12:54 PM

One Shred of Good News

Each day as we open our browsers and take a dangerous look at the news, we see more and more ridiculous schemes and bamboozles that Washington has cooked up to transfer the wealth of the middle class to the extremely wealthy.

It is laughable that during the election, the same people who were making noise about President Obama being the one who was going to transfer wealth are now the ones who have shut their traps about what Bush and Poulson are doing. Seems it is terrible when any tiny bit of wealth comes to the middle class, but it's fine by the GOP when that same wealth flows uphill.

But there is one tiny morsel of good news buried deep within this financial turmoil that has its stranglehold on our nation:

Not even Nostradamus could explain the crazy fluctuations in crude oil prices, and the related major league swings in refined fuel prices at the pump. It is quite telling that when demand is way, way up, Big Oil, OPEC and the Saudis jack their prices so as to reap record profits. But when the planet's economy tanks and millions lose their jobs, it eliminates the need to drive to work. And without a job, these poor souls cannot buy a damned thing, so they won't be driving to the mall either. With billions less miles being driven – surprise, surprise – demand drops through the floor and Big Oil has to drop their prices lower and lower to pump up sales.
So now that world oil prices have plummeted, of course we are now seeing discount prices on aviation fuels too. This past summer, I started questioning how viable airplane ownership was when 100LL was approaching six bucks a gallon. Now, with prices so low, the cost of that infamous $100 hamburger has dropped to $68.75.

Looking on AirNav, we see some unbelievable prices around the country (prices as of 12.09.08):
The lowest price I could find for 100LL was at Leesburg International Airport in Florida, where SunAir Aviation is selling Chevron for $2.30/gal. You'll pay $2.41/gal. at Anoka County-Blaine Airport in Minnesota, and $2.60/gal. at Bridgeport Municipal Airport in Texas. Skyhaven Airport at the University of Central Missouri is offering Phillips 66 for $2.65/gal. and even in usually spendy New York state, Million Air at Albany International Airport has Phillips 66 for $2.70/gal.
Man, can anyone remember these kinds of prices?

But the piston crowd isn't the only ones enjoying these deep discounts – the Jet A crews are also laughing each time they pull up to almost any self-serve pump. Sure, it is always a little more off the truck, but for jet drivers willing to get their hands dirty, you can find serious deals on refined dead dinosaurs too:
It is not a typo: Key Air at Fort Pierce - St Lucie County International Airport in Florida has Chevron for $2.43/gal. And remember Anoka County-Blaine Airport? Key Air there also has a deal on Chevron at $2.50/gal.
So the next time Brian Williams comes on the tube and reports that we are coughing up another $75 billion to keep some lame insurance or Wall Street corporation afloat long enough to pay out gazillion dollar bonuses to incompetent CEOs, just grab your flight bag and head out to the field, gas up the bird and go poke holes in the sky.

Because not being able to afford the fuel is – at least for now – no longer a good excuse to avoid flying GA.

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