...But It Could Be Worse

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"U.S. pilots don't appreciate how good life is to them," CFI Juergen Boettcher wrote to AVweb last week. "In Germany we are presently paying more than $9 per gallon of avgas. Most of that is taxes, of course." Another way to look at the price hike is as just one factor in overall operating costs. "If you are currently paying $4 for a gallon of avgas 100LL, and your price leaps [by 50 percent] to $6, your overall expense will increase only by plus-or-minus 11 percent, approximately," Jeremy Cox, an aircraft mechanic, wrote recently on GlobalAir.com. If that's cold comfort, advice on fuel-saving methods abounds. Pilots can fly slower, carry less weight, keep the airframe clean and waxed, and try to keep routes as direct and efficient as possible. There are more creative solutions afoot. One more creative, if more complex, approach -- lobby your state legislature for tax relief. It seems to be working for the NASCAR folks. If a bill now pending is passed, the motor-sport teams would be exempted from North Carolina state taxes on avgas used to travel to races.