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Thread: Avgas Coalition and AOPA...Avgas is an endangered species!

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    WindOnHisNose's Avatar
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    Avgas Coalition and AOPA...Avgas is an endangered species!

    As president of the MN Pilots Assn, I have been made aware of "The Avgas Coalition" put together by AOPA. We have chosen to participate and back this coalition with the goal to influence adoption of a smooth transition to unleaded fuel for general aviation. Today I received this letter from Jim Coon, Senior Vice-President of Government Affairs and Advocacy, AOPA. Some of you may recall that Jim was the lead person in gaining passage of the BasicMed legislation. I am sharing this with you so that you might take it to aviation organizations in your neck of the woods and ask them to sign on with us. This is vitally important, folks. The Biden administration is pushing the EPA to step on the pedal and accelerate the transition, regardless of the impact on people in general aviation.

    Dear GA Leader,

    On behalf of AOPA President Mark Baker, I wanted to get back in touch with you to request your organization join the Avgas Coalition and to thank those that have already positively responded.

    We need to rally the entire general aviation community again to address the biggest issue we face today: the need for a smart and safe transition to an unleaded future.

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced its intention to propose an ‘endangerment finding’ this year on leaded aviation gasoline, a step that will set in motion the regulatory process to begin a transition to removing lead from avgas. We anticipate this ‘endangerment finding’ proposal will occur sooner rather than later.

    Since the issue is complex and the movement to remove lead has gained momentum, the Coalition’s membership will include industry partners and supporters, representing all who have a stake and vested interest in finding a safe, smart, and efficient pathway to a 100-octane unleaded fuel solution that can accommodate the entire general aviation fleet.

    “The Avgas Coalition is a group of dedicated organizations aligned on a smart transition to unleaded aviation fuel as part of a meaningful and proactive pathway to achieve cleaner skies.”

    We need to work towards ensuring that all sectors of the aviation industry are protected during a transition - pilots, airports, manufacturers, producers, distributors, and FBOs. As you know, we are all in this together.

    AOPA has also created a website for members of the Avgas Coalition and others to stay up-to-date on industry and government actions in this area. We continue to update this site and I invite you to take a look at aopa.org/100UL.

    If you have any questions or would like to add your organization’s name to the Avgas Coalition, please respond to Eric Blinderman at eric.blinderman@aopa.org.

    Thanks again for all you do to support General Aviation.

    Jim


    JIM COON
    Senior Vice President, Government Affairs and Advocacy
    Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association
    601 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Suite 250
    Washington, DC 20004
    202.905.0975
    571.329.8345 (mobile)
    www.aopa.org



    Thanks for considering this. Please let me know if you have any questions. As always, no rants and raves about the politics of this.

    Randy
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    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    This article from your AOPA link seems to point out that it really is the FAA which is holding back a smooth transition to unleaded avgas. They appear stuck in their bureaucracy of "not our way of doing things". And "We have to think about it and drag it out a few years to justify our jobs." "If we kick the can down the road far enough, the next people on the job will have to address it."
    https://www.aopa.org/news-and-media/...-fuels-for-all

    Every aircraft owner shouldn't need to get an STC for each airplane in order to use a different fuel. Let's just change the fuel and move on. Pick one or two and go for it. That is what was done when the lead content was cut in half and 100LL was introduced. Pilots in remote locations have been using automotive gasoline in their airplanes for decades with (for the most part) no issues. They just have kept the FAA out of the loop.

    Swift fuels and GAMI have had viable fuels available for years, yet continue to get push back. Perhaps I've been around too long and seen too much, having been a slave to the FAA's way of doing things for well over half a century. Actually since they were called the CAA.

    This is not meant to be a rant nor rave, just my personal observation. Since this is to be done, the sooner the better.
    N1PA
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    AOPA being dumb again.
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    WindOnHisNose's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GreggB View Post
    AOPA being dumb again.
    Thanks for sharing your thought, GreggB. I am not so sure it is prudent to dismiss this as "being dumb again". I know that the engine rebuilding company here in MN has been worried about this for some time, and when they get nervous it makes me nervous. AOPA is not perfect, but Mark Baker and Jim Coon were certainly not "being dumb" when they took on the colossal task of getting BasicMed pushed through, were they?! When people like them ask me to lend an ear I, for one, will carefully listen and help if I can.

