This month saw the tragic accident that took the lives of the complete Macdonald family. Our deepest sympathy goes to the extended family and all the friends of Paul and Kate. They will be sadly missed.
It was pleasing to see the successful landing on the Dunedin beach where a plane was badly damaged but the occupants survived. Let’s be careful out there and make sure our skills are up to the mark for when it all goes wrong.
Last month I attending several meetings with CAA. Dr Steve Brown our trusty executive member is handling the medical community advisory group which includes Fatigue risk management and the new MoT initiative called Clear Heads which is all about drug and alcohol matters. Graeme Donald is handling the Emergency Location of Aircraft consultation as he is very well versed in this subject. We are spreading the load around a bit and getting everyone involved where we can. One thing that members can assist with is advertising for the magazine. It may be your own company or just someone you have contact with that you feel other members will benefit from. It does not need to be aviation related. Just contact Don Ryder our advertising Guru.
The seminar in Canberra to gain support for introducing SBAS into our region was well attended and has raised the awareness of SBAS among our respective Governments. If we don’t move on this soon we will be the only major area in the world that does not make use of this excellent technology that has been around for over 13 years. Jill and I took 6 days R & R in Tasmania after Canberra discovering some excellent wines and renewing old friendships.
ADSB is still a big task for us and the change that will happen in 2021 is going to affect us all. It is pleasing to see the launch of a standalone transponder this week that will be 1090 ES and have a built in SBAS GPS chip. This unit is targeted at the VFR non glass cockpit aircraft and looks as though it will satisfy the basic needs of ADSB at a reasonable price. Advertised at around US$3500 it is a huge reduction on what we looked like having to pay a month ago. In saying that it is still a challenge to establish how the authorities expect us to pay for this but rest assured I am working on the issue.
Thanks to those that have sent in copies of their 2129 forms. I have less than 100 at the moment and we have around 600 planes on the register so please can we do a bit better so I can get some good statistics to work with. It is important to go to a meeting and have facts to back up what I am saying. Just taking a photo of the 2129 insert in the pilot handbook with your phone is good enough so no excuses please.
The CAA funding review moves on and is nearly at a stage of being shown to the Minister. At that time we have the opportunity to have a second round of consultation and I am looking forward to that. The ACAG committee is very active in this process and is listened to by CAA. I find the ACAG meetings to be very worthwhile and are a very open forum for discussions between the industry and CAA. This is an example of why we need to have good representation at the highest level.
Please continue to check the website for events that are coming up as this is our best way to inform you. We have several upgrades that we want to do yet but these take a little time to get organised.
Finally there must be something productive about being an administrator for AOPA. Clare Reid who was our administrator last year has just delivered another baby boy (third boy) who I am told looks like his Grandfather Phil Pacey. Then a few weeks later Angela Hunter, our present administrator, gave birth to Bradley a co-pilot for his big brother Charlie. We wish them well and look forward to seeing them at events in the future.