Last Monday we finally had a day that was supposed to have light winds so I got up in the air for a while. My intent was to fly around locally for a bit and then go over to the Beckwourth-Nervino (O02) airport, land and get gas.
The price for 100LL at Stead was posted at $7.13/gallon while ForeFlight was showing at Beckwourth it was $5.23.
By the time I took off the winds were out of the east at less than 10 kts, just as predicted. Not so much in the air…. Just as my last flight, flying around locally just wasn’t any fun. I tried a couple of different altitudes and found light to moderate chop everywhere I went.
So, off I went to Beckwourth. It’s a nice little airport and even though it’s only 24 NM from Stead I had never landed there. Their runway is also oriented E-W so, even though the winds were a bit stronger there they were pretty much down the runway. I made a reasonable landing, taxied back to the ramp and found the fuel island – a nice modern card reader set-up with 100LL or JP4.
As I was standing there reading the instructions for purchasing gas a guy with a clipboard walked up. Apparently they had received a new tanker truck of gas over the weekend and he was there to correct the fuel price in the pump system. The price of 100LL was to be $6.99/gallon.
I had done some calculating with fuel prices and burn rates at cruise before I planned the flight and found that even with the $7.13/$5.23 price difference and with reduced power I would need to buy 25+ gallons of fuel to break even – to save more money with the price difference than the cost of the gas used to fly there and back. That’s why I rarely fly somewhere just because the destination has cheaper fuel than my home airport. If I’m going there anyway for lunch or to meet someone it is a different situation,
So, I put 10 gallons into my main tanks and bumped my way back to Stead. Amazingly I only hit my head at the top of the cockpit once on the way back.
Yes, I could have topped off all my tanks since I was already there which would have saved maybe $4 but I’ve been trying to schedule some time to complete a couple of EAA Eagle Flights and have been trying to keep the plane light. Saving $1.90/gallon would have made it worth topping off than then getting a few solo flights in to burn some of it off before taking passengers.
This week tenants are pretty much grounded since Pylon Racing School (Seminar) is going on with its associated TFR. Oh, there are 15-minute windows throughout the day for tenants to get in and out if you have to but it just adds a level of complexity that most tenants will probably try to avoid. There is also a no-prop line in effect so in order to start your engine you have to be towed out to the north side of the ramp. If all that causes an undue hardship tenants have the option to relocate to the other airport (KRNO) for the week.