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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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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  • 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 online calendar

for fun weekend places to fly.


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