|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
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.
“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.
Be careful out there