By Jim Timm JimTimm

August 2017

 

This month’s report may be a bit brief because I’m writing it while I’m attending the annual EAA AirVenture Fly In at Oshkosh, Wisconsin. This year’s event is celebrating a lot of things as usual, but of particular interest to me was the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo manned space program, and I was lucky enough to get an invitation to a reception to meet some of the Apollo Astronauts, and get a chance to chat with some of them, a very friendly and outgoing group of gentlemen indeed. The weather for this year’s event has really been spectacular, with cool nights for good sleeping and the days were not hot and humid, but were generally in the mid to high 70’s with a gentle breeze. No bad wind or rain storms this year, but simply good weather. If you haven’t attended the Oshkosh AirVenture yet, you really need to get it on your to do list! 

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The buzzword at this year’s AirVenture was “Modernize, Not Privatize.” The emphasis was to support the legislation (Senate Bill 1405) that would provide a four year reauthorization of the FAA and it’s programs and does not contain the ATC privatization language that was presented in the house bill. Along with many other provisions, the senate bill:

Improves GA airport funding flexibility and recognizes building an aircraft for educational purposes as a protected aeronautical activity under the FAA grant assurances.  (This would assure our ability to build an airplane in a hangar on an airport that has received FAA grant money.)

Reforms the process for certifying general aviation products and addresses other regulatory barriers to manufacturing and maintenance organizations.

Provides language that gives the FAA authorization to conduct a broad fleet authorization for potential future unleaded fuels under the Piston Aviation Fuels Initiative (PAFI) program.

Exempts aviation events and air shows from fees and charges for governmental funded services, such as air traffic control, that have been levied in recent years by the FAA.

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This senate bill recognizes that General Aviation is an equal partner in the nation’s air transportation system, and points the way to making the FAA more effective. The bill also recognizes the present U.S. air traffic control system is already the safest and most efficient in the world, and it is ready for modernization without wholesale transformation and disruption that would come with privatization.

Although the present senate bill does not contain provisions for privatization, it’s possible that there could be pressure to include provisions for privatization as a floor amendment to the bill. Now is certainly the time to make your voice heard. Contact your legislators in Washington immediately and tell them to oppose ATC Privatization, and support measures to provide a more stable longer term funding for FAA operations by calling 1-855-265-9002. You will be automatically transferred to each of your reps based on your zip code.

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MISCELLANEOUS ITEMS

Again, a couple of days before the scheduled event, we got notification of GPS Interference Testing that was going to be conducted on July 10 - 26, at Nellis Air Force Base, Las Vegas, and also July 21 - August 6 at the White Sands Missile Range,  Alamogordo, NM that could have impacted GPS navigation in all of Arizona. If at any time you encountered 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.

Flight safety in the last reporting period was not very good because we experienced eight accidents, two of which were fatal accidents with two fatalities in each occurrence. Of the eight accidents, seven were reported by the NTSB and one of the two fatal accidents was noted only from TV and newspaper reports. Unfortunately, of the seven NTSB accident reports, three were devoid of accident details. See my August Aviation Summary for available accident details.

In spite of the summer heat, many significant construction projects are still going on at several airports around the state, including the Phoenix area. 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, and if you are flying into the higher altitude airports, be sure to check the density altitude, and review your aircraft performance data. Also, in this hot summer weather, make sure you drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and fly safely.

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 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 is held on the third Saturday, October through May, and they will resume in October when it is 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.)
  • Also on the third Saturday, the BBQ lunch at the USFS Grapevine Airstrip (AZ88) next to Roosevelt Lake is discontinued until 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 through 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 through 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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