Back into orbit, state planning, Honolulu TFR, and more
  From The South Ramp --Hank Bruckner
Article from the April 2003 edition of the GACH newsletter 

Back Up
    Dr. Ed Lu was supposed to go up to the International Space Station (ISS) on the first of March of this year, to spend some five months on board.  Those plans changed, of course, after the Columbia disaster.  Ed will be launching, however, on a Soyuz on the 26th of April, along with cosmonaut Colonel Yuri Malenchenko on Expedition 7.  Ed and Yuri have flown before, on STS-106, and they both performed an extended EVA.  They’ll now get to spend several months together.  As Ed put it, “I got to build it; now I get to live in it.”
    Ed is studying hard, since he will be the second crewmember of a two-person crew on Soyuz, and will need to qualify as Flight Engineer.  Ed will be the first American to qualify as Flight Engineer on a Russian Soyuz, which is quite an honor and challenge. He should be able to log second-in-command time. Now, that would look good in a logbook! Let’s see…C-172, PA-34, Pitts S-2A, CAP-10B, RV-4, T-38, Soyuz.   
    This is Ed’s third, and longest, trip to space.  His first, STS-84, docked with the MIR in May of 1997, and lasted a little over nine days.   His next flight, STS-106, launched in September 2000, and lasted for almost 12 days.  With all that’s going on here on Earth, it is comforting to know that GACH-member and pilot Ed will be circling above, floating free, doing some serious science, and furthering the human cause. 
Ed will be emailing us from space, and we will set up some sort of interactive media event while he’s in orbit.    Godspeed, Ed.  We’ll be thinking of you.

 
Meanwhile, On Earth
    A sparsely-attended GA Forum was held last month, wherein the State and those present reviewed the status of issues and concerns that had been raised at prior meetings.  Some progress has been made, but much more remains to be done.  Progress has been glacial, reflecting political and fiscal constraints.  Hopefully the new leadership will be able to pick up the pace a bit, though I wouldn’t bet on seeing a lot of money spent on GA facilities for a while. Several of the issues, however, really have been management items, rather than fiscal, and should be workable even in a world of very limited funds.
     Davis Yogi, the new Airports Administrator, indicated a willingness to push for projects at several airports, and noted that he has an “open door” policy and will answer queries within 24-48 hours.  He also indicated he would personally follow up on some of the outstanding issues.  Maybe we’ll resolve some long-standing irritants soon.
     The state hasn’t yet buried the idea of privatization of some airfields, and they really need to. It’s a bad idea, bad policy, and won’t result in any worthwhile savings. This is an issue we will continue to fight strongly and loudly. 
     The DoT will be sending out minutes of the meeting to the aviation community.  The next Forum is scheduled for June 26th, from 6:30 – 9:00 pm at the Interisland Terminal, 7th Floor conference room.

HNL Master Plan
    The state is in the process of updating the HNL Master Plan.  It’s supposed to be done every five years and the last one was done in 1994 or so.  The Master Plan process looks out to 20 years, which increasingly is hard to do.  Traffic counts are down considerably, both in terms of flight operations and passenger counts.  Operations have decreased from a high of about 400,000 in 1992 to a 2002 total of about 325,000.  Interestingly, most of the decline has been with the air carriers—no surprise.  GA has seen a decline as well into 2002, though not as steep.  The only sector that showed a recent increase was in Air Taxi operations—likely reflecting the decline in Interisland Total passenger count declined from a high of almost 25 million in 1996 to under 20 million in 2002.
    Of the almost $79 million in current projects at HNL, some $36 million are security related, and another $32+ million involve intra-terminal transport—i.e. the Wiki-wiki bus, etc.  Expect some things (not security, of course) to get deferred.  Speaking of security, I would expect things to change to some degree on the South Ramp, as new security measures are mandated and implemented for the larger charter operations.
The previous Master Plan was built on projected growth in passengers and operations, and the new one will have to account for the recent declines.  New projections should be completed this summer, and we will be very interested in seeing them, and their methodology, since they form the foundation for airport planning across the state.  The airlines have found it nearly impossible to make long-term projections, given the current widespread uncertainty that plagues the industry.  Thus, the planners have their work cut out for them to create a sensible and realistic master plan without good projections as a basis. 
    We hope to play a role in insuring our voice is heard throughout this process, not only here, but throughout the islands.  Stay tuned…
   
Temporary(?) Flight Restriction
     The March Wings Meeting at HNL featured Commanders Ben Goslin and Norman Messinger from Navy Region Hawai'i, to discuss the TFR over Pearl Harbor and Hickam.  We have long maintained that as it currently exists, the TFR has significantly increased the likelihood for aircraft swapping paint (a mid-air, for you technically-oriented folks).  Departures and arrivals are funneled through a narrow channel between the freeway and the mountains, separated vertically by a mere 500’, weather permitting.  The TFR is also hard on aircraft and passengers due to the frequent need for arriving aircraft to maintain 2,000’ until the downwind and then having to make a steep descent and a tight turn.  Engines don’t like the chop and drop, and pax don’t care for steep banks and high rates of descent (at least, most don’t.)
     ATC hates the TFR as it drastically reduces the airspace they have available, and thus, their flexibility to keep things moving smartly and keep us from swapping paint.  Surprisingly, it appears the Navy also favors shrinking the size of the TFR (though not eliminating it).  So, with the FAA, the GA community and the military all favoring cutting the TFR down significantly, why hasn’t it happened?  Seems the tie up is with the FAA, in Washington or somewhere. 
Since I don’t want to wait until we actually rain aluminum and body parts down on the unsuspecting public, we should try to shake this thing loose by contacting people who might be able to help. Let the Administrator know that we need to change that TFR

