Alcor Inc. Halts Distribution of TCP Fuel Treatment
January 10, 2008 — Alcor Incorporated, manufacturer of TCP Fuel Treatment used by many aircraft owners to prevent lead build-up on spark plugs and valves, has halted distribution of the product citing a packaging defect that could cause leakage during shipping.
"There have been a couple of incidents where TCP has leaked due to loose or broken caps," said Rick Sonnen, sales and product support at Alcor Inc. "TCP is a flammable substance, and the rules and regulations of the Department of Transportation (DOT) have made it very difficult to distribute the product. Until these packaging issues get resolved, we have no plans of manufacturing or distributing the product."
Since the introduction of 100LL as the main aviation fuel for low-compression engines, TCP has been a leading fuel treatment that eliminates lead before it can cause fouling.
Pilots and aircraft owners who wish to avoid the high lead content of 100LL aviation fuel have alternatives, says H.G. Frautschy, executive director of the Vintage Aircraft Association. "They may wish to consider the use of unleaded automotive fuel by applying for the auto fuel Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) available from EAA," Frautschy said, "Many light planes and their engines are covered by the STC."
Another option for aircraft with an autogas STC is mixing auto fuel with 100LL, says Earl Lawrence, EAA vice president of industry and regulatory affairs. "Using a mixture of the two will significantly reduce the lead contact," Lawrence said. "A 3/4 autogas and 1/4 100LL mix will result in a gasoline containing the maximum lead content that is allowed in 80/87 aviation gasoline, which the engines needing the TCP additive were originally certificated to use."
Alcor, Inc. hopes to minimize the impact on general aviation and provide future support of the product. "Right now, we cannot face the liability of shipping the product until we're absolutely sure it's safe," Sonnen said. "We're looking into the packaging issue and hope to finalize a solution no later than April 2008."