Looking Both Ways 

Howard Deevers 



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Do you make New Year Resolutions? Almost all of us do, but many of us fail to follow through. The usual resolutions, such as losing a few pounds, eating healthier, exercising more, earning a new rating, or attending more safety seminars, may not materialize, even though we have the best of intentions. But the truth is, a week after the New Year, it is back to work as usual. We quickly fall back into our normal routine and those “best of intentions” get put on the shelf. Well, maybe until next year.

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2018 means that we have just 2 years left before the ADS-B mandate, meaning that after January 1, 2020, we must be equipped with ADS-B (out) in order to fly in Class A, B, or C airspace, above 10,000 feet, or any IFR flight. A lot of aviators have been waiting for the prices to come down before equipping their airplanes with the required ADS-B. A couple of new products came on the market last year that hold some promise that we might get this done for just under $2000. If you haven’t made a decision on ADS-B yet, now is the time to start shopping. We have been talking about this for 10 years. The next 2 years will go by quickly.

So much for looking ahead, now let’s take a look back at last year.

The Arizona aviation safety record looks like it could use some improvement. We had too many fatal accidents in Arizona in 2017. Let’s hope we do better in 2018.

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We made it through the year without user fees being imposed, but the threat of ATC Privatizing took up a lot of our time, and there’s more to come. General Aviation will have a tough fight ahead on this issue.

A little history: The Boeing 747 was born in the late 1960’s. First flight was in 1969, and it went into service in 1970 with Pan Am as the first customer. The era of “Jumbo Jets” was born. Now, the last 747 used for passenger service in the US was retired. Delta flew their last flight from Seoul South Korea to Detroit, MI, just before Christmas 2017. The Delta 747’s are in storage at Marana Aerospace Solutions, at Pinal Airpark (KMZJ), just northwest of Tucson. The US airlines have replaced the 747 with more fuel efficient 777 or 787 aircraft that will carry about the same load of passengers and can fly even farther.

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The Boeing 747 will still be in use with some other non-US airlines, so we will see them at some international airports, and they will be used for cargo here in the US. The huge Air Force One 747’s will be around for quite a while, also.

As a tribute to the iconic jumbo jet, many crew members and others that worked on the airplane signed their names or made memorials to the plane on the cowling of the engines, and the landing gear doors.

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Other wide body passenger planes have come and gone, the DC-10 and the L-1011. There was little fanfare for their departures from service. Some are still in use for cargo service. As big as they were, they could not out-class the 747. To quote General McArthur, “Old soldiers never die, they just fade away.” So the 747 will join the memories of the 707 and the 727, and just fade away.

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Already 2018 appears to be an activity packed year, with many seminars already announced, or fly in activities for breakfast, lunch or just for fun. Check the ARIZONA PILOTS ASSOCIATION website for locations of seminars and fly in activities, and news about the future of General Aviation. And, don’t forget to “bring your wingman.”

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