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How To Kill General Aviation

by John M. White |

In April the Environmental Protection Agency issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Lead Emissions from Piston-Engine Aircraft Using Leaded Aviation Gasoline - a move sure to contribute to the effort on how to kill general aviation. EPA Attacks Leaded Fuel For Aircraft As I read through this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking it is clear that this document lacks any real data that ties the emissions generated by piston powered aircraft to any specific harm or injury to the population in general, but rather uses what I consider scare tactics. For example, here is an excerpt of part of this Notice: "Lead Concentrations and Exposure to Lead from Piston-Engine Aircraft
  • * Lead concentrations in air increase with proximity to airports where piston-engine aircraft operate.
  • * Lead emitted in-flight is expected to disperse widely in the environment because lead is emitted as a small particle and can travel widely before depositing to soil, water, vegetation or other surfaces.
  • * Approximately 16 million people live within one kilometer of the approximately 20,000 airport facilities in the U.S.
  • * Over 3 million children attend school within one kilometer of the approximately 20,000 airport facilities. "
Nowhere in this document do I see any evidence that the emissions have ever caused, or even been accused of causing, any harm to school children or people living close to airport facilities here in the U.S. In response to this plan on how to kill general aviation a number of grassroots movements are emerging by aircraft types. One of the more interesting is the Malibu Mirage Owners and Pilots Association which fears that fuels of less than 100 octane will have an immediate, direct and adverse effect upon the fleet of PA-46 aircraft. Jonathan Sisk, president of the association, has urged members and other parties interested to mount a campaign to raise awareness of this problem. Lower performance engines can run OK on 94UL, the proposed replacement for 100LL, but higher performance aircraft will suffer performance degradation. If you are interested in stopping this plan on how to kill general aviation then I urge you to work with whatever group you belong to and urge the EPA to extend the comment period by another 120 days past the 60 days proposed. Until next time keep your wings straight and level Hersch! JetAviator7 Ignorance is the curse of God; knowledge is the wing wherewith we fly to heaven. — William Shakespeare ps: Don't forget to sign up for our newsletter "All Things Aviation" here!

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