It’s become that time of the year when we give more consideration to flying out to some of the higher altitude airports for breakfast, just a short break to enjoy the cooler weather. So, it’s also time to start giving much more serious attention to density altitude when you head out. Here’s hoping you will be able to work in a flying summer vacation. Whatever you do, please fly safe.
How much better could a summer flying vacation be than to fly to Oshkosh and spending the week at the EAA AirVenture fly-in? If you think you may want to go, you should call the University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh NOW for a room reservation; phone number is 920-424-3226. With some luck you may still be able to get one. If this doesn’t work, they usually will help in making other arrangements.
For those that are planning on flying to Oshkosh, I received a notice the FAA has just released the EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2018 NOTAM, featuring arrival and departure procedures for EAA’s 66th annual fly-in convention July 23-29 at Wittman Regional Airport. The NOTAM, which is in effect from 6 a.m. CDT on Friday, July 20, until noon CDT on July 30, outlines procedures for the many types of aircraft that fly to Oshkosh for the event, as well as aircraft that land at nearby airports. While the overall procedure is generally similar to past years, there are a number of changes compared to the 2017 version. Therefore, it’s essential that pilots flying in thoroughly read the 2018 NOTAM for the most updated information. For example, some southern Wisconsin VOR’s have been decommissioned and some ATC frequencies have changed.
If you want to see almost everything there, you will need the entire week, believe me. It seems like every year there is an airplane on display that I thought had disappeared from the face of the earth long ago. Perhaps we may even cross paths, as I will be there for the entire week because this is my traditional “summer vacation.” Even though there are thousands of people, here’s hoping I see some of you!
Aircraft owners may soon receive, if you have not already, an invitation to take the FAA's confidential Annual General Aviation and Part 135 Activity Survey, which becomes the source of valuable statistical information about the GA fleet. It only takes a few minutes to complete and helps shape aviation policy. The survey should arrive by either mail or e-mail. However it arrives, please complete it and send it in so an accurate picture of general aviation activity can be achieved.
The FAA has recently revised the Advisory Circular, “Non-Towered Airport Flight Operations, Advisory Circular No: 90-66B.” The Advisory Circular this is replacing was 25 years old, and needed to be updated. This new Advisory Circular is definitely worth reading and noting new preferred methods for traffic pattern entry. View the PDF here.
I realize that not many of our members are hot air balloon pilots, but this flight activity has come under some unwanted scrutiny recently because of the number of fatal accidents involving a relatively large number of passengers. Unlike airplane pilots, hot air balloon pilots have not been required to have medical certificates. Because of a fairly recent balloon accident with numerous fatalities, legislation is being proposed to require hot air balloon pilots to undergo medical screening.
In case you haven’t heard, the Copperstate Fly In will not be held at Falcon Field this fall. Instead it will happen in conjunction with the Buckeye Air Fair to be held on February 8th-10th, 2019, at the Buckeye Municipal Airport, and it’s anticipated they will have an air show with the event. More info on copperstate.org and newsletter here.
Falcon Field (FFZ) has replaced their runway and taxiway lights with LED lights and are upgrading the associated wiring. Between now and the end of June, either the north or south runway may be closed one at a time to accomplish the task, and the work is in progress only at night to minimize the impact on flight operations. Normal daylight operations will not be impacted by the project. Check FFZ NOTAMS for hours of runway closures.
Deer Valley Airport (DVT) has run up area construction projects underway, so check DVT NOTAMS and use caution.
In other words, before taking off, always be sure to check for NOTAMS at your destination airport so you don’t have an unexpected surprise awaiting you. Many of the airports around the state have significant construction projects under way. Always fly informed.
GPS interference testing is still continuing, and there were six last minute notices received from the FAA in this last reporting period. Some of these tests could have very likely impacted flight operations in Arizona. Again, if you encounter an unexplained interruption in GPS navigation lasting several minutes, inform ATC with the time, date, and location of signal loss.
Flight safety the last reporting period has been terrible with the NTSB reporting eleven accidents occurring in Arizona. Unfortunately, only one of these eleven accident notices included a preliminary report describing the accident. This accident was a restored Grumman TBM Torpedo Bomber that went down near Fort Apache. There is much we can learn from this accident that we can apply to our own safety and survivability. See my Accident Summary for the details.
