When you top off your aircraft after soaring through the wild blue yonder, you shouldn't have to worry about what's in the fuel you're feeding your aircraft. So AOPA has intervened on two bills [ download] in Michigan that would require ethanol be blended with fuel for motor vehicles. 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. "Since fuel blends, including ethanol, cannot be used in general aviation aircraft at this time, AOPA strongly supports an exemption for avgas from any legislation mandating a renewable fuel component," wrote AOPA Vice President of Regional Affairs Greg Pecoraro to the House and Senate Transportation committees. Pecoraro also recommended an exemption for automobile gasoline with an octane rating of 91 or higher because some aircraft have supplemental type certificates to burn this fuel.
February 23, 2007