Tom Haines

An avgas bargain?

April 10, 2008 by Thomas B. Haines, Editor in Chief

Not long ago, $4 a gallon avgas seemed outrageously expensive. Now, with prices often topping $5 a gallon, finding prices at less than $4 seems like a bargain.

Headed to Sun ‘n Fun this week, I sought out the cheapest fuel near my route. Using the new radius search feature on AOPA’s Airport Directory Online I found avgas for $3.96 at Marion County (MAO), South Carolina. The sleepy little airport (ours was the only airplane in sight on the ramp) proved a quick and easy stop for us en route from Frederick, Maryland, to Lakeland, Florida. Other nearby airports were charging between about $5 and $5.50, meaningĀ I saved at least $45 on my purchase of 44 gallons. Actually, the fuel price was showing as $4.24 a gallon in the directory–still the cheapest in the area, but I was only charged $3.96. The experience supports the notion that even if fuel prices are not completely current in a listing, you can usually count on the cheapest price being the cheapest and the most expensive being the most expensive–regardless of the actual dollars and cents on any one day.

To use the feature, go to the page noted above. At the bottom of the page, enterĀ in the radius search field an airport ID near where you expect to stop for fuel and choose a radius. The search will return airports within the radius and their fuel prices.

The member survey at the AOPA tent shows the cost of aviation as a primary concern. Here’s one way to help manage those costs.

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