By Jim Timm
I hope everyone has also been able to take advantage of the the good flying weather we have been experiencing. At least, it appears you have been doing it safely, the accident numbers have been down. We had best be taking advantage of what we have because I fear the hot rough summer flying is just around the corner. I was just thinking, we are about to enter into the prime time for soaring conditions. Now might be the time to consider taking up soaring. Try it, you might like it! I can assure you, it will sharpen your flying skills and planning, especially pattern entry and landing. No go-arounds are allowed, every landing is a forced landing. It will keep you on your toes and it’s tons of safe fun and we have some outstanding soaring operations available nearby to give it a try.
Everybody put Saturday May 10 on your calendar for attending the APA annual meeting and directors election. This year our featured speaker will be AOPA President, Mr. Mark Baker. The meeting will be at the ASU, ARAVAIPA Auditorium on the ASU Mall at Williams-Gateway Airport, starting at 9:30 am. Don’t miss it!
As we mentioned last month, in an effort to improve general aviation safety, the FAA has started a one year project to demonstrate the capabilities of the Aviation Safety Information Analysis and Sharing (ASIAS) program for the general aviation (GA) community. The ASIAS program has been successively used in the commercial aviation field to enhance flight safety. The GA - ASIAS project would collect voluntary data from GA pilots within 40 nautical miles of Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport. The FAA and industry would work together through the General Aviation Joint Steering Committee (GAJSC) to use the data to help identify safety risks and emerging threats and develop safety strategies. The project will collect public sector and proprietary data which will be protected. We have been assured that the data collected will be de-identified and the data will not be accessed or used for FAA enforcement.
At this point, APA is not clear on how the collection of general aviation flight data will be, or could be, used to reduce general aviation accidents, or to develop programs to reduce accidents. As opposed to military or air carrier operations, the average private general aviation flight operation is relatively unstructured, and therefore we are unsure what metric could be used to evaluate the flight data gathered. However, In the interest of flight safety and accident reduction, APA would be willing to inform you as completely as we can of the ASIAS GA Demonstration Project, and as detailed information is made available, we will be advising you of the pros and cons, and if warranted, solicit your participation. We will keep you updated on the program as more information becomes available.
In the recent APA General Aviation Accident Reduction and Mitigation Symposium (GAARMS III) program, I think we all recognized that flying does present a certain level of risk, and with that recognition, there is action that can and should be taken to manage and minimize the risk of injury. It is recognized that shoulder harnesses installed and used in the airplane could prevent serious injury and possibly a fatality. In some older aircraft the installation of shoulder harnesses can be expensive. But the question needs to be asked, what is a life worth that could be saved with their installation. In this month’s newsletter is the GAARMS Report by Fred Gibbs, and in it he addresses the shoulder harness installation issue. Please read it.
Mesa Falcon Field is experiencing a serious noise complaint problem from some nearby airport neighbors. In an attempt to reduce the number of flights and the noise impact, the neighborhood complainants are pushing for landing fees and the establishment of a City Council appointed commission to set fees and charges at the airport. In the next few days, if it hasn't happened by the time you get this newsletter, we will be issuing an e-blast with more detailed information and suggestions for help in combating the problem. If we don’t stop it here, a major concern is what happens at Falcon Field may very well take place at other airports in the state.
It’s that time of the year that the military undertakes the annual Air Combat Command exercise ANGEL THUNDER. The exercise is designed to provide Combat Search And Rescue (CSAR) training for combat aircrews, para-rescue personnel, intelligence personnel, battle managers and joint search and rescue center personnel. The Exercise allows combat air forces to practice effective integration /application of air and space power in the search and rescue mission. The operation will require the implementation of a Temporary Military Operations Area (TMOA) which will be located over Roosevelt Lake in the Tonto National Forest in eastern Arizona.
The TMOA will be activated for aircraft and parachute operations involved in the CSAR exercise. Aerial activities will include: combat maneuvering by fighter and transport fixed and rotary wing aircraft, parachute operations, formation flights, rescue escort maneuvering and aerial helicopter refueling. The description of the TMOA is as follows:
Boundaries. That airspace within a 10 NM radius of lat. 33°41’57”N., long. 111°03’52”W.
