By Jim Timm
The flying still isn’t much fun in this hot weather we have been having. While I was at the EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, I was pleasantly surprised to run into many of you there also. I think we all agreed, that the weather this year was the best we have ever seen for many years. Cool and no rain or strong winds. I wish we could have brought some of that great weather back with us. In spite of the exceptional weather, the attendance appeared to be down significantly from previous years, in spite of what the EAA and media said. A number of the usual vendors were also absent as was the military and their airplanes. The FAA and other federal agencies were either absent or they only had a bare bones staff present. In spite of the apparent down turn, there were still a lot of outstanding and beautiful airplanes to see. All in all, I still think it was a great fun event and wouldn’t want to have missed it.
We have been advised that on December 12, 2013, radar service in northern Arizona will be transferred to the Phoenix TRACON. This change will then permit “tower to tower” radar service from northern Arizona to Phoenix. The next challenge will be to get low altitude radar coverage and service between Phoenix and Tucson. This would mean getting a radar antenna located south of Phoenix to cover this gap.
An Airspace Caution! With the coming of fall and the sports season, when flying in the area of Glendale airport and the Phoenix Stadium, be aware of sporting events at the stadium as the attendance could very likely trigger a TFR for the event. If your not a sports fan, keep an eye on the paper for events and/or check NOTAMS for the area.
In the late September, early October time frame, the Glendale (GEU) runway will be closed for one week for crack sealing. Again, check NOTAMS before you takeoff to avoid surprises.
We have been advised that, in the near future, Pinal Airpark will be opening to public use. For the past several years we have been less than welcome there. Apparently there is going to be a significant change with a new operation moving in. We will pass on more information as it becomes available to us.
Airborne pilot deviations continue to happen, especially in high traffic density metropolitan areas like Phoenix. Deviations can easily be avoided using three simple steps;
Plan Each Flight - with attention to airspace entry coordination requirements and TFR’s.
Squawk and Talk - File IFR or request flight following service from ATC.
Give Yourself Some Room - Don’t fly too close to the airspace you are trying to avoid. The FAA/ATC relies on radar depiction to determine aircraft position and not GPS positioning. Leave a little buffer space.
For more information go to; https://www.faasafety.gov/files/notices/2013/Jun/PDA_Flyer.pdf
Be sure to continue checking for NOTAMS before departing on a cross country flight. There still may may be a forrest fire TFR and also a significant number of airports around the state are still planning runway repair/upgrade projects for this summer. You don’t want to have a surprise when you arrive at your destination and discover the runway is closed for resurfacing or repair. We will try to advise you when we receive specific notices of projects being started.
We have received another Flight Advisory notice that there will again be GPS Interference testing at Beatty, NV on August 14 to 31 from 0300Z-1230Z. The testing could potentially cover much of Arizona. Pilots are strongly encouraged to report anomalies during testing to the appropriate ARTCC to assist in the determination of the extent of GPS degradation during tests and also please advise APA.
Luke Air Force Base is satisfied with the general aviation use of the Luke Aux. 1 ILS, however they are cautioning, it may be shut down from time to time because of a continuing problem of vandalism and theft of the equipment. Repair teams have also been reluctant to enter the area on occasion because of apparent drug dealing activity. Because of the remote location of the equipment, Luke and the sheriff's departments do not have the manpower necessary to prevent the theft and vandalism. Perhaps the best and only thing we can do to help, is to immediately report to the Luke RAPCON any suspicious activity we may observe in the area.
Aviation safety has to be a concern for all of us. From the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) records, there were again, only three accidents reported in the last reporting period. Of the reported accidents, two resulted in no injuries and one accident resulted in a minor injury. We need to take a careful look at what has happened in these accidents and do what we can to prevent having something similar happening to one of us. See my September Aviation Accident Report for the details of the latest three accidents.
We are continuing to work with airports around the state providing a general aviation user perspective in the process of updating their Airport Master Plans. We are presently working on the up dating of both the Gila Bend Municipal Airport and the Nogales International Airport Master plans and an update of the Phoenix Sky Harbor FAA Part 150 Noise Study.
THINGS TO DO - PLACES TO GO FOR BREAKFAST:
The first Saturday of the month fly in breakfast at Coolidge Airport (P08) has been halted until this fall.
The last Saturday of the month there is still a Fly in breakfast at Casa Grande Airport (CGZ)
Time: 7:00 to 10:00 am. The Casa Grande breakfast will continue through the summer as it is held in the air conditioned airport terminal.
(Both of these fly in breakfasts are put on by a service group in their respective communities to raise funds for community service projects.)
The third Saturday of the month there is a fly in breakfast at Benson (E95) @ Southwest Aviation
(Rumor has it that there may be special fuel prices for breakfast attendees.)