Letter to the Editor By Todd Petersen, President, Petersen Aviation
A recent post in GANews by Chris Dancy, Media Relations Director of AOPA, indicated that they felt they have been mischaracterized in our recent blog postings. Nothing could be further from the truth. The GA Avgas Coalition has repeatedly ignored mogas as an alternative for aircraft owners and pilots despite our pleas to the aviation alphabet groups for support of ethanol-free fuel (E0) in light of the ever-increasing use of ethanol in the nation’s fuel supply. Now quite suddenly, we seem to have their attention.
Mr. Darcy is correct when he states that the EAA holds numerous STCs for the use of mogas, though you wouldn’t know it given their failure to place anything in their publications regarding efforts to insure a continuing supply of E0 and airport infrastructure to support it.
If the EAA has been working on Capital Hill seeking support for E0 then we are puzzled as to why members of the GA Caucus seem oblivious to it. Nor have there been any appeals to EAA’s membership to write to Congress to object to the increasing use of ethanol. This is the EAA’s strongest suit, having a membership that can be rallied in defense of a common cause. Yet the EAA has remained silent on ethanol, other than to say, don’t use it.
AOPA has been even less helpful. AOPA’s editorials on the future of fuels in this country have repeatedly ignored mogas as an option and concentrate instead only on a single fuel, a 100 octane solution, openly criticizing the concept of a two-fuel solution at every opportunity. We challenge any member of the GA Avgas Coalition to point to a published editorial in support of mogas and mogas infrastructure, or against the continuous spread of ethanol.
The GA Avgas Coalition members have held public presentations on “The Future of Avgas” at several public forums, including AirVenture. At these forums there has never been a representative explaining why mogas is disappearing and what they intend to do to fight it. Nor have they supported our presentations at AirVenture through their attendance, preferring to stay away rather than participate and take the opportunity to answer questions about the future of mogas in aviation. The GA Avgas Coalition seems to take great pride in the creation of the Avgas Rulemaking Committee (ARC), which is working only on a 100 octane solution, completely ignoring the disappearance of ethanol-free mogas in the process. We believe the continued availability of E0 mogas is as important to general aviation as the continued production of 100LL and that this should be an equal part of the discussions held by ARC.
We understand that the GA Avgas Coalition doesn’t support a government mandate for a two fuel solution and neither do we, and we have never said otherwise. Mr. Dancy makes it quite clear that he does not view mogas as an alternative to 100LL, when indeed it could be. There are in fact 91-octane mogas STCs for 100/130 octane engines. While these STCs require modifications (ADI) it certainly seems preferable to at least have a modification that is already FAA approved rather than going forth as if there is no known alternative. The GA Avgas Coalition seems to prefer the latter, or at least their continued espousal of a 100 octane solution as the only solution, seems to indicate as much.
We object to Mr. Dancy’s insinuations about our statements and positions and insist that if anyone is mischaracterizing anyone, it is the GA Aviation Coalition who are mischaracterizing themselves as sudden proponents of ethanol-free mogas when in fact they have been fighting it tooth and nail ever since the coalition was formed. We would welcome their joining with us now in support of mogas and the airport infrastructure to support it, and sincerely hope we can count on them
Todd Petersen is the President of Petersen Aviation of Minden, Neb., owner of STCs for Mogas and ADI injection systems for many GA Aircraft.