We live in a rural community and I have been elected to the township board for the last few years. A couple of years ago, the board applied for a grant to replace all of the traffic signs in our township. We won the grant and received the new signs.
A few weeks ago, I got a call from a representative from the company that has the contract to install the new signs, and they wanted to set up an appointment for us to select new signs for our township. I tried to explain that our township had already received the new signs. The representative said that was ok — they would just go ahead and replace all of our new signs because it would not cost our township a cent.
I did not handle this reasoning well and immediately called several county and state officials and got it changed. I am old fashioned and believe that wasting even federal government money is still a waste.
This immediately brought to mind the program to replace 100LL with an unleaded product. Here the federal government and others are spending large sums of money to solve a problem that does not exist except in their minds, but will create real problems in general aviation with their “solution.”
Each summer, I enter several antique tractor pulls for which I buy racing gasoline. I asked our local racing fuel representative if the fuels contain lead. He replied that many of them do, but that they are legal for off-road use only.
When I dug into the data, I found that 22 of the 48 fuels contained lead. But all of the fuels have names like NO2 or Q16. And then it hit me — the problem with 100 Low Lead is the name. We need to get the lead out of the name.
So I have come up with a simple solution to general aviation’s biggest problem. We need to rename 100LL to something like Aviation Grade 100, or AG100, and the problem is solved.
Just think of the advantages for the new AG100. First and foremost, we can claim that we got the lead out of 100LL (out of the name that is!)
Second, we have saved general aviation to live another day. All of the old warbirds and high performance aircraft will be safe to continue to fly without expensive modifications.
The exhaust valve seats for aircraft from O-200s to P&W 4360s will have a life expectancy of over 50 hours and maybe even to full TBO.
Third, all of the lawsuits that will come with the new unleaded fuels will suddenly just disappear.
Fourth, since 100LL has no pollution problems, the air we breathe will not be harmed in any way.
And fifth, look at all the money that will be saved by the government reducing its budget, by pilots who will not have to modify their aircraft, and the reduction in repairs caused by using the new unleaded fuels.
And I think we can claim that it is for off-road use only, because the few airplane landings on public roads are not that significant.
So what happens to all of that money that is saved?
Most people do not care about saving money except for their own, but I think it is important. I am also sure that it will just disappear, or we could have a program to add a second fuel, let’s call it AG91 (the secret formula for which would be 100% premium mogas and 0% ethanol). This would allow overhauled engines to break in on AG100 and then switch to some AG91 during the life of the engine.
Damn, I just saved general aviation and it is not even lunch time yet. Maybe I should work on world peace until dinner. No, I think I will take a nap instead, this thinking stuff can really tire one out.