The GAfuels Blog is written by two private pilots concerned about the future availability of fuels for piston-engine aircraft: Dean Billing, Sisters, Ore., an expert on autogas and ethanol, and Kent Misegades, Cary, N.C., an aerospace engineer and aviation journalist.
Dear Administrator Babbitt:
I know that the FAA is working diligently with the EPA and the General Aviation Avgas Coalition to find a solution to the impending demise of 100LL avgas. Can you tell me what the FAA and EPA are doing to ensure that the other approved avgas will survive? It is facing a similar demise. Unleaded auto gasoline made to ASTM D4814 without ethanol is an approved aviation fuel. It has FAA approval through the STC process for more than 60,000 aircraft and is the recommended fuel for virtually 100% of the new Light Sport Aircraft. Because of the unintended consequences of the federal RFS mandate in EISA 2007 ethanol free unleaded auto gasoline is disappearing. It has already disappeared in the Northeast and California.
The EPA can remedy the situation by the sweep of a pen, since they are entirely responsible for implementing the RFS in EISA 2007. Renewable fuel is E85, not gasoline with 10% or 15% ethanol in it. The EPA has been asked by a number of aviation representatives to do so through the waiver comments for E15, including the EAA, Petersen Aviation and individuals, by prohibiting the blending of ethanol in premium unleaded auto gasoline throughout the U.S.
I urge the FAA to protect the “other avgas” as vigorously as it is working to find a solution to the 100 LL conundrum.
Sincerely, Dean Billing, Sisters, Ore.