Aviation Vocabulary and Phrases in Spanish



General aviation – Aviación civil/privada

Airline – Aerolínea

Airplane – Avión

Passenger – Pasajero


Flight Information

Reservation – Reserva

Ticket – Billete/Pasaje

Flight – Vuelo

Number – Número

Roundtrip – Ida y vuelta

One-way (leaving) – Ida

One-way (coming back) – Vuelta

Roundtrip ticket – Billete de ida y vuelta

Boarding pass – Pasaje de abordo

Delayed – Retrasado

Cancelled – Cancelado

Cancellation – Cancelación


Around the Airport

Airport – Aeropuerto

Terminal – Terminal

Departure – Salida

Arrival – Llegada

Runway – Pista de despegue/aterrizaje (takeoff/landing)

Hallway – Pasillo

Hold room – Sala de embarque (literally “sala de espera”)

Restroom – Baño‎ (also known as “servicio”)

Store – Tienda

Coffee Shop – Cafetería

Restaurant – Restaurante

Hangar – Hangar

Control tower – Torre de control

Segmented circle – Circulo segmentado

Wind sock – Manga de viento

Waiter/waitress – Camarero/a

Controller – Controlador/a (male/female)

Mechanic – mecánico



To fly – Volar

Flying – Volando

Domestic – Nacional

International – Internacional

Takeoff – Despegue

Landing – Aterrizaje

North – Norte

South – Sur

East – Este

West – Oeste

Good weather – Buen tiempo (o buena meteorología)

Bad weather – Mal tiempo (o mala meteorología)

Turbulence – Turbulencia

Traffic pattern – Circuito de transito

Entering downwind on a 45 degree angle (traffic pattern) – Entrada

Upwind (traffic pattern) – Partida

Crosswind (traffic pattern) – Viendo cruzado

Downwind (traffic pattern) – Inicial

Base (traffic pattern) – Base

Final (traffic pattern) – Final



Luggage – Equipaje

Baggage – Maletas

Carry-on – Maleta/Bolsa de mano

Checked luggage – Equipage facturado (o maletas facturadas)

Luggage trolley – Carro (de equipaje)



Security checkpoint – Control de seguridad

Security guard – Guardia (de seguridad)

Police – Policía

Metal detector – Detector de metal


In the Aircraft

Pilot – Piloto (for both genders)

Flight attendant – Azafata/o

Take-off – Despegue

Landing – Aterrizaje

Seat number – Número de asiento

Seat belt – Cinturón de seguridad

Aisle – Pasillo

Luggage compartment – Guarda maletas/equipaje

Maintenance problem – Problema de mantenimiento


International Flights

Immigration – Inmigración

Foreign country – País extranjero

Duty free – Libre de impuestos

Passport – Pasaporte

Visa – Visado

Dollar/s – Dólar/es

U.S. – Estados Unidos (EEUU)



Ground transportation – Transporte terrestre (also known as “transporte de tierra”)

Public transit – Transporte público

Train – Tren

Bus – Autobús (also known as “bus”)

Taxi – Taxi



Hotel – Hotel

Water – Agua

Food – Comida

Wheelchair – Silla de ruedas

Public telephone – Teléfono público

Cell phone – Móvil (also known as “teléfono celular”)




¿Cómo se/te llama? (“Se” is more formal than “te” but they both mean the same)

What is your name?


¿Cómo le puedo ayudar?

How can I help you?


¿Qué necesita?

What do you need?


Trabajo para el aeropuerto.

I work for the airport.


¿Trabaja para el aeropuerto/aerolínea?

Do you work for the airport/airline?


Soy piloto. He venido/volado en ese avión.

I’m a pilot. I came/flew in that airplane.


Please fasten your seatbelt.

Por favor abróchese el cinturón de seguridad.


¿Donde están los baños?

Where are the restrooms?


Sígame. Yo le enseño.

Follow me. I’ll show you.








Estoy aquí de vacaciones.

I’m here on vacation.


Estoy aquí de negocios.

I’m here on a business trip.


¿Cúanto tiempo va a estar aquí?

How long will you be here for?


Voy a estar aquí una semana (unas semanas).

I will be here for one week (a few weeks).


Necesito ver su/tu pasaporte, por favor. (“Su” is more formal than “tu” but they both mean the same)

I need to see your passport, please.


¿Tiene algo que declarar?

Do you have anything to declare?


No, no tengo nada que declarar.

No, I don’t have anything to declare.


Sí, tengo que declarar…

Yes, I have to declare… (whatever it is)


Usted tiene que pagar impuestos.

You have to pay a tax.


¿Cual es su ocupación? o ¿A qué se dedica?

What is your occupation? or What do you do?


¿Dónde se va a quedar usted?

Where will you be staying?


¿Qué contiene esta bolsa/maleta?

What’s in this bag?


¿Dónde está su maleta? (maleta = equipage = bolsas)

Where is your luggage?


¿Qué hora es?

What time is it?


¿Cuánto cuesta?

How much is it?


¿Quién le viene a recoger?

How is coming to pick you up?


Por favor, entre, siéntese.

Please, come in, sit down.

The Power of Youth

For pilots and aviation enthusiasts like me it is hard to imagine anyone not fascinated by aviation. The idea of zipping along above flight level one-eight-zero; feeling the squeez of heart-pounding, high-G maneuvers; or flying at tree-top level in a Robinson R-22 are a few of the adrenaline-charged images that come to mind—but these people do exist and like us, maintain strong personal opinions. Simply put, we can’t please everyone but for the opportunity to win the hearts and minds of those whose opinions are not yet cemented, nothing supports our aviation communities’ as much as local airshows and public fly-ins!

Although I was unable to attend Air Venture this year, I was privileged to be able to represent AOPA at the Wings Over Wiscasset Airshow in Maine on Tuesday, August 6—a day that oddly enough, marked my sixth-year anniversary of working for my beloved Pilot Association. The major draw for the day’s event was the magnificent aircraft herald-in by the Texas Flying Legends Museum like the awe-inspiring P-51D Mustang, FG-1 Corsair, the P-40K Warhawk, and US Congressman Sam Graves’ TBM Avenger. These aircraft are no doubt representative of a time in our history when American know-how reign supreme, propelling the nation to Superpower status.

A standard week day for most, community attendance was slow through the early hours but by 4 pm, the local event boasted an excess of 4000 people. Both young and senior alike crowded the flight-line to snap pictures with these aviation legends. Many also enjoyed the surprise visit paid by US Senator Angus King. With only smiles to be had, seasoned pilots light-up at the opportunity to share “war stories”—even if theirs takes place during private pilot training far from any battlefield.

As a father I can tell you, enticing our nation’s youth produces a multiplier effect worthy of repeating. While my one-year old may still be too young to ignite a self-propelled interest in aviation; children are no doubt conduits to their parents.  As anyone with children knows, we spend our free time following our kid’s curiosities—always trying to highlight the educational component to whatever task they’re engaged.  While not every child is destined to be the next Amelia Earhart or Chuck Yeager, their natural interest in all things new, fast, and (seemingly) dangerous, makes the connection to general aviation an easy bridge for parents to cross.

With this in mind, grab your family, friends, neighborhood kids (parental permission required) and Veterans; and head to a community aviation event near you—besides you never know who you might run into while planting the seeds of general aviation: http://pilothub.blogspot.com/2007/12/famous-people-with-pilots-licenses.html

Flying to National Parks

One of the things we are trying to do here at AOPA is to increase recreational flying. We can do so by opening up more airstrips, preventing airstrips and airports from closing, engaging in fly-ins and other flying events, introducing new people to general aviation, etc.; however, we can also increase recreational flying by increasing visitation to some of the nation’s most beautiful spots… the U.S. National Park Service system via its airports.

While at EAA’s AirVenture in Oshkosh this year, I attended a great seminar about “flying to national parks” and I wanted to share some of my notes with all of you. The seminar was taught by Cliff Chetwin, retired Park Ranger and Park Service pilot for the National Park Service.

The U.S. National Park Service (NPS) was created in 1916 “…to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and to provide for the enjoyment…by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.” NPS has approximately 401 national park units with over 30 designations, including parks, forests, primitive areas, wilderness areas, recreational areas, national seashores, national monuments, national lakeshores, and national wildlife refuge and range areas. For more information about the Aviation unit within NPS, visit http://www.nps.gov/fire/aviation/

Flying into these magnificent sites and parks is one of the least invasive and most enjoyable ways to get to the parks; however, it does require “careful planning and consideration.”

Careful planning includes all of the normal cross country planning tasks (checking weather, planning a route, looking for alternates and alternatives, etc.) plus ensuring you and your aircraft are capable of operating at the intended airport. Some of these airports are surrounded by mountains, at high elevations, at high density altitudes, etc. and some only have gravel or grass strips with rising or descending terrain. If you need to bring a CFI with you, do it! It is also a good idea to contact the airport prior to departure to ensure you will have transportation upon arrival and that they will have fuel for you, if needed. Some of these strips are pretty remote and getting fuel can take time (sometimes days or weeks). And, while you are at it, ask the airport manager for any arrival/departure tips he/she might have as a local.

Consideration refers to remembering that you are flying into a site designated as a national treasure (regardless of whether it is a national park or a historic site) and that people and animals are there to enjoy peacefulness among other things. You are flying into a noise sensitive area and, as such, Mr. Chetwin recommended following “14 noise rules” as best as possible while remaining safe and using good judgment in addition to reading any specific noise abatement procedures for the particular airport you are flying to:

  1. Avoid noise sensitive areas (picnis areas, camping areas, key sightseeing areas, public areas, etc.).
  2. Don’t overfly trails/rivers since they are usually transited by hikers, rafters, etc.
  3. Plan your route over high noise areas, such as roads.
  4. Fly later in the day when convection will lift your noise.
  5. Fly downwind of noise sensitive areas. The wind will take the noise away.
  6. Fly as high as practical with one mile separation from terrain.
  7. Minimize your run-up as much as practical when near noise sensitive areas and point the aircraft towards that area.
  8. Use Vx speed for takeoff and climb to keep as much of the noise over the airport as possible. You can also climb over the airport (doing 360s) to (or close to) your cruise altitude.
  9. Reduce takeoff power ASAP when safe.
  10. Avoid repetitive patterns (like flying up and down a beach as an example) and high power maneuvers.
  11. Use lower RPM settings. Adjust adjustable props as soon as practical.
  12. Use good, short field landing techniques. Avoid “dragging it in” and having to apply power towards the end and close to the runway because you are low.
  13. Plan rollouts to minimize use of beta/thrust reverses.
  14. Helicopters should minimize descent time spent at 55 kts or less.

FAA Advisory Circular (AC) 91-36D (VFR Flight over Sensitive Noise Areas) also encourages pilots making VFR flights near noise-sensitive areas to fly at altitudes higher than the minimum permitted by regulation and on flight paths, which will reduce aircraft noise in such area. This AC can be found at http://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies/advisory_circulars/index.cfm/go/document.information/documentID/23156.

You should, of course, also watch for wildlife on airport grounds.

Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM) 7-4-6, “Flights Over Charted U.S. Wildlife Refuges, Parks, and Forest Service Areas” (http://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publications/atpubs/aim/aim0704.html) reads, in part:
“Pilots are requested to maintain a minimum altitude of 2,000 feet above the surface of the following: National Parks, Monuments, Seashores, Lakeshores, Recreation Areas and Scenic Riverways administered by the National Park Service, National Wildlife Refuges, Big Game Refuges, Game Ranges and Wildlife Ranges administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Wilderness and Primitive areas administered by the U.S. Forest Service.” AC 91-36D mentioned earlier also defines the surface of a NPS area as the highest terrain within 2,000 feet laterally of the route of flight, or the upper‐most rim of a canyon or valley. Simply stated, find the highest ground on your flight path and add 2,000 feet to your cruising altitude over these parks:

–       Acadia

–       Alibates Flint Quarries

–       Amistad

–       Aniakchak

–       Apostle Islands

–       Arches

–       Arkansas Post

–       Assateague Island

–       Badlands

–       Bandelier

–       Bering Land Bridge

–       Big Bend

–       Big Cypress

–       Bighorn Canyon

–       Big South Fork

–       Big Thicket

–       Biscayne

–       Black Canyon of the Gunnison

–       Bryce Canyon

–       Canyon de Chelly

–       Canyonlands

–       Cape Cod

–       Cape Hatteras

–       Cape Krusentern

–       Cape Lookout

–       Capital Reef

–       Capulin Volcano

–       Carlsbad Caverns

–       Cedar Breaks

–       Chaco Culture

–       Channel Islands

–       Chiricahua

–       Colorado

–       Coulee Dam

–       Crater Lake

–       Craters of the Moon

–       Cumberland Gap

–       Curecanti

–       Death Valley

–       Delaware Water Gap

–       Denali

–       Devil’s Tower

–       Dinosaur

–       Dry Tortugas

–       Everglades

–       Fire Island

–       Florissant Fossil Beds

–       Fort Laramie

–       Fort Point

–       Fort Union

–       Fossil Butte

–       Gates of the Arctic

–       Gateway

–       Gettysburg

–       Gila Cliff Dwellings

–       Glacier Bay

–       Glacier

–       Glen Canyon

–       Golden Gate

–       Golden Spike

–       Grand Canyon

–       Grand Teton

–       Great Basin

–       Great Sand Dunes

–       Guadalupe Mountains

–       Gulf Islands

–       Haleakala

–       Hawaii Volcanoes

–       Hovenweep

–       Indiana Dunes

–       Isle Royale

–       Jewel Cave

–       John Day Fossil Beds

–       Joshua Tree

–       Kalaupapa

–       Katmai

–       Kenai Fjords

–       Kings Canyon

–       Kobuk Valley

–       Lake Chelan

–       Lake Clark

–       Lake Mead

–       Lake Meredith

–       Lassen Volcanic

–       Lava Beds

–       Little Bighorn

–       Mammath Cave

–       Mesa Verde

–       Mount Ranier

–       Muir Woods

–       Natural Bridges

–       Navajo

–       Noatak

–       North Cascades

–       Olympic

–       Organ Pipe Cactus

–       Ozark

–       Padre Island

–       Petrified Forest

–       Pictured Rocks

–       Pinnacles

–       Point Reyes

–       Rainbow Bridge

–       Redwood

–       Rocky Mountain

–       Ross Lake

–       Saguaro

–       Saint Croix

–       Sequoia

–       Shenandoah

–       Sleeping Bear Dunes

–       Statue of Liberty

–       Sunset Crater Volcano

–       Theodore Roosevelt

–       Timpanogos Cave

–       Voyagers

–       Whiskeytown-Shasta-Trinity

–       White Sands

–       Wind Cave

–       Wrangell-St. Elias

–       Wupatki

–       Yellowstone

–       Yosemite

–       Yukon-Charley

–       Zion

–       Parks charted by some other device

So, how do you know which parks have airports and which ones you can fly into?

–       Check sectionals

–       Check Airport Facility Directories (AF/D)

–       Check state aeronautical charts

–       Call NPS or check http://www.nps.gov/fire/aviation/

–       Attend one of the NPS aviation seminars like I did

You can fly into any public use airport in or near a park and you can also request written permission from a Park Superintendent.

Some of the more known parks with airstrips are:

–       Big Bend National Park in Texas (3TE3). Private use airport. Permission required prior to landing.

–       Big Horn Canyon (5UF) in Montana which has great fishing. Winds are normally a problem and there is no fuel on the field.

–       Cape Cod National Seashore (PVC – Provincetown Municipal) in Massachusetts

–       Death Valley, California: Two airports are available. Death Valley is one of the (if not “the”) hottest places on earth so density altitude is definitely an issue at both airports regardless of its elevation. It is not uncommon to see temperatures over 110 F. While one of the 14 noise rules said to try to fly later in the day to allow convection to lift your noise… flying earlier in the day is actually recommended at Death Valley due to density altitude considerations and safety.

  • L06 – Furnace Creek. North of the National Park. There is no fuel at the field or tie downs so bring your own. Note its elevation is – 210 feet (yes, minus! 210 feet).
  • L09 – Stovepipe Wells. West of the National Park.

–       McKinley National Park (INR or PAIN) in Alaska

–       Ft. Vancouver (VUO – Pearson Field) in Washington State. Be aware of Portland International’s (PDX) Class B airspace close by.

–       Gates of the Artic (PAKP – Anaktuvuk Pass), Alaska

–       Glen Canyon, Utah: Two airports are available.

  • UT03 – Hite. This is the toughest airport out of the two. In fact, the Denver sectional shows it as “(Hazardous)”
  • U07 – Bullfrog Basin.

–       Grant Teton (JAC – Jackson Hole), Wyoming. One of the better airports in the NPS system; even airliners fly into this airport.

–       Kalaupapa (PHLU), by Maui, Hawaii.

–       First Flight Airport (FFA) in North Carolina. A daytime only airport… this is one treasured landmark for pilots, where the Wright Brothers made their first powered flight. AOPA donated a pilot facility in honor of the Wright Brothers’ 100th Anniversary of Powered Flight. FMI about it: http://www.aopa.org/News-and-Video/All-News/2003/October/5/AOPA-donated-Pilot-Facility-opens-at-Wright-Brothers-Memorial

–       Lake Mead National Recreational Area, Nevada: Three airports are available. A seaplane base is also available.

  • 0L9 – Echo Bay
  • L25 – Pearce Ferry (in Arizona)
  • U30 – Temple Bar (in Arizona)

–       Tuskegee Airmen (06A – Moton Field Municipal), Alabama. Nice, attended airport.

–       Wrangell/St. Elias, Alaska: 68A (seaplane base) and PAWG (airport).

–       Isle Royale in Lake Superior, Michigan: Two seaplanes bases, one at Rock Harbor and another one at Windigo.

–       Dry Tortugas, Florida: Because of sensitive resource issues, any individual wishing to fly a private seaplane to the park must have a Special Use Permit (http://www.nps.gov/drto/parkmgmt/specialuse.htm) issued through Everglades National Park. There are no facilities at the Dry Tortugas National Park so all seaplanes must have enough fuel and supplies for a round trip flight.

Remember that you can always find more information about specific airports at http://www.aopa.org/airports/ or on FlyQ (http://www.aopa.org/Flight-Planning/FlyQ).

And, with that, let’s do some flight planning and go flying! I look forward to visiting some of these airstrips.

The Unsung Generosity of the GA Community

WPA Spokane Chapter President Terry Newcomb, Past WPA President Dave Lucke, and WPA member Charlie Cleanthous get ready to load kids

WPA Spokane Chapter President Terry Newcomb, Past WPA President Dave Lucke, and WPA member Charlie Cleanthous ready to load kids in Dave’s 182.

Having transplanted from Denver to the Spokane, Washington area just a couple of weeks ago, I’m already enjoying the opportunity to meet fellow pilots and AOPA members in the state, most of whom also belong to the Washington Pilots Association (WPA).  WPA is one of the strongest and most well organized state pilots associations in the country, and like many such groups, its members generously contribute their time, resources, aircraft and passion for aviation to help others who are less fortunate.

Hutton Settlement kids ready to go fly!

Hutton Settlement kids ready to go fly!

This past weekend, I was able to see this generosity first hand as Spokane members of the WPA volunteered their aircraft to fly 26 children from the Hutton Settlement in Spokane to Priest Lake, Idaho for a day of fun on the water, including swimming, jet skiing, water skiing and more.  Until moving here, I had not heard of the Hutton Settlement, which is an historic children’s home in Spokane, that for nearly 100 years has nurtured, educated and prepared children who are in need of a safe and healthy home.  Each year, WPA members in Spokane fly a group of kids from the Settlement (ranging in age from 7-18) up to Priest Lake.  And each year, according to Settlement staff, this event is one of the most eagerly awaited and memorable days for these kids, all made possible by the Spokane GA community.

Pilot and crew ready to board!

Pilot and crew ready to board!

While full airplanes and my own current lack of aircraft access precluded my travel to Priest Lake, I was fortunate enough to enjoy the smiling faces of all these kids as we loaded them up and watched them take off for a day on the water, a take off that for most, was their first airplane ride ever.  There’s nothing like being around airplanes, fellow pilots and an enthusiastic group of excited kids to even further fuel one’s passion for flying!


This young lady scored arguably the best seat to Priest Lake in Kyle Kinyon’s beautiful RV-4.

It’s unfortunate that the general public can’t see more of this side of our community, and the commitment that so many of us have for using GA for the benefit of others.  While the media has covered this event previously, there was no fanfare, adulation or coverage of this great story this year-  just a group of pilots doing what they love to do: flying and providing others with exciting and memorable opportunities they might not have otherwise experienced.

So as you and your fellow aviators share your love of flying and contribute your time and aircraft for the benefit of others, be sure to share your story.  Our airport neighbors need to know that the impact of GA in our communities extends far beyond their usually narrