By Jim Timm JimTimm

September 2018 

 

 

I’ll be glad when the monsoon season is over and the atmosphere dries out once again. The mornings seem to be getting a bit cooler, so I guess it shouldn’t be too much longer. I know, be patient; it’ll be cooling down again before too long. Unfortunately, patience just isn’t one of my strong points. In the meantime, let’s get out there early and enjoy the freedom of flight, being able to see some of the amazing sights in some of the intimate corners of our great state that many who don’t fly will never be able to see. Let’s go flying!

 

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MISCELLANEOUS ITEMS

We recently received the word that Flight Service will eliminate the Telephone Information Briefing Service (TIBS) in the contiguous United States, effective September 13, 2018. Created in the early 1980s, TIBS is a continuous telephone recording of meteorological and aeronautical information that pilots can access, but does not satisfy the requirement to become familiar with all available information prior to a flight. See Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) section 91.103).

Effective September 13, 2018, the Controlling Facility for restricted area R 2302 near Flagstaff will change from Albuquerque Center to the Phoenix TRACON, P50. It was commented that the use of the area is estimated at 1% a year.

An RNAV (GPS) RWY 23 Instrument Approach Procedure, which was requested by a previous CGZ Airport Manager, is being published for Casa Grande Municipal Airport. The Arizona Pilots Association and several Phoenix area-based flight schools are advocating against the procedure because it would result in opposing traffic for the intensively used Stanfield VOR (TFD) “Stack” procedure, the CGZ ILS, and LOC RWY 5 instrument procedures. An FAA FSDO representative advised that while the IAP will be published, a NOTAM will also be issued stating that the GPS Procedure is NOT Authorized. “If the airport doesn’t want it, it doesn’t have to have it.” Ultimately, the decision to keep or cancel the procedure will be determined by the CGZ Airport Authority. It should be noted that nearby Coolidge Municipal Airport (P08) also has an RNAV (GPS) RWY 23 Instrument Approach Procedure available. 

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Chandler Municipal Airport has announced they anticipate having their construction projects completed by the end of the year. So, until then, watch out for cranes and check NOTAMS.

Falcon Field (FFZ) has completed upgrading the airfield electrical system and signage projects. They presently have an AWOS system in test mode. Be alert and check for FFZ NOTAMS.

Deer Valley Airport (DVT) still has run up area construction projects in process, so check DVT NOTAMS and use caution.

In other words, before taking off, always be sure to check for NOTAMS at your destination airport so you don’t have a surprise awaiting you. Many of the airports around the state have significant construction projects in progress. Always fly informed.

Flight safety wasn’t great in the last reporting period. While the NTSB only reported two relatively minor accidents, we did have an additional two fatal accidents with two fatalities in each case that have not yet been acknowledged by the NTSB. Also, as of this writing, they have only reported one accident occurring in July and none for August. Based on past statistics, I find it hard to believe there have not been any accidents in this period of time. See my September Accident Summary for the details. 

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According to the FAA Safety Team, we need to “Get It Right in Maneuvering Flight.” More than 25% of general aviation fatal accidents occur during the maneuvering phase of flight — turning, climbing, or descending close to the ground. The vast majority of these accidents involve buzzing attempts and stall/spin scenarios (half of which are while in the traffic pattern).  For additional information, go to: http://bit.ly/2M8If1H

GPS interference testing is still happening, and the notices were only received at the last minute from the FAA in this last reporting period. Some of these tests could have 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. With ADS-B and its GPS component being the law of the land in 2020, I would think this interference testing will have to cease.

As you are aware, APA is still working with several airports around the state to update their Airport Master Plans. 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.

 

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THINGS TO DO - PLACES TO GO FOR BREAKFAST:

  • The fly in breakfast at Coolidge Municipal Airport (P08), which was on the first Saturday of the month, is on hold for the summer and will restart in October.
  • The Falcon Field EAA Warbirds Squadron fly in breakfast and car show which was on the third Saturday of the month is on summer hold and will resume in October. 
  • On the third Saturday, the fly in breakfast at Benson (E95) at Southwest Aviation is now on a quarterly basis and the next one is scheduled for Oct 20, 2018. There are still special fuel prices for breakfast attendees. “Can’t Pass Gas Saturday” is still every Saturday and APA members get a $.10/gal. discount at any time as long as they show their membership card.
  • The Grapevine Airstrip (88AZ) next to Roosevelt Lake is always open to fly into and the BBQ lunch hosted by APA on the third weekend each returns on September 15th. You can arrive a day early and join others at the airstrip and camp out the entire weekend, beginning on Friday the 14th! The portable toilet will once again be available starting this month and continuing through May. Touch base with us if you are interested in hosting one of our monthly lunches at Grapevine! We’ve had some great hosts and delicious food over the years.
  • 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-cooled 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. 
  • At Tucson’s Ryan Field Airport, Richie’s Cafe is serving breakfast and lunch daily. The hours are 6:00 am to 2:00 pm 

 

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.