As you are aware, APA is working with several airports around the state to update their Airport Master Plans. Currently the APA is assisting Falcon Field (FFZ), Superior Municipal Airport (E81), Sedona Airport (SEZ), Flagstaff (FLG), and Grand Canyon Airport (GCN) airports in their Master Plan update process, providing the pilot and aircraft owner’s perspective.
THINGS TO DO - PLACES TO GO FOR BREAKFAST:
- The fly in breakfast at Coolidge Municipal Airport (P08), which was on the first Saturday of the month is on hold for the summer and will restart in October.
- The Falcon Field EAA Warbirds Squadron fly in breakfast and car show which was on the third Saturday of the month is on summer hold and will resume in October.
- Benson (E95) fly in breakfast at Southwest Aviation is on hold until July. (There are special fuel prices for breakfast attendees.)
- Grapevine Airstrip (88AZ) next to Roosevelt Lake is open to fly to, but the BBQ lunch and hosted weekend each month is also on summer hold until September. (Portable toilet not available until September.)
- 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 air conditioned 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 $8 and kids $5.
- At Tucson’s Ryan Field Airport, Richie’s Cafe is serving breakfast and lunch daily. The hours are 6:00 am to 2:00 pm
I hope everyone has been able to get some safe flying time in last month. As for me, like many of you, my flying seems to get limited to the weekends, and we sure have been encountering a lot of windy weekends lately. Anyway, it seems like I’ve gained a lot of crosswind landing experience lately. Flying a light taildragger, some of that experience has been a bit challenging and exciting at times, but what the heck, it’s all been fun, exciting or not. However, from a safety standpoint, we have been encountering a lot of accidents lately, and some of them were pretty bad accidents. Please make certain your aircraft is in good operating condition and fly safely!
First off, I want to thank those that made the annual APA meeting in May. It was good to reconnect with some of you once again. Because there were no nominations put forth, the directors whose terms were expiring consented to running for office again and were reelected. The directors will be meeting in June to elect the officers for 2016-17, and the president elect will start the appointment of chairpersons for the various standing committees.
As time grows shorter for when we will be required to have ADS-B out equipment installed in our airplanes, there continues to be new information released regarding both programs and equipment. It’s pretty apparent there won’t be any slippage in the mandated implementation date, but there continues to be new information on equipment and compliance. Initially, there were a lot of questions on required equipment and how each installation would have to be accomplished, inspected, and certified. In what I thought was a major breakthrough by the FAA in making implementation much easier and cheaper for us, the FAA announced a new policy that simplifies ADS-B Out installations.
The FAA released a policy memo (AFS-360-2016-03-02) on March 2 that updates guidance on installation of ADS-B out systems, essentially allowing avionics shops to install ADS-B equipment on aircraft not covered by a supplemental type certificate (STC) and without having to obtain a new STC. The installer does have to obtain permission from the original STC holder. Earlier in the ADS-B upgrade process, the FAA was requiring that each aircraft model have its own STC. The FAA was concerned and wanted to ensure, as new equipment hit the market, that it worked correctly, so the original policy stated that it could only be installed via STC. They believed this would maintain a high level of their involvement and ensure that aircraft entering airspace (where ADS-B is required) are operating as intended and not creating chaos.
Now the FAA has issued the new policy, and it basically states, if the installation is a major alteration, it will still need field approval. This may be the case where a new antenna needs to be installed on a pressurized airplane, for example. A simple ADS-B out installation in a non-pressurized airplane will be a minor alteration and can be signed off by an A&P mechanic holding an Inspection Authorization, or by a Part 145 repair station, and doesn’t require direct FAA involvement. Basically, it’s a simple radio installation. With this change, the much feared bottleneck of getting last minute certified installations accomplished has been averted, and with a significant savings for many of us. (You can read the entire FAA March 2 Memo AFS-360-2016-03-02 here…)
The FAA is in the process of publishing a list of perhaps over 300 VORs they plan to decommission across the country. They will evaluate the impact of each VOR on approaches, departures, enroute, etc, and hopefully, they will also look to local users for comment. As soon as we obtain a list of those VORs on the decommissioning list that are in Arizona, we will advise you and the APA will be submitting the appropriate commentary to the FAA.
