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 in Pennsylvania 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. In a letter to the sponsor and committee members considering the bill, AOPA Vice President of Regional Affairs Greg Pecoraro explained to legislators that aircraft with a supplemental type certificate to burn automobile gasoline usually can't find it at the airport. He recommended an exemption for automobile gasoline with an octane rating of 91 or higher. Pecoraro also encouraged legislators to make clear that the new law does not apply to avgas.
June 22, 2007