Multicom Madness
  From The South Ramp --Hank Bruckner
Article from the April 2002 edition of the GACH newsletter 

The threat of an ugly front closing out Honolulu likely dissuaded some from making it to the annual Kalaupapa Fly In, but five, possibly six aircraft did come.  This is one of our simpler fly-ins; basically, one goes to enjoy one of the most beautiful places within the Hawaiian Islands and the company of whoever shows up (including the cats).   Howard Word brought his pristine Luscombe; Addie and Jim came in a 152; Bill Mertens flew his Comanche in from Maui; Eliot Merk in his Mooney represented the Big Island, and we took Chris Ferrara’s Saratoga.   Kalaupapa is its own reward; just being there is enough. Hope more of you go to our next one—the annual trek to Heavenly Hana in June, where you also have the opportunity to win trophies.   

Tweet Coleman Scholarship
 The scholarship winners for the American University of Women "Tweet Coleman Aviation Scholarship” for 2001 are:

Motootua "Tua" Fualautoalasi 
Lei Riela-Enoka
Typhoney Taylor 
Tiffany Vander Linden-Dozier 
(I’m glad I’m typing these names and don’t have to pronounce them. I guess “Smith” is passé…)
$5,500.00 was awarded for 2001.
Congratulations to the winners!
Applications for the 2002 scholarship will be available Oct. 15, 2002. 

Advisory Frequencies, Revisited
We are a month into the test period of the new VFR island-specific frequencies, and the results are decidedly mixed.  All the helicopter folk I’ve talked to think this is the greatest thing since Sikorsky came up with the collective; however, some fixed-wing pilots aren’t quite as enthusiastic.  Most studies seem to show that the greatest risk of a midair collision is in the vicinity of an airport.   Hawai'i has several uncontrolled airports along or near various shorelines that all are on the 122.9 multicom advisory frequency (AIM 4-1-11). The AIM recommends that all aircraft use the appropriate frequency when within ten miles of a given airport (AIM 4-1-9).  The idea, of course, is to provide sufficient situational awareness among aircraft operators to prevent swapping paint.  Other than people stepping on each other’s transmissions, the system has worked fairly well.  Now that we have a separate VHF frequency for any given island for VFR position reporting, distinct from the multicom frequency, we have a situation wherein aircraft in the vicinity of an uncontrolled airport may be on different frequencies from each other. 

I fly into Kalaupapa a lot (29 times in March).   On a daily basis I will hear aircraft announce their passage over/near Kalaupapa on 121.95, the Moloka'i common traffic advisory frequency, which won’t do any good to the guy taking off or landing there, on 122.9.  On at least five occasions, aircraft landing there were using 121.95, instead of 122.9. Big sky isn’t so big when traffic converges on a runway.  Kalaupapa has become particularly dangerous because west-bound traffic will likely also be talking to Moloka'i Tower for the transition somewhere near the airport, and now have an excellent chance that the other frequency being monitored will be the “wrong” one.   Moreover, aircraft departing Kalaupapa Airport are often headed “topside” to Moloka'i, and will be climbing through a transition altitude to clear the cliffs. Likely, they will also be on a different frequency from someone in the vicinity.  Kalaupapa is actually a fairly busy airport, served by several Part 135 operators as well as a great place to do a touch-an-go or so for training flights.  It is now considerably less safe than it used to be.  Hana, and to a lesser extent, Upolu airports also have nearby tour and transition operations on different frequencies than the airport multicom and are similarly afflicted.    

Is there a fix?  Other than going back to the old way of everyone on 122.9, which was definitely overcrowded, the short answer is no, not likely.  If you have two radios, monitor both frequencies when near an uncontrolled field, but be sure to use 122.9.   If you’ve only got one radio—well, keep your eyes open.

Free Advice
“Any traffic, please advise.”  How many times have you heard that, or used it, for that matter?  It is perhaps one of the most superfluous, needless wastes of breath and airtime extant.   Is it not sufficient to announce your position and intention without soliciting any advice?  If I’m departing an uncontrolled field and announce my intention to take the active or back-taxi down the runway, if you were in the vicinity of that field, you’d probably tell me your position and intention (assuming we were on the same frequency, of course.  If we weren’t, my asking for advice would fall on deaf ears).  Short and succinct is good.  Extraneous is not.  

State/GA Follow-Up Meeting
April 11th is the follow-up meeting with the State DoT at the Interisland Terminal, 7th Floor, at 1830 (six-thirty for you civilians).  We had a lot of Post-Its on the board at the last one, and it will be interesting to see which issues have actually been addressed.  Many of your gripes involved the uneven application of security measures at different state airports that do little to enhance security but constitute a major annoyance or impediment to daily operations. Those really aren’t so much security issues as they are management ones, and hopefully, will be addressed.

Other concerns were the process for obtaining space at Kalaeloa (or any state airport, for that matter) clouded, no doubt by the leasing of Hangar 110 to a construction firm to build modular housing.  A bigger, but related issue is that of T-Hangar construction/availability at all state airports.  The state has decided that there is insufficient return on investment to warrant giving any real priority to hangar construction, and so airplanes continue to sit out in the weather, unprotected.  The fact that you can’t legally wash your airplane to rid it of salt and other corrosives doesn’t help much either.  

There’s a plethora of issues and concerns that were raised, and, I suspect some new ones to consider. It promises to be an entertaining evening, to say the least.  Y’all come, hear?

Erik Lindbergh, grandson of Charles A., who flew the Atlantic solo for the first time 75 years ago next month, is going to recreate the flight, although this time in a Lancair Columbia 300.  About the only thing the Columbia shares with granddaddy’s Ryan is the fact that it is motivated by a single engine.  That, and they are both of composite construction (that’s right—wood is the original composite).  While both aircraft represent the state of the art, that art has advanced significantly since 1927.  The Columbia is faster, more comfortable, quieter, with much better visibility, and has superb instrumentation and navigation.  I suspect, too, that the Columbia’s engine is likely more reliable, though Charles’ engine didn’t  as much as hiccup (other than when he let a tank run dry) in 33 hours.  The commemorative flight is a fitting tribute to a great aviator, made more so by the fact that Erik is family.  Blue skies.

Be careful out there