By Jim Timm JimTimm

October 2017

 

WOW, fall is finally here, the temperatures have been great, and we have been able to go flying without getting banged around and cooked. Sure hope it stays this way, but I’m sure we are still in for a few days of hot weather yet before cooler winter is here for good. There are a lot of fly-ins and aviation events showing up on the schedule. Have fun, and most importantly, fly safe. 

The latest word out of Washington is that they passed a short term FAA Reauthorization bill funding the FAA for another six months without addressing the issue of privatization of air traffic control (ATC). We have, however, been assured (warned) that the House of Representatives will attempt to pass a bill with the privatization of ATC within the first few weeks of October.

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Privatization of ATC is not really privatization in the normal sense. It is the establishment of a monopoly with a corporation that is not controlled by the free enterprise system of checks and balances, but only by the motives of the majority of its 13 member board. The new corporation, “American Air Navigation Services Corporation,” would have a board of directors consisting of the CEO, 2 Directors appointed by the Secretary of Transportation, 1 Passenger Air Carrier Director, 1 Regional Air Carrier Director, 1 Cargo Air Carrier Director, 1 General Aviation Director, 1 Business Aviation Director, 1 Air Traffic Control Director, 1 Airports Director, 1 Commercial Pilot Director, and 2 directors selected by the other directors. The ATC and Commercial Pilot directors were proposed to be a representative from each of their respective unions.

This proposal is not just the transferring of ATC services, it is also includes the uncompensated transfer of the “real and personal property, including air navigation facilities of the United States under FAA jurisdiction, that are necessary and appropriate for the corporation to carry out the air traffic services.” While it was not specifically addressed, it presumed that the corporation would also have jurisdiction over the design of airspace containing their operations. The corporation is also authorized to charge fees and enforce the collection fees found to be consistent with the providing of ATC services. 

Based on the makeup of the board, the needs of general aviation could easily be cast aside. Our airspace is public, and it needs to remain in close control of the FAA and our elected government. The present system has produced the safest, busiest, and most accessible air transport system in the world! The potential downside of this bill is tremendous, and it could be the most devastating blow to general aviation we have ever been dealt! To preserve our aviation future, we need to contact our Representatives in Washington and tell them we are opposed to the Privatization of ATC 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

Once again, in the last reporting period we got last minute notification of GPS Interference Testing that could affect Arizona, which was going to be conducted at Alamogordo, NM, China Lake, CA, and Barstow, CA, that would be conducted over most of September and very early October. We are being told to notify the nearest FAA Air Traffic Control facility advising them of the time, location, and altitude if at any time you encounter an unexplained loss of GPS navigation signal lasting more than a minute or two. We are asking pilots to please contact APA, also. We are beginning to wonder if anyone flying in Arizona has ever encountered any results from this testing? In the past two years or so we have only heard of one possible case. What has been your experience? The question is, how long is this going to go on, and should we simply ignore it?

Falcon Field Mesa (FFZ) will again have the Copperstate fly-in scheduled for October 27 & 28. The arrival procedures this year should go much better than last year. The arrivals will be handled by the Falcon Field Tower rather than the Phoenix TRACON. Look for and study the arrival procedure NOTAM.

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 is available at: http://prescott.erau.edu/octoberwest/index.html 

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We again want to remind everyone to exercise caution, particularly when flying in the southern and southwestern portion of the state, to be aware of the restricted areas, particularly R2301, R2304 & R2305 ranges. 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 of a training mission at a very significant cost, and could be extremely hazardous for you. Always 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 significantly improved in that only two accidents had been reported, and neither of them involved serious injuries or fatalities. See my September Aviation Summary for the available accident details.

There are still a lot of airport construction projects happening around the state, including the Phoenix area. Before taking off, be sure to check for NOTAMS at your destination airport so you don’t have a surprise awaiting you. Those of you flying into high altitude airports, still be sure to check the density altitude, and review your aircraft performance data. Also, it’s still warm out, so drink plenty of water, stay hydrated, plan ahead, and please 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 Superior Municipal Airport (E81) master plan update is being prepared around developing the present location rather than changing the present airport location. An update of the Sedona Airport (SEZ), Flagstaff (FLG), and Grand Canyon Airport (GCN) master plans are also 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, was on hiatus until October.
  • The Falcon Field EAA Warbirds Squadron fly in breakfast and car show has been on the third Saturday. Hopefully, they will resume this month.
  • 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, there is a lunch made available by the APA at the USFS Grapevine Airstrip (AZ88) next to Roosevelt Lake, check the APA Calendar.
  • 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 $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 have yet 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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