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New unleaded Fuel for Civil Air Patrol Aircraft in San Francisco Bay Area

December 14, 2021

New unleaded Fuel for Civil Air Patrol Aircraft in San Francisco Bay Area

California Wing to use new UL94 Unleaded Fuel in San Jose, CA 

Location – Reid-Hillview Airport (KRHV), CA - Dec 15, 2021

On Nov 18, Civil Air Patrol (CAP) completed the paperwork required to use unleaded fuel in its Cessna 182T aircraft based at Reid-Hillview Airport of Santa Clara County (RHV - San Jose, CA). This is the first aircraft in CAP’s approximately 560-aircraft fleet to make the transition to unleaded aviation gasoline. The switch comes less than a month after Textron Aviation, which manufactures this model of aircraft, announced that this aircraft was approved to use unleaded fuel. 

Reid-Hillview joins San Carlos Airport (SQL - San Carlos, CA) and Watsonville Airport (WVI - Watsonville, CA) as one of a small but growing number of airports in the country to have unleaded general aviation fuel available, commonly referred to as UL94. UL94 is a replacement for 100LL traditionally used in general aviation aircraft. 100LL contains up to 2 grams of lead per gallon, on par with automobile fuel in the 1970s. Concerns about the presence of lead in the vicinity of the airport have grown over the last decade, leading to a unanimous vote by the Santa Clara County board of supervisors to convert RHV and San Martin Airport (E16 - San Martin, CA), another county-managed airport, to lead-free fuel in the new year. 

San Jose Senior Squadron 80 is responsible for CAP aircraft based at RHV.  According to their commander, Capt. Richard West, “Civil Air Patrol has operated from Reid-Hillview Airport for nearly 80 years serving our nation, state, and local community. Transitioning our aircraft to use unleaded aviation gasoline addresses an expressed concern of our local community and does not impact our operational capabilities. All those connected to the aircraft, from the pilots to maintenance personnel, take great pride in being the vanguard for transitioning Civil Air Patrol’s entire fleet of aircraft to using this safer, environmentally friendlier fuel. Feedback from aircrews since we started fueling with UL94 has been nothing but positive.” 

The Civil Air Patrol Cessna 182T being fueled with unleaded fuel, provided by Trade Winds Aviation, at Reid-Hillview Airport of Santa Clara County. Photo by: 2d Lt Ilya Shabalin 

Lt. Col. Shawn Lawson commands a group of ten CAP squadrons spread across the San Francisco Bay Area, including Squadron 80. According to Lt. Col. Lawson, this is part of a larger vision: “From both a resource management and social responsibility perspective, moving from 100LL to UL94 is a win-win. We rely heavily on the collective relationships our units foster and develop with the community to be able to continue executing our missions, and we do so as responsible stewards of appropriated funds. As availability of UL94 increases, so will our drive to transition the fleet.” 

CAP operates the largest class of general aviation aircraft in the US. 

Placard indicating that the CAP aircraft based at Reid-Hillview Airport of Santa Clara County can now be fueled with UL94. Photo by: 2d. Lt. Ilya Shabalin 

Established in 1941, Civil Air Patrol is the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force and as such is a member of its Total Force. In its auxiliary role, CAP operates a fleet of 560 single-engine Cessna aircraft and more than 2,100 small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) and performs about 90% of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center. Often using innovative cellphone forensics and radar analysis software, CAP was credited by the AFRCC with saving 107 lives in fiscal 2020. CAP’s 56,000 members also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. As a nonprofit organization, CAP plays a leading role in aerospace education using national academic standards-based STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education. Members also serve as mentors to over 23,000 young people participating in CAP’s Cadet Programs. One of the premier public service organizations in America, CAP benefits the nation with an estimated economic impact of $209 million annually. Visit www.CAP.News or for more information. 

CAP Contact: SM Ashish Goel, (650) 814-1478, e-mail:

Tagged As: UL94

For More Information:

CAP Contact: SM Ashish Goel, (650) 814-1478, e-mail: 

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