This spring weather has certainly been strange. Generally, it’s been relatively cool for the early morning flights for breakfast. I hope everyone has been enjoying it. It really makes me wonder what the summer and monsoon time is going to be like. We shall see, but for now, let’s go flying and enjoy it.
Last month we had the APA annual meeting at Casino Arizona, and it was great to visit with many of you that were able to make it. As you may know, at the annual meeting, we always have an election for the three director positions whose terms come up for election. In this year’s election the following three candidates were voted in by a unanimous vote: Mike Andresen, Chris Nugent, and Stefanie Spencer, and their terms of office will end in 2022. In the upcoming June membership meeting, the new Board of Directors are required to elect officers to serve for the coming year. With the outstanding board we have, I can assure you that your APA will continue to move forward with much enthusiasm.
At the annual meeting we were also very pleased to be able to present scholarship checks of $2,500 to six deserving young people to assist them on their aviation career paths. The APA scholarship committee is a very important group in the APA family, providing assistance to young people on a career path to become aviation leaders of the future. Each year there are numerous applicants for these scholarships, and selecting the final recipients is a daunting task, as so many of the applicants are outstanding in their achievements. To help make these scholarships happen we have to count on you, the members, for contributions to the fund to make these scholarships possible. All contributions are tax deductible as APA is an IRS 501(c)(3) organization. We all need to do what we can to help these young people who are our future.
Our backcountry group is moving forward with amenities and improvements for some of the backcountry airstrips. Whether there are any new airstrips to be opened, may yet be determined. The present inventory keeps the group very active. The members managing the Weekend Getaway Flights were taking notes for suggested destinations, both for long and short trips. We shall see what they come up with for us.
In general, I think everyone felt the APA Annual meeting was a success, and we are going to be looking forward to the year to come.
Prescott Name Change
According to the FAA procedures people, Prescott airport has made a subtle change in that its name has been changed to have “Regional” added. It’s now Prescott Regional Airport (PRC), which doesn’t really mean much to most of us, except to FAA Air Traffic Procedures and pilots flying IFR. All the procedures have to be corrected and reissued with the “new” name. This type of trivia is what our aviation taxes pay for.
Picacho Army Heliport Airspace
The Picacho Army Heliport (PCA), located northwest of Picacho Peak, has significant helicopter operations and an active control tower. Unfortunately, the airport does not have an assigned Class D Airspace, and as a result, it does not have a blue circle around it on the charts to draw our attention to its existence. There have been recent incidents with fixed wing aircraft flying near the heliport without contacting the tower. The PCA Tower is requesting pilots to contact them when flying in the vicinity of PCA. Note the following instruction on the chart; “Contact PCA Tower Within 4-NM Below 2500 FT-AGL. Picacho-ARNG (PCA), CT - 126.2
The past month has been rather good from a flight safety stand point. This past month there were only three accidents reported by the NTSB, and none of them involved fatalities or serious injuries. One of the three reports didn’t have the preliminary report released for review, and was most likely minor in nature. I really hope that this continues, and it means pilots are being more careful in what they are doing. I don’t think there has been a significant reduction in flying. Last weekend, while I was trying to return to Falcon Field (FFZ), all the ADS-B returns on my iPad had the view of FFZ airport obliterated. The traffic density was scary to say the least. Is the flight activity at other airports around the state still rather normal? Or, do you think that perhaps Darwin may be winning and the marginal accident prone pilots are not flying? See my June Accident Summary for details.
Question: If you have a bird strike in flight should you report it? The answer is yes. You should fill out a wildlife strike report with the FAA. This can be accomplished by using the online form on wildlife.faa.gov . A paper form can also be obtained from Advisory Circular: 150/5200-32B, dated 5/32/2013.
Once again, we have been reminded that many airports around the entire state, and in particular the airports in the Phoenix area, are planning, and will be starting construction projects. So, we have to keep reminding you to always check for NOTAMS for your destination airport, and always fly informed, be safe, and have a good flight.
As you are aware, APA is working with several airports around the state to update their Airport Master Plans, providing the pilot and aircraft owner’s perspective in the process. Page Municipal Airport (PGA) currently has a phase report out for review and comment by the PAC Committee. Lake Havasu City Municipal Airport (HII), Superior Municipal Airport (E81), Sedona Airport (SEZ), Flagstaff (FLG), and Grand Canyon Airport (GCN) airports are also currently in their Master Plan update process.
THINGS TO DO - PLACES TO FLY FOR BREAKFAST:
- The fly in breakfast at Coolidge Municipal Airport (P08),normally on the first Saturday of the month, is on summer hiatus. They will resume in October.
- The Falcon Field EAA Warbirds Squadron fly in breakfast and car show on the third Saturday of the month is also on summer hiatus. They are planning on restarting on Saturday October 19.
- On the third Saturday, the fly in breakfast at Benson (E95) at Southwest Aviation is now on a quarterly basis. Check the Calendar for the next fly-in date. (There will still be special fuel prices for breakfast attendees.)
- The Grapevine Airstrip (88AZ) next to Roosevelt Lake is open to fly into any time, but the BBQ lunch hosted by APA on the third Saturday weekend of each month is also on summer hiatus. Watch the APA Facebook page for postings when there are special military practice days that you will want to avoid.
- 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, is operating in the cool air conditioned Terminal Building. It’s 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.