By Jim Timm JimTimm

June 2017

 

Summer is here. Many of the usual Saturday morning fly in breakfasts have shut down for the duration, many of the aviation activities are slowing down, and you have to get up pretty early to enjoy any comfortable flying. So what’s new! It’s that time of the year again, so just find a cool spot, sit back, and relax. When you do go flying, please watch out for the effects of high density altitude when you go to the higher elevation airports to cool off or vacation. We don’t want to see you as the subject of an NTSB accident report.

I just found out that on December 7, 2017, we will be having another bomb dropped on us. The last one on December 7 was from an adversary, but this one is not from an adversary, but from ICAO. As we mentioned last month, there will be an upcoming change in flight plan format conforming to ICAO standards, and because the U.S. is coming into compliance with ICAO requirements, effective December 7, 2017, the Gateway Airport identifier IWA will be going away. It will be replaced with AZM. Why the change? The airport identifier IWA has been in use by an airport in Russia, and you can’t have two airports in the ICAO system with identical identifiers. If the change wasn’t made, this would really give a new meaning to “Lost My Luggage” if you buy an airline ticket for IWA, and you arrive safely in Mesa Gateway, but your luggage winds up some place in Russia. Only the airport identifier will be changed. The VOR identifier will remain the same, IWA. The ATC system impact will be really significant with all the ATC documents, instrument procedures, automation and charting updates necessary, and the airlines using Gateway will also be similarly impacted. This identifier change was fresh news to just about everybody in the recent Phoenix airspace users meeting where it was announced, but it apparently has been an issue for about ten years, but action had been postponed because of the size of the impact it would have on the National Airspace System. I don’t know how the final implementation date was selected, but it may possibly coincide with regular scheduled ATC changes, or I wonder if it was someone’s weird sense of humor. No matter what the change, to us locally, Gateway will always be known as “Willie.”

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MISCELLANEOUS ITEMS

The June date for implementation of the FAA requirement to use the International Flight Plan (ICAO) format for all civil domestic flights filed with Flight Service has been postponed until the Fall of 2017.  The FAA will provide a 30 day advance notice when the final date has been selected. 

With the latest sectional charting up date, there have been three new airports added to the Phoenix Sectional. They are all charted as private, and are as follows:

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Sawtooth - AZ04 This one is located south of Arizona City. The airstrip is used by Skydive Arizona for military contract parachute jump training. Skydive Arizona also has an extensive skydive operation at Eloy Municipal Airport. If flying in the area of the Sawtooth airport, be sure to check for NOTAMS and use caution for the extensive parachute operations in the area. 

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Lakeside - AZ05 This is located just north of Gila Bend Municipal Airport. I have no information on flight activity, access or facilities.

The Arizona Flight Training Workgroup (AFTW) is working with the Scottsdale FSDO to define airspace “Hot Zones,” or areas where there is an unusually high volume of air traffic. The AFTW is developing a chart depicting where these areas are to assist pilots in either avoiding these areas or when flying thru or in the vicinity of them to be aware, and extra vigilant. When ready for publication, we will help to make the information available.

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Grapevine - 88AZ This airstrip is located on the south shore of Roosevelt Lake. The runway has been resurfaced at significant cost and labor by the Arizona Pilots Association members working in cooperation with the U.S. Forrest Service. The airstrip is now open for use at any time, not just one weekend a month. Use unicom frequency 122.9. There are no facilities. The only limitation is that no commercial activities or flight training is allowed per the Forrest Service. A limited number campsites next to the runway are available. Check with the APA Backcountry group at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to determine campsite availability if you want to fly in and camp there.

From the Military, a new restricted area, R-2306F, is being added near the Yuma Proving Grounds on June 22nd. Also, a Large Military exercise is being planned in Western Arizona and the California Desert for August 7 thru 26.

A Letter to Airmen (LTA) will be published June 1 advising that IFR Separation will be provided during VFR practice approaches at KPRC. A similar LTA is already in place at CHD, IWA, and FFZ Airports. 

It’s a bit hard to believe, but they were still continuing to conduct GPS interference testing in the last reporting period. The locations for the testing have changed a bit. This last period, testing has been at Barstow, CA, Salt Lake City, White Sands, and San Diego.  A significant amount of this testing could have impacted GPS navigation in Arizona. As usual, we received information of the testing only a day or so before the test dates thus making it very difficult to provide you an adequate warning. If at any time you encounter an unexplained loss of GPS navigation signal lasting more than a minute or two, notify the nearest FAA Air Traffic Control facility advising them of the time, location, altitude and nature of signal loss. Also please advise APA with the same information.

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Flight safety in the last reporting period has been both good and bad. The good news is that there were no fatalities, and the injuries were either minor or none. The bad news is that there were five accidents reported in this past period. One airplane experienced a loss of control landing when encountering a crosswind gust and departed the runway, two airplanes experienced an inflight loss of power, and both made damaging off airport landings. One lost power shortly after takeoff, and the other encountered a loss of power during in-route flight. The other two accidents reported by the NTSB were devoid of details other than date, location, and aircraft identification. See my June Aviation Accident Summary for available accident details.

Please continue to be aware, there are still many major and minor construction projects going on at several airports around the state, particularly in the Phoenix area. Unfortunately, the activity will be continuing well into the summer, 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. If you are flying into the higher altitude airports, be sure to check the density altitude, and review your aircraft performance data.

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 Airport Master Plans. The City of Superior has just started an update of their Municipal Airport master plan. An update of the Sedona Airport (SEZ), Flagstaff (FLG), 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), normally on the first Saturday of the month, is on hiatus until October. 
  • The Falcon Field EAA Warbirds Squadron fly in breakfast and car show on the third Saturday of the month had their last Breakfast in May. They will resume in October when it’s cooler again.
  • The third Saturday of the month there is still a fly in breakfast at Benson (E95) at Southwest Aviation. (There are special fuel prices for breakfast attendees.)
  • The third Saturday lunch that had been made available by APA at the USFS Grapevine Airstrip (88AZ) next to Roosevelt Lake is also discontinued until October.
  • 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. Because it’s in the air conditioned terminal building, it’s continuing on thru the summer.

 

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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