    Randy
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    My engine is being built as I type this, should be done in about 10 days. O-360 Angle Valve that would have been 200HP had I not requested it be built for MoGas, so it will be 195HP… I can live with that. I just want the option to use 91 non-ethanol gas for several reasons… 1) Cost of local 91 non-ethanol being $1.30 per gallon less than AvGas at my local FBO. 2) Watching Mike Busch videos he talks a lot about the ill-effects of lead in our engines and how it creates long-term damage 3) Of course the lead in the atmosphere.

    I am not a fan of the likely (let’s be honest here… CERTAIN) higher cost of a 100UL, so MoGas is a perfect option.

    Experimental has advantages
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    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    A thought: In this AOPA article https://www.aopa.org/news-and-media/...-fuels-for-all it is mentioned that Chevron, Exxon and Phillips are all producers of avgas. I had a good friend, now gone west who was a Sr Vp of research at Exxon during his working life. He knew his stuff, I wish he was still here to discuss this issue. Perhaps those three "big oil" producers could put their research heads together and come up with a suitable lead free avgas. Perhaps with AOPA's influence along with Jim Inhofe a few arms could be twisted? After all they have been in the fuel business since day one. Then like AOPA and EAA did with basic med, go over the FAA's head with someone like Senator Inhofe and get this project done. Enough of this kicking the can down the road.
    N1PA
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    This is a really big issue and I forsee either rather expensive fuel to pay for all of the research and red tape that has gone into developing these replacement fuels, or (if STCs are required to recover costs to fuel developers) massive non-compliance which will create.....high cost fuel AND Insurance issues for owners. This is coming.....very, very soon. I fly low compression Continentals around now, so Mogas is no big deal for me, but I'm a hopeless airplane nut and was thinking of my next build.... I was hoping it would be a retirement project, but before I throw down the cash It would be nice to see the end game in all of this before I decide what that build is. I think AOPA (and others) are doing their best in a VERY difficult environment and I hope a common sense solution can be reached. I'm actually way more cynical about it than I sound....I just know that my lack of confidence in the system won't help so I will take the high road and support these organization who are trying to help us....They are our only collective voice at the moment. Thanks Randy for sharing.
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    stewartb's Avatar
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    Thanks, Randy. I'm not very politically motivated and I hate the way lobbying manipulates government but it's how the game is played and if we aren't involved we'll just get steamrolled. And that's why I maintain an AOPA membership. Go team!
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    So instead of fighting 100LL going away AOPA is embracing it. No surprise. They didn't fight ADBS, either. Glad I quit that organization years ago. (Good job fighting the loss of Meigs, AOPA.)
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    Quote Originally Posted by 180_jeff View Post
    So instead of fighting 100LL going away AOPA is embracing it. No surprise. They didn't fight ADBS, either. Glad I quit that organization years ago. (Good job fighting the loss of Meigs, AOPA.)
    Someone else gets it. Assuming that GA has 'enemies' why would GA's advocacy organization accept the argument of GA's enemies? Doesn't matter how much money or lobbyists or petition signers or tanks AOPA has, once you've accepted the premise of your opponents you have lost. AOPA has already lost this battle. Oh well I'm confident GA will carry on despite AOPA's efforts.

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    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 180_jeff View Post
    So instead of fighting 100LL going away AOPA is embracing it. No surprise. They didn't fight ADBS, either. Glad I quit that organization years ago. (Good job fighting the loss of Meigs, AOPA.)
    Quote Originally Posted by GreggB View Post
    Someone else gets it. Assuming that GA has 'enemies' why would GA's advocacy organization accept the argument of GA's enemies? Doesn't matter how much money or lobbyists or petition signers or tanks AOPA has, once you've accepted the premise of your opponents you have lost. AOPA has already lost this battle. Oh well I'm confident GA will carry on despite AOPA's efforts.
    I understand where both of you are coming from. As far as the loss of Meigs, that was 100% Mayor Daley. He wanted it gone, so made it go away under the cover of darkness. He and his father were the dictators of Chicago seemingly forever. Santa Monica will be the next one to go. No aviation promoters are pushing very hard to keep that one. They keep rolling over little by little. The FAA should just take it away from the city and tell them it is here to stay. But they won't. The Navy gave it to the city to keep as an airport forever. How's that working?

