By Jim Timm JimTimm

March 2017

 

This past February we have had a few weekends messed up with bad weather, preventing flying out for breakfast or lunch, but overall, outside of the rainy weekends, the flying was great. We need to take advantage of our good flying weather while we can. There are a lot of aviation events coming up soon. When you are out there attending some of them, if they are at uncontrolled fields, fly with heightened awareness, and have a safe and fun time. I hope to be seeing you at some of them. Just Fly Safe!

director 2017 march 1

There is a lot of interest being expressed by pilots about replacing their Class 3 Medical Certificate with the new BasicMed Rule.  When considering the change, remember the restrictions; pilots cannot operate an aircraft weighing more than 6,000 pounds and cannot have more than six people on board, IFR operations are allowed, but pilots must fly at less than 18,000 MSL and no faster than 250 knots. Pilots using BasicMed also cannot fly for compensation or hire, and must fly only within the United States.

To qualify for BasicMed, pilots also must have held a medical that was valid any time after July 15, 2006. New student pilots must obtain a medical certificate, but then they can operate under BasicMed to keep it current. The restrictions are pretty generous and if they are not a problem for you, BasicMed may be the way to go. There have been questions raised about doctor’s willingness to perform the basic med exams, but we are hopeful that this will not become a problem, particularly if you already have a family doctor that knows you and your medical status. 

In spite of the Presidents executive order putting a freeze on new regulations, BasicMed is still set to go into effect May 1, and pilots should use the intervening months to get ready to take full advantage of the new regulations. Pilots must note that they cannot operate under BasicMed until the new rules take effect on May 1, and then they must first meet certain requirements to fly under BasicMed. Pilots who have held a regular medical certificate or special issuance anytime on or after July 15, 2006, and whose most recent medical was not suspended, revoked, or withdrawn, can fly under BasicMed by getting a physical exam by a state-licensed physician in accordance with a checklist that will be filled out by the pilot and the physician, and then completing the online aeromedical course. Remember, only Medical Doctors may perform the exam, not a nurse practitioner or physician’s assistant. Pilots should take those steps in that order because upon successful competition of the aeromedical course, specific information must be transmitted to the FAA such as the name, address, and contact information for the pilot as well as the physician who performed the exam, the date of the examination, an authorization for a National Driver Registry check, and the pilot’s certifications acknowledging their fitness to fly. The FAA is currently working on finalizing the checklist for the physical exam.

director 2017 march 2

To be ready, now is the time to start digging into the details of the new BasicMed rules so you will be prepared when the date rolls around to start participation. In the back of my mind I have this nagging question, if you are not now flying with a special issuance medical certificate, is the new BasicMed process going to be so complex and difficult that it may be easier to simply get a Class 3 Medical Certificate?

MISCELLANEOUS ITEMS

The new sectional charts in May will have Grapevine Airstrip on Roosevelt Lake marked with a new identifier and a CTAF of 122.9.  It took the APA and RAF Backcountry teams a lot of hard work, but it will finally happen. While charted as private, it will be open for non-commercial use without prior permission. Please note, training is not allowed here and camping reservations will be made through the APA. When it hits the chart, we’ll let you know, and be sure to familiarize yourself with the rules of use and respect the land manager’s vision as we don’t want to lose their support! Don’t jump the gun, please wait for our announcement to land at what will be the second airstrip we’ve successfully charted (or re-charted) on USFS lands here in Arizona! Until then, we’ll hope to see you there the third weekend of each month, and these monthly group fly-ins will continue even after it is charted. The port-a-john will continue to be there October through May.

From March 31-April 3 the NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four event will be happening in Phoenix with its associated events, such as parades and concerts, which I’m sure will most likely result in some TFRs. The Luke RAPCON will be open and the SATAR will be in effect. NOTAMs will be filed, so if planning on flying that weekend, check for NOTAMs for PHX, GYR, GEU, SDL, and DVT, and use extra caution.

