November 2008 Issue
Finding Affordable Gas: AirNav vs. 100LL.com
Of the two competing cheap(er) gas finders, AirNav offers the easiest-to-use online option. For pilots who make the decision on the fly, www.100LL is worth a look.
Ten years ago, when avgas prices soared to the point of being noticeably painful, fuel costs were still the smallest percentage of total operating costs. In an era of $5-plus avgas, that’s less true for owners who operate airplanes burning 8 GPH or more. So now, the question is no longer how to find cheap avgas—there isn’t any—but how to avoid getting your eyes gouged out on a typical fill-up. An unpleasant reality is that avgas prices have become wildly spiky from airport to airport—it’s not unusual to see a $1.50 or $2 difference between airports in the same region or even across town. Our favorite example is the poster child for high gas prices—Jet Aviation in Teterboro, New Jersey, which was charging a salty $8.68 at press time. Yet 21 miles away, Greenwood Lake Airport was asking $5.36 for a difference of a whopping $3.32. For a modest fill-up of, say, a Cessna 172, that amounts to $116 total. For a big single, it’s more like a $250 and a total charge of $650. Owners who travel with their airplanes by necessity have to plan around high fuel prices—forget winds and weather; find an airport with affordable fuel. But what’s the best way?
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