By Jim Timm
This month’s report may be a bit brief because I’m writing it while I’m attending the annual EAA AirVenture Fly In at Oshkosh, Wisconsin. This year’s event is celebrating a lot of things as usual, but of particular interest to me was the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo manned space program, and I was lucky enough to get an invitation to a reception to meet some of the Apollo Astronauts, and get a chance to chat with some of them, a very friendly and outgoing group of gentlemen indeed. The weather for this year’s event has really been spectacular, with cool nights for good sleeping and the days were not hot and humid, but were generally in the mid to high 70’s with a gentle breeze. No bad wind or rain storms this year, but simply good weather. If you haven’t attended the Oshkosh AirVenture yet, you really need to get it on your to do list!
The buzzword at this year’s AirVenture was “Modernize, Not Privatize.” The emphasis was to support the legislation (Senate Bill 1405) that would provide a four year reauthorization of the FAA and it’s programs and does not contain the ATC privatization language that was presented in the house bill. Along with many other provisions, the senate bill:
Improves GA airport funding flexibility and recognizes building an aircraft for educational purposes as a protected aeronautical activity under the FAA grant assurances. (This would assure our ability to build an airplane in a hangar on an airport that has received FAA grant money.)
Reforms the process for certifying general aviation products and addresses other regulatory barriers to manufacturing and maintenance organizations.
Provides language that gives the FAA authorization to conduct a broad fleet authorization for potential future unleaded fuels under the Piston Aviation Fuels Initiative (PAFI) program.
Exempts aviation events and air shows from fees and charges for governmental funded services, such as air traffic control, that have been levied in recent years by the FAA.
This senate bill recognizes that General Aviation is an equal partner in the nation’s air transportation system, and points the way to making the FAA more effective. The bill also recognizes the present U.S. air traffic control system is already the safest and most efficient in the world, and it is ready for modernization without wholesale transformation and disruption that would come with privatization.
Although the present senate bill does not contain provisions for privatization, it’s possible that there could be pressure to include provisions for privatization as a floor amendment to the bill. Now is certainly the time to make your voice heard. Contact your legislators in Washington immediately and tell them to oppose ATC Privatization, and support measures to provide a more stable longer term funding for FAA operations by calling 1-855-265-9002. You will be automatically transferred to each of your reps based on your zip code.
Again, a couple of days before the scheduled event, we got notification of GPS Interference Testing that was going to be conducted on July 10 - 26, at Nellis Air Force Base, Las Vegas, and also July 21 - August 6 at the White Sands Missile Range, Alamogordo, NM that could have impacted GPS navigation in all of Arizona. If at any time you encountered an unexplained loss of GPS navigation signal lasting more than a minute or two, 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.
Flight safety in the last reporting period was not very good because we experienced eight accidents, two of which were fatal accidents with two fatalities in each occurrence. Of the eight accidents, seven were reported by the NTSB and one of the two fatal accidents was noted only from TV and newspaper reports. Unfortunately, of the seven NTSB accident reports, three were devoid of accident details. See my August Aviation Summary for available accident details.
In spite of the summer heat, many significant construction projects are still going on at several airports around the state, including the Phoenix area. 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, and if you are flying into the higher altitude airports, be sure to check the density altitude, and review your aircraft performance data. Also, in this hot summer weather, make sure you drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and fly safely.
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 (FLG), and Grand Canyon Airport (GCN) master plans are
currently in process.
THINGS TO DO - PLACES TO GO FOR BREAKFAST:
- The fly in breakfast at Coolidge Municipal Airport (P08), normally on the first Saturday of the month, is on hiatus until October.
- The Falcon Field EAA Warbirds Squadron fly in breakfast and car show is held on the third Saturday, October through May, and they will resume in October when it is cooler again.
- The third Saturday of the month there is still a fly in breakfast at Benson (E95) at Southwest Aviation. (There are special fuel prices for breakfast attendees.)
- Also on the third Saturday, the BBQ lunch at the USFS Grapevine Airstrip (AZ88) next to Roosevelt Lake is discontinued until September.
- The last Saturday of the month there is still 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 through 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. Because it’s in the air conditioned terminal building, it’s continuing on through the summer.