Questions abound on FAA’s news about alternative fuels

Was it only me, or did anyone else find the press release by the FAA announcing that it has selected four fuels for further testing to replace 100LL this fall to be a bit peculiar?  In case you you missed it, the official press release from the FAA is here. Articles also appeared on this site, General Aviation News, and from the EAA.

None of the articles answered any of the obvious questions that came immediately to my mind, for instance:

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Pointless poll or marketing ploy?

In the May 15, 2014 EAA Hotline email there was an interesting article in the Member Benefit Spotlight section. It reported the results of a Fuel Survey purportedly taken in March by the Experimental Aircraft Association with 13,000 replies by members. The findings were rather interesting: 87% of members are using primarily 100LL and 12% are using autogas.

As I digested this finding, a pertinent question came to mind: If 12% of members are tenacious enough to use mogas when only 3% of our airports carry mogas, why didn’t EAA ask the membership: “How many members would use mogas if it was as available at the 3,000+ airports that carry 100LL?”

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