By Jim Timm
Is everybody out there flying? I hope so. According to the NTSB the number of aircraft accidents occurring in Arizona has been down significantly lately. I hope everyone has been out there flying as usual, but doing it more safely! Better get out there and join that fly out to breakfast group, and have some fun because summer is coming fast, like it or not. That was rather evident from my last breakfast flight with the number of bugs I had on the airplane.
Are you planning on participating in the new FAA BasicMed program? The May 1 effective date for the FAA’s BasicMed regulations (14 CFR Part 68) is here, and it’s time to review the eligibility requirements for BasicMed that requires certain documentation to demonstrate compliance. Pilots must carry some of these documents while operating under the new rules, while other documents are required to be kept with the pilot’s logbook or in an electronic format. To operate under BasicMed, a pilot must meet the requirements of 14 CFR 61.23(c)(3) (as amended in the final rule), one of which is that the pilot possess a valid U.S. driver’s license and complies with all medical requirements or restrictions associated with that license. In the final rule, the FAA interpreted “valid driver’s license” to mean “a current and valid U.S. driver’s license” that is issued by a state, territory, or possession of the United States. Pilots are required to have the driver’s license in their personal possession when operating under BasicMed.
Another eligibility requirement requires the pilot to have held a regular or special issuance medical Certificate any time on or after July 15, 2006. The most recent certificate can be expired, but it must not have been suspended or revoked, or in the case of authorization for special issuance, it must not have been withdrawn. Likewise, the pilot’s most recent medical application must not have been completed and then withdrawn or denied.
Pilots who meet this requirement by way of a medical certificate that is now lapsed or expired will not be required to carry or possess the expired medical certificate while operating under BasicMed. Furthermore, the new rules do not require the expired medical certificate to be retained with the pilot’s logbook. Nevertheless, it may be helpful to retain the expired medical for your own records.
The first of two documents that must be stored electronically or with the logbook of pilots qualified to fly under BasicMed is the Comprehensive Medical Examination Checklist, which is completed by the airman and the state-licensed physician who conducts the examination. Part 68 requires that prior to operating under BasicMed, and then at least every 48 months, the pilot receive a medical examination from a state-licensed physician in accordance with a checklist that was made available by the FAA on April 24, 2017. It’s now available online here.
The same requirements also apply to the second document, known as a “Certificate of Completion” for the online medical education course that pilots must complete prior to operating under BasicMed, and then at least every 24 calendar months. The online medical education course educates pilots on issues such as medical self-assessments, medication, and fitness to fly. Once the course is completed, the pilot will provide limited information that will be sent to the FAA such as the name, address, and phone number of the airman and the physician who conducted the medical examination, state medical license number, and date of exam. Airmen must also provide certifications as to their fitness to fly and an authorization for a National Driver Register check. Once the medical education course is completed, the pilot will be provided with a certificate of completion in a PDF, which must then be printed and kept with the pilot’s logbook or stored in an electronic format and made available upon FAA request.
Good luck with participation in the new FAA BasicMed Program.
The FAA has set June 5 as the date when use of the international flight plan format, also known as the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) format, will be required for all civil flight plans filed with flight service for flights within our National Airspace System and to Canada. The date is dependent on integration testing with Canada, to ensure a seamless and safe transition. On this date, it will be mandatory for all civil flights within the NAS and to Canada filed with Flight Service to use the ICAO international format.
The Bario Brewing Co. Just opened a restaurant in the Gateway Aviation Center at Gateway Airport (IWA). Presently, they are operating in a training mode and are open from 10am to 9pm, but starting June 1st they will be serving for breakfast from 6:30am to 10:30am, and be open until 9:00pm. If you fly in, present your receipt for breakfast, lunch or dinner at the terminal counter when departing, and your aircraft parking fee will be waived. They have a good menu selection with reasonable prices, and it should be worth giving them a try.
It’s unbelievable, but they were again conducting a bunch of GPS Interference testing at the Nevada Test and Training Range near Las Vegas, NV; at the Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site near Pinon Canyon, Colorado; and at the White Sands Missile Range near Alamogordo, NM during a significant time in April. A significant amount of this testing could have impacted GPS navigation in Arizona. As usual, we received information of the testing only a day or so before the test dates thus making it very difficult to provide an adequate warning. If at any time you encounter a loss of GPS navigation signal lasting more than a minute or two that is unexplained, notify the nearest FAA Air Traffic Control facility advising them of the time, location, altitude and nature of signal loss. Also please advise APA with the same information.
From a flight safety standpoint this past month’s reporting period has again been outstanding, because from late February to very late April the NTSB has not issued any reports on current accidents. They did issue one delayed report in early April of an accident that had occurred in late February that did not involve injuries. I would like to think this was not just luck, but that everyone is being more cautious, and I hope the trend continues. See my May Aviation Accident Summary for the details in the delayed report.
Please be aware, there continues to be a lot of major and minor construction projects going on at several airports around the state, particularly in the Phoenix area. Unfortunately, the activity will be continuing on into the summer, so before you take off, make sure you check for NOTAMS at your destination airport so you don’t have a surprise awaiting you when you arrive.
APA is still continuing to work with various airports around the state, providing the pilot and aircraft owner’s perspective in the process of updating their Airport Master Plans. The City of Superior has just started an update of their Municipal Airport master plan. An update of the Sedona Airport (SEZ), Flagstaff, and Grand Canyon Airport (GCN) master plans are currently in process.
THINGS TO DO - PLACES TO GO FOR BREAKFAST:
- The May Coolidge Municipal Airport (P08) Breakfast has been cancelled. They will resume on the first Saturday in October.
- The second Saturday of the month, Ryan Field has been the fly in breakfast destination until the Tucson Airport Authority closed the restaurant down in January. The Airport Authority is undertaking a major renovation of the building inside and out, and they a seeking a restaurant operator that will expand the hours of operation from 6:00 am to 2:00 pm when renovations are complete. We have not heard of an opening date yet.
- The Mesa Falcon Field EAA Warbirds Squadron fly in breakfast and car show is on the third Saturday.
- The third Saturday of the month there is a fly in breakfast at Benson (E95) at Southwest Aviation. (There are special fuel prices for breakfast attendees.)
- May 19-21 will be the last Grapevine weekend of the season. Around noon, a donation lunch is served by APA at the USFS Grapevine Airstrip next to Roosevelt Lake, now newly charted as 88AZ and open, with a few small restrictions, full time! The third weekend of the month event will start up again in October. The porta-potty will also be removed for the summer and return in October.
- The last Saturday of the month there is a fly in breakfast at Casa Grande Municipal Airport (CGZ). The Airport’s restaurant, Foxtrot Cafe, operating in the Terminal Building, is open 6:30am to 2:00pm Monday thru Saturday. On the last Saturday of the month they have a “Fly in Breakfast Special” available on the menu; the price for adults is $7 and kids $5.