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100LL becoming increasingly scarce in the south of Sweden

Except, when your engine needs 100LL, and then you are facing a hard decision… I think most people just give up flying.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Well, why? They could just as well buy an aircraft that does not need 100LL. Even in the certified world, there are very capable touring aircraft that don‘t need it, like the C182. Or the TB20.

It‘s only in the SR22/Malibu class where there is no mogas or UL91 capable alternative. But these people can upgrade to a small turbine aircraft, get a DA50, or similar.

Last Edited by boscomantico at 09 Jun 06:47
Mainz (EDFZ) & Egelsbach (EDFE), Germany

Peter wrote:

Except, when your engine needs 100LL, and then you are facing a hard decision… I think most people just give up flying.

Who could have ever predicted that 100LL would be phased out? Of course I have empathy for those that didn’t really understand the situation and bought an aircraft that “requires” 100LL, but honestly, the demise of 100LL has been in the cards since the 1980s. We’ve had time to adapt, and we chose not to.

Fly more.
LSGY, Switzerland

But these people can upgrade to a small turbine aircraft, get a DA50, or similar.

Indeed, or a TBM Actually most will just give up.

We’ve had time to adapt, and we chose not to.

Reality is a little more complicated.

My earlier comment was that this is a reflection of the narrow range of GA activity, and there is a vulnerability building there.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Yes, the last 5 years or so it has become increasingly difficult to get 100LL for aircraft traveling through Sweden. It is an issue but I actually think it will be better. There are operators who need it and they will make sure that it still is available.

The sad part, as always in European GA, is that airports do not take responsibility for their role in the system. They are part of crucial infrastructure and their f***ing job is to have fuel available for based and visiting aircraft.
Many of them are also trying to pick the low hanging fruits by getting rid of leaded fuel to improve their environmental footprint.

It is not the best solution but it is possible to get barrels of fuel shipped to anywhere in Sweden and I actually believe that we will see a couple more places with 100LL in the future.

If going to Visby/Gotland, Västervik(ESSW) is an OK option to refuel. I would recommend everyone to let the airports/aeroclubs know that you want 100LL so they understand that there is a need.
If they never here about it they will just believe that they made the correct decision.

ESSZ, Sweden

Peter wrote:

The loss of 100LL facilities suggests there is very little GA which needs 100LL – obviously – which suggests that most activity is aeroclub type activity.

The same could therefore happen in France.

The same is bound to happen everywhere, as eurogaguest say, 40+ years of adaption is starting to produce visible results all over. Some are just later than others. In Norway 100LL used to be cheap. The last time I filled I paid about € 3.5 (38 NOK) per liter. (That was on my Savannah, which don’t like 100LL all that much, but it was the only thing they had at that place for some not so understandable reason. Ethanol free 98 MOGAS costs typically € 1.5). With this price difference you have to be extremely stubborn not to adapt, sooner rather than later.

Only a few weeks ago I was at ENRO (Røros) for some errand. They pride themselves with having 100LL. I had no need to fill anything, but the 100LL they had, had turned old. They could not sell it. I thought 100LL lasted forever, but probably not in bulk? The locals fix things themselves privately with 98 MOGAS. A better solution would be to have 100LL in barrels, but what for exactly, when no locals use it?

At least in Sweden you can get fuel almost everywhere. This has been the situation for the last 30-40 years. But, that Hjelmco is not cheap either, and AVGAS has costed comparably an arm and a leg in Sweden for as long as I can remember. The situation is bad overall IMO, but the way forward is obviously 98 ethanol free MOGAS in some variety.

The elephant is the circulation

From a Swedish perspective the following speaks against MOGAS in my view:
- None of the Swedish suppliers can deliver non-ethanol 98. Their spec is up to 5%, in reality it is lower but not zero.
- None of the Swedish suppliers can deliver MOGAS which fulfills the Lycoming requirements for MOGAS.
- An aeroclub/operator gets reimbursed for the fuel tax when doing flight training and mission flights within FFK and KSAK which is pretty common. The price without tax is today pretty similar to 98.
- There is a certain level of skepticism on national level against MOGAS in airplanes. Mostly fueled by one of the suppliers here.

What private aircraft owners do with their own airplanes is of course another matter but there are obstacles that needs to be addressed before there will be more fixed fuel stations at Swedish airports with MOGAS.

This is my personal view on this.

ESSZ, Sweden

Actually most will just give up.

Just because they have to change aircraft types to be able to tour more freely? Very black and white, and very doubtful. Might be the case for some frustrated, 75+ year old pilot who does not want to change aircraft anymore and that is nearing the end of his flying career anyway.

Once it becomes too much hassle with the fuel for touring through Europe, I will gladly sell the SR22 and go for something else. Gladly, we are still far away from that. It just takes a bit more planning, which is what this “heads up” post was all about.

Last Edited by boscomantico at 09 Jun 14:48
Mainz (EDFZ) & Egelsbach (EDFE), Germany

Nice. You will be 70 one day too. I see you changed it to 75.

The older pilots spend a pile of money in GA, supporting the infrastructure over decades. Whereas the average new PPL packs it up after (typically renting for) a year or two, spending the absolute minimum. The aeroclub community has a rapid turnover, and the average hours flown are in the 10-20hr/year range, so spending is very low too.

We need everybody in GA. This is yet another contrast between the US and Europe. In the US they pull together while in Europe there is too much divisiveness. 70/75 year old men can just go on the scrap heap.

We don’t have a “100UL” product yet. Until we have, the biggest travellers (turbo engines, and anything over about 8.5:1) will be excluded. One estimate from the US is that 2/3 of 100LL goes into engines which don’t meet the “UL” requirements, and even taking into account the relatively impoverished Europe, that is a lot of expenditure which supports GA infrastructure. Now, obviously, if “you” feel GA can shrink and shrivel to farm strips, that’s fair enough, everybody is entitled to their POV, but then we are looking at Spain and Italy, rather than Germany, UK, Switzerland and other places where GA is doing OK.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

On the contrary, my former German home base stopped offering Mogas (98 RON) in favor of Jet A1. Especially when flying Rotax engines, which doesn’t like 100LL that much, fuel planning with only Mogas might also be challenging if you want to avoid 100LL at all costs.

Sure, you can load a canister and get fuel at random petrol stations with a Rotax engine, but that costs a lot of additional logistic work and (especially) loads of extra time.

Last Edited by Frans at 09 Jun 21:17
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