Taking steps to go green in your business doesn’t just mean replacing light bulbs, fixtures and filters, reducing paper, and recycling glass. It means becoming aware of the way your unique operation is affecting the earth. Save money, fuel, and our environment by updating your preflight procedures.
Past studies indicate that when pilots remove fuel samples for preflight checks they throw an average of 6 to 12 ounces of avgas on the ground. It’s been estimated that in the United States alone, approximately 2.3 million gallons of avgas are wasted each year, and at today’s cost of more than $5 per gallon, that’s more than $13 million of our money being thrown into the dust—literally.
As members and ambassadors of the general aviation community, we need to do our part to maintain and exhibit a safe environment. Although the lead additive in 100LL avgas is an organic tetraethyl type, the same one used previously in automotive gasoline, it contains roughly four times the lead that was found in regular leaded automotive fuel before it was banned.
So how to help? Replacing your fuel samplers with one of the new fuel jar testers, which will allow you to put preflight fuel samples back into the airplane, is one of the easiest ways. These tested-and-approved jars employ a unique, built-in screen that separates solids and non-petroleum contaminants, so only clean, pure fuel is returned to the tank. The reversible sump actuator fits both pin and petcock actuators.
If the fuel is clouded, discolored, or holds impurities, store it in a specially marked container and either use it for your lawnmower or ask your local waste management authority where to dispose of it.
A motivation to save money and concern for the environment should be enough to make changes, but there are stronger “incentives” in some places. Arizona and Florida both have regulations in place that require the proper disposal of aviation fuel. If even one student in one of these states throws fuel on the ramp, it can result in a large fine. Expect other states to follow suit.