    This thread is about gasoline. Frankly, the environmentalists have the upper hand in this country along with their right hand, the EPA. They seem to have far more clout than a measly 1 million or less aviation nuts. We are the only ones who use TEL. If we don't take the bull by the horns now while we still do have some gas to burn holes in the sky, we will be gored. We may or may not agree who should lead this fight for us, but we do need a leader. The FAA whose job is supposed to be to "Foster and Promote Aviation" have dropped their ball years ago. We have to go over their head if we wish to survive.
    N1PA
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    Quote Originally Posted by GreggB View Post
    Someone else gets it. Assuming that GA has 'enemies' why would GA's advocacy organization accept the argument of GA's enemies? Doesn't matter how much money or lobbyists or petition signers or tanks AOPA has, once you've accepted the premise of your opponents you have lost. AOPA has already lost this battle. Oh well I'm confident GA will carry on despite AOPA's efforts.
    My take is that AOPA is seeing the reality that the Clean Air Act can and likely will be used to drive the determination regardless of the FAA approving a future fuel or not.
    Remember, These are the Good old Days!
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    Quote Originally Posted by skywagon8a View Post
    I understand where both of you are coming from. As far as the loss of Meigs, that was 100% Mayor Daley. He wanted it gone, so made it go away under the cover of darkness. He and his father were the dictators of Chicago seemingly forever. Santa Monica will be the next one to go. No aviation promoters are pushing very hard to keep that one. They keep rolling over little by little. The FAA should just take it away from the city and tell them it is here to stay. But they won't. The Navy gave it to the city to keep as an airport forever. How's that working?
    Right, and AOPA did squat about it. They refuse to file any lawsuits for one thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by skywagon8a View Post
    This thread is about gasoline. Frankly, the environmentalists have the upper hand in this country along with their right hand, the EPA. They seem to have far more clout than a measly 1 million or less aviation nuts. We are the only ones who use TEL. If we don't take the bull by the horns now while we still do have some gas to burn holes in the sky, we will be gored. We may or may not agree who should lead this fight for us, but we do need a leader. The FAA whose job is supposed to be to "Foster and Promote Aviation" have dropped their ball years ago. We have to go over their head if we wish to survive.
    Got it - we are screwed so let's join the committee to select the lube.
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    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 180_jeff View Post
    Got it - we are screwed so let's join the committee to select the lube.
    We either join the committee or just bend over and take it. You wouldn't be very pleased if one day there just wasn't any avgas.

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    Quote Originally Posted by skywagon8a View Post
    We either join the committee or just bend over and take it. You wouldn't be very pleased if one day there just wasn't any avgas.
    AOPA is helping make that a reality. AOPA has accepted the elimination of avgas as a goal.
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    Elimination of leaded fuel is inevitable. All I want is a suitable alternative. Fighting to keep leaded gas is like pushing water uphill.

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    Quote Originally Posted by skywagon8a View Post
    We either join the committee or just bend over and take it. You wouldn't be very pleased if one day there just wasn't any avgas.
    So your choices are either get screwed with lube or get screwed without lube. I would rather align with an advocacy organization fighting the screwing. AOPA is not that organization and I don't see how they ever really have.

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    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 180_jeff View Post
    So your choices are either get screwed with lube or get screwed without lube. I would rather align with an advocacy organization fighting the screwing. AOPA is not that organization and I don't see how they ever really have.
    Who is that organization? Name one which has taken this bull by the horns and is nearing the finish line? The closest one to the finish line is the EPA and none of us like that finish line.
    N1PA
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    Randy
    Thanks for taking the lead and helping find a fix for the problem. Things can and do change for the better if people do more than just bitch and moan about a problem. Basic Med is an excellent example, as is light sport. The major source of TEL is from one factory in England now just how secure does that make our total AV GAS fuel supply?? I am not putting high compression pistons in my new build because I don't want to depend on 100 octane fuel, mogas will be fine. But I will fully support approving an alternative to 100LL because I have friends that need it. In case some of you have not noticed the only constant in life is change. The old saying LEAD, FOLLOW, OR GET THE HELL OUT OF THE WAY comes to mind.

