Brian Boeshart is completing his Masters of Aeronautical Sciences (MAS) degree from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Brian’s “Graduate capstone research project,” seeks to “determine why MoGas is not being offered at a majority of airfields across the United States.” If you are, “an FBO manager, or a pilot who is over the age of 18 and lives in the United States or US Territory,” you are eligible to complete this survey. Care to weigh in?
Dating back to 2009 when I created the FlyUnleaded.com website to publish those airports that offer mogas, I have monitored the AirNav avgas statistics and published them in a table at the bottom of the Airports With Mogas page on my website. Back in July 2009 AirNav reported that there were approximately 132 airports that claimed to have mogas service on the airport. Now this figure has to be taken with a grain of salt because AirNav counts any airport that has mogas in the FAA Airport Directory Airport Services section. Some of these listings are obsolete.
Piper Aircraft announced today that they are working with Airworthy Autogas to test the company’s new aviation-grade mogas in its latest Lycoming-powered aircraft. As described in this press release issued today, “Piper Aircraft Inc. has completed flight tests of a Piper Archer powered by 93 octane premium unleaded automotive gasoline. Piper worked with Airworthy AutoGas LLC, Phoenix, Ariz., to prove the concept in a test flight regime conducted from the company’s Vero Beach manufacturing campus.”
Mark Wiley of Murfreesboro, Arkansas,who flies a 1963 Piper PA-28-235 Cherokee, contacted your bloggers some months back when his efforts to lower his costs lead him to mogas. Since then he has obtained a mogas STC from Petersen Aviation, installed a simple fuel system next to his hangar, and found a fuel supplier that brings him 93 AKI ethanol-free mogas in small loads. He recently reported on the savings he’s seeing and how he intends to use them:
Sonoma Jet Center (SJC), located at Charles M. Schulz – Sonoma County Airport (STS) in Santa Rosa, Calif. reported in March they were selling ethanol-free 91 octane unleaded gasoline for aircraft use. According to SJC general manager, John Bridi, “a temporary hold has been placed on sales.” Paperwork and permitting appear to be the cause for the suspension, according to Bridi. He is hoping this will be squared up in a few days.
To test demand, SJC will sell the fuel as part of a six-month trial. Airport and government officials are allowing SJC to pump the fuel from 55-gallon drums prior to their making a significant infrastructure investment. To date, demand hasn’t been as consistent as avgas sales, but was getting better prior to the suspension. Stay tuned.
Jamie Beckett is a CFI and A&P mechanic who stepped into the political arena in an effort to promote and protect GA at his local airport.
Prepare yourself for a blatant plug. I’m going to suggest you click on a link that will take you to a General Aviation News blog post on the topic of GA Fuels. You can find the post that I was drawn into here: Legislative confusion in Maine over ethanol and Mogas.
Now you may not be a chemist by trade, and you may not even care about the debate that rages in the aviation community about 100LL and the search for a suitable replacement. But I’m willing to bet that you’re spectacularly interested in your wallet, and your personal safety. [Read more...]