Piper Cherokee Six

Piper Cherokee Six
These aircraft MUST use 100 Octane Low Lead fuel

Friday, April 30, 2010

U.S. Senator from Alaska Comments on EPA AvGas Issue

Washington, D.C.-(April 30, 2010)--Senator Lisa Murkowski, R-AK has commented on the EPA's lack of concern for Alaskans by issuing an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rule Making for public comment. The EPA may possibly ban 100 Low Lead aviation fuel in Alaska should there be support for this nationwide.
Speaking from Washington D.C. today the senator stated:
"For a state like Alaska where general aviation is so vital, this rule change is especially troubling, since the practical benefits on our State’s air quality are so unproven. It would certainly be better if EPA conducted an Alaska specific air quality study before imposing a fuel rule that could have a real negative impact, especially given the age and the wide variety of engines used in general aviation in the State," said Murkowski."This is just another example where EPA is pushing a one-size-fits-all solution to an issue that might not even be a problem in Alaska without understanding the real economic impacts on Alaskans. Flying in Alaska is a necessity for many, something this proposed rule clearly doesn’t consider.”The statement comes before the opening of the 2010 Alaska Airmen's Association Trade Show and Convention which is host to over 21,000 people interested in Alaska's Aviation industry.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Alaska needs a waiver from EPA 100 Low Lead Ban!

ANCHORAGE, ALASKA, April 24, 2010--It is now evident that our Congressional Delegation needs to seek a waiver from the impending ban of 100 Low Lead Aviation fuel.
"This is not just going to affect rural Alaska, it will affect the whole state," said John Hopson, Jr. of Wainwright, AK.
John and other North Slope villagers depend on aircraft to fly from village to village in Cessna 185, 206 and 207 aircraft which have high compression four cycle engines that depend on 100 Low Lead fuel to achieve horsepower, to cool and lubricate efficiently.

While the rest of the country and the aviation groups that we pay yearly fees to represent us are scrambling to find "alternative" fuels for the most efficient engines developed to date, we here in Alaska will need a waiver to allow us to continue to use the fuel in aircraft engines that produce more than 180 horsepower.

The 180 horsepower is the dividing line for aircraft engines who have higher compression to develop horsepower, according to aircraft engine manufacturers like Teledyne Continental Motors (TCM), Textron (AVCO Lycoming) etc.

While we understand those in the industry are making an effort it appears as if there will be too short a period now that the EPA NPRM timeline has been moved forward.

The Alaska Congressional delegation, U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski, R-AK, Mark Begich D-AK, and Congressman Don Young R-AK need to work together to ensure that a waiver is issued for Alaskan Aircraft, or better, to kill this effort by using logic.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

National Aviation Industry is bowing over to EPA by trying to find Low Lead Alternatives

Alaskan pilots and aircraft owners better prepare your arguments now, the EPA has released an "advance" notice of proposed rule making in regards to eliminating lead from aviation 100 Low Lead fuel. This means that a ban can happen anytime after the public comment period closes IN 60-DAYS!.

This report was posted today by AVweb in a flash:

Industry efforts to find a replacement for 100LL are expected to intensify now that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has released its advance notice of proposed rulemaking regarding the need to eliminate lead from fuel. The ANPRM does not set a date for eliminating the fuel, but invites interested parties to send comments on the issue for the next 60 days. "Converting in-use aircraft/engines to operate on unleaded aviation gasoline would be a significant logistical challenge, and in some cases a technical challenge as well," the EPA said. The EPA also acknowledged that a joint effort with the FAA will be critical in case engine modifications will need to be developed and certified, AOPA said. "Given the potentially large number of affected aircraft and the potential complexities involved," the EPA said, "a program affecting in-use aircraft engines would need careful consideration by both EPA and FAA, and the two agencies would need to work together in considering any potential program affecting the in-use fleet."

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The future of GA is up to us....

AOPA's leader Craig Fuller's speech at SunN'Fun on April 15th hit the nail on the head. It's up to us the GA community to reach out, speak up and make things happen or we will loose the privilege of flying.
This may happen due to the attrition of the aging pilot population because this group had flying in the palm of their hands. Many learned how to fly during WWII, and some used the GI bill, or learned to fly on their own later. This same generation is aging, as are the aircraft that they flew.
To counter this change, we must group together to attract more young people to flying, both men and women, as Fuller imply's.
I keep hearing from everyone in the aviation industry that; "flying is too expensive for the younger crowd, isn't it a shame" but how can that be? I see new cars, expensive coats, sunglasses, laptops, cell phones, tattoos, memberships to a fancy gym, lattes, and flying is too expensive?
We need to stress that to fly is a multi-dimensional experience that can't be equaled, and on that note there is this looming issue of banning 100 Low Lead Av gas. If you think flying is expensive now, just wait until a whole new generation of engines are engineered, and manufactured to run off of non-leaded bio fuels. For example price out a Prius,yes, its a Hybrid car, but those who own them are paying a higher price to drive them.
Won't this too happen with our GA aircraft...of course it will.
Another example: Light Sport Aircraft once called Ultralights. They used to be air vehicles (under Part 103) that were powered with two-cycle engines, now the same aircraft that cost $14,500 new in 2002 that has been FAA inspected, and GAMA approved as an LSA costs between $39,000 and $80,000!
Won't this too happen with bio-aircraft engines in the future?
Let's keep the 100LL fuel and the engines that it feeds and keep the costs down, or we will loose yet another rung on the ladder of flight time.
The FAA, EAA, and AOPA are worried about GA accidents rates which are directly affected by pilot proficiency. A lack of regular flying..why? The same argument, flying has gotten too expensive.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