In a move to ensure that the Third-Class Medical Reform gets through the U.S. legislature, I noticed that it got attached to a defense funding bill that passed through the Senate’s Armed Services Committee. Passing with a 23-3 in favor vote, the bill, which would authorize $602 billion for the Department of Defense and other national security programs, also includes the pilot medical changes in the Pilot’s Bill of Rights 2. This action is in addition to the same thing that is attached to the FAA funding bill presently in process. I guess we now have to wait and see what comes out of the House of Representatives and finally goes to the President.
Two new instrument procedures will be published for Cottonwood Airport (P52) on May 26: RNAV (GPS) Runway 32, and MINGY One Departure (RNAV).
One of the changes on the Phoenix Sectional and TAC charts on May 28 will be the deletion of several abandoned airports. What the identifiers were or their locations was not given. Better check to see that your favorite airport is not one of them.
If you fly into Ak Chin Regional Airport (A39), be advised they now have an AWOS in service on 126.90.
Significant construction is going on at Gateway Airport (IWA) and the ILS will be down from time to time. If you are doing instrument training, be sure to check NOTAMS before taking off to check on availability.
Be aware, there is a significant amount of airport construction activity going on many of the airports in the Phoenix and Tucson areas, and also around the state. Be sure to check for NOTAMs before taking off for another airport so you don’t encounter a nasty surprise when you get there.
The June accident reporting period was certainly not very good. During this reporting period there were six accidents reported with two of them being fatal, involving three fatalities. Three of the accidents reported this period were devoid of information and it would be safe to assume they were not serious from a personal injury standpoint. See my June accident summary for details, and please make certain the airplane you are flying is airworthy and fly carefully. We don’t want to continue at this present rate.
APA is still working with various airports around the state, providing the pilot and aircraft owner perspective in the process of updating their Airport Master Plans. An update of the Sedona Airport (SED) 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) on the first Saturday of the month has stopped and will restart the first Saturday in October.
The second Saturday of the month, Ryan Field (RYN) fly in breakfast is available at the restaurant next door.
The Falcon Field EAA Warbirds Squadron fly in breakfast and car show on the third Saturday has ceased operation for the summer and will restart in October.
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.)
The monthly fly in to Grapevine Airstrip, next to Roosevelt Lake, will stop for the summer, but will resume on the third Saturday of 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 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.
Check with the APA Getaway Flights program and
the online calendar for fun weekend places to fly.
thru this restricted area at any time. The restricted area isn’t very large, and I don’t think the UAV student pilots using the area are any better than our student pilots, and I would consider giving the area a wide berth. Be aware, and avoid a serious problem.
Be aware, there is going to be a significant amount of airport construction activity still going on in the Phoenix and Tucson areas, and around the state. Be sure to check for NOTAMs before taking off for another airport so you don’t encounter a nasty surprise when you get there. Also, be sure to add TFRs to your preflight checklist.
The past aviation accident reporting period was relatively good with only one accident being reported by the NTSB. The bad news, however, was that it did involve four serious injuries. Perhaps the efforts put forth by the Wings Safety Teams with all the safety briefings has begun to pay off. Based on the low accident/injury rate in 2015, I hope we can get the pilots in Arizona to continue this trend and have a safe flying year in 2016. For more details go to my February Aviation Accident Summary report. By next month, enough of the 2015 NTSB accident information should be available to permit preparation of an accurate year end summary and comparison to previous years.
APA is still working with various airports around the state, providing the pilot and aircraft owner perspective in the process of updating their Airport Master Plans. An update of the Sedona Airport (SED), Deer Valley Airport (DVT), and Grand Canyon Airport (GCN) master plans are currently in process.
THINGS TO DO - PLACES TO GO FOR BREAKFAST:
·The firstSaturdayof the month fly in breakfast is at Coolidge Municipal Airport (P08).
·The secondSaturdayof the month, Ryan Field (RYN) fly in buffet breakfast should have restarted. However, breakfast is available at the restaurant next door.
·The Falcon Field EAA Warbirds Squadron fly in breakfast and car show is on the thirdSaturday.
·The thirdSaturdayof the month there is a fly in breakfast at Benson (E95) at Southwest Aviation. (There are special fuel prices for breakfast attendees.)
·Also on the third Saturday, around noon, a donation lunch is served by the APA at the USFS Grapevine Airstrip over at Roosevelt Lake.
·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 2:00pmMondaythruSaturday. 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.
Check with the
for fun weekend places to fly.