By Jim Timm JimTimm

April 2017

 

In spite of some occasional rain we have had, the flying weather has been great, and I hope everyone has been taking advantage of it. With all the flying events that have been going on, it’s sometimes difficult fitting in as many as we would like. There’s a lot to see, so let’s go flying, but do it safely.

With the President’s new budget out, we are again facing the ATC Privatization threat with the claim it “would benefit the flying public and taxpayers overall.” Since Trump’s election, the airline industry has been lobbying nonstop for the formation of a nonprofit corporation controlled by a board of directors dominated by airline representatives to run the national airspace system. General aviation groups have been opposing privatization, pointing out it would amount to handing the nation’s airspace over to the airlines, which the airlines themselves have suggested is accurate. The budget calls for a “multi-year reauthorization proposal to shift the air traffic control function of the FAA to an independent, non-governmental organization, making the system more efficient and innovative while still maintaining safety.” The Transportation and Infrastructure Committee proposed similar legislation last year, but it was stalled by Senate opposition. The committee chairman is Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Pa., a longtime privatization supporter, who has close ties to Aviation 4 America, the national group representing U.S. airlines.

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The Trump administration is apparently ready to go through the due diligence part of implementing the program. Transportation Secretary, Elaine Chao, is apparently planning to travel to Ottawa, Canada, to meet with leaders of NavCanada, the nonprofit corporation that has run the airspace north of the border and over the North Atlantic for 20 years. NavCanada charges most light aircraft operators in Canada a flat fee of $68 a year for access to all but the country’s 10 busiest airports. Commercial operators pay for access on a fee-for-service basis and are billed for air traffic control services.

We will have to support all our national general aviation groups and contact our legislators in opposing the privatization of the present ATC system.

 

MISCELLANEOUS ITEMS

Last month we discussed participation in the BasicMed program that goes into effect May 1st. If you do elect to participate in the BasicMed program, you should be aware that the three countries whose airspace borders the U.S. (Mexico, Canada, and the Bahamas) , which do not have parallel regulations, so that means pilots flying with BasicMed will not be able to fly in these countries. All three countries require an ICAO-recognized third class medical, and BasicMed will not be approved by ICAO. Pilots wishing to fly into Mexico take note!  

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March 1, Gateway Airport restarted their parking fee of $20 for parking at the General Aviation Terminal. The fee will be waived with the 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. In the interest of promoting aviation safety, they have 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 also provide evidence upon departure that they had attended the seminar. 

The 39th annual General Aviation and Part 135 Activity Survey (GA Survey) for reporting on calendar year 2016 has been officially launched, and as always, your participation is important. The GA Survey is the FAA’s primary source of information about the size and activity of the GA and on-demand part 135 fleet. It includes a wide range of aircraft, aircraft operations, and types of ownership. If you receive a survey, please complete it, even if you did not fly in 2016. The information gathered will be used only for statistical purposes and will not be released in any form that would reveal an individual participant. If you have any questions, please call 1-800-826-1797 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

From a flight safety standpoint, the past month’s reporting period has been outstanding, because from late February to very late March the NTSB has not issued any reports on accidents. They did issue two delayed reports of accidents that had occurred in late January and mid-February, neither of which involved any injuries. I would like to think this was not just luck, but that everyone is being more cautious and I hope the trend continues. See my April Aviation Accident Summary for the details in the two delayed reports.

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Once again 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 continuing 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.

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 (SEZ), Flagstaff, 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) 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 a 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, and the airstrip is open for camping that Friday through Sunday.
  • 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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