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AOPA USA Report: GAMI calls on FAA to approve G100UL STC

George Braly, chief engineer at General Aviation Modifications, Inc., has called on the FAA to issue his company a supplemental type certificate to allow his 100-octane unleaded fuel to be used in essentially every spark-ignition engine and every airframe powered by those engines.

At a seminar at the Sun ’n Fun Aerospace Expo in Lakeland, Florida, on April 5, Braly said he has completed every test required for the approval, has sign-off from various levels of the FAA, and was advised on March 3 by the FAA Wichita Aircraft Certification Office (ACO) that the fuel was ready for approval. He said he had completed all the testing necessary to demonstrate the safe use of the fuel in all high-compression engines and airframes as well. To verify that, the FAA in December 2021 ordered the Atlanta ACO to conduct a certification review of the Wichita ACO’s and the “previous ACO’s” 12-year history of the G100UL AML STC process. In January, the Atlanta ACO concluded that the process met the required standards and “is suitable for FAA approval.”

However, FAA headquarters staff are being understandably conservative about approving such an important document. The agency wants to be certain that all requirements have been met by its own review teams so that the fuel is unquestionably safe, which will be an important step in convincing refiners and fuel blenders to step up and manufacture the fuel in mass quantities.

While GAMI and Swift Fuels have proceeded with efforts to have their high-octane unleaded fuels approved through the STC process, the FAA has also kept alive the Piston Aviation Fuels Initiative (PAFI) process for other potential fuel candidates. The PAFI process was conceived a decade ago in cooperation with industry to find an unleaded fuel suitable for the entire GA fleet. Although several companies, including Swift, entered fuels into the process, none emerged as viable candidates.

The FAA says several fuels are still under consideration through PAFI.

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