Air traffic and fuel sales are up at Greenville Downtown Airport (GMU), the busiest general aviation airport in South Carolina, signaling expectations of a turnaround.
In a recent blog posted on General Aviation News by Ben Visser, he made a point that poses a serious conundrum for the conversion to unleaded avgas: “The big problem here is that almost all of the aircraft piston engines out there need to be broken-in on 100LL, then they can be switched over to auto gas. But if they are started on auto gas when new, they will probably have exhaust valve problems.” The exhaust valve problems that Ben is alluding to is commonly known as “valve seat recession.”
UPDATE: Calls from AOPA and EAA Tuesday morning inform us Ben’s column is incorrect. Exxon-Mobil will continue the manufacture of unbranded 100LL fuel. Exxon-Mobil will discontinue branded fuel sales under the Exxon Avitat flag. We are awaiting confirmation from Exxon’s public relations people.
I recently read that Exxon-Mobil stopped manufacturing and selling 100LL. (I tried to contact them but did not receive a confirmation by press time.) What does this mean for you and your plane?
In the spirit of the aviation mnemonic that uses “the five Ts” to remember what comes next on an instrument approach, a report at AOPA.org noted that taxes, technology, training, tetraethyl lead, and tracking of aircraft by Internet users highlighted a checklist of issues facing general aviation in 2011. Check it out here.