I hope everyone has been enjoying the reasonably good flying weather we’ve been having, despite that one really rainy Saturday we had. Hopefully a lot of you were able to go to the recent Copperstate Fly In at Buckeye. There were many pilots that stopped by the APA display in the Vendor’s Hangar. It was good to have a chance to visit with many of you, and we hope you enjoyed the show. The weather was good, and overall, I think the attendance was better this year than the previous year. It’s been my observation that spring may not be too far off since lately I’ve noted that I’ve had to clean bugs off the airplane after flying. Here’s to hoping the temps don’t start ramping up too soon though. Let’s go flying (but do it safely).
When we go flying, the question has come up from time to time, “If I don’t really want everyone to know where I’ve been, what if I turn off my ADS-B?” Believe me, it’s a bad idea. A better choice would be reprogramming your unit to transmit in the anonymous mode, thus deleting personal information to the casual observer. If you don’t have your airplane based under Class Bravo, Charlie airspace, or under a 30-mile Class B Veil, you do have the choice to install or not install ADS-B Out equipment in your airplane. If you have it installed, could you ever turn it off while in flight? If you turn it or your transponder off in flight, the FAA could hit you with a suspension of six months. Is it worth it? I doubt it. There are exceptions when the Transponder and ADS-B could be turned off, such as in a formation flight when you are not the lead airplane, otherwise, both must be on.
ADS-B does help in collision avoidance. If you are flying in the backcountry, the risk of collision might be slim, but it could still happen. Collision avoidance isn’t the only thing though. ADS-B permits tremendous access to free weather. Having a transponder and ADS-B up and running permits you access to the entire airspace system, and greatly increases the utility of your airplane. It also increases flight safety by being able to be seen by others flying near you. If you are equipped, keep it turned on to avoid the potential grief, and have a bit more peace of mind that you will be less likely to unexpectedly meet someone you may not know is out there.
Notice Number: NOTC9957
Runway expectations: sometimes our expectations as pilots don’t always match those of Air Traffic Control. Here’s a quick review of expectations for operations on or near runways to keep you safe.
After landing, you are expected to clear the runway without delay, taxiing until the entire aircraft has cleared the hold short marking. AIM 4-3-20
When you obtain an air traffic clearance, you are expected to execute its provisions upon receipt. For example, do not unnecessarily delay takeoff. AIM 4-4-10
Your prompt compliance with air traffic clearances is expected. AIM 5-5-2
Sometimes a clearance will include the word “IMMEDIATE” to impress urgency, and your expeditious compliance is expected. AIM 4-4-10
If you cannot accept or comply with an air traffic clearance, simply tell the controller “UNABLE,” and work with them to find an alternative solution. This includes times when you may not be able to comply promptly upon receipt of a clearance. Pilot/Controller Glossary
While the FAA does not define “prompt,” it is important to know that clearances to take off and land are predicated on known traffic and airport conditions. For example, a clearance to takeoff may turn into a clearance for IMMEDIATE takeoff after a delay of as little as ten (10) seconds at a busy airport. So, don’t delay without first communicating your intentions with Air Traffic Control. The time you spend on runways should be minimized.
On January 1, 2020, airspace that required the use of a Mode-C Transponder will now require aircraft to be equipped with a Version 2 ADS-B Out system. If you would like to request a deviation from the requirement, an ADAPT Tool for requesting deviation from the ADS-B requirement is available at: https://sapt.faa.gov/default.php
For additional information, go to the Equip ADS-B website: https://www.faa.gov/nextgen/equipadsb/. To determine if your ADS-B equipment is operating correctly, go to this same website, and in the center of the page are a bunch of questions. One asks; ADS-B Out Equipped? Find out if your equipment is working properly. Click on this item and fill out the request form and submit it after making a flight longer than 30 minutes while remaining in ATC RADAR contact. It’s very simple and fast. Keep the resulting reply of conformance in your aircraft logbook.
Over the years, a very large number of flight procedures have been developed that require regular review and maintenance. To ease the workload maintaining these procedures, a National Procedures Assessment (NPA) program was implemented to identify the underused procedures that the FAA may consider as candidates for cancelation. As a result, the NPA will be eliminating several NDB and VOR instrument procedures around the state, and many of the circling approach procedures. While the VOR approaches being eliminated were deemed to be underused, they are also part of a plan to eventually eliminate many of the VOR sites. As of February 10, 2020, the following procedures are scheduled to be canceled later in 2020:
CHD NDB RWY 4R & CHD VOR RWY 4R
IWA VOR or TACAN RWY 30C
P08 VOR DME RWY 5
SDL VOR DME-A & SDL VOR-C
P19 VOR or GPS-A
Marana has advised that the design of their proposed new tower is 100% complete and they are presently securing the city’s share of the funding. Estimated completion cost is being quoted at $30 million. Groundbreaking is hoped to be at the end of the year, and they are still planning on a two-year construction and activation. The FAA funding offer is only valid for five years.
The Stagecoach AAF Heliport is getting Class D airspace assigned to it, and it was announced that it will be 4 NM radius and 2500 ft AGL. If they are still having unannounced over flights, I would hope they expedite the implementation, but with the government involved in the implementation, they may not beat the Marana airspace assignment.
Williams Airport (CMR), in northern Arizona, is getting an RNAV Instrument Approach and Departure Procedure.
Aviation safety in this past reporting period was both good and bad. We did have four accidents reported by the NTSB in the reporting period. They didn’t release a detailed accident report on any of the accidents, only the accident notice. All of them were apparently minor with no fatalities, and the injuries, if any, were most likely also minor in nature. Unfortunately, on January 24th we did have a fatal accident that we mentioned in our last report. This was the Piper PA28 that crashed near Payson fatally injuring the pilot and seriously injuring the two passengers. For some strange reason the NTSB still has not recognized or reported the accident.
See my March Accident Summary for this month’s details.
Coolidge Municipal Airport (P08) still has runway 5-23 closed for rebuilding, and it is still scheduled to reopen May 22. Apparently, runway 17-35 is now open. Use extreme caution in using runway 17- 35 because of skydive operations on the south side of the airport. Keep the approach leg of the RWY 35 pattern short! This could be a challenge for some pilots but be safe. Be sure to check NOTAM’s for changes.
There are many airports around the state having construction projects in process or planned to start. Unfortunately, we don’t have the latest details of what projects are coming up, but at the moment, the best advice we can offer is to check for NOTAMs at your destination airport, and when you get there use extra caution. We don’t want to have your flight end up in the monthly Aviation Accident Summary report. Do Fly safe!
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), Laughlin/Bullhead International Airport (IFP), and Grand Canyon Airport (GCN) are currently in their Master Plan update process.
THINGS TO DO - PLACES TO FLY FOR BREAKFAST:
- The fly in breakfast at Coolidge Municipal Airport (P08), is normally on the first Saturday of the month. Check NOTAMS for which runways are open or closed.
- The Falcon Field EAA Warbirds Squadron fly in breakfast and car show is resuming on the third Saturday of the month. The City of Mesa repainted the warbird hangar inside, and the contractor FINALLY finished. The breakfast date is Saturday, March 21.
- 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 third weekend of each month, Saturday, at Grapevine is transitioning to a camping potluck, so no lunch will be served on these weekends moving forward.
- 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 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 a good stop, 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.