So far this summer the mornings haven’t been too bad for the Saturday morning breakfast flights, as they have been comfortable and relatively smooth. However, the return flight home can get a bit bumpy if you visit too long and get a late start. I can imagine it has to be challenging for these foreign students trying to learn to fly and having to fly later in the heat of the day. My airplane has been fine tolerating the heat, but my iPad EFB has had two inflight over temp shutdowns on me. Looks like I’m going to be more careful and keep it out of the sun or get a cooling mount for it. It’s amazing how addicted we get to some of the electronic gadgets we have. Anyway, keep cool and fly safe.
The year is half over, and the deadline for acquiring ADS-B out for our airplanes is rapidly approaching. Most everyone I know has acquired the equipment required because we are based under the Class B airspace 30-mile veil. What about those living and flying elsewhere? Per the FAA, operators who fail to have ADS-B out equipment installed by the January 2020 deadline will get a very cool reception from air traffic control according to a recently issued policy statement.
The rule, published in the Federal Register, says both scheduled and unscheduled operations with ADS-B equipment missing can receive rarely issued waivers to transit ADS-B airspace, but those exceptions will be few and far between and cannot be relied upon on a routine basis. Operators of unscheduled aircraft - in other words GA - will receive a cold ATC shoulder at “capacity-constrained” airports. Operators of unequipped, unscheduled aircraft may request an ATC authorization to transit controlled airspace under 91.225(g), but “operators might not be accommodated for a variety of reasons.”
In summary, the rule states that to operate in ADS-B airspace, an operator who has chosen not to equip with ADS-B Out must obtain a preflight authorization from ATC for all ADS-B Out airspace on the planned flight path. However, the FAA will be unlikely to issue routine and regular authorizations, especially near high-density airports.
There are some relatively inexpensive ADS-B Out units available, and a lot of aircraft owners are going to have to decide whether or not they want to be constrained in their future operations. Time is rapidly running out, and the reports I have heard is that avionics shops are now requiring a six month or more lead time to install ADS-B equipment. Time is running out.
In the regular June APA meeting an election of officers was held, and the new officers for the coming year are as follows:
President - Brian Schober
Vice President North - Tommy Thomason
Vice President South - Mark Spencer
Secretary - Kit Murphy
Treasurer - Stefanie Spencer
These are the officers that will be leading APA for the coming year and their contact information can be obtained from the APA website.
We have been advised that Coolidge Airport (P08) has received a grant to have runway 5 - 23 reconstructed, and work is scheduled to begin in August, and runway 5 - 23 will be closed for approximately 160 days. During the reconstruction work, instrument low approaches to the runway will not be allowed. During the construction period, runway 17 - 35 will remain open. Please use caution to avoid the parachute drop zone immediately south of the airport.
Last month we advised that the Picacho Army National Guard Heliport (PCA), also known as “Stagecoach AAF,” northwest of Picacho Peak was experiencing a problem with aircraft passing through their airspace unannounced. The problem is aggravated, no doubt, by the fact that the airport doesn’t have an associated Class Delta Airspace assigned to it, and without this designation, the existence of the heliport, and especially it’s “controlled” airspace is not obvious and is very easily missed. We have received inquiries as to why they don’t have a Delta Airspace. Well, it turns out that PCA is the only airport in the nation with an active control tower without a Delta Airspace assigned to it. For the FAA to assign them a block of Delta Airspace they must have certified equipment to provide a barometric pressure and other atmospheric conditions, or be within a rather short distance from an airport that can provide the information. PCA doesn’t comply with either requirement and the Army is reluctant to budget funds for the required instrumentation. While it appears that they may be experiencing an increase in operations in the near future, something needs to be done. In the interest of aviation safety, APA will be getting involved to determine what can be done to get the necessary airspace designated and charted.
The last month has still been okay from a flight safety standpoint. In the past reporting period there were five accidents reported by the NTSB, and none of them involved fatalities. Three of the five reports didn’t have the preliminary report released for review, and hopefully, they were minor in nature. I really hope that this current trend continues for the rest of the year, and pilots are being more careful in what they are doing, and keeping their airplanes properly maintained. See my July Accident Summary for details.
We have again been reminded that many of the airports around the state, and especially in the Phoenix area, are planning, and are having construction projects started. So, we have to keep reminding you to always check for NOTAMS for your destination airport, and always fly informed, and have a safe 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. Kingman Municipal Airport (IGM) currently has a phase report out for review and comment by the PAC Committee. Page Municipal Airport (PGA), Lake Havasu City Municipal Airport (HII), Superior Municipal Airport (E81), Sedona Airport (SEZ), Flagstaff (FLG), and Grand Canyon Airport (GCN) 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 through 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.