There's Ethanol In Those Pumps

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A change to the way gasoline is sold in Montana could have ramifications for pilots everywhere who use auto fuel, EAA said yesterday. Legislation pending in the Montana legislature mandates that all gasoline sold to consumers for use in motor vehicles must contain 10 percent denatured ethanol. Many aircraft cannot operate safely on fuel blended with ethanol products, EAA said, including all future special light-sport airplanes (S-LSAs). The ASTM/FAA standards for the S-LSAs require them to operate on unleaded gasoline. More than 600 airplanes registered today in Montana operate on an FAA-approved auto-fuel supplemental type certificate (STC), as do many ultralight vehicles and amateur-built aircraft whose engines require auto fuel, EAA said.

EAA is promoting amendments to the bill that would exempt premium gasoline from the ethanol requirements and require operators to label all fuel pumps so consumers know whether the fuel being pumped contains ethanol and, if so, what percentage. EAA asked Montana pilots to contact their elected officials to change the amendment to read, "A gasoline retailer may hold, store, import, transfer, distribute, offer for sale or use nonethanol-blended unleaded premium grade gasoline with an antiknock index (AKI) number of ninety-one (91) or greater."