FFZ is planning an Airport Open House on Saturday, March 25th. There will be a number of military and general aviation aircraft on display and an auto show in the airport park. The airport also announced they are moving closer to getting an ASOS but the commissioning date still is unannounced.

director 2017 march 3

 

There is a new RNAV GPS RWY 30R Approach into Gateway that will published later this year. Starting March first, Gateway Airport will be reinstituting their parking fee of $20 for parking at the General Aviation Terminal. The fee will be waived with a purchase of 10 gallons of fuel. Because of the very diverse size and type of airplanes using the terminal facilities, ranging from large military to smaller general aviation, be sure to follow the lineman's directions as to where to safely park. APA met with the airport director and terminal manager to discuss the parking fees and their negative impact on general aviation activity at Gateway and on the FAA Wings Safety Seminars that are being presented at Gateway Airport. In the interest of promoting aviation safety, they agreed that parking fees at the General Aviation Terminal would be waived for pilots attending the FAA Wings Safety Seminars if they could give the terminal a few days prior notification or upon arrival that they will be attending the Wings Seminar and provide evidence upon departure that they had attended the seminar. I think it’s a positive step forward, and we will have to see how it works out.

Please be aware, there are still a lot of major and minor construction projects going on at many airports around the state, particularly in the Phoenix area. Unfortunately, the activity will be going on for several months, so before you take off, make sure you check for NOTAMS at your destination airport so you don’t have a surprise awaiting you when you arrive.

From a flight safety standpoint, the last reporting period started rather badly with an accident that occurred very late in January at Tucson International Airport that resulted in two fatalities. However, the reporting period did end well in that there were no reported accidents from the NTSB or my other sources for the rest of the period ending very late in February. I would hope that everyone has been flying as usual during this time, but doing it safely, and I hope we can keep the trend going and have a safer year than we had last year. For the details of the January accident, see my March Accident Summary.

APA is still continuing to work with various airports around the state, providing the pilot and aircraft owner’s perspective in the process of updating their Airport Master Plans. The City of Superior has just started an update of their Municipal Airport master plans. An update of the Sedona Airport (SED), Flagstaff, and Grand Canyon Airport (GCN) master plans are currently in process.

 

director 2017 march 4

THINGS TO DO - PLACES TO GO FOR BREAKFAST:

  • The fly in breakfast at Coolidge Municipal Airport (P08) is on the first Saturday of the month.
  • The second Saturday of the month, Ryan Field has been the fly in breakfast destination until the Tucson Airport Authority closed the restaurant down in January. The Airport Authority is undertaking a major renovation of the building inside and out, and they are seeking a restaurant operator that will expand the hours of operation from 6:00 am to 2:00 pm when renovations are complete. We have not heard of an opening date yet.
  • The Mesa Falcon Field EAA Warbirds Squadron fly in breakfast and car show is on the third Saturday. 
  • The third Saturday of the month there is a fly in breakfast at Benson (E95) at Southwest Aviation. (There are special fuel prices for breakfast attendees.)
  • Also on the third Saturday, around noon, a donation lunch is served by APA at the USFS Grapevine Airstrip next to Roosevelt Lake.
  • The last Saturday of the month there is a fly in breakfast at Casa Grande Municipal Airport (CGZ). The Airport’s restaurant, Foxtrot Cafe, operating in the Terminal Building, is open 6:30am to 2:00pm Monday thru Saturday. On the last Saturday of the month they have a “Fly in Breakfast Special” available on the menu; the price for adults is $7 and kids $5.

 

Check with the APA Getaway Flights program and the online calendar for fun weekend places to fly.

 

I hope everyone has been able to get some safe flying time in last month. As for me, like many of you, my flying seems to get limited to the weekends, and we sure have been encountering a lot of windy weekends lately. Anyway, it seems like I’ve gained a lot of crosswind landing experience lately. Flying a light taildragger, some of that experience has been a bit challenging and exciting at times, but what the heck, it’s all been fun, exciting or not. However, from a safety standpoint, we have been encountering a lot of accidents lately, and some of them were pretty bad accidents. Please make certain your aircraft is in good operating condition and fly safely!