Aviation Safety Program
     The Aviation Safety Program is languishing.  Not for lack of effort on the part of the FAA, but rather because we, the aviation community, aren’t doing our share.  It’s not about earning little wings to wear (although there’s nothing wrong with that).  It’s about staying tuned into what is going on and keeping your mind in the game.  I soloed 31 years ago, this month, and still learn something each time I go to one of the Wings meetings (of course, I could be relearning something that I once knew and subsequently forgot.)  The point is, that we need to revitalize this essential program.  Each meeting should be crammed full of students, new pilots, and their instructors, from each and every flight school.  Aircraft owners, especially those who fly infrequently, should attend, too.  The big Wings Weekend is scheduled for June 21 and 22.  Contact Jim Hein, the SPM, for details at 837-8335.

CFI Renewal
     Mimi Tompkins’ famous and most excellent CFI Renewal Clinic will again be in session this June. It’s a great way to renew your certificate, especially those of you who instruct only occasionally.  The class runs June 28 and 29 at the HCC/UND center off Lagoon Drive on Iako Place.

Critical Incident Stress Management
     The Hawaiian Airlines and Aloha Airlines  ALPA MEC’s are sponsoring a two-day certification course on April 29 and 30 for aviation-specific critical incident stress management.  Once certified, you can provide support and education following an incident or accident that can be extremely beneficial.  If you are interested, contact Mimi Tompkins at 781-6464 or Tim Wheeler at 371-8869.

Spring and Summer Flying
    This past winter presented more that the usual amount of challenge with more than the usual amount of junk weather, even though I remember hearing that it would be drier than usual since we were in an El Nino year.  Systems moved through the islands with great regularity—often more than one a week—and brought heavy rains, thunderstorms, lousy visibility, low ceilings and weird winds.  Sadly, the winter also claimed the life of a young student pilot.
    We get very spoiled here.  How many times have you thought how poor the visibility was because you couldn’t see Ilio Point from Koko Head, and only picked it up at mid-channel?  That’s still over 12 miles—visibility that pilots on the East Coast would love to have. Now that Spring is here, it is also tempting to put the past nasties out of our minds and make unwarranted assumptions about the weather.  Fact is, each island affects local weather in unique ways, and some of them pose real challenges. 
As the winter storms out of the north abate, tropical storms out of the south will come into play.  Their nature tends to be quite different than the winter fronts and shear lines, and will require retooling our thinking a bit to deal with the tropical storms and depressions that may work their way into our neighborhood.
    The whales were plentiful and playful this winter, putting on a wonderful show throughout our waters.  I’ll miss them as their time with us draws to an end over the next couple of weeks and they begin their long trek back to Alaskan waters.  Y’all come back, now, hear?

Young Eagles
    There are a couple of major aviation events for the young folk of Hawai'i coming up over the next few weeks.  On April 25th and 26th, from 9 am to 2 pm, Kalaeloa Field will host a major open house, titled “Youth In Aviation”.  Major sponsors are the Pacific Aerospace Training Center, HCC/UND, Civil Air Patrol, and EAA, and will feature Young Eagle flights and static displays.
    On May 24th, the Kona and Hilo EAA Chapters are hosting a Young Eagles event at Waimea airport at Randy Douglas’ hangar.  Prizes, fuel, food and fun will abound, and EAA members from all over the state are urged to participate.  Contact Eliot Merk at 961-4755; Wes Brown at 325-7477; Merle Martin at 323-2221 or 939-7069.

Maui Approaches
     I was asked to pass this on to you all some time ago.  It just surfaced again so here it is (meaning, I forgot…):
Many students file IFR from Honolulu to Kahalui and then Hilo and return to meet their IFR cross country requirement.  The only problem is that the preferred IFR routing from PHNL to PHOG  (Mkk 4 Departure, V8 to Blush, V6 to OGG ) takes you north of Kahalui and the only approach that PHOG will give you is the ILS RWY 2 approach which requires  a long vector to the South of the airport. PHOG generally won’t give training aircraft any approach from the North because our slow speed ties up the airport and Center won’t let you file for anything except the preferred route.  PHOG suggests the following solution: File for the preferred IFR route but when you check in with Honolulu Center, tell the controller that you want the ILS approach to PHOG and ask for a reroute direct LNY and the CAMPS 2 Arrival to PHOG.  This positions you perfectly for the ILS. Will it Work? At least one PHOG Approach Controller says it will and if it does it will save a lot of time and fuel.  .  It would be simpler to just file the LNY Transition, CAMPS 2 arrival, but sometimes you’ve got to play the system. Good luck.

Be careful out there.

 



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