Liability vs. profits

A recent story by Michael Mooney, who is an aviation fuels supplier, states that the reason that no major oil company is supplying mogas to end users is because of liability.

When it was posted, several people commented that the liability issue is a myth and that they have been selling mogas in Europe with no liability problems. Well, it is not a myth and comparing European liability laws to the US system is like comparing basketball to football. They are both sports played with a ball, but there are significant differences, like contingency cases.

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Preparing your plane for winter

Over the Thanksgiving weekend, I headed south to look at a classic car. As I was driving, I noticed a lot of pickups pulling campers heading south. Since several of the campers had stickers from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) and the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) on them, it led me to wonder what the pilots had done to preserve their aircraft before leaving?

The airframe and engine manufacturers have a list of items to do before parking an aircraft, so each pilot should check them out. I would like to address just the fuels and lubricant issues.

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Our expert’s take on the future of fuel

Every fall I help local farmers haul grain to the elevator. This year we had a very good harvest and the lines at the elevator were long. To pass the time, I brought along magazines from this summer to read and reread. I noted that every magazine had at least one article about the future of aviation gasoline. Since my byline in General Aviation News says I am an aviation fuels expert, I thought maybe I should address the subject and shed some light on it.

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Back to the basics

A few months back I wrote a column about the need for more technology in aviation engines. I received several emails saying that the industry may need more technology in the engine compartment, but that we need more skill in the cockpit. I must say that I totally agree with these comments.

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What you don’t know about zinc can hurt you

I have received a number of questions regarding the level of zinc dialkyl dithiophosphate (ZDDP) in modern automotive engine oils. It appears that people are experiencing a significant number of camshaft and lifter failures on newly overhauled engines with flat tappets. The failures appear to be caused by a lower level of ZDDP in the latest spec oils.

This does not concern normal certified aircraft engines, which are designed to run on non-ZDDP oils, but may concern some Light-Sport Aircraft (LSA) engines, automotive conversions, or your ground transportation engines.

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The pain of budget cuts

Years ago I lived in southern Illinois where high school basketball was THE sport. When we moved to Texas in the mid-1970s, it was quite a culture shock. No one knew of or ever went to a high school basketball game. But football was king.

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The answer to GA’s woes: Technology

There is a story going around about a toothpaste company that was having quality problems. It seems that every once in a while an empty tube would go through the system and get to the stores. This was causing several customers to threaten to cancel their orders.

So the president of the company, who was a business type, [Read more…]

A Q&A with Lycoming’s top man

Michael Kraft

After Oshkosh, I sent an email to Michael Kraft, Lycoming’s senior vice president and general manager. Due to this busy travel schedule, he was just able to get his answers to me. To honor his request, I agreed to run this in a Q&A format.

Q: Is Lycoming working on or considering development of a diesel cycle piston aircraft engine?

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