Sport aviation events and autogas

The GAfuels Blog is written by two private pilots: Dean Billing, Sisters, Ore., an expert on autogas and ethanol, and Kent Misegades, Cary, N.C., an aerospace engineer, aviation sales rep for U-Fuel, and president of EAA1114.

With the recent spike in fuel prices, and general economic malaise, pilots are watching their costs more than ever. As head of a large EAA chapter (1114, Apex, NC), GAfuels co-author Kent Misegades has long observed a direct correlation between flying activities and the price of fuel. Aircraft maintenance professionals are reporting that aircraft receiving annual inspections are being flown on average around 25 hours annually, a dramatic drop from only a few years ago when 75-100 hours were typical.

While this year’s Sport Aviation EXPO in Sebring and the Virginia Festival of Flight in Suffolk, Va., saw average attendance, with the turmoil caused by weather at Sun ‘n Fun, it is not possible to predict yet whether pilots will make their annual treks to major aviation events. Since the use of autogas, which typically sells for $1-$1.50 less than avgas, poses one means to reduce travel costs, we contacted the directors of 14 such events in the U.S. asking for plans to offer autogas. If it is not available this year, we provide the name of the nearest airport where pilots can top off with autogas when inbound or outbound. While most host airports do not currently offer autogas, those event directors and airport managers who responded to our inquiries were supportive of doing this in the future.

1. U.S. Sport Aviation EXPO

(a) Date: January 19-22, 2012

(b) Chairman: Robert Wood

(c) Host Airport: Sebring Regional Airport, Fla. (SEF)

(d) Airport Manager: Mike Willingham

(e) Autogas status: Yes

2. Sun ‘n Fun

(a) Date: March 27-April 1, 2012

(b) Board Chairman: Bill Eickhoff

(c) Host Airport: Lakeland, Fla. (LAL)

(d) Airport Manager: Eugene Conrad III

(e) Autogas status: No

(f) Nearest autogas: Winter Haven’s Gilbert Airport (GIF), 15nm ENE

3. Virginia Regional Festival of Flight

(a) Date: April 28-29, 2012

(b) Marketing/PR Manager: Dee Whittington

(c) Host Airport: Suffolk Executive Airport, Suffolk, Va. (SFQ)

(d) Airport Manager: Kent Marshall

(e) Autogas status: Yes

4. Rocky Mountain Light Sport Aircaft Expo

(a) Date: May 19-20, 2012
(b) Contact: Brian Garrett
(c) Host Airport: Front Range Airport, Watkins, Colo. (FTG)
(d) Airport Manager: Dennis Heap
(e) Autogas status: No
(f) Nearest autogas: Vance Brand Airport, Longmont, Colo. (LMO), 36 nm NW

5. Golden West Regional Fly-In and Airshow

(a) Date: June 10-12, 2011

(b) President: Amy Clemens

(c) Host Airport: Marysville, Calif. (MYV)

(d) Airport Manager: Mary Hansen

(e) Autogas status: No

(f) Nearest autogas: (July/August 2011) Turlock Municipal Airport, Turlock, CA (O15), 105 nm NNE

6. National Biplane Fly-In

(a) Date: June 2-5, 2011

(b) Chairman: Jim Clark

(c) Host Airport: Freeman Field, Junction City, KS (3JC)

(d) Airport Manager: Ron Nordt

(e) Autogas status 5/2011: No

(f) Nearest autogas: Emporia Municipal Airport (KEMP), 53 nm SE

7. Arlington Fly-In

(a) Date: July 6-10, 2011

(b) Executive Director: Barbara Tolbert

(c) Host Airport: Arlington Municipal, Arlington, Wash. (AWO)

(d) Airport Manager: Robert Putnam

(e) Autogas status 5/2011: No (Tolbert is supportive, but limited by fuels the airport’s FBO offers)

(f) Nearest autogas: AJ Eisenberg Airport, Oak Harbor, Wash. (OKH), 21 nm WNW

8. EAA AirVenture Oshkosh

(a) Date: July 25-31, 2011

(b) Contact: Adam Smith, EAA VP of Membership

(c) Host Airport: Wittman Field, Oshkosh, Wis. (OSH)

(d) Airport Manager: Peter Moll

(e) Autogas status 5/2011: No (both EAA VP Adam Smith and Airport Manager Peter Moll expressed support of autogas at future events.)

(f) Nearest autogas: Hartford Municipal Airport, Hartford, Wis. (HXF), 39 nm S

9. Rocky Mountain Regional Fly-In (RMRFI/COS)

(a) Date: August 26-28, 2011

(b) Director: Jim Cimiluca

(c) Host Airport: Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport, Broomfield, Colo. (BJC)

(d) Airport Manager: Kenneth Maenpa

(e) Autogas status 5/2011: No

(f) Nearest autogas: Vance Brand Airport, Longmont, CO (KLMO), 15 nm N

10. Triple Tree Fly-In

(a) Date: September 7-11, 2011

(b) Contact: Pat Derrick

(c) Host Airport: Triple Tree Airport, Woodruff, SC (SC00)

(d) Airport Manager: Thomas Hartness

(e) Autogas status 5/2011: No (Derrick is supportive, even if on a temporary basis in 2011)

(f) Nearest autogas: Barnwell Regional Airport, Barnwell, SC (KBNL), 90 SSE

11. Mid-Eastern Regional Fly-In (MERFI)

(a) Date: September 10-11, 2011

(b) Chairman: Dave Millner

(c) Host Airport: Grimes Field, Urbana, Ohio (I74)

(d) Airport Manager: Carol Hall

(e) Autogas status 5/2011: No

(f) Nearest autogas: Anderson Municipal Airport, Anderson, Ind. (AID), 85 nm W

12. Midwest LSA EXPO

(a) Date: September 9-11, 2011

(b) Chairman: Chris Collins

(c) Host Airport: Mt. Vernon, Ill. (MVN)

(d) Airport Manager, Chris Collins

(e) Autogas status 5/2011: Not currently, but tentatively planned for the event.

13. Lee Bottom Fly-In

(a) Date: September 24, 2011

(b) Chairman: Rich Davidson

(c) Host Airport: Lee Bottom Airport, Hanover, IN (64I)

(d) Airport Owner: Rich Davidson

(e) Autogas status 5/2011: No

(f) Nearest autogas: Anderson Municipal Airport, Anderson, Ind. (AID), 89 nm N

14. Copperstate Fly-In

(a) Date: October 20-22, 2011

(b) Manager: Jim McChesney

(c) Host Airport: Casa Grande, Ariz. (CGZ)

(d) Airport Manager: Steve Hulland

(e) Autogas status 5/2011: No

(f) Nearest autogas: Aztec Municipal Airport, 297 nm NE

15. South East Regional Fly-In (SERFI)

(a) Date: October 22-24, 2011

(b) Chairman: Bruce Newman

(c) Host Airport: Evergreen, Ala. (GZH)

(d) Airport Manager: Bobby Tolbert

(e) Autogas status 5/2011: No

(f) Nearest autogas: Peter Prince Field Airport, Milton, Fla. (2R4), 47 nm S


  1. if says

    Thanks for your blog!

    Do either of you know of any studies that evaluate cabin air quality in light planes? As a PPL ASEL and aerospace engineer in the DC area, I’d be interested in this data.

    If not, I would be happy to assist in collecting it if there is any equipment available.

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