 

First off, I want to thank those that made the annual APA meeting in May. It was good to reconnect with some of you once again. Because there were no nominations put forth, the directors whose terms were expiring consented to running for office again and were reelected. The directors will be meeting in June to elect the officers for 2016-17, and the president elect will start the appointment of chairpersons for the various standing committees.

 

As time grows shorter for when we will be required to have ADS-B out equipment installed in our airplanes, there continues to be new information released regarding both programs and equipment. It’s pretty apparent there won’t be any slippage in the mandated implementation date, but there continues to be new information on equipment and compliance. Initially, there were a lot of questions on required equipment and how each installation would have to be accomplished, inspected, and certified. In what I thought was a major breakthrough by the FAA in making implementation much easier and cheaper for us, the FAA announced a new policy that simplifies ADS-B Out installations.

 

The FAA released a policy memo (AFS-360-2016-03-02) on March 2 that updates guidance on installation of ADS-B out systems, essentially allowing avionics shops to install ADS-B equipment on aircraft not covered by a supplemental type certificate (STC) and without having to obtain a new STC. The installer does have to obtain permission from the original STC holder. Earlier in the ADS-B upgrade process, the FAA was requiring that each aircraft model have its own STC. The FAA was concerned and wanted to ensure, as new equipment hit the market, that it worked correctly, so the original policy stated that it could only be installed via STC. They believed this would maintain a high level of their involvement and ensure that aircraft entering airspace (where ADS-B is required) are operating as intended and not creating chaos.

 

Now the FAA has issued the new policy, and it basically states, if the installation is a major alteration, it will still need field approval. This may be the case where a new antenna needs to be installed on a pressurized airplane, for example. A simple ADS-B out installation in a non-pressurized airplane will be a minor alteration and can be signed off by an A&P mechanic holding an Inspection Authorization, or by a Part 145 repair station, and doesn’t require direct FAA involvement. Basically, it’s a simple radio installation. With this change, the much feared bottleneck of getting last minute certified installations accomplished has been averted, and with a significant savings for many of us. (You can read the entire FAA March 2 Memo AFS-360-2016-03-02 here…)

 

MISCELLANEOUS ITEMS

 

The FAA is in the process of publishing a list of perhaps over 300 VORs they plan to decommission across the country. They will evaluate the impact of each VOR on approaches, departures, enroute, etc, and hopefully, they will also look to local users for comment. As soon as we obtain a list of those VORs on the decommissioning list that are in Arizona, we will advise you and the APA will be submitting the appropriate commentary to the FAA.

 

In a move to ensure that the Third-Class Medical Reform gets through the U.S. legislature, I noticed that it got attached to a defense funding bill that passed through the Senate’s Armed Services Committee. Passing with a 23-3 in favor vote, the bill, which would authorize $602 billion for the Department of Defense and other national security programs, also includes the pilot medical changes in the Pilot’s Bill of Rights 2. This action is in addition to the same thing that is attached to the FAA funding bill presently in process. I guess we now have to wait and see what comes out of the House of Representatives and finally goes to the President.

 

Two new instrument procedures will be published for Cottonwood Airport (P52) on May 26: RNAV (GPS) Runway 32, and MINGY One Departure (RNAV).

 

One of the changes on the Phoenix Sectional and TAC charts on May 28 will be the deletion of several abandoned airports. What the identifiers were or their locations was not given. Better check to see that your favorite airport is not one of them.

 

If you fly into Ak Chin Regional Airport (A39), be advised they now have an AWOS in service on 126.90.

 

Significant construction is going on at Gateway Airport (IWA) and the ILS will be down from time to time. If you are doing instrument training, be sure to check NOTAMS before taking off to check on availability.

 

Be aware, there is a significant amount of airport construction activity going on many of the airports in the Phoenix and Tucson areas, and also around the state. Be sure to check for NOTAMs before taking off for another airport so you don’t encounter a nasty surprise when you get there.

 

The June accident reporting period was certainly not very good. During this reporting period there were six accidents reported with two of them being fatal, involving three fatalities. Three of the accidents reported this period were devoid of information and it would be safe to assume they were not serious from a personal injury standpoint. See my June accident summary for details, and please make certain the airplane you are flying is airworthy and fly carefully. We don’t want to continue at this present rate.

