I hope everyone enjoyed a Merry Christmas and survived the New Year’s parties. We can now put 2021 in our rear-view mirror and look forward to a promising new year. The year 2021 with its virus pandemic issues was a bit trying on all of us, and I certainly hope we can move on to more fun things in the year to come. The flying weather has been a trifle changing at times around the end of the year, but we can certainly look forward to some great flying weather in the year ahead. This year’s Copperstate Fly In at Buckeye is on the near horizon and it should be a great event to attend again, and see friends we haven’t seen for a while. In the meantime, let’s go flying and enjoy the great flying conditions. That’s why we live in Arizona!
For those wishing to fly in Mexico, the government there has mandated that beginning January 1, 2022, all aircraft flying in Mexico must be equipped with a functioning ADS-B operating on 1090 MHz in all its airspace except Class E Airspace below 2,500 feet AGL. Mexico is now among the many countries that have similar ADS-B requirements in effect. The 1090 MHz requirement appears to be a worldwide, or universal requirement, with only the United States allowing the use of 978 MHz. While the ADS-B regulation in Mexico requires installed ADS-B equipment to be used at all times, there is a process in place to allow operators to request permission to fly with inoperative ADS-B equipment, and requests to fly without any ADS-B equipment installed. The requests must be submitted at least one hour before departure.
Incorporating 978 MHz ADS-B surveillance along with the 1090 MHz and harmonizing the ADS-B regulations in both countries would make it easier for pilots to cross the border in either direction. Attempts are in process to urge the Mexican government to allow the use of 978 MHz ADS-B equipment in their airspace, and harmonize its regulations with the U.S., but there is not much interest being exhibited by the Mexican government to accommodate the suggestion.
Where else could this happen, but in California. I’m certain that all are aware that there is a movement to find a suitable non-leaded fuel replacement for the present 100LL fuel. Two California communities are rushing toward an arbitrary and politically motivated deadline. In Santa Clara County, Reid-Hillview Santa Clara County Airport and San Martin Airport will no longer be dispensing 100LL fuel, and on January 1, 2022, they will only have an unleaded UL 94 octane formulation avgas available for piston engine aircraft. Unfortunately, this fuel will not be compatible with many higher compression piston engine aircraft. This unnecessarily hurried transition is a real aviation safety risk and is counter to the need for a safe and smart transition to the unleaded aviation fuel solution.
The FAA is proposing a new airworthiness directive (AD) affecting Grumman American singles including the AA–5A and AA–5B models in addition to the AA–1, AA–1A, AA–1B, AA–1C, and AA–5 models already impacted by a similar AD. The new AD would require inspecting the stabilizers, wings, and fuselage for bond line corrosion and delamination. The first AD issued in July was a result of a January 19, 2021, accident in which a True Flight Holdings LLC Model AA–5 airplane, better known as a Grumman American AA–5, crashed when its “outboard elevator attach bracket on the horizontal stabilizer detached.” This caused a loss of elevator control and significantly damaged the aircraft.
AIRSPACE In this last reporting period there have not been any changes, or proposed airspace changes that would impact the general aviation community in our flying activities. We can always hope that we can move into the new year without having to deal with any airspace issues for a while.
Have you sometimes wondered how and why temporary flight restrictions (TFRs) happen? In the FAA Safety Briefing article “Mission Possible,” editor James Williams explores how TFRs are created, starting from a request from a security agency, to the issuance of a TFR. The article also explains how the FAA serves as the air space user’s advocate in that process. Check out the full article here: https://medium.com/faa/mission-possible-44d99e582477
The winter weather is here, with its usual colds and other bugs that many of us may tend to pick up. So, when we take over the counter medications to warrant them off, we do need to be aware of the potential for unexpected and adverse interactions certain medications may have with other prescription and over-the-counter medications, as well as supplements, herbals, and even certain foods. For example, antihistamines can adversely react with some prescription drugs used to treat high blood pressure, and grapefruit or grapefruit juice can interfere with the metabolism of statins. For more information, and see if these over the counter drugs may impact your flying, check the website: medium.com/faa/avoiding-adverse-drug-interactions-2914029f3e37
Pilots are still flying around, not fully aware of that type of airspace they are flying in, or what type of airspace they may be about to enter. This is evident by the number of pilot deviations that are being documented each month. This past reporting period the number of deviations was up significantly when compared to the previous reporting period. In this past reporting period, which ran from November 11 through December 9, 2021, there were 18 general aviation pilot deviations recorded by the FAA SDL FSDO. These deviations were committed by student, private, commercial, and CFIs, and of the eighteen deviations made, there was a need to issue eleven Brashers.
