I fear that this month’s report is going to be a rather short one. Because of the Coronavirus pandemic crisis, the FAA offices are shut down, and all aviation related meetings have been canceled; everything seems to have come to a halt. We have all been advised to stay home and venture out for essential purposes only, and when we are out, to maintain social distance from other people. It’s interesting to observe what is actually happening. Some are out and around, continuing as if nothing has happened, and others are attempting to follow the suggested guidelines to a degree. Those of us in the older group with perhaps health issues that could be a problem, perhaps even causing death, tend to take it more as a serious issue and fall into the latter group. So, forget the odds, that’s a chance I’m not willing to take.
While all of this is happening, the annual condition inspection came due on my airplane. Needless to say, I determined it was essential to be at the airport conducting this inspection. I initially thought I might be out there alone. Wrong, there were a lot of people out there also working on their airplanes, and a few were flying. With regular jobs shut down, why not? It’s better than doing nothing, it breaks the boredom, and it’s a chance to get things done that have been put off for too long.
I hope everyone has been able to get in a little flying, practice some of the exercises to sharpen up the coordination skills, and make a bunch of touch-and-go landings. Just remember, the FAA minimum currency requirements will not assure that you are a safe pilot. Only getting out there and flying can do that. So, to heck with it all, let’s go flying!
Nothing of significance has been happening that I am aware of.
Meetings have been canceled because of concerns over the Coronavirus issue, and I am unaware of any current, or upcoming significant airspace issues.
In spite of everything being shut down, aviation safety in this past reporting period was not very good. The NTSB apparently is still working, because in the last reporting period they reported what would appear to be two minor accidents, and in one of the cases the preliminary report details were not released. At the very end of this reporting period we had a helicopter accident that resulted in a serious injury, and a fatality. Apparently there was an inflight tail rotor failure, and the helicopter lost control and crashed. The NTSB is currently investigating the accident.
See my May Accident Summary for this month’s details.
Coolidge Municipal Airport (P08) still has runway 5-23 closed for rebuilding, and it’s still scheduled to reopen May 22. Runway 17-35 is open for use. Use extreme caution in using runway 17- 35 because of skydive operations on the south side of the airport. Please keep the approach legs 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 still 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. Always 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. All the update program meetings are presently on hold due to the Corona Virus pandemic. 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), normally on the first Saturday of the month, is closed due to the Coronavirus crises, and the event is on indefinite hold.
- The Falcon Field EAA Warbirds Squadron fly in breakfast, and car show was on the third Saturday of the month. Due to the Coronavirus crises the event is on indefinite hold.
- The third weekend of the month is the usual APA potluck at Grapevine Airstrip. However, lunch is no longer being served, and at the end of May, the portable toilet will be removed for summer, returning in September.
- The last Saturday of the month was the fly in breakfast at Casa Grande Municipal Airport (CGZ). Due to the Coronavirus crises the restaurant is closed, and the event is on indefinite hold.
Check with the APA Getaway Flights program and online calendar for fun weekend places to fly.