By Jim Timm JimTimm

February 2018 

 

I hope all of you have been able to start the new year right by getting in some time aviating around. The weather has been great, and there are a lot of places for us to fly out for that proverbial $100 Breakfast or Hamburger Lunch. Let’s get out and do it, but do it safely!!  Our calendar is full of fly in events both in the front country and the backcountry. See you there.

exdir 2018 02 basicmed pilot physical

The date May 1, 2017 may not be important to many people, but for more than 25,000 pilots it is a very significant date, as it marked the implementation of BasicMed, the biggest shift in aeromedical certification for general aviation pilots since the 1960’s. In its nine months of existence, BasicMed has in fact stimulated an interest in aeromedical reform around the globe. Perhaps the most noteworthy accomplishment is that of giving thousands of pilots a chance to fly again and simplify aeromedical certification. The new regulations permit pilots to fly aircraft up to 6,000 lbs., fly up to 250 KTS indicated air speed with five passengers, day or night in VFR or IFR conditions, and at altitudes up to 18,000 feet. The BasicMed pilot must take an online aeromedical course every two years and visit a state licensed physician for a physical exam every four years. The aircraft limitations cover most general aviation airplanes that we fly, and the medical requirements are not difficult to comply with. It was a tough fight to get BasicMed implemented, but it certainly was worth it.

It seems that very little has been said about FAA Administrator Michael’s Huerta’s term of office ending on January 6, 2018. President Trump has not yet named his replacement, and until that happens, Deputy Administrator Daniel Elwell will be taking his place. Mr. Elwell was previously a senior official at Airlines for America, an airline lobbying group, and he also ran his own aviation consulting firm, Elwell and Associates, in Washington. He served in the U.S. Air Force and the Air Force Reserve, including combat service during Operation Desert Storm, and he flew for American Airlines for 16 years. Given this background experience, I hope he will also fully understand the concerns of the general aviation segment of the aviation community and provide a seamless transition in continuing the mission of the FAA. 

 

MISCELLANEOUS ITEMS

exdir 2018 02 casa grande sky drive parachute drop zone

Casa Grande Municipal Airport (CGZ) recently received a notification from the FAA that, because they have received federal funding, they will need to come into compliance with their FAA Grant Assurances by permitting Sky Dive operations on CGZ. We realize this decision was based only the letter of the law, and not on the realities of the situation at hand. With the significant amount of air traffic, including corporate jets, and the intense amount of instrument training occurring at CGZ, to permit a parachute drop zone on the airport property would not be possible without presenting very serious safety problems. The issue is being discussed with legal counsel to determine a viable course of action, and assistance from aviation groups in the near future may be solicited when that suitable course of action is determined. APA is closely monitoring the situation and will keep you informed.

Boeing is still conducting heavy lift test operations in the area around Gateway Airport (IWA) with H-47 Chinook helicopters. Be alert and use caution.

Falcon Field (FFZ) is in the process of replacing their runway and taxiway lights with LEDs and there will be runway and taxiway closures to accomplish the task. Check NOTAMS for closures; one of the runways will always remain open.

On Saturday, March 24, 2018, Falcon Field will be having an open house, and it’s anticipated that they may possibly have an aerobatic display. Be sure to put it on your calendar. 

Chandler Municipal Airport (CHD) will be having an open house on Saturday, February 10, 2018 from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. Lunch will also be available on the field from food trucks. It’s being planned as a family event.

Deer Valley Airport (DVT) has new run up area construction project going on. So watch for 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. With the cooler winter weather, many of the airports around the state have construction projects under way, or possibly an open house. So always fly informed.

exdir 2018 02 deer valley airport

I can’t believe it, but this past reporting period we received five notices of GPS interference testing that was going to be occurring at Barstow, CA; Yuma, AZ; and White Sands, NM; all within a few days of receipt of the notice. The White Sands testing however will be occurring January 27 thru February 24 from 0700Z to 1030Z and could impact eastern Arizona. Once again, if at any time you encounter 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 the signal loss, and also please advise APA with the same information.

Flight safety in the last reporting period has been excellent with the NTSB reporting only one accident in Arizona. The positive side of it was that the accident reported was minor in nature and resulted in either minor or no injuries. See my February Aviation Accident Summary for details and a 2017 year end summary.

APA is still 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 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. $8 per person donation encouraged.
  • 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. 

 

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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