A summary of the deviations that were committed are as follows:
There were Three Class Bravo Airspace Deviations (2 Brashers issued)
There were Seven Class Delta Airspace Deviations (7 Brashers issued)
There were Five Runway Incursions (1 Brasher issued)
There was One Failure To Follow ATC Instructions
There was One Taxiing Without Authorization (1 Brasher issued)
There was One Unauthorized Person On Taxiway/Ramp
Note: a Brasher is a notice that is issued when further FAA action will be taken.
Pilots always need to be aware of where they are and what type of airspace they may be entering and timely make the proper radio communications. Take some time and review your Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM) and refresh your memory on what the airport signs and runway markings mean and be able to respond to them. Don’t be the one to commit a pilot deviation. For the details of this month’s deviations, see my Pilot Deviations Report elsewhere in the newsletter.
Aviation safety wasn’t the best this past reporting period because near the end of December there was an accident near Show Low that claimed the lives of two people. This certainly was not the way we would have wanted to end the year. The accident/incident numbers were up slightly from the last report, but we hope pilots will be a bit more wary and make a New Year’s resolution to be a safer pilot in the coming year. Let’s all plan on making the coming year a safe one and enjoy the pleasures of a safe flight. For a detailed report of the accidents and incidents that have occurred, see my Accident & Incident Summary report located elsewhere in this newsletter.
Because of the winter weather, some planned airport projects are being delayed until we get back into the spring and warmer summer type temperatures. However, some projects will continue, so with funding that is available from the FAA, and State, some airports around the state may still have construction projects in progress. Unfortunately, we don’t have all the latest details on all these projects, so it would be a good idea to always check for NOTAMs at your destination airport to see what may be happening. You don’t want to get a surprise when you arrive. Be cautious and always fly informed.
APA continues to work with a number of airports around the state assisting with the updating of their Airport Master Plans, thus providing the pilot and aircraft owner’s perspective in the process. The H. A. Clark Memorial Field (CMR) in Williams has just completed their airport master plan update process. As soon as their city council approves of the updated plan report, prepared by the engineering firm Coffman Associates, the new Airport Layout Plan will be submitted to the FAA for their approval, and the city can then move forward with their planned update projects.
Lake Havasu City Municipal Airport (HII), Superior Municipal Airport (E81), Sedona Airport (SEZ), Flagstaff (FLG), Laughlin/Bullhead International Airport (IFP), Grand Canyon Airport (GCN), and are currently in the Master Plan update process.
THINGS TO DO - PLACES TO FLY FOR BREAKFAST:
The fly-in breakfast at Coolidge Municipal Airport (P08) is on the first Saturday of the month.
On the second Saturday consider flying down to Ryan Field (RYN) near Tucson for breakfast or lunch at Ritchie’s Restaurant. They are open from 6 am to 2 pm to serve you.
The Falcon Field Warbirds Squadron fly-in breakfast, is on the third weekend of the month. The breakfast is put on by the Falcon Field Warbirds and the Aviation Explorer Post 352 in the Warbirds Hangar.
Grapevine is now open full time, but the third Saturday of each month (this month’s date is January 22nd) is a special time for a group camp dinner on Saturday evening. Come and camp for the weekend! The camp host will prepare the main course, and campers, please bring a side dish or dessert to share. Please Note: February Grapevine group event has been moved to Feb 26th because of the Copperstate Fly-In.
Normally on the last Saturday of the month a fly-in breakfast is put on by the Casa Grande Masonic Lodge in the Terminal of the Casa Grande Airport. The required terminal modifications are nearly completed, and it shouldn’t be too long before a permanent cafe tenant will be in place.
Check with the APA Getaway Flights program and online calendar for fun weekend places to fly.