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Mogas: The Great Missed Opportunity

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Every time I do research or reader surveys on mogas for airplanes, I come away thinking I must be living in an alternate universe. Or maybe the people I talk to are. In todayís news columns, weíre reporting on the results of our recent avgas survey, which revealed some interesting movement in opinions toward mogas.

Bottom line: mogas negatives are down and positives are up, meaning more people say theyíre interested in using it and fewer people say they wouldnít even consider it. Yet, the mogas market gains very little traction. Itís not much more available than it was two years ago, when last we did a similar survey.

I have a theory to explain the shifting opinion. Some of it may be attributable to survey error, but based on the comments I read, more owners are seeing aviation as a sunset activity and although readers who took the survey have confidence that a 100-octane replacement will eventually appear, thereís real worry that it wonít be affordable. Thus the interest in mogas.

And the industry dithers on. EAA and AOPA have shown little or no interest in promoting mogas as an option, yet itís the single most potent factor to reduce the cost of flying. On average, where mogas is available, itís about $1.40 cheaper than avgas and if your airplane burns eight to 10 GPH and you fly 50 hours a year, thatís up to $700 a year in savings. At some airports itís more, at others, less. The savings would at least pay for a few months of hangar rent. To be fair, the alphabets havenít gotten behind mogas for several legitimate reasons, one of which is the resistance of FBOs to install the tankage, knowing they wonít sell much mogas.

Fair enough, I guess. But the biases against mogas are, in my view, utterly unfounded. Yes, itís true it may be hard to find premium mogas without ethanol in some areas, but complaints about vapor pressure-related problems, lack of octane and engine and carburetor deposits caused by mogas are never substantiated in our surveys. I thought reader Jack Thompson put it best in replying to the survey: ďI've been using mogas for 25-plus years with nothing but good results. I'm a mechanical professional engineer, and I'm appalled at the institutional ignorance and head-in-the-sand attitude of the industry on this topic. Pure lunacy.Ē

There may be a confluence of events that will yet inject life into mogas, however. First, Lycomingís SI 1070 bulletin approves a long list of engines for mogas, provided the fuel meets certain octane and vapor pressure requirements and a new company called Airworthy Autogas proposes to make and distribute that very fuel. This should, once and for all, address at least some of the unfounded beefs against mogas. Oh, and third, Iím not alone in believing the replacement for avgas, when it eventually arrives, will cost more than 100LL does now. Iím guessing a buck more, so the Delta between mogas and avgas could rise to $2 or more. Airworthy Autogas will, however, cost a little more than traditional mogas, but maybe that will be a good tradeoff against its pedigree. In mogasís favor is the ever-growing number of Rotax engines that can burn it, as many owners of those aircraft do. Just to be clear, no one is saying mogas will substitute for 100-octane in those high-compression or high-octane engines that require it. Thatís a separate problem.

When I spoke to Airworthy Autogasís Mark Ellery about mogas, he asked me if I would use it. Good question, because I suffer the same biases as many others. For the Cub, Iíd worry about the effects of unintended ethanol on seals and o-rings and, frankly, I hate the smell of mogas. But if I had an airplane that burned more than four gallons an hour and/or someone would dispense branded mogasóand Airworthy will be thatóthen Iíd warm to the idea. I think others might, too. By branded, I mean someoneís name is on the pump so I know whoís providing it.

So perhaps weíre at a crossroads of opportunity. An aggressive company is addressing biases against mogas at a time when more expensive 100-octaneówhich many aircraft simply donít needóseems to be on the horizon. (Nothing is worse than presuming owners of low-compression engines have to pay more for fuel just to support a 100-octane ecosystem.)

If the economics of Airworthy Autogas prove workable, it then becomes purely a marketing and promotional challenge. Can the company and the industry promote it well enough to defeat the unsubstantiated biases against mogas in general? Will owners begin to demand it? If so, perhaps we could generate enough demand to double or triple the number of airports willing to pump mogas. And thatís where Iíd like to see AOPA and EAA go with this idea. If the two associations could pair up in promoting mogasóif Airworthy Autogas, so be itómaybe we could get somewhere.

Otherwise, Iím not sure I see any bright shining path to at least arrest the rising cost of flying airplanes, much less reduce it.

Join the conversation. †Read others' comments and add your own.

Comments (28)

I have a Stinson 108-3 with a Franklin engine in it. This engine was originally certified for the old 80/87 no lead fuel. I have been using MOGAS whenever I can with no problems. I am fortunate that I live in an area of the county where the MOGAS movement is getting big (midwest) so I can even take some trips and find MOGAS. As people start to realize that the vast majority of engines out there can use MOGAS, I think the availability of MOGAS will increase. However, there has to be people consistently asking the airport management for MOGAS as an option to get MOGAS at your airport. Show them there will be demand for it and many will make it happen.

Posted by: Karl Vogelheim | October 7, 2013 4:41 AM    Report this comment

That is all well and good. Sure, most plane and a lot of people might be able to use mogas at 91/96 octane. But they are not the people that buy most of the avgas! Approximately 80% of the avgas is bought by operators of high performance working aircraft that require 100 octane fuel. The 20% mogas remnant is small enough to relegate is to the class of a boutique fuel. The costs associated with handling and facilities for a low volume fuel do not make business sense. The truth of the matter is that a personal use Cherokee, Cub, Stinson, Cessna 172 probably does not use as much fuel in a year as a business use Cessna 400 series, Piper Navajo or Aztec, or a freight dog Seneca use in a week.

Posted by: James Hiatt | October 7, 2013 5:48 AM    Report this comment

New member so may have missed some of this issue. It seems to me that no one has attemped to promote a project to upgrade our engines to use ethanol. Maybe it would be a certificate to use up to 20% ethanol. My c-150 has been flying on 10 to 20% ethanol for several years. It would appear from a novices point of view that if our engine is a "low compression" engine, that all, if any, modifications are on "the outside" of the engine and if any are required it would be relatively inexpensive, if there is such a thing in "certified aviation" and we as owners should be very willing to spend some of that $700 per year savings to make our airplanes compliant so we can safely purchase right at the Auto gas pump or at a branded airport pump. Bob U.

Posted by: Robert Unternaehrer | October 7, 2013 5:52 AM    Report this comment

Why does nobody address the STORAGE problem. MoGas starts to lose it's quality in weeks, AvGas in years. Sure it'll work when it's fresh, but my airplane sits for weeks, as do most parked on the ramp here. The turnover in a typical gas station is nearly daily, so this isn't an issue with autos.

Posted by: Walt Hankinson | October 7, 2013 5:53 AM    Report this comment

Welcome aboard the growing mogas community, the parallel universe of well-informed pilots. The greatest impediment to getting more mogas onto airports is ignorance, and sadly some of the comments here show that it remains widespread, for instance: Ethanol - is not in mogas sold at airports, period. Ethanol-free fuel is available in abundance at fuel terminals, where the clear gas arrives via pipeline, rail car or barge. Ethanol is first blended in at the terminal, the trucked to gas stations. Mogas is ethanol-free premium fuel, trucked from the terminal to an airport. Shelf-Life: the shelf life of mogas without ethanol is six months or more. Put ethanol in it and the shelf life is a few weeks. Mogas should contain no ethanol, period, since it is not allowed in mogas STCs. Avgas shelf life is about one year, not many years as some claim. 80/20 myth - when will those who claim that 20% of all airplanes burn 80% of the avgas provide facts to back up this myth? It is a fact that well over 80% of all piston aircraft in the FAA registry can operate on mogas, safely and legally. It is a fact that most LSAs have engines TC'd for mogas. It is a fact that nearly all new piston engines, including those from Continental and Lycoming are TC'd to operate on mogas. The main contribution from Airworthy Autogas would be a national distributor for mogas, otherwise for those willing to work a bit harder it is available in most states. The bigger question is how much longer sport aviation will survive at all if we do not lower the cost of fuel. Only one in ten airplanes is flown regularly, but the alphabets remain in the other parallel universe, oblivious to the reality faced by most recreational pilots.

Posted by: Kent Misegades | October 7, 2013 7:53 AM    Report this comment

Paul: I sure hope that your claimed reluctance to use Mogas in the Cub does not include Mr. Ellery's "Airworthty Autogas". If it does, then please look again. That formulation is claimed to be both ethanol free and have the low vapor pressure numbers that eliminates the necessity to re-plumb the fuel delivery systems in some low wing aircraft, such as the Piper Archer that Mr. Ellery and David Athay, of Piper Aircraft flew from Vero Beach Florida to Oshkosh an back this summer with no issues. Given that I own a '78 Archer, with the same Lycoming engine as the one that powered their demonstration flight, I have taken an interest in this fuel and hope that others do as well. Obviously, for this fuel to catch on there needs to be a market for it and I am puzzled by the reluctance of many owners to consider a fuel that will power their engines just as well as 100 LL at no risk to the engine's life or their own, for at least (I expect) a buck less per gallon. The resistance in very puzzling to me. Some of it may be FBO bias and a legitimate concern for the necessary investment in infrastrucure to sevice a small market, but that is true of most things GA. My own FBO claims to have two empty fuel tanks and has expressed interest in pumping Airworthy's product assuming that Mr. Ellery can find a way to have it produced on the East Coast, as shipping the stuff remains a challenge at this point. But I predict that if the price point is at least a buck less than the blue stuff that we all pay too much for and someone builds it, they will come. At least that is what I hope. It may not save GA, but like a lot of medical presciptions, it could extend its life for a bit and postpone the day when the only traditional fuel available is Jet A.

Posted by: Howard Kave | October 7, 2013 8:04 AM    Report this comment

Paul - you can perhaps shed some light on Howard Kave's question on the reluctance of large (NATA) FBOs to offer mogas? Your article in Kitplanes on fuel from this past summer quoted a net margin on avgas sales of up to $1.30, I believe? That is huge compared to the typical margin of 50 cents that the smaller FBOs see, the ones that service the majority of recreational pilots. What the anti-mogas crowd ignores - they make no money from the pilots who self-fuel, we get no aviation fuel taxes when pilots buy their mogas at the corner gas station, and FBOs sell zero fuel to hangar queens, the abundance of which is a direct result of high fuel costs. Just like taxes, if you want to sell more of something, lower its cost - ECON 101.

Posted by: Kent Misegades | October 7, 2013 8:13 AM    Report this comment

I've been using Mogas in my A65 Aeronca for 11 years (850 hrs). Never a problem. At annual, plugs are spotlessly clean. Of course, non ethanol automotive fuel is becoming hard to find. Our local farmers' Co Op continues to carry it however. I burn enough fuel that I don't worry about a possibility of occasional ethanol begin present. The fuel doesn't sit in my plane unused for very long. If I had any engine originally certified for 80/87, and could get an auto fuel STC for it, I'd use mogas. Unfortunately, high wing and high fuel consumption aircraft do present a fueling problem if your airport doesn't have mogas pumps.

Posted by: Roger Anderson | October 7, 2013 8:31 AM    Report this comment

I'm among the many that fly experimentals with Rotax engines who have for years used premium auto fuels purchased a service stations and transported to the airport. While ethanol free fuel was readily available this worked quite well (if a bit inconvenient). However, once it was no longer possible to purchase auto fuel without ethanol (in many areas), a wide variety of problems began to occur. While Rotax allows 10% ethanol, many of the related systems do not tolerate ethanol. One issue that I seldom see mentioned is that aviation is not the only segment that is negatively affected by the addition of ethanol. Boaters, classic car enthusiasts, users of small engine equipment, and probably others, also see the harmful effects of ethanol in the fuel they have available. Were all of these other potential users of ethanol free Mogas included in surveys to quantify the market for ethanol free Mogas, I believe it would paint an even more compelling picture for the marketability of a fuel such as that proposed by Airworthy Autogas. By getting a fuel like this available in at least a broad spread of communities (regional airports, marinas, etc.), there would be many additional users including those with certified planes that are approved for Mogas without ethanol.

Posted by: Tim Rupp | October 7, 2013 8:41 AM    Report this comment

Is 80/20 a myth? Where did it come from?

Lets use a stupid figure like one to one fuel type use. (A blip is a blip anyone?) Now, lets say tomorrow that everyone who can use Mogas does. What happens to the planes that can't? What percentage of owners cannot find fuel because the FBO figures out its not profitable to sell both?

I don't care if your plane prefers Mogas. If Mogas starts taking over, I don't think you will like what happens to GA and the value of your aircraft. I would love to replace my 550 with at least a 90% power diesel. I would be happy to take it experimental in order to do that. It's not an option, nor is Mogas.

If my airplane becomes a paper weight, I guarantee the fallout will be that GA will become a lot cheaper for guys who like to fly short, illegal, risky flights in glide range of an airport until even they can't find certified parts for anything not an LSA, at which point an LSA will cost a quarter million new and you and your two dozen friends will be flying commercial to the Oshkosh salvage yard for the annual owner's meeting and parts swap. It's the logical conclusion in the present situation.

Wake up and smell the economic reality - Mogas is a dead end solution. GA is a life boat in which every person who jumps off makes it sink faster. Stop demanding facts, and recruit some new pilots for your local school or club.

Posted by: Eric Warren | October 7, 2013 8:51 AM    Report this comment

When we made a thorough investigation of adding Mogas at a small California airport, we found that no California refiner would sell us ethanol-free Mogas for aviation use because it would not be covered under their product liability insurance. This was due to the intransgience of the reinsurers. Those who are making valiant efforts to bring Mogas to California must, at this point, import it from Arizona or Nevada. A related problem is the unavailability of product liability coverage at the FBO level, or its high cost.

Posted by: John Lyon | October 7, 2013 9:05 AM    Report this comment

Swift 100SF may address the mogas issues. It's no secret that ethanol has been a thorn in the side of auto manufactures and mogas users, since it began as a renewable fuel mandated by the government by way of the ethanol subsidy paid by all of us. This has also made finding mogas without ethanol a major problem for all those whom hold the mogas STC. If Swift 100SF were ALSO to replace ethanol in auto gas (and like it or not the U S government will continue to require 10% to 15 % renewable fuel to auto gas) it would increase Swift's avgas production on a very large scale and that would help lower the price of Swift 100SF at the pump. Also, it would most likely (and finally) make mogas much more desirable to pilots and FBO's. Imagine the lower price effect of Swift 100SF, due to it replacing ethanol with billions of gallons being produced? BTW, no more STC testing for ethanol! Swift Fuel 100SF could very well be on the way to being a (positive) game changer on many levels including mogas. You want to make mogas more acceptable throughout the U S, FIRST get rid of (replace) ethanol. Until then, ethanol will continue to be a thorn in the side of everyone wanting to use mogas.

Posted by: Greg Morton | October 7, 2013 9:55 AM    Report this comment

Lycoming's attitude towards mogas may have changed, but in that past one thing that kept many from using it was a local engine rebuilder that claimed "I can tell when I teardown an engine who uses mogas and who doesn't". I did use it until it was no longer available (FBO closed up that was selling it) but this kind of warning scared a few from using it.

Posted by: A Richie | October 7, 2013 10:11 AM    Report this comment

If its airworthy mogas wouldn't that be unleaded avgas as there is no availability of ethanol free mo gas available in the southwest at a gas station. Its called racing fuel or avgas. The biggest concern I have with any mogas I've found is its very short tank life. So much so that i run avgas in both my classic cars not for the lead but for the tank life.

Posted by: Tom Nelson | October 7, 2013 10:54 AM    Report this comment

It is a myth that liability coverage is unavailable for mogas. Ask any of the 110+ airports that have sold it for years. Call Falcon Insurance and ask for a quote. See the comments to EPIC's fear-mongering on this subject that appeared in the online version of GA News. That fuel sellers in California would not offer ASTM-compliant, FAA-legal, ethanol-free mogas but approve leaded fuel in aircraft and ethanol-blends in cars, with all the damage it causes, is really funny. No one is claiming that mogas is a 100% replacement for avgas, but it will replace the fuel used in over 80% of all planes, and probably most new planes going forward. Cling to your high-priced avgas, continue to block mogas, and you will carry the blame for the ultimate collapse of recreational aviation. Remember too that the bulk of T-hangar rentals and business that keep maintenance shops at most small airfields alive are the planes that are now rarely flown. It is not only a matter of fuel revenue. The same FBOs that refuse to see the benefits of offering a choice to pilots think nothing of investing in tankage for Jet-A, even at airfields that have none based. More choice leads to competition, lower prices, better quality and more flying. A rising tide raises all ships. Do nothing and we all suffer.

Posted by: Kent Misegades | October 7, 2013 11:10 AM    Report this comment

Perhaps the alphabets could get together and make the MOGAS STCs available to all applicable aircraft in a non-revenue fashion to further acceptance. If the FBOs would look outside the airport for non-Ethanol sales opportunities perhaps demand would increase. If they already have tankage for MOGAS, put a pump station outside the fence to service demand for Ethanol free fuel in cars, boats, mowers, farms, etc. and advertise it. Added bonus, you might even get a few future pilots from those kids riding to the airport with parents to get their Ethanol free gas for the lawn mower.

Posted by: John Salak | October 7, 2013 12:01 PM    Report this comment

Perhaps the alphabets could get together and make the MOGAS STCs available to all applicable aircraft in a non-revenue fashion to further acceptance. If the FBOs would look outside the airport for non-Ethanol sales opportunities perhaps demand would increase. If they already have tankage for MOGAS, put a pump station outside the fence to service demand for Ethanol free fuel in cars, boats, mowers, farms, etc. and advertise it. Added bonus, you might even get a few future pilots from those kids riding to the airport with parents to get their Ethanol free gas for the lawn mower.

Posted by: John Salak | October 7, 2013 12:01 PM    Report this comment

Having personally burned through over 40,000 gallons of mogas during the 26 years I owned a '65 C-182, commuting and traveling in all kinds of climatic conditions, I am comfortable in saying it won't make your 80-octane bird fall out of the sky nor cause any engine distress. So IMHO that should not be a consideration.

Yes, ethanol may be a problem, although how much of a problem is questionable. Although my move from C-182 to A-36 and consequent shutting down of my auto fuel tankering operations happened some years back, it is (how do I say this delicately) "highly possible" that a fair amount of California 'up to10% E' found its way into the C-182's bladders with no desert-temperature vapor or other problems noted. Also, an awful lot of pre-ethanol era cars seem to be running OK on it without hoses, seals and other fuel system parts dissolving. It would be interesting to see the results of some actual testing.

At my age, GA is in fact, as someone termed it, a "sunset activity" so for me personally this is mostly an intellectual discussion. Still, it would definitely please me to be around to see some solution arrived at that would leverage the huge auto gas production & distribution system.

Posted by: John Wilson | October 7, 2013 12:23 PM    Report this comment

Does anyone have any citations to back up the claim that "20% of the planes need 100LL and use 80% of the fuel"? I've been hearing that same stat for decades, and the numbers haven't changed at all even though the days of round engine freight dogs are are long gone. I could believe the stat back then, but nowadays I'm not so sure. It takes an awful lot of SR22s to match the fuel flow of a fleet of 172s.

Posted by: John Clear | October 7, 2013 4:54 PM    Report this comment

John, we've got a local airport with about 10 aircraft on the field, and one C421 that I maintain, the 421 burns about 80% of the fuel sold at this airport. My guess would be that it's more like 10% use 90% of the fuel (I've burned lots and lots of 100LL in twins) Now, in regards to the freight dogs and corporate users, let's look at that same C421. If there were a single spec mogas out there, in my mind something at least traceable like the 'airworthy autogas' program, and if there were a mod available to this aircraft for say, 12k, that would allow this aircraft to use fuel which costs $1 per gallon less, the break-even is 240 hours. The particular aircraft I'm thinking of flies about 500 hours per year - 6 month's I pay for a 12k upgrade - no brainer. The corporate traffic will probably take a wait-and-see approach - these guys are typically more worried about safety than economics anyhow. The freight dogs would probably jump right away - although there's a lot less piston freight being flown nowadays. Passenger 135 would require revisions to the FARs to allow use of mogas.

Posted by: Josh Johnson | October 8, 2013 6:34 AM    Report this comment

I have been anticipating the results of this survey, and am hopeful that you, Bertorelli, will warm up to the idea of mogas!

Not all high compression engines require 100LL.

The IO-520 on approved aircraft can burn mogas with the INPULSE system installed. It is STC FAA Approved and is proving itself reliable and safe every flight and every inspection. We've installed the system on two aircraft, one a prototype C185 and the other a C188 both with IO-520 engines. The C188 has been operating since May this year, logged nearly 100 hours, and has saved the operator and business owner nearly $3,000 in fuel costs thus far.

In agreement with Misegades comment: Ethanol being blended into mogas is a small worry. If ethanol is a main concern test the mogas before fueling up.

Check out INPULSE website here: www.flyinpulse.com

Posted by: Katie Church | October 8, 2013 9:43 AM    Report this comment

I've been using Ethanol free mogas in my Citabria 0-235 for most of the last 2650 hours. This engine is beyond TBO by about 150 hours and has a compression in the high 70's in all cylinders and has an oil burn of about 25 hours to a quart. I'm lucky to have "Ethanol free fuel available across the street from the airport and also I can get it in Eugene, (OR) although the price is a lot higher than at the gas stations. I wish someone would explain this to me. As far as I know the Ethanol is added after and not before processing so why the higher price? Simply because not that much is sold?? I'm based at 61s, a state owned airport who at this time is in charge of the fuel and they will not put in a Mogas tank. Not sure why, something to do with it can't be next to the 100LL for fear of people putting in the wrong fuel. Come on folks, we are pilots and fly planes, some of those have complicated systems, I think we can figure out which fuel goes in which tank!! (can't we??) Speaking of state run fuel, 61S is in dire need of a good FBO on the field, if anybody out there is interested. ;-) Donna Svoboda

Posted by: Donna Svoboda | October 8, 2013 10:45 AM    Report this comment

We sell and use mogas in our fleet of Cessna and Piper aircraft. Eleven years and no issues.

That said, most pilots won't buy it--even though it is $1 cheaper at the airport pump than 100LL. We provide a certificate on each delivery--date of delivery, octane rating (minimum 91), Reid vapor pressure, ethanol-free. Pilots still hear horror stories--usually from somebody that brought in substandard gas--not pumped from a certified and filtered system.

I too don't like the smell of autogas--but that's easy to fix. What is needed--the FAA to certify a mogas-based fuel and DIFFERENTIATE it from auto fuel. Put in an aviation "smell" (odorizer) and dye (red?) so that pilots know that it meets specs. The new fuel sales will take off.

Posted by: jim hanson | October 9, 2013 8:18 AM    Report this comment

There are even in this article and the comments many misconceptions. Lets look at fuel with ethanol. To the guy running it in his C150, it is not an approved fuel, period. Ethanol fuel can destroy seals, rubber parts, hoses and gaskets. It combines with atmospheric moisture and settles out of the fuel to the bottom of the tank. Here the water, ethanol and other chemicals combine and create an acidic compound that allows the water to corrode an aluminum fuel tank from the inside out. In addition this mixture, called phase separation, can eat composite tanks dissolving the resins and dissolving bladder tanks. To say nothing about the gum and varnish left behind. In short ethanol has no place in an open air vented system. Any airplane originally approved for 80/87 octane can run today's premium grade mogas. To those who think that the brand on the gas pump makes a difference in the basic fuel, guess what? At most terminals Shell, Phillips, BP and the corner mom and pop quick mart all get their fuel from the same source. It is additive packages that are added, such as detergents, that make the difference. If the fuel is produced to meet a certain standard, and we can use that standard, then the name on the pump makes no difference. The problem is not the base fuel, it is the ethanol. As long as certain specifications are met your engine will run perfectly fine on mogas. Now if your engine due to high compression, needs a higher octane then that is a different matter. For those needing 100 octane fuel I can see your point. If all the rest of us moved to mogas then would there be enough demand to keep producing and selling 100LL? Maybe not. So I can see why you are defending your territory. However the days of 100LL are numbered. It would be quite possible and even probable some environment group files suit, wins and overnight there would be no more lead in the fuel. Then what? My opinion is the FAA is dragging their feet and will be caught between a rock and a hard place. Every terminal in the US has ethanol free fuel. The problem in some areas is getting it. Certain states have laws, the Feds have ethanol laws etc. The key is education and allowing aviation to buy ethanol free fuel. It sure would be a good trade off for leaded fuel in those states where the environmental lobby is big. A similar thing happened to diesel fuel. Do you know there are two different diesel fuels? The fuel is the same but the taxation is different depending if it is used for off road or over the road. The fuel is even dyed a different color. Until the aviation industry wakes up, gets together and educates and promotes the facts, this great divide will continue. As it is now the "stories" hearsay and rumors will abound.

Posted by: Jeff Grigg | October 9, 2013 10:37 AM    Report this comment

Paul, let's look at this from the FBO's perspective. He/she currently sells 100LL to everyone with pistons. If they add a mogas pump (and storage, and pad, and fire protection, and insurance, etc.), what is the result? Some people buy it, and some buy the 100LL. Unless the mogas is so much cheaper that pilots start to fly in to refuel, and everyone pulls out the hangar queens and starts them up again because flying is $15 an hour cheaper, all they have done is divide their sales between two products. Where's the up-side for them?

Posted by: Donald Weber | October 9, 2013 6:13 PM    Report this comment

After using thousands of gallons of 91 - 93 octane mogas in our Pawnee and Supercub towplanes for many years with absolutely no adverse effects, the only reason I don't run my O-360 RV-6 on it is that someone installed 10:1 pistons at some point. At our airport, 95% of fuel purchases are non-business GA and over 80% of these GA aircraft could use mogas if it were available. And if it were, I have to believe fuel sales and airport traffic would increase substantially as local pilots came to us to purchase fuel.

Posted by: Richard Lafford | October 10, 2013 10:20 AM    Report this comment

Richard, If I am doing the math correctly, it looks like about 1 in 8 aircraft at your airport can't use mogas at all. What happens when the 100LL pump disappears because they weren't buying enough fuel to justify the pump?

Here is what happens when that happens all over. Those models start moving towards worthless at a fast rate. What happens to an industry where that many of their customers start talking about the tens of thousands they lost on the product because of regulatory issues? It doesn't just lose those guys, it loses those guys and any chance of recruiting most of the people who hear their story. GA just can't survive that kind of hit without going the way it has in Europe.

Posted by: Eric Warren | October 11, 2013 12:44 AM    Report this comment

Thanks for getting me thinking about mogas. It is available at KSFM, where I am based, but up until a few minutes ago I never gave it any thought. It's across the field from the 100LL/Jet A tank farm, but I taxi past it all the time. I just dropped a line to my A&P, and will take check in with the International Cessna 170 Association.

Posted by: Jerry Fraser | October 15, 2013 2:21 PM    Report this comment

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