By Jim Timm JimTimm

January 2018 

 

I hope everyone had a happy and safe holiday season, Santa was good to you, and all your Christmas surprises were good ones. The early Saturday morning breakfast flights are a bit cool, and the aircraft performance has really been impressive compared to last summer. I really wish the pilots’ performance could improve by the same amount, also. Unfortunately, the safety report numbers don’t seem to reflect that happening. But anyway, let’s take advantage of the great flying weather, and treat ourselves and go flying, but do it safely!

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As a word of caution, apparently it’s becoming important that when you are out aviating nowadays, you are going to have to be extra careful of where you are, and what altitude you are flying. It appears that the anti-noise, the animal refuge watchers, and probably the anti-airplane people in general, have discovered the new ADS-B technology and are taking advantage of it. Using inexpensive ADS-B in receivers and iPad or Android apps, they are becoming more aggressive in issuing complaints based on data that is available in the public domain. For sometime now many of the flight schools have received very specific airplane noise complaints, and recently we have become aware of some individuals also receiving these letters of complaint, giving N numbers and altitudes. In some cases they are utilizing the services of an attorney to press their issue and attempt to intimidate. In discussing the problem with ADS-B manufacturers, apparently this has become a problem all over the country, not just us here in Arizona. The altitude information the complainants generally provide is expressed in 100 foot increments which would indicate it is information provided by your transponder which provides pressure altitude information in 100 ft. increments for ATC. If you encounter a complaint with an altitude in more precise increments than 100 ft., it would indicate they probably got a GPS altitude read out by some other means and it was not an ADS-B transponder return. I found it interesting to learn that this 100 foot altitude increment transmitted by your transponder can have a theoretical maximum possible error of +/- 175 ft. What it means is that it's very important that you fly with the nearest correct barometric pressure reading in your altimeter because your transponder could be saying you are lower than what you think you are based on what your altimeter is indicating. A problem also comes up in determining what is really being defined as a congested surface area requiring a higher altitude.

Good grief, we get a new bit of technology that we think is going to be making flying safer, and it turns around and bites us. Anyway, don’t fly any lower than necessary, know precisely where you are, and fly safe.

 

MISCELLANEOUS ITEMS

deer valley ariport 1

On the well-worn issue of privatization, the proposal to privatize ATC still hasn’t made it to the floor of the House, and as the new legislative session starts, the proponents will be trying to secure enough votes to ensure passage of the bill. The bill’s strongest supporter, Transportation Committee Chairman Shuster, announced that he will not seek re-election. Regardless, we must keep the pressure on and again contact our legislators in Washington and continue to tell them we are in opposition to ATC Privatization! Only our persistence is going to pay off in the end!

For the next several months, exercise caution at and around Gateway Airport (IWA), because Boeing will still be conducting heavy lift test operations in the area with H-47 Chinook helicopters.

During the month of January, Falcon Field (FFZ) will be replacing their runway and taxiway lights with LEDs, and there will be runway and taxiway closures to accomplish the task.

Also, on February 10, 2018, Falcon Field will be having an open house, and it’s anticipated that they will be having an aerobatic display. Be sure to put it on your calendar. 

About mid-January, Deer Valley Airport (DVT) will be starting new run-up area construction, so watch for NOTAMS and use caution.

roosevelt lake bridge 1

In other words, before taking off, always be sure to check for NOTAMS at your destination airport so you don’t have an unpleasant surprise awaiting you. With the cooler weather, a lot of the airports around the state have construction projects under way. Always fly informed and safely.

Flight safety in the last reporting period has not been very good, with the NTSB reporting six accidents in Arizona. The only positive side of it was that all the accidents reported were minor in nature, and the accidents resulted in either minor or no injuries. See my January Aviation Accident Summary for the accident details.

APA is working with various airports around the state, providing the pilot and aircraft owner’s perspective in the process of updating their Airport Master Plans. Adding to the list of airports that are updating their master plans, Mesa Falcon Field (FFZ) has just initiated their master plan update process. An update of the the Superior Municipal Airport (E81) master plan, Sedona Airport (SEZ), Flagstaff (FLG), and Grand Canyon Airport (GCN) master plans are also currently in process.

 

THINGS TO DO - PLACES TO GO FOR BREAKFAST:

  • The fly in breakfast at Coolidge Municipal Airport (P08), is on the first Saturday of the month.
  • The Falcon Field EAA Warbirds Squadron fly in breakfast and car show is on the third Saturday of the month. 
  • 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.)
  • Also on the third Saturday, around noon, a lunch is made available by APA at the USFS Grapevine Airstrip (88AZ) next to Roosevelt Lake.
  • On Saturday, January 13th, there will be an FAA Wings fly in Safety Seminar and Old Town Cottonwood tour; see the details in this newsletter.
  • 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 $8 and kids $5. 
  • The Tucson Airport Authority has completed the renovation of the restaurant at Ryan Field, and it’s now open under the name of Richie’s Cafe. The hours are 6:00 am to 2:00 pm doing breakfast and lunch daily. We will try to get this one added to the Saturday Morning Fly In breakfast list. 

 

Check with the APA Getaway Flights program and the online calendar for fun weekend places to fly.

 

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…)

 

MISCELLANEOUS ITEMS

 

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

APA Getaway Flights
program and online calendar

for fun weekend places to fly.

 

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