EAA Chapter 25

A Community of Aviation Enthusiasts in the Twin Cities

Cleared for Takeoff – February 2006

Filed under: Cleared for Takeoff — admin at 6:46 pm on Saturday, February 11, 2006

by Jon Cumpton, Chapter 25 President

from On Final February 2006

Jon Cumpton - EAA Chapter 25 PresidentI remember my mother telling me two things to remember for good health. She told me not to ride motorcycles, and to take good care of my teeth. At our meeting last month, Dr. Phil Sidell told us if you want to be healthy enough to fly, don’t smoke and don’t get overweight. (He also told me I talked too much).It’s nice to only have to remember two things to be successful. The other day I was flying over to St. Paul Downtown, and I was a little edgy because I hadn’t done it in a while and hadn’t talked to anyone in a tower for a while. But I just had to remember to report “abeam 3Mâ€? and that I was number two for landing. Now the controller assumed I knew where the heck 3M was, but I’m sure they are willing to tell tourists who don’t know to “report three milesâ€?. As in, “Excuse me sir, but what does 3M look like?”

One nice thing about recreational flying is that you frequently have some time to think about things before doing something or talking to someone on the radio. And if you’re smart, you think about a whole lot of things before you leave the ground. Take flying toward a city with Class B Airspace like Minneapolis. You have to think about where your destination is under the Class B. And at a place like STP you have to know that the B airspace comes right down to the ground about 2 miles from that airport. You also want know about TFRs, and NOTAMs at your destination. I’m already up to four things. I’m thinking about turning the radio off and just flying to Stanton.

Now just think about the folks who fly VFR around Washington D.C. Not only do you have the Class B to worry about, but you’ve got the ADIZ and the FRZ. Some recent examples have shown that a VFR pilot can get into trouble there even when he is following all the rules. Of course, we’ve also heard about a well publicized flight where they didn’t follow the rules. Recreational flying won’t get any simpler, but I hope all you pilots out there express yourselves to the officials in charge when something is proposed that doesn’t make sense. Like making an ADIZ permanent when there are obvious flaws in the arrangement.

Those of you who are instrument pilots know that there are a lot of things to keep track of when you are flying an approach. One helpful thing my instructor suggested was to think about the next two things I had to do on the approach – not all 18 things I had to do before I landed. This helps greatly, I think.

At any rate, a change in the Minneapolis Class B is coming this month, and future changes are inevitable. This is one of the reasons why it is refreshing to meet an FAA controller who is also a pilot, and get to discuss with him (on the ground) matters of flying under Air Traffic Control. We are fortunate this month to have Mark Schreier as our speaker again. Mark is going to talk to us about the new Minneapolis Class B rules. This session will also count as credit in the FAA Wings Program if you are involved. Meanwhile, I will keep busy planning the next two Chapter meetings. Any more than that, and I start to get confused.

Jon

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