local pumping station.

So go read a short post on the ethanol issue, then Google your state legislative contingent and start typing. A few dozen e-mails and phone calls from a collection of aviation-minded voters just might get some jaws working at the state capital, which could potentially lead to action being taken, which would result in you paying less for a good, clean, reliable fuel that is less damaging to the environment than the fuel we’re currently using. But heck, if you’re not a tree-hugger, that’s okay. Concentrate on the lower cost per hour that you’ll pay out every time you fly.

Sometimes it’s good to be a little selfish.

You can reach Beckett at


  1. says

    Anyone who has educated themselves, to any extent, about the use of Ethanol in gasoline, knows that it is a BAD deal for everyone, including the environment. I agree that we need a renewable fuel that is environmentally friendly, but not at the cost imposed by Ethanol. We may never win that arguement because in politics, you don’t have to be right, to win.

    So, what I really care about is the availability of a reliable fuel that does not break the bank, and is available at all airports that provide AvGas for GA. If “GUARANTEED” NO ETHANOL fuel were available, I would buy it and be happy to do so. So for me, the problem is easy to solve, but for your higher compression engines, this won’t solve the problem.

    Tell the FAA to get off their ASSES and get some of these alternatives approved.

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