AFTW – Apr 11, 2012
Terry Brandt (DPEAG & facilitator), Matt Miller (Falcon Exec & notes),
Dominic Gallo & Jacob Hansen (FAA), June Bonesteel (DPEAG & FIRC’s), Bryan Becker & Cameron Schmidt (UND), Matthias Eichenseer (GAF), Gil Monti (ATCA), John Olshock (TransPac); Jeff Panhans (Allegiant) Stacy Howard (ASAG), David Kitts (Phoenix Heli)
A) Practice Areas: Position reporting more often will reduce NMAC’s (Near Mid-Air Collisions) – several each month; NW & SE areas are hottest concerns. There seems to be general satisfaction over number/ type of sector names to be used. Flight schools want to know if there is a concern that can be handled directly and simply.
Larger schools seem to have an easier time coordinating practice area usage than the numerous smaller schools – any comments and participation would be welcome.
B) Allegiant reports continued good news in reducing NMAC’s in the SE Practice Area – Thanks to everyone who has done their part to de-conflict the arrival and departure paths. Ben had circulated a first draft of how the AFTW might re-draw sectors and grayed-out areas in the SE Area. With VFR charts set to roll over next month, we are looking for comments & suggestions to finalize the next version of the Practice Area diagram.
C) Gil Monti of ATCA renewed the invitation for everyone in the South & Southwest valley to view the separate diagram of that area, posted on AFTW, and self-announce on their Air-to-Air frequencies.
2. Airport ops/ flying
A) Some increase in concerns with some tower ops/ differences in procedures (contract vs. FAA towers), errors and miscommunication. FAASTeam is trying to increase awareness and solutions. Again, airports where a few schools are the bulk of the activity seem to have an easier time talking through issues with FAA facility managers. Tower tours and conversations on the ground are the best way to smooth out any concerns.
B) Please encourage CFI’s to brief with students on published traffic patterns at uncontrolled airports – including where a tower is closed for the evening. East valley airports, including FFZ have seen a number of aircraft flying on the wrong side of the airport, over noise-sensitive areas. This is probably a habit formed from day flights where ATC assigned a pattern on that side. As we all know, noise complaints eventually follow the N-number to the source.
C) Spring is airport fly-in season. Several events are scheduled in the next several weeks. Please spread awareness to instructors & students to watch for air traffic, as well as crowds on ramps and restrictions to taxi routes. Forward info about an event you know of to Ben Winton @ AFTW for circulation.
****There will be a TFR at TUS/ Davis Monthan for an airshow this weekend.
D) Hazards continue to be associated with unpublished practice IFR approaches and nav training conflicting with published or standard procedures. AFTW has been discouraging use of these due to increased risk of NMAC’s.
E) The suggestion was made to collect and load onto AFTW website any airport publications or images of info cards of traffic patterns, noise abatement, special routes such as helicopter patterns, etc.
F) PAUG & FAA are trying to get a better feel for anyone who is denied VFR service through Class B airspace. They would like to know date, time, freq.
of any denial or non-response for clearance, so that they can catalog causes why the controller couldn’t or didn’t give the service. The goal is to have only valid safety/ traffic reasons for not giving service. Perhaps AFTW site can have a reporting form for these situations.
G) There seems to be a spike in pilot deviation reports, beyond any perceived differences in internal ATC reporting policies. FAA is trying to differentiate root causes.
3. Publication changes
A) A/FD changes and notes about traffic such as training must be vetted through the airport manager/ operator, but it can be a good way of fostering communication and awareness for pilots who may not be familiar with local traffic. This also helps correct errors or poor wording. Estrella CTAF should be 122.9 but is published as 122.95.
Next Meeting: 9:30am, June 13th @ FSDO