AOPA Comments from 2009 to EPA

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed to find that six greenhouse gases—including some emitted by general aviation aircraft—threaten public health and welfare. The agency did not propose any regulations on emitters of greenhouse gases, but the finding could be a preliminary step toward the eventual regulation of greenhouse gas emissions, including those from engines.
AOPA will file comments on the proposed finding and has commented on the issue in the past.
“Piston-powered aircraft account for approximately one-tenth of 1 percent of transportation greenhouse gas emissions,” said Craig Spence, AOPA vice president of regulatory affairs. Spence added that AOPA “will continue to urge the EPA to consider the cost burden and effect on aviation safety before imposing any emissions rules on the GA community.”
The proposed findings, published in the Federal Register April 24, could lay the groundwork for regulations similar to the ones that the agency explored last year in anadvanced notice of proposed rulemaking. The notice seeks ways to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from many sources, including aircraft, under the Clean Air Act.
For any of those rules to be enacted, the EPA must first rule that the air pollutants in question “cause, or contribute to, air pollution which may reasonably be anticipated to endanger public health or welfare”—a stipulation of the Clean Air Act that the Supreme Court ruled applies to greenhouse gases. As emitters of carbon dioxide, GA aircraft could eventually fall under the purview of EPA regulations under the Clean Air Act.
The proposed endangerment finding is based on scientific analysis of six gases, including carbon dioxide. According to the EPA, concentrations of these gases are at unprecedented levels as a result of human emissions, and those high levels likely contribute to climate change. The draft now enters the 60-day public comment period.
Legislative action could open another avenue for the oversight of greenhouse gas emissions. President Barack Obama and EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson have repeatedly indicated their preference for comprehensive legislation to address the issue of greenhouse gases.
April 29, 2009

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Alaskan Aviation Industry Against EPA ban of 100 Low Lead AvGas

Taking a stand for 100 Low Lead AvGas

ANCHORAGE, ALASKA (April 13, 2010)--When Alaskan's see eye-to-eye on anything it is unusual. When Alaskan Aviators gather together to fight for an issue look out. And this is just what has happened.

On April 12 a gathering of 26 people and Alaska Congressman Don Young, R, AK met at the Alaska Aviation Museum located at the world's largest seaplane base to discuss how to curb the efforts of the Environmental Protection Agency's agenda to abolish 100LL AvGas (100 octane Low Lead Aviation gasoline) and the effects it will have on Alaska.

While most of us believe in protecting the earth for future generations, to abolish the use of this fuel will hamper, harm, and destroy a delicate but working aviation related infrastructure in a state three times larger than Texas. 

Now some will say that this is a myopic statement by a bully Alaskan, but it is meant to make a point. There are few roads in Alaska, there are few rural villages on a road system, the State of Alaska has 256 airports that it owns and maintains...starting to get the idea? Now multiply this times three (3X) and what do you get. Commerce and transportation by air, that's what.

EPA workers are not bad people or anything like that, the real problem here is a lawsuit filed by the Friends of the Earth forcing the EPA to look at this issue. The EPA is just following through with a special interest group's legal demand.

Here is the logic according to Wikipedia: The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has noted that exposure to even very low levels of lead contamination has been conclusively linked to loss of IQ in children's brain function tests, thus providing a high degree of motivation to eliminate lead and its compounds from the environment. (What about the countless hours of watching mindless TV shows?)

Well the EPA's conclusion might be so in concentrated amounts, but what we are talking about here in Alaska are 1940-50s ex-military and commercial aircraft that use high octane fuel flying over hundreds of miles of un-populated areas, in cool conditions (density altitude) with highly skilled pilots. 

These pilots work hard to lean their fuel settings to get the best performance, and best efficiency from their aircraft's engines. This means that those 50 and 60 year old engines are working at peak performance in low RPM settings to get the most flight time out of the fuel as they can while they carry everything from diapers to steel pipe into villages that may only have a 3,300 foot gravel runway.

These aircraft are expensive to operate, require constant maintenance, but were designed for what they are doing. 

Some land on beaches to pick up that fresh fish that you ate for lunch at a gourmet restaurant, others are hauling oxygen bottles into villages with regional hospitals to help premature babies who need oxygen to live to the next day. 

In short there are no new aircraft that will use bio-diesels, or Bio Jet fuels that can take these metal flying cargo haulers places. Newer aircraft have large propellers which swing close to the ground...no gravel runways for them. Others have delicate tri-cycle landing gear that can only land on hard surfaces. 

The only newer option that can be considered from an operational standpoint is the Lockheed C-130 Hercules. 

Yes they can land on gravel and yes they can haul a lot of cargo, but they also have four engines and weigh too much for gravel runways built on permafrost that are muddy three months of the year, and covered with snow the other nine.

So where does that leave us should the EPA follow the legal road to lead free air in the Arctic? 

No groceries, fuel, medical emergency evacuations, building supplies, educational materials for local schools, no shipping of generators for production electrical energy...it sort of puts an end to living in rural Alaska, or will make it too damn expensive to live there. 

Perhaps that's the real agenda?

This is just the beginning...we hope to post information that will prove why we stand against the EPA on this issue.