    Randy thanks again for taking the lead.
    DENNY
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    stewartb's Avatar
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    If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem.
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    You guys really think this stops with lead? What's AOPA's next mission banning carburetors or adding catalytic converters to GA engines?
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    IMHO, 100LL should have gone away decades ago. We have been hanging on to leaded fuels as a legacy for the higher performance engines. In the mean time, most of us could have been running on unleaded fuel with significantly extended run times on the engines. How many times have I seen discussions on this forum about wobble tests and worn valve guides. Much of that is happening thanks to the excessive lead build up on the exhaust valve stems chewing the bottom out of the valve guides. How many mechanics have undiagnosed excessive lead build up in their bloodstream from working on lead contaminated cylinders and immersing their hands in avgas? A lot more than you would think, and it definitely has adverse health effects, in particular with brain function. I'm actually one that leans to the right politically, but this is one of those things that needs to be addressed. The sooner the better.

    Most of us are slowly eating up our engines with lead when it is completely unnecessary. It's only the high performance engines that need the higher octane currently provided by the lead in 100LL. Most of us would be enjoying longer engine life without it.

    -Cub Builder
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cub Builder View Post
    It's only the high performance engines that need the higher octane currently provided by the lead in 100LL. Most of us would be enjoying longer engine life without it.

    -Cub Builder
    [semi-sarcasm]So, let's sacrifice those 'high performance guys' in order to save us 'low performance' guys. You know, 'most of us'. F those high performance, lead consuming guys. [/semi-sarcasm]

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    Cub Builder's Avatar
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    Not at all. The point of that sentence was that those of us with lower performance engines have been eating up our engines with higher maintenance to keep yours happy for the last 40 years. So how about a compromise since nobody wants to carry multiple fuels? I'm OK with 100UL, but I shouldn't have to keep damaging my engines with excessive lead to keep yours happy either.

    No sarcasm necessary. I work on and fly all of them.

    -Cub Builder

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    SJ's Avatar
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    Ok everybody... let's not let this thread devolve. We are all on the "let's keep flying" side here.

    sj
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    Yup. Be careful.

    I made one 'Alice's Restaurant' reference on another thread and SJ shut us down.

    Web
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    Would like to see more discussion on the topic of water/alcohol injection as it pertains to using something other than 100LL.


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    Quote Originally Posted by 180Marty View Post
    Ethanol is the cheapest,cleanest high octane(114) on the planet.

    https://baylor-ir.tdl.org/bitstream/...pdf?sequence=1

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=96XnJh98LqQ
    See what I mean?
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    Quote Originally Posted by wireweinie View Post
    Yup. Be careful.

    I made one 'Alice's Restaurant' reference on another thread and SJ shut us down.

    Web
    But there were no circles and arrows with a paragraph on the back of each post explaining what it was
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  30. #30
    wireweinie's Avatar
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    And no 27, 8 x 10, color glossies . . .

    Web
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    What's the limit, if any, for futures contracts? I'm 40, and, God willing, have 30-40 more years of flying left. If enough folks stretched the norm for buying, theoretically at least there wouldn't be an all out ban should the supplier not want to be breach. Tie them up with paper. ??

    Unless we get a dictator running this parade and they wave their magic nitwit wand which we could very well have right now.

    How about Mexico? Could 100LL still be sold there if banned here? Want an incandescent light bulb? Smuggle it in... Crazy world when the good guys use words like that. THINK ABOUT THAT!!!!

    Sad we live in a country when one needs to think outside the boundaries of normality.

    I remember 80-87 we had in a tank at the farm. The stuff lasted darn near forever. The "cleaner" the fuel, seemingly, the shorter the shelf life, another consideration.

    SJ- If any of the above needs deleted please delete and don't lock the thread. Thanks for all you do!

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    I think one of the most important points made so far on this thread was made by Denny.

    There is only ONE plant on Earth that produces Tetra-ethyl Lead, folks. And, that's in Britain.

    I'm not sure there is any other fuel besides 100 LL that has managed to dodge the bullet that's removed lead from virtually every other product we use regularly.

