I hope everyone enjoyed a happy and safe Christmas and New Year’s holiday season. Unfortunately, the weather we had over the holidays wasn’t very conducive to doing much flying. It seems like it’s been a long time since we have had so many days strung together that have been nasty like it was. However, it didn’t appear to have slowed down the Christmas shopping. I hope we can all start the new year fresh and safe. Actually, the safety record this past year wasn’t too bad, except for the two bad accidents at the very end of the year. Let’s fly safely again next year, and I’ll be seeing you at some of the aviation events around the state.
Flight identification code, flight date and time, and the make and model of your ADS-B transmitter and the GPS. Indicate any ADS-B avionics operating abnormalities that you may have observed during the flight.
You should receive a report from the FAA indicating what parameters of your system that have failed. Often a problem may only be an improper data entry configuring the ADS-B software.
Like it or not, ADS-B is something we are going to have to live with. As I said in a previous report, with the complex airspace that has grown around us, I don’t know how you could get any utility out of your airplane without occasionally encountering airspace requiring ADS-B to enter or fly through. With a few special exceptions, it’s another thing we are going to have to contend with if we want to fully utilize our airplanes.
Last summer when I was at the EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, I asked the FAA ADS-B people what are going to be the ongoing requirements for the inspection or testing of our ADS-B systems. The response was a bit unsettling. I was told “Gee, I don’t know… We haven’t discussed that, and no-one has asked that question before.” I would think it would be self-policing, but I wouldn’t count on it. It may possibly wind up being a part of the transponder check cycle. Who knows?
A side effect of the FAA’s move toward mandatory ADS-B position reporting is the ability for anyone to see a given aircraft’s position and identification, which raises privacy concerns for pilots and aircraft owners. Now the FAA will make it possible for owners to opt out of broadcasting ADS-B data in a way that directly reveals the aircraft’s identity.
The first stage of what the FAA calls the Privacy ICAO Address (PIA) Program will be implemented for the start of the mandatory ADS-B Out equipage on Jan. 1, 2020. According to the FAA, it will set up a web portal where operators can request that their aircraft’s ICAO address and position not be publicly visible. The FAA said it would “establish new data-sharing limits for air traffic tracking service providers if operators want to opt out of having their flight information broadcast over the internet. Those limits are expected to go in effect by year-end.”
An “anonymous” mode is available for aircraft using the 978 UAT form of ADS-B Out, but only when not squawking a discreet transponder code and the installed hardware supports it.
The FAA issued a proposal for a rule that would require unmanned aircraft systems (UAS/drones) to be identifiable remotely. The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) suggests tying remote identification requirements to UAS registration and would allow drone identification and location information to be received by “people on the ground and other airspace users.” According to the FAA, the proposed rule would cover all drones—both recreational and commercial—operating in U.S. airspace with very few exceptions. The NPRM is scheduled to be officially published in the Federal Register on Dec. 31, after which it will be open for public comment for 60 days.
Last month we continued to get last minute notices of GPS interference testing that is happening not only in neighboring states, but also here in Arizona, and it could have an impact on GPS air navigation in Arizona. We want to remind you that, if you encounter a loss of GPS signal lasting more than a couple of minutes, immediately contact ATC and advise them of the outage providing the time, altitude, and location when the outage was encountered. I hope this GPS interference signal testing will come to an end in 2020.
This month the NTSB reported what may have been a drone strike with a two place experimental airplane near Safford, Arizona. The experimental STOL airplane was cruising at approximately 80 mph at 1,200 AGL when the engine started a severe and instantaneous vibration, and was shut down, and an emergency landing was made. The pilot rated passenger spotted a black object, which he thought was a drone, streaking into the prop before the vibration started. Parts of the broken prop blade were recovered, and there was no evidence indicating the object that hit the prop was a bird. See my January Accident Summary for all the details, and you can be the judge.
Aviation safety was not very good the last reporting period. While the NTSB reported there were only two accidents, there were two additional accidents that they had not yet had time to recognize when this report was written. The additional two accidents had one fatality in each of them. The total number of accidents has been down so far this year, and fortunately the number of fatalities is also down. While both of the numbers are down, they could have and should have been much lower. In my next report (February) I should have a pretty good idea of what the final numbers may be. See my January Accident Summary for this month’s details.
Be aware that Coolidge Municipal Airport (P08) has runway 5-23 closed for repairs and is scheduled to reopen May 22. Runway 17-35 was closed on December 12, 2019 for repairs, and is planned to reopen the week of February 17, 2020. Be sure to check NOTAMs for changes.
We know that many of the airports around the state have construction projects in process or are being planned to start. Unfortunately, we don’t have the latest details of what projects are coming up at the various airports, but at the moment, the best advice we can offer is to check for NOTAMS at your destination airport, and when you do get there, use an extra amount of caution. The last thing you want to have happen is to have your flight end with it being in the monthly NTSB accident summary. Please fly informed.
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. Chandler Municipal Airport (CHD), Kingman Municipal Airport (IGM), 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 currently in their Master Plan update process. Laughlin/Bullhead International Airport (IFP) has recently joined the list, and has started the planning process.
THINGS TO DO - PLACES TO FLY FOR BREAKFAST:
- The fly in breakfast at held at Coolidge Municipal Airport (P08), normally on the first Saturday of the month, has runway construction in progress. The fly in breakfasts have been canceled for both January and February. Check NOTAMS for when and which runways are open or closed.
- The Falcon Field EAA Warbirds Squadron fly in breakfast and car show on the third Saturday of the month may be restarting on Saturday January 18. The City of Mesa is repainted the warbird hangar inside, and the contractor is running into serious issues with the painting that they are still attempting to get resolved. Don’t be surprised if the date gets moved to February. Watch for notices.
- 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 is on the third Saturday of each month through April. That’s January 18th this month. 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 a fly in breakfast at Casa Grande Municipal Airport (CGZ). The Airport’s restaurant, Foxtrot Cafe, is operating in the 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.