By Jim Timm JimTimm

May 2018 

 

In case you haven’t noticed, summer is knocking on our door, and I’m not all that keen on the idea of having to get up so early if I want smooth flying conditions. At least we can get some flying in without encountering all the adverse weather conditions some other pilots have to contend with in other parts of the country. That’s one benefit of living in Arizona, and it’s great.

Do your records say you are fit to fly? For those that are participating in the new BasicMed program, there are a number of dates that must be tracked, not a single event like when you had a class three medical. To ensure uninterrupted compliance with BasicMed, pilots must complete the required comprehensive medical examination and online medical education course within the required and differently calculated time periods. For an airman to act as PIC under BasicMed rules, within the previous 48 months he or she must have received a physical examination by a state-licensed physician who followed and completed the FAA’s comprehensive medical examination checklist, while the airman must have completed the online course within the previous 24 calendar months

executive director may 2018 basic med

Careful attention must be paid to when the different components of BasicMed lapse and must be completed again. For example, an airman completing the BasicMed checklist and physical exam on May 10, 2017, and the online course on May 20, 2017, would be able to operate under BasicMed through May 31, 2019(24 calendar months after the online course was completed). If the airman then completes the online course again on May 31, 2019, then he or she would be able to continue operating under BasicMed until May 10, 2021 (NOT May 31, 2021) because 48 months have passed since the physical exam. Completing a new checklist and exam on May 11, 2021 would allow the pilot to operate under BasicMed until May 31, 2021, at which time another online course would be required.

To play it safe, it would appear to be advisable to set smartphone or other calendar reminders to help keep the applicable expiration days straight.

 

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MISCELLANEOUS ITEMS

Fortunately our congress in Washington is working on preparing much needed legislation for long term funding for the FAA, rather than the usual very short term “stop gap” type of funding as in the past, and without ATC privatization. Well guess what, Rep. Bill Shuster, R-PA., attempted to attach an amendment to the new funding bill calling for the creation of an “advisory council” for ATC and to be controlled by the Department of Transpiration (DOT), a plan much like the earlier privatization plan, only even worse. Washington got inundated with calls in protest and Shuster backed down and removed his amendment, fortunately. This is the same guy who proposed the original privatization plan and after the very significant opposition, canceled his privatization plan and said he would not reintroduce it again. Guess what, there it was, repackaged and tried again. It’s obvious that some politicians absolutely cannot be trusted, and I think they all require careful supervision. I guess the bottom line is that ATC privatization will never be a dead issue and we should be very wary until the final FAA Reauthorization Bill is finally passed by the legislature. (NOTE: a five year FAA funding bill without privatization language passed the House late April on a 393-13 vote).

executive director may 2018 private plane 2

The flight schools and some pilots are still getting threatening letters from a law firm representing some of the homeowners in the northeast practice area, in the general area north of Dynamite Rd. east of Scottsdale Rd. to the Verde River. Unfortunately, there are some homeowners that are very anti small airplane and refuse to accept an airplane flying over them at any altitude, but APA suspects there are many that are willing to talk and find a reasonable solution. To that end, the APA is planning to hold a BBQ and “town hall” type meeting with some of the residents and flight school safety officers to find a way to mitigate the perceived problem.

The FAA issued a notice on April 24, 2018, outlining a change in policy regarding testing applicants for a commercial pilot or flight instructor certificate. The revised policy no longer requires applicants for a commercial pilot certificate with an airplane single-engine rating to provide a complex or turbine-powered airplane for the associated practical test, and no longer requires applicants for a flight instructor certificate with an airplane single-engine rating to provide a complex airplane for the practical test.

executive director may 2018

In case you missed it, the FAA is still planning to discontinue the Direct User Access Terminal Service (DUATS II) Program, effective May 16, 2018. Internet services, including access to weather and aeronautical information, flight plan filing and automated services will remain available at no charge to pilots at www.1800wxbrief.com. To continue to receive free services, users are encouraged to register with www.1800wxbrief.com. 

Falcon Field (FFZ) is replacing their runway and taxiway lights with LED lights and upgrading the associated wiring. Between now and the end of June, either the north or south runway may be closed, one at a time, to accomplish the task, and the work is in progress only at night to minimize the impact on flight operations. Normal daylight operations will not be impacted by the project. Check FFZ NOTAMS for hours of runway closure. NOTE, during the month of May, use caution taxing on the ramp areas as there will be trenching crossing some of the ramp taxiways. Check airport notices as this trenching activity IS NOT covered in a NOTAM because the activity is not located in the flight operations area of the airport. Check airport tenant notices, and watch for flagmen and barricades. 

Deer Valley Airport (DVT) also has a run up area construction project underway, so check DVT NOTAMS and use caution.

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In other words, before taking off, always be sure to check for NOTAMS at your destination airport so you don’t have an unexpected surprise awaiting you. Many of the airports around the state have significant construction projects under way, or possibly an open house. So always fly informed.

Continuing the trend, in the past reporting period there were again several last minute notices received for GPS Interference testing going on, and some of it could have very likely impacted flight operations in Arizona. Again, if you encounter an unexplained interruption in GPS navigation lasting several minutes, inform ATC with the time, date, and location of signal loss. 

Flight safety this last reporting period has not been very good with the NTSB reporting eight accidents in Arizona, with one of them resulting in six fatalities. The preliminary reports of the other seven accidents were not released by the NTSB, thus indicating the accidents were most likely minor in nature, and with the injuries, if any, minor in nature also. See my May Aviation Accident Summary for available details of these accidents and others.

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As you are aware APA is working with several airports around the state to update their Airport Master Plans. The FAA requires these master plans to be updated on a regular basis if the airport is to continue receiving federal funding for improvements and maintenance. The following is a brief description of how the master plan update occurs. The preparation for the master plan update includes a technical effort to establish the role of the airport, forecast potential aviation demand, establish airside and landside facility needs, and evaluate options for improving the airport to meet those facility needs. The planning process includes the preparation of phase progress reports that are presented to a Planning Advisory Committee (PAC). The PAC is comprised of stakeholders/constituents with an investment or interest in the Airport and surrounding area. This diverse group provides extremely valuable input into the Master Plan. Additionally, a series of Public Information Workshops are conducted as part of the planning process, thus providing the public an opportunity to be involved and educated about the study. Currently, APA is assisting; Falcon Field (FFZ), Superior Municipal Airport (E81), Sedona Airport (SEZ), Flagstaff (FLG), and Grand Canyon Airport (GCN) airports in their Master Plan update process, providing the pilot and aircraft owner’s perspective.

 

THINGS TO DO - PLACES TO GO FOR BREAKFAST:

NOTE: This is the last fly-in for the season for many of these fly-ins, summer is fast upon us!

  • The fly in breakfast at Coolidge Municipal Airport (P08), is on the first Saturday of the month.
  • The Falcon Field EAA Warbirds Squadron fly in breakfast and car show is on the third Saturday of the month. 
  • Also on the third Saturday, around noon, a lunch is made available by APA at the USFS Grapevine Airstrip (88AZ) next to Roosevelt Lake. $8 per person donation encouraged.
  • 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 $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. 

 

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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