    So, you have a small company making the product, for a very finite product (100LL), which is used mostly in the US, and we in the US have absolutely NO say in the matter IF that plant were to go out of business. Frankly, I'm amazed that we still have 100LL fuel right now.

    The salient point is, as others have pointed out, 100 low lead is going away, and no organization is going to stop that. All it's going to take is one or ten "green" organizations deciding to litigate...... Right, wrong or indifferent, we'll lose that one.

    So, what AOPA is trying to get done is to encourage industry to come up with a viable replacement, that works in all our light aircraft engines, high and low performance alike.

    When I owned a PA-11, I regularly ran non oxygenated auto fuel, and it worked fine. But, pumps at airports that sell that stuff are scarce. We need a viable solution BEFORE the pin gets pulled on 100 LL.

    MTV
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    Must be just me but noting the direction we're heading I'll feel lucky if I can buy regular car gas for my Chevy Corvair by next year. I am budgeting $10.00 gallon, if available.
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  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sikorsky View Post
    SJ- If any of the above needs deleted please delete and don't lock the thread.
    Sikorsky
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    A&P/IA acquaintance told me recently he'll not work on any plane that's been run on non-100LL. I suggested he plan an early retirement as lead is ------>

    Gary
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    Some interesting stuff in this thread. Bottom line is it is gonna happen, just a matter of when. There are too many hyperbolic comparisons to list about trying to stop the elimination of 100LL.

    I have watched quite a few videos about the new UL fuels. Seems some are not willing to play nice, some are dead tired of the constant retesting demands to meet silly standards. Bottom line I took the easy route with MoGas. YES I do realize that some high performance engines do not have that option. I think rather than pushing back on the inevitable, why don’t people push the giant in the room (FAA) to certify the Gama and 94UL or equivalent fuels.

    The video of the ethanol/alcohol being used for crossing the pond is impressive, even more so that it was 1989!!!

    Now…. Not being political at ALL, but typically if there is a problem the easiest way to solve it is to follow the money…. So…. Who is benefiting from the continued long life of 100LL?

    Answer that question and you likely have the the roadblock to new certified unleaded aviation fuels.

    Remember, it is always about the money
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    Quote Originally Posted by Utah-Jay View Post

    Now…. Not being political at ALL, but typically if there is a problem the easiest way to solve it is to follow the money…. So…. Who is benefiting from the continued long life of 100LL?

    Answer that question and you likely have the the roadblock to new certified unleaded aviation fuels.

    Remember, it is always about the money
    Actually, in aviation, it is USUALLY about the FAA.

    MTV
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvivion View Post
    Actually, in aviation, it is USUALLY about the FAA.

    MTV
    Indirectly maybe…. Who is lobbying? Who is getting paid off?

    Current producers likely are not huge supporters of new fuels

  39. #39
    stewartb's Avatar
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    Oct 2012
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    Compression ratio and octane are a very interesting topic. My Cessna at 7.5-1 runs fine on good quality car gas. Illegal by FAA definition, and that right there is the problem. Not the gas, but the regulations. My Cub at 10-1 would have problems with car gas but boosting octane isn’t a new science and being exp, I don’t care what the FAA allows or doesn’t.

    Nothing in government moves fast and most of us believe the political landscape will be different a year from now so bottom line, while elimination of 100LL will likely happen, it likely won’t be anytime soon.
    Thanks hangarmonkey thanked for this post
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  40. #40
    Scooter7779h's Avatar
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    The inevitable is getting much closer. In my flying career I have seen purple, green and now maybe blue AvGas go away. A key to previous attempts was our past powerful senator "Uncle Ted" Stevens who had a lot of constituents that burned AvGas both commercially and privately who he fought hard for. NAC was flying DC-6s then and hosing down a huge amount of AvGas every day. I am afraid as has been pointed out, we are in the minority and our need to fly has little pull with those who make regulations and write laws. There still might be a chance to lobby congress and get a stay or a transition period if there is no reasonable alternative. Making the state go cold turkey from 100LL is not a reasonable action, and the general public would be harmed because a good chunk of air commerce in this state would come to a screeching halt. A couple of airports in SoCal is one thing, there are close by alternate fueling locations.
    =========
    PA-12 fan
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