Washington Bill Would Put Ethanol In Gas

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Most people know that alcohol and airplanes don't mix, whether in the pilot or in the fuel tank. That's why some Washington State aircraft owners are lobbying state officials to modify proposed legislation that would require the addition of up to 10 percent ethanol, by volume, in all motor fuel sold in the State. It would start with 2 percent, to be added by Dec. 1, 2008. Ethanol reacts with seals, lines and other fuel-system components on (unmodified) aircraft and can cause maintenance or safety problems. There are about 600 airplanes either originally designed or STC'd to operate on car gas in Washington and that's enough for EAA to mobilize its members. EAA has asked its members to contact the governor and state senators to put an exemption in the bill allowing ready access to fuel without ethanol. "This action is critical to aviation safety," the message to members reads. EAA also notes that aircraft owners are not alone in the battle. Ethanol-blended fuels are also not recommended in engines used in a variety of terrestrial recreational vehicles like ATVs, boats, snowmobiles and collector cars.