It was almost ten o’clock last night when the text came in from an airpark neighbor—“$2.99 per gallon Avgas at Yerington tomorrow from 0700 until noon…or until they run out!” Well, sometimes, you just have to throw plans out the window and go fly!
I woke up at 0630, threw on some clothes, tossed the dogs some treats to hold them over until breakfast, and opened the big hangar door. My wife’s RV-6 was up front, which was good—it needed fuel the most, since she’d brought it back from a work trip almost empty a couple of days before. We don’t have fuel at our airpark, and sometimes with night closing in, we just come home empty and hop over to a neighboring field before the next trip. I fired up, and landed at Yerington (O43) fifth in line for the pump out 0703. Sure enough, the pump was set for $2.99, and I took 27.5 gallons.
With the airplane fueled, I rolled it to parking and found breakfast – a big knot of like-minded neighbors (pilots can never pass up cheap fuel or a breakfast) found a table and told lies for an hour, then it was time to head back across the low mountains and, for me, pick up another plane. I hopped out of the -6 and opened the shop door to let my RV-8 out of her cage. Five minutes later I was winging my way back to O43, a ten minute flight each way, fourteen or fifteen block to block. The folks running the show recognized me, and admired the “new” plane – and we pumped another 18.5 gallons. “You want breakfast?” They asked…”nope, got it last trip!” I replied, adding… ”but I might be back!”
The -8 wasn’t even breathing hard as I rolled her back in the shop, full for the next trip, and hopped into the RV-3 for the same quick round trip. She only needed 8.9 gallons it turned out, but I was on a roll… the going price for Avgas in our area has been hovering just above six bucks a gallon for awhile now! The event coordinator recognized my voice on the radio this time….”RV-3, I assume you know where the fuel pump is by now?”
Always pleased to get a quick hot-start in front of a crowd, I popped back over the hills once again, tired after three hours of back and forth, ready to call it a day. The Tundra needed fuel, yes, but it was all the way in the back of the hangar, and I’d have to re-arrange the ramp, and….oh what the heck! “Wow, that sure is different!” Was the radio call I heard as I taxied up to the pump (in the big bush plane) this time “You’re just in time – we’re about to swap it back to the regular price! Well, not before I steal 27.64 gallons more at the well-below-wholesale price you’re not!
Total flying time? About 2.4 hours, in four different planes. Total fuel purchased? 82.5 gallons at $2.99. Savings over the regular price at Yerington (which is going up with their next load of fuel)? $239 bucks (minus the $12 dollars for breakfast as I was just going to have a bowl of cereal at home).
Airpark living does have its advantages!