By Jim Timm JimTimm

September 2017

 

Summer must be coming to an end, kids are going back to school, vacation travels are ending, and the EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh is over. This year’s AirVenture had outstanding weather. The temperatures were comfortable, and it was unmarked by any severe wind and/or rain storms. This year’s event did have some rather notable events such as an outstanding Blue Angles Airshow, seeing the only two B29s in the world flying at the same time, having a warbird show with 14 or 15 B25s flying at the same time recreating Doolittle’s WWII bombing raid on Japan, and a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo manned space program with several of the astronauts present. A truly great event that I wouldn’t have missed for all the world. Besides, I made some valuable contacts for the APA and saw some friends that I only get to see once a year. If you didn’t get to go, there’s always next year. It really is a must see event, even if only once.

The latest word out of Washington on the ATC Privatization issue, Rep. Sam Graves (R-Mo.), Chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Highways and Transit Subcommittee, said the House will need an extension of the FAA’s funding instead of the controversial 21st Century AIRR Act (H.R. 2997), a bill that would remove air traffic control from the FAA. Without some sort of legislative action, the FAA will run out of spending authority on September 30. A funding extension or something needs to be in place by Sep. 30. It’s reported that the push to privatize ATC would be shelved temporally, to help the House and the Senate pass funding legislation, and because there is no consensus in the aviation community, the best course of action would be to remove the controversial privatization section. A funding extension is inevitable, but the fight over the so-called privatization of air traffic control is certainly not over. We all need to continue to push our legislators in Washington to support long term funding for the FAA without privatization of ATC.

 

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MISCELLANEOUS ITEMS

Falcon Field Mesa (FFZ) has confirmed they will again have the Copperstate Fly-in, scheduled for October 27 & 28. The arrival procedures this year should go much better than last year. This year the arrivals will be handled by the Falcon Field Control Tower rather than the Phoenix TRACON. Look for a NOTAM on the arrival procedures.

Embry Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) and the City of Prescott are planning a Wings Out West Fly-In and Airshow on October 7, 2017. An airshow with aerobatic performers is planned with a show time and TFR at 1000-1200 local time. There is planned to be an EAA Pancake breakfast available, and there will be fly-in and static displays. A schedule of events will be available here

 

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With the proliferation of UAVs, or Drones, of all sizes, I wasn’t too surprised that the Pentagon very recently issued guidance to the armed services outlining the military’s authority to disable or shoot down any drone that is believed to be a security risk that violates the airspace restrictions over a U.S. base. Information was sent to military bases around the country so they can alert their nearby communities about the restrictions and the actions the military can take to stop any perceived threat, including destroying or seizing any UAV, including the smaller ones that the general public can buy, that is flown over a military base. It may sound a bit drastic, but will the U.S. Forrest Service wildfire fighting services be given a similar authority to eliminate UAVs that violate a forest fire TFR and hamper firefighting efforts? An interesting possibility.

Luke AFB has advised us that their training schedule has been getting busier and they are increasing their use of the Aux 1 ILS. Anyone using the Aux 1 ILS needs to be advised that civilian use of the ILS may be a bit more limited because of the increased military use. 

In a recent airspace users meeting I was advised by the Goldwater range safety office that recently they have been encountering numerous GA intrusions into the Goldwater Range restricted areas. Not just on the edges, but well into the range airspace. These are the R2301, R2304 & R2305 ranges. Some of the intrusions have been at low altitudes and were detected and tracked intermittently.

 

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The military aircraft operating in these ranges are conducting combat training and are firing live ordinance and dropping bombs. An intrusion results in the cancelation and rescheduling of a training mission at a very significant cost to all of us as taxpayers. What is even scarier is that some intrusions are occurring at very low altitudes, and may not get immediately detected by radar. The word needs to get out, stay well clear of the Goldwater restricted areas! You are risking your life, and possibly that of a military pilot, by flying into the R2301, R2304, and R2305 restricted range areas. The bottom line – when flying in the southwest part of the state, know where you are and don’t accidentally wander into any of the restricted areas! Please pass the word around!

Flight safety this last reporting period has not really improved since the last report. This reporting period we had four accidents reported, with one of them resulting in serious injuries while fortunately, the other three did not have any reported injuries. See my September Aviation Summary for available accident details.

The summer heat is continuing and so are a lot of airport construction projects happening around the state, and in particular, the Phoenix area. Before taking off, be sure you check for NOTAMS at your destination airport so you don’t have a surprise awaiting you upon arrival. Those of you flying into high altitude airports, be sure to check the density altitude, and review your aircraft performance data. Also, drink plenty of water, stay hydrated, plan ahead, and please fly safely. We’ve exceeded our quota of accidents so far this year, particularly fatal ones, so please fly with extra care!

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. We have just finished reviewing the first section of the Superior Municipal Airport (E81) master plan update. An update of the Sedona Airport (SEZ), Flagstaff (FLG), and Grand Canyon Airport (GCN) master plans are currently in process.

 

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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 next month.
  • The Falcon Field EAA Warbirds Squadron fly in breakfast and car show will resume next month 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, around noon, the lunch by APA at the USFS Grapevine Airstrip (AZ88) next to Roosevelt Lake resumes this month on the 16th.
  • 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 air conditioned 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 $8 and kids $5. 
  • The Tucson Airport Authority has completed the renovation of the restaurant at Ryan Field, and it’s now open under the name of Richie’s Cafe. The hours are 6:00 am to 2:00 pm doing breakfast and lunch daily. We will have to try it out, and perhaps add this to the Saturday Morning fly in breakfast list. 

 

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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