Most general aviation aircraft are not able to burn fuel that is blended with ethanol. That's why AOPA told the Oregon Department of Agriculture to be careful as it writes rules that mandate all gasoline sold or offered for sale to include at least 10 percent ethanol.
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," said Greg Pecoraro, AOPA vice president of regional affairs.
Considering that only one out of 97 Oregon public-use airports supply auto fuel, 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.
November 29, 2007