 

APA is still working with various airports around the state, providing the pilot and aircraft owner perspective in the process of updating their Airport Master Plans. An update of the Sedona Airport (SED) and Grand Canyon Airport (GCN) master plans are currently in process.

 

THINGS TO DO - PLACES TO GO FOR BREAKFAST:

 

The fly in breakfast at Coolidge Municipal Airport (P08) on the first Saturday of the month has stopped and will restart the first Saturday in October.

The second Saturday of the month, Ryan Field (RYN) fly in breakfast is available at the restaurant next door.

The Falcon Field EAA Warbirds Squadron fly in breakfast and car show on the third Saturday has ceased operation for the summer and will restart in October.

The third Saturday of the month there is a fly in breakfast at Benson (E95) at Southwest Aviation. (There are special fuel prices for breakfast attendees.)

The monthly fly in to Grapevine Airstrip, next to Roosevelt Lake, will stop for the summer, but will resume on the third Saturday of September.

The last Saturday of the month there is still a fly in breakfast at Casa Grande Municipal Airport (CGZ). The Airport’s restaurant, Foxtrot Cafe, operating in the Terminal Building, is open 6:30am to 2:00pm Monday thru Saturday. On the last Saturday of the month they have a “Fly in Breakfast Special” available on the menu; the price for adults is $7 and kids $5.

 

Check with the APA Getaway Flights program and

the online calendar for fun weekend places to fly.

thru this restricted area at any time. The restricted area isn’t very large, and I don’t think the UAV student pilots using the area are any better than our student pilots, and I would consider giving the area a wide berth. Be aware, and avoid a serious problem.

 

Be aware, there is going to be a significant amount of airport construction activity still going on in the Phoenix and Tucson areas, and around the state. Be sure to check for NOTAMs before taking off for another airport so you don’t encounter a nasty surprise when you get there. Also, be sure to add TFRs to your preflight checklist.

 

The past aviation accident reporting period was relatively good with only one accident being reported by the NTSB. The bad news, however, was that it did involve four serious injuries. Perhaps the efforts put forth by the Wings Safety Teams with all the safety briefings has begun to pay off. Based on the low accident/injury rate in 2015, I hope we can get the pilots in Arizona to continue this trend and have a safe flying year in 2016. For more details go to my February Aviation Accident Summary report. By next month, enough of the 2015 NTSB accident information should be available to permit preparation of an accurate year end summary and comparison to previous years.

 

APA is still working with various airports around the state, providing the pilot and aircraft owner perspective in the process of updating their Airport Master Plans. An update of the Sedona Airport (SED), Deer Valley Airport (DVT), and Grand Canyon Airport (GCN) master plans are currently in process.

 

 

 

THINGS TO DO - PLACES TO GO FOR BREAKFAST:

 

 

·The firstSaturdayof the month fly in breakfast is at Coolidge Municipal Airport (P08).

 

·The secondSaturdayof the month, Ryan Field (RYN) fly in buffet breakfast should have restarted. However, breakfast is available at the restaurant next door.

 

·The Falcon Field EAA Warbirds Squadron fly in breakfast and car show is on the thirdSaturday.

 

 

 

·The thirdSaturdayof the month there is a fly in breakfast at Benson (E95) at Southwest Aviation. (There are special fuel prices for breakfast attendees.)

 

 

·Also on the third Saturday, around noon, a donation lunch is served by the APA at the USFS Grapevine Airstrip over at Roosevelt Lake.

 

 

·The last Saturday of the month there is still a fly in breakfast at Casa Grande Municipal Airport (CGZ). The Airport’s restaurant, Foxtrot Cafe, operating in the Terminal Building, is open 6:30am to 2:00pmMondaythruSaturday. On the last Saturday of the month they have a “Fly in Breakfast Special” available on the menu; the price for adults is $7 and kids $5.

 

 

 

Check with the

APA Getaway Flights
program and online calendar

for fun weekend places to fly.

 

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