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The Saturday morning flights to breakfast have been great. The weather has been ideal with hardly a bump in the sky. Just what we have been waiting for. With the warmer weather we have been encountering, I think it may have gotten some of the bugs out of hibernation, because the last time I flew I did encounter a few of the pests, and I did have to spend a little bit of time wiping them off the windshield and wings. With this onset of warm weather we have had, I certainly do hope this isn’t a foretaste of the summer to come. Per the weather people, I guess it’s supposed to be cooling off again, so let’s go flying, and enjoy what we have. It’s been great!!!

2024 executive director report plane 1

Have you gotten your aircraft re-registered with the state for 2024? The deadline was the end of February. If you haven’t completed the process, or are in the process, it can be a daunting process. When you call them, they routinely do not take your call, and refer you to an e-mail address, which I have had returned to me as being invalid several times. Through other means I have gotten their correct address, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. If you wish to contact aircraft registration, this e-mail address is the only way to do so. Apparently they won’t personally answer the phone. Decals are no longer required to be displayed on the aircraft, nor are they being issued. However, per ARS §28-8325 your registration certificate must be kept in the aircraft at all times. The FAA does not require a state registration to be onboard the aircraft, but if you have an incident, and a state officer responds, he may request to see the required state registration. If it is unavailable, you could be cited. It’s truly unfortunate that the State Department of Aeronautics is in such a state of disarray, and they no longer send out a reminder that your registration is due or are as helpful as they were in the past. I guess it is a sign of the times, and we will have to deal with it.

 

MISCELLANEOUS ITEMS

 

FAA

So far, the first part of the year has been going rather well. We have a relatively new FAA Administrator, and I haven’t been made aware of any new regulation changes or proposed changes, and all appears to be quiet. 

Some of you may have recently received a questionnaire from the FAA. The FAA’s 46th annual General Aviation Survey is under way, reporting on what has happened in 2023. This survey is the only source of information on what has happened in the general aviation fleet, detailing hours flown, and how people use their aircraft. This information will be used by the FAA and the general aviation industry to assist in their planning for their future activity, so fill out the questionnaire and promptly send it in.

2024 executive director report parachute

AIRSPACE

Perhaps some of you may have noticed an up-tic in parachute activity around the state. We have been advised that starting with the beginning of the year there will be an increase in parachute activity at all the known drop cites ranging from Bishop (Private) down to Marana Regional (AVQ). This increased activity will include both contract drops involving various sized objects to specialized training of special forces personnel, both domestic and foreign. This area was selected because of our good year-round weather that will permit concentrated training without holds for weather. What could be worrisome is that some of the personnel drops could be starting at Flight Level altitudes with the parachutes being opened as they exit the airplane to opening at lower (normal) altitudes.

Check NOTAMS for this activity along your proposed route and monitor enroute facility frequencies for parachute activity.

 

SAFETY

In this past reporting period aviation safety has not been good because the number of accidents and incidents reported were rather high. The good news, however, is that in the reports we received, no one was injured. The new year hadn’t started like we would have liked, because in last month’s report, several lives were lost in an unfortunate accident. We can only hope that things will continue to improve as we move forward.

 

2024 executive director report cessna 172For the details of the accidents/incidents in this past January - February reporting period see my Accident/Incident Summary Report located elsewhere in this newsletter. Please fly safely.

Members, please continue to send accident information to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the date, location, aircraft make, if anyone got hurt, and with as much detail as possible. Thank you.

It was once again fortunate that in this past reporting period the FAA didn’t report any Near Mid Air Collisions.

The number of pilot deviations were down again this last reporting period. I would only hope that maybe we are winning, and pilots are finally becoming more aware of what they are doing.

These deviations were committed by pilots with pilot certificates ranging from Private Pilot thru ATP, and apparently there were four out of state pilots that committed some of these deviations. Some of the deviations were serious enough to warrant the issuance of a Brasher notice to the pilot. Perhaps in some cases the pilot could have been distracted, but in any case, the pilot was evidently unaware of what type of airspace they were flying in or were about to enter, and what action was being expected of them. Pilots always need to listen very carefully to ATC instructions and follow them, and if they can’t comply, immediately tell the controller why they can’t comply. Also, they need to be aware that when flying in controlled airspace, you should never be creative, and always first advise ATC before you do anything that may differ from the instructions given to you. When on the ground, always pay attention to airport signs and runway markings, know what they mean, and comply with them. Always fly with forethought and caution.

2024 executive director report plane 2

In summary, the general aviation deviations this reporting period are as follows:

2 IFR Deviations                             2 Brashers

2 Class Bravo Airspace Deviations 2 Brashers

4 Class Delta Airspace Deviations  2 Brashers

3 ATC Instructions                           1 Brasher

6 Runway Incursions                       3 Brashers

For all the details of these deviations see my Pilot Deviations Report located elsewhere in this newsletter.

 

CONSTRUCTION

There are always airports around the state that have construction project in progress, or have projects that are being planned to start soon. Unfortunately, we don’t have the specific details on all these projects, but we always urge you to always check for NOTAMS at your destination airport so you don’t have an unexpected surprise when you arrive.

APA is working with airports around the state assisting with the updating of their Airport Master Plans by providing the pilot, and aircraft owner’s perspective in the process. Sierra Vista Municipal Airport will be starting their Master Plan Update process soon. The initial planning meeting has not yet been scheduled. The Airport Master Plan Update process usually requires about a year for completion.

 

2024 executive director report breakfast

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 of the month, consider flying down to Ryan Field (RYN) near Tucson for breakfast or lunch at Ritchie’s Restaurant. They are open daily from 6 am to 2 pm to serve you.

The Falcon Field Warbirds Squadron normally has had a fly-in breakfast on the third weekend of the month, but because of the storm damage at FFZ, and other complications the breakfasts have been temporally halted, and it is presently undetermined when they will be able to restart them. We will advise when we have new information.

Grapevine is open full time, and the third Saturday weekend camping, and cookouts have started. The camp host will prepare the main course, and campers, please bring a side dish or dessert to share. Grapevine, which lies within a National Forest, is heavily used by the Forest Service for fighting wildfires, and the Military for Special Training.

On the last Saturday of the month a fly-in breakfast is continuing to be put on by the Casa Grande Masonic Lodge in the air-conditioned Terminal of the Casa Grande Airport.

When you fly to any of these venues, be sure to look for the Fly Arizona Passport Placard at the restaurant, and at the airport terminal. Scan the placard with your smart phone to get credit on the passport program for being there.

 

Check with the APA Getaway Flights program and online calendar for fun weekend places to fly.

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