Altitudes. 500 feet AGL to 9,000 feet MSL.
Times of use. By NOTAM, May 9 – 10, 2014.
Controlling agency. FAA Albuquerque ARTCC.
Using agency. U.S. Air Force, 563rd RQG, Davis-Monthan AFB, AZ.
Last summer a Piper Archer completed flight tests powered by 93 octane premium automotive gasoline. Piper worked with Airworthy AutoGas LLC, Phoenix, to prove the concept at their Vero Beach, Fla. facility. Also, apparently, Lycoming has approved the use of Airworthy AutoGas 93 octane unleaded fuel in their 0-360 series engines. There is a possibility that, later this summer, Falcon Field Mesa (FFZ) may have Airworthy AutoGas 93 octane unleaded fuel available at a new fueling facility. The location of the facility on FFZ is yet to be determined.
The FAA took an important step to help improve GA safety by rolling out a more simplified set of design approval requirements for angle of attack (AOA) indicators that can be added to small planes to supplement airspeed indicators and stall warning systems. Thus alerting pilots of a low airspeed condition before a dangerous aerodynamic stall occurs, especially during takeoff and landing.
Under the new policy, manufacturers must build the AOA indicator system according to standards from the American Society for Testing and Materials (ATSM) and apply for FAA approval for the design via a letter certifying that the equipment meets ATSM standards and was produced under required quality systems. The FAA believes this streamlined policy may serve as a prototype for production approval and installation of other add-on aircraft systems in the future. Hopefully this will also significantly reduce the cost of these add-on systems and pave the way for other lower cost safety enhancements.
Phoenix Gateway Airport (IWA) has construction activity scheduled to take place that will be impacting runway use, and at times, possibly IFR operations. Be sure to check NOTAMS before flight! Several airports in the Phoenix area are also planning runway work this summer.
GPS Interference testing is still being undertaken. This time we’ve received notices for two locations, El Paso, TX and Beatty, NV. that could impact Arizona. The Texas testing is from April 28 - May 18 and the Nevada testing is from April 29 - May 1 & May 28-29. Detailed test information is available at; Texas; https://www.faasafety.gov/files/notices/2014/Apr/WSMR_14-05_GPS_Flight_Advisory.pdf Nevada; https://www.faasafety.gov/files/notices/2014/Apr/CHLK_14-04_GPS_Flight_Advisory.pdf
Aviation safety needs be a concern for all of us. From the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) records, there were five accidents that occurred in Arizona in this last reporting period. Of the five accidents reported, only two have had a preliminary report issued, and neither of the two accidents resulted in injuries. At the writing of this report, the other three accidents had not had a report issued. An effort is being made to determine if an alternate, and more current, source of information is available. The information presently available is contained in the May accident report.
APA continues to work with airports around the state providing the general aviation user perspective in the process of updating their Airport Master Plans. We are presently working on the up dating of the Pinal Regional Airport, Bagdad Airport, Nogales International Airport, and the Gila Bend Municipal Airport Master Plans.
THINGS TO DO - PLACES TO GO FOR BREAKFAST:
The first Saturday of the month, is a fly in breakfast at Coolidge Municipal Airport (P08).
Time: 8:00 to 11:00 am.
The second Saturday of the month Ryan Field (RYN) breakfast ended in April. It is anticipated that it will restart in September and run thru November.
The third Saturday of the month at Mesa Falcon Field, a fly in breakfast will be in the EAA Warbirds Squadron Hangar, located in what was the west Champlin Museum hangar. The breakfast is being put on by the Warbird Squadron and the Airport Fire Fighter’s Union. Breakfast will be served from 7:00 am until 11:00 am.
Also, on the third Saturday of the month there is a fly in breakfast at Benson (E95) at Southwest Aviation. (Often there have been very special fuel prices for breakfast attendees.)
The last Saturday of the month there is a fly in breakfast at Casa Grande Municipal Airport (CGZ)
(The Casa Grande and Coolidge fly in breakfasts are put on by community service groups to raise funds for community service projects.)
Check the APA Calendar for our Getaway Flights program for weekend places to fly.