As reported last year in this blog, the expansion of oil and gas exploration in the U.S. and Canada in recent years is having a noticeable impact on the activity at general aviation airports located in or near the fields.
A fellow EAA chapter 1114 member once said, “Everyone in the EAA is greater than you’d think.” That certainly pertains to the organization’s founder. Among homebuilders, the name Poberezny has always evoked awe, and my respect for this gentle giant of a man grew steadily since first reading of him as a teenage student pilot in the early 1970s.
Recently a GAfuels reader sent us the following message: “Yesterday I had some work done by a Rotax maintenance facility near me. During our chat, we recounted his experience and training as an A&P, IA, pilot and FBO owner. With Rotax-powered aircraft of his own and a source of income for his business, I asked him why he didn’t sell mMogas. His answer was immediate and it was “liability.”
Your bloggers have frequently reported that our country is now the largest producer of natural gas. We’re a net exporter of refined gasoline and it’s estimated that we will be the world’s largest producer of crude oil by 2020. As a result of the ongoing economic malaise and the continued improvement of gas mileage (primarily a consequence of high fuel prices, not government fiat), fuel consumption has dropped dramatically over the past decade. Economics 101 tells us that as production increases, and consumption drops, surpluses are created, driving prices down. This is true, however, only in a free market free of government meddling.
Pilots in the Pacific Northwest are enjoying lower-cost fuel and reduced lead problems ever since Arlington Flight Services at the Arlington Municipal Airport (AWO) added aviation-grade, 92 AKI mogas earlier this month. As many know, this airport hosts the annual Arlington Fly-In each July, one of the largest sport aviation events in the country. The availability of mogas at next year’s event is sure to encourage more to attend.
In AVweb’s recent article on the acquisition of Thielert by AVIC, the parent company of Continental Motors, Rhett Ross, CEO of Continental, expressed the reality that your bloggers have reported on for the past several years: ” … Continental said it wanted multiple solutions to accommodate both a global market and a U.S. market that steadfastly refuses to decide on fuel preferences in a world market that already has: Jet A and mogas.”
Despite the positive reaction to our ‘Unleaded to Oshkosh‘ event from 2012, lower-cost, lead-free mogas will still not be available at AirVenture 2013. As we reported in 2011, there are multiple nearby options for those who prefer the fuel. Below is a list of 10 airports within a 75-mile radius of KOSH where mogas is offered for sale.
As described in our March 10 article, it is generally accepted that fuel companies hit the so-called blending wall this past winter, a situation where EPA blending mandates cannot be fulfilled, even if every drop of gasoline contains 10% ethanol by volume. This has unleashed the unintended consequence of RIN (Renewable Identification Number) speculation, as described in this article from the oil industry newsletter Platts.