By Jim Timm
No kidding, it’s hot out, it’s bumpy, and often not a lot of fun flying this time of year. I guess I need to be a bit more philosophical about it and realize we are 180° out of phase with the northern part of the country, as far as comfortable flying seasons are concerned, and stop complaining. In any case, when you do go flying, be sure you take a bottle or two of water along and stay well hydrated. It will improve your concentration and overall performance. It’s also a good idea to have an appropriate supply of water in your emergency/survival kit this time of the year. Have fun and fly safe.
It’s that time of the year when the Arizona Pilots Association had its annual membership meeting in May for the membership at large to fill the three directors positions that came up for election. The directors that had their terms expiring permitted their names be considered for re-election. Because there were no further nominations from the membership present, the three candidates were re-elected to the board of directors for another three year term. Our by-laws then require that in the month of June we then elect, from this new board of directors, the APA officers to serve for the coming year. For the coming fiscal year the following officers were elected:
|Vice President||-||Tommy Thomason|
|Vice President||-||Mark Spencer|
We want to thank all the past officers that have worked tirelessly and exceptionally hard in the past year making great strides at keeping the APA the viable organization it is and making a lot of things happen. The list could fill the page, and they cannot be thanked enough for all their efforts.
We waged, and I thought we had won, a major battle convincing our legislators that the FAA funding bill should not contain provisions for the privatization of air traffic control (ATC). We thought we might have won, but the reality is that the Administration, apparently, is still in favor of ATC privatization. In spite of the fact that there is a large and diverse voice of opposition to the idea of privatizing our air traffic control system, including congressional leaders from both political parties, more than a hundred aviation organizations, hundreds of business leaders, hundreds of U.S. mayors, consumer and agricultural groups, conservative think tanks, and the majority of Americans. This concept has been fully considered in the U.S. Congress and rejected, despite years of repeated attempts. The Administration needs to support a long-term FAA funding bill, like those passed by the House of Representatives and now pending in the Senate. These bills will take practical and significant steps to address the many critical issues like aviation safety, modernization, aircraft certification and regulatory reform. It’s disappointing that the Administration continues to reintroduce a failed proposal. Instead, it should put its support behind the FAA legislation pending in Congress that will advance the aviation industry, including general aviation. We need to continue requesting our legislators support and we need to do whatever we can to get the administration to abandon the failed idea to privatize the FAA’s air traffic control services.
As of June 30, any aircraft in Mexico that does not have a 406 ELT will be grounded. Mexico states that they have given the flying community over 15 years of extensions to allow time for all to add the required ELT and June 30, 2018, is the final deadline. There will be no more extensions. If you are planning a trip to Mexico, make sure your ELT is in compliance. If it is not, you’ll most likely have complications that you don’t even want to contemplate.
Be Aware: If you are considering switching to BasicMed instead of renewing your FAA medical certificate, and may want to fly into Mexico, BasicMed is currently valid only in the United States and the Bahamas. To fly in Mexico or Canada, you must have a valid third class or better FAA medical certificate.
Falcon Field (FFZ) is in the process of upgrading a significant amount of the airfield electrical system, and there may be taxiway detours. Be alert, and check FFZ NOTAMS.
Deer Valley Airport (DVT) has run up area construction projects in process, 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 in progress. Always fly informed.
GPS interference testing is still happening, and there were three last minute notices received from the FAA in the last reporting period. Some of these tests could have 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 has significantly improved the last reporting period with the NTSB only reporting five accidents occurring in Arizona. Fortunately, none of them involved pilot/passenger fatalities; however, as for the airplanes, it was fatal for one of them as it was totaled. See my July 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, APA is assisting Falcon Field (FFZ), Superior Municipal Airport (E81), Sedona Airport (SEZ), Flagstaff (FLG), and Grand Canyon Airport (GCN) 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.
- 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.)
- The Grapevine Airstrip (88AZ) next to Roosevelt Lake is open; however, the BBQ lunch hosted by APA on the third 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-cooled 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.