Amidst a stream of reports on aircraft on display at this year’s EAA AirVenture Oshkosh powered by batteries, sunlight, hydrogen, ethanol, bio-Jet-A, cooking oil, algae, etc., hundreds of planes will once again arrive in Oshkosh — with little fanfare — burning a low-cost, lead-free aviation fuel approved by the FAA in 1982 and available in vast quantities. As readers of this blog know, autogas enjoys an excellent track record and is the only viable unleaded alternative to 100LL, but you can’t buy it at Wittman Field, even though the pioneering work sponsored by the EAA that led to the first autogas STCs occurred there in the early 1980s.
In the course of researching an article on the availability of autogas at airports hosting major aviation events, I contacted Adam Smith, VP of Membership for the EAA, and Peter Moll, the manager of Wittman Regional Airport. Both expressed interest in having autogas available not only for AirVenture, but permanently on the field. Moll stated, however, that the fuel would have to be sold through the two existing FBOs, Basler Flight Service or Orion Flight Services. I contacted both with an offer to assist securing a supplier, however my offers went unanswered. Perhaps we’ll have more luck with them by 2012.
Fortunately for autogas users attending AirVenture, there are many airports nearby that offer the fuel. Indeed, it is the ultimate irony that in a major corn/ethanol producing state such as Wisconsin, ethanol-free fuel is generally available at retail stations, marinas, and airports, quite the opposite situation as one finds in other parts of the country. What do the nice folks in Wisconsin know that others don’t?
With the start of AirVenture 2012 just days away — it kicks off Monday, July 25 — we thought we’d provide you with a list of those airports within a 75-mile radius of OSH offering lead-free, ethanol-free autogas. Be sure to check your favorite airport directories for current prices, octane rating and availability before launching for Oshkosh. And when you’re there, stop by my forum on this subject on Wednesday, July 27, at 10 a.m. in Forum Pavilion 01.
Airports offering autogas within a 75 mile radius of Wittman Regional Airport (OSH)
- MTW, Manitowoc County Airport, Manitowoc, WI, 39 ENE
- HXF, Hartford Municipal Airport, Hartford, WI, 39 S
- 92C, Carter Airport, Pulaski, WI, 42 NNE
- C47, Portage Municipal Airport, Portage, WI, 47 WSW
- 02C, Capitol Airport, Brookfield, WI, 56 SSE
- 7P5, Piso Airport, Suring, WI, 65 N
- 88C, Palmyra Municipal Airport, Palmyra, WI, 66 S
- 99C, Quam’s Marine Seaplane Base, Stoughton, WI, 69 SSW
- 57C, East Troy Municipal Airport, East Troy, WI, 72 S
- 62C, Cindy Guntly Memorial Airport, Franksville, WI, 73 SSE
- AUW, Wausau Downtown Airport, Wausau, WI, 73 NW
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, aviation sales rep for U-Fuel, and president of EAA1114.