July 2007 Newsletter
EAA's Airventure 2007, otherwise simply known as
Oshkosh, has finished. A number of club members attended and enjoyed this week-long celebration of all things aviation. Oshkosh is where many new airplanes and aviation products get introduced, and this year was no exception. About the only thing that did not get introduced was a new Garmin handheld GPS. A number of manufacturers introduced single engine
personal Jets, but with a typical takeoff distance of 2500 feet, dont expect to see one of these at Sundance in the near future!
People and planes had been arriving at OSH for the previous 3 weeks, but the show really got underway on the Saturday with the arrival of 109 Bonanzas and Barons in formation. From then on it was a week-long continuous stream of arriving and departing aircraft, earning the motto of
The World's Busiest Control Tower. Not only was the airspace busy, but the traffic ranged from NORDO ultralights, through the Goodyear Blimp to a pair of F22s.
If you are flying to Tracy (KTCY) take care and read the notice on the board in the office. Tracy is undergoing a major upgrade over the next month or so. New runway surfaces have been applied and marking is in progress. This will mean that there will be times when a runway is closed, so make certain that you know when this will occur. The fuel at TCY is nearly as cheap as that at Rio Vista, and with a new FBO likely to take up residence there in the near future, Tracy will become much busier.
People often wonder why flight schools publish a rate for an airplane and then have all sorts of other
add-ons so that the final hourly rental rate is different from that advertised. This usually comes about over time because of varying components. At Sundance, we have only one varying component to our rates - a fuel surcharge. The published rental rate includes all other components - we try to keep it constant for as long as possible. Indeed, most of our airplanes have had the same published rental rate for 2 years or longer. However, as we are all aware, the price of Avgas has varied wildly in the last 3 years. In the last year it has varied more than a dollar per gallon. In order to cope with this we instituted a fuel surcharge some years ago. This surcharge, which is published on each airplane's rate calculator, is adjusted each month to reflect the price of Avgas for the end of the prior month. If Avgas goes up, so does the surcharge. If the price of Avgas decreases, as it did in June, the surcharge decreases.
IFR approach plates and enroute charts changed in July. August brings 2 dates for which there will be chart changes. August 2 brings no local chart changes, but on Aug 30 there will be new IFR plates and charts as well as new San Francisco Terminal and Sectional and Las Vegas Terminal and Sectional charts. As usual, you are entitled to a free San Francisco Terminal chart as a benefit of your membership.
The A/FD will also change on Aug 30. The Southwest A/FD changes to include New Mexico in addition to CA, NV, UT, AZ, and CO.
Effective with the October 25, 2007 airspace cycle, the Federal Aviation Administration will reconfigure the IFR Enroute Low Altitude Chart series for the Conterminous U.S. The reconfiguration of chart coverage includes an increase in the number of charts in the series from 28 to 36. This will result in a larger scale for each chart. The change is necessary to provide space for the addition of RNAV Routes and supporting RNAV data.
Sundance has hosted 2 very successful movie nights. These events,
Fred Thomas Presents, revisited 2 great aviation movies (along with a cartoon and serial episode!). Due to this success,
Fred Thomas Presents will continue as a series, starting at 7pm on the third Wednesday of each month. The upcoming movie schedule may be found on our web site. Sundance provides a light supper, for which donations are appreciated, but the movie is free to all. So, bring friends and family to the club - third Wednesday of each month.
Following a member request, we have added E6Bs, Chart plotters and flight plan pads to our pilot supply inventory. As usual, we are offering these to our members at a discount.
This month we feature our Beechcraft Bonanza, N7201N, one of the few available for rent in the US. It is the iconic V-Tail Bonanza, and is a 1968 model V35A. First sold in 1947, the Bonanza was a pioneer corporate airplane. Over the years more than 10,000 V-tails were produced. Beechcraft added two conventional-tail models to the Bonanza line, the 33 and 36 with the latter being produced today as the G36.
N7201N is a true cross-country airplane. It cruises at about 170 kt and can fly comfortably at 14000 feet. Although Bonanzas are not pressurized, it has built-in oxygen. N7201N has a 285 hp Continental IO520 engine equipped with GAMI injectors and a JPI engine monitor. In the right hands this combination can be run in an extremely efficient
economy mode which will give over 17 mpg. (A C172 gives about 13 mpg!). N7201N is beautifully harmonized, making it a quiet and comfortable airplane to fly. However, it is a high-performance complex airplane, and so we require a very thorough checkout before signing off a member.
So you have just completed a rating and are wondering - what next? Each newsletter, we will look at what some of our members are doing. If you have a flying mission, let us know and we will share it with the club.
The IFR environment is changing rapidly. This is particularly true in the development of new approaches using WAAS enabled GPS. Heather has been taking N2865M out into the "system" to explore the nuances of these approaches. Some of them are so new that ATC even has asked Heather to descibe the approach she has been flying so they could learn too! Heather says that these new approaches are making airports such as Half Moon Bay much more accessible.
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