AOPA supports plan to keep ethanol out of avgas

February 14, 2008

AOPA supports plan to keep ethanol out of avgas

By AOPA ePublishing staff

Oregon’s law requiring all gasoline offered for sale in the state to contain at least 10 percent ethanol came with an unintended side effect—problems for general aviation aircraft that burn auto fuel. Now AOPA is supporting a plan to exempt auto gas used in aircraft from the ethanol requirements.

The 2007 law was aimed at automobiles, which aren’t harmed by small amounts of ethanol in their fuel. But the same can’t be said of airplanes. That’s because ethanol deteriorates seals in aircraft engines, harms fuel bladders and hoses, and attracts water, which promotes rust that can damage cylinders and pistons. It also can lead to problems in electric fuel pumps and cause inaccurate indications on fuel gauges, according to studies by the FAA.

AOPA has been working with Oregon’s agriculture and aviation departments to fix the problem with the law. The new law being considered by Oregon legislators meeting in special session would allow vendors to offer ethanol-free fuel for sale if it is for use in aircraft.

February 14, 2008