Because Owning And Flying Your Beechcraft Can Be Done Safely AND For Less Money!
  100LL Fuel Prices

 

Let's hope the <$4 avgas prices are here to stay for a while with the latest round of OPEC production committments. Yeah, now that we have found a bunch of energy reserves in our own country they are trying to drive the investment out of supporting those efforts. Let's hope we stay the course and require less and less oil from countries who don't like us.

 

It's a great day in July 2016 to be a Baron gas buyer at Denton, TX (KDTO)

 

 


 

Meanwhile, let's all enjoy the ~$3.00/gal avgas prices.

 

 

 

Sherman, Texas (KSWI) Rocks 100LL Pricing

 

Stop in to reward their GA friendly pricing behavior!

 


 

 

Click HERE for sound effect.

 

Maybe you have an auto fuel STC? If so, maybe this will be coming to an airport near you?

 

 


 

Let's be more like Europe? I DON'T THINK SO!!! DO the math and this looks like $15/gallon

 

 

 


 

Take a walk down memory lane with me to 100LL pricing in January 2002. We still have a ways to go before we get to this level, but we can hope can't we???

 

KZPH Fuel Pricing January 2002

 


 

Here is another memory lane picture for Beloit, Wisconsin (44C)

 

 

 

Here's an outdated chart created by Beech Lister, Nathan U., on historical 100LL Price Trends vs. unleaded auto fuel and the crude oil price. Our 100LL seems to be tracking true to the same levels we saw back in 2007.

 

 

Here is a post dated 2/7/2011 on BeechTalk regarding aviation fuel pricing history by Bonanza owner, Max G., that may shed some light on part of where our 100LL pricing dilemma lies:

 

You know you are getting ripped off if fuel prices are at $8.45. Do these people at Teterboro really want to sell fuel, or are New York area pilots just insensitive to prices?

Lowest price in the U.S.:

Louisiana 3F3 $3.29

Highest prices in the U.S.:

TEB First Aviation Services, Inc. $7.82
TEB Atlantic Aviation $8.41
TEB KTEB Signature Flight Support $8.45

Accept the fact that in any business gross profit dollars is the most important measuring stick...dollars pay overhead and, hopefully, are greater than expenses and, if so, yield a profit.

For a long, long, time I have held off about venting on 100LL fuel margins. I spent about 25 years in the wholesale/retail fuel business with 65,000,000 gallons annual volume in my last venture many years ago. I learned the business. I learned how to manage price for the best price/volume ratio for maximum profit.

I guess I'll post on avgas now. In the "old days" profit margin was on a cents per gallon basis. On that basis if one paid $.30 for fuel he was happy with a $.10/gallon profit and sold fuel for $.40. When fuel cost went to $.40 the same person was happy with a selling price of $.50, still a dime per gallon profit.

Later, fuel was sold like other retail products, on a margin % of the selling price. If cost was $.75 and selling price was $1.00 the profit margin was 25%.

Thirty years went by and aviation fuel costs rose gradually until the cost of a tanker load, with taxes, was about $1.75 per gallon. Business graduates with profit "margin", instead of cents per gallon, became the norm. However, a lot of these business school educated airport managers/FBO's were still happy with a cents per gallon that yielded a 25% margin and, subsequently, they sold fuel for about $2.35 per gallon. Many sold it for $1.99, happy to make $.24 per gallon while selling a good volume of fuel.

Radical changes occurred in the mid-2,000 era. Fuel prices went up/down by a dollar or two in less than a year. FBO's made a killing at times, and realized a profit margin of 40~50% for a year or so. Since that time many of these people have not relinquished their margin %, and for a long time their volume has not suffered because uneducated to the fuel business /well-heeled pilots/owners have just "paid the price". Let's hope the high priced FBO's volumes shrink until they feel compelled to lower price to achieve a more balanced volume:profit margin ratio, and more reasonable prices.

Most of the airports in the U.S., during the radical fuel price fluctuations, got comfortable with making $1~$2 per gallon and they don't want to give it up, even now, several years later. The result is very high prices that yield a cents per gallon profit of $2 or more and a margin of 40% to 60%.

What do I think is a fair price for avgas? I still think on a cents per gallon basis, and feel that $.50/gallon is a good and reasonable profit that will yield volume and sufficient gross profit dollars. In today's market that equates to approximately $3.99 selling price. However, all, or most, FBO's don't think as I do, and price their fuel with a higher margin/mark-up, so, I fly to those places with less expensive fuel. Yesterday I flew to Middlesboro, KY, and filled my tanks with fuel at a price of $3.85. I was going to burn some fuel anyway, with a fun flight, and when I put almost 60 gallons of fuel in my plane I saved almost $50 over my home base airport's fuel price. Song: "When will they every learn, when will....".

I wish I lived closer to 3F3, the least expensive airport for fuel today.

What can we do to keep fuel costs at a reasonable level? Don't patronize those with higher prices. Encourage your friends to do the same. Plan trips, long and short ones, with a stop at an airport with more reasonable pricing. It's simple, if there are no sales the price will be lowered (What is the alternative? Quit? Lower price?).

_________________
Max G.
 

Way to go Max! We'll try to get the word out!
 

 

If you are making a stop for fuel give the field a call to confirm their operating hours and that their pumps are working and they have fuel for the price you are expecting!

 

 


 

Here is a cartoon editorial from AOPA in 1947 that shows that in many places not much has changed

 

 

Reject outlandish fuel prices at every possible opportunity and put a stop to the price gouging that hinders operating hours in GA.

 


 

Hopefully your area will start to see lower 100LL prices really soon. I guess it's one of the side effects of being in a "depression"?

 

I encourage all Beechcraft owners to take this opportunity to get out and polish up on your flight proficiency, exercise your airplane's engine(s) and in general enjoy the flying you've put off due to high fuel prices.

 

Here's my buddy Dave topping off for his hangar at Bridgeport, TX just before the drop to $2.99, late in 2008. We are hoping this same 2011 price run up will be followed by a glut of oil inventory and a big drop in prices just like we experienced in 2008. Stay tuned!

 

 


 

Here's the KXBP 100LL Price Celebration Fly-In of November 8th, 2008. I've never seen so many happy smiley faces when topping off! The Baron drivers were especially beaming. See thumbnails below. Click each for the full-size image:

 

 

                        Ed Livermore takes on 80+ gallons        CK's Baron Gets the Sidewinder            Three Happy Baron Owners

 

 

                                   CK's in 100LL Heaven                        The Mob Let's an RV Get Some           Chester is "Calling All Beechcraft!"   

 

 

Chester Had to Take a "Doggie Bag"

 

A great meal was had at Pronto's Italian Restaurant down the road. The owner even came to pick us all up. Give them a call (940-683-3733) if the courtesy car is not there. The food is great, the portions are great and the meal prices are CSOB approved.

 

Check out the collection of favorite Beechcraft fly-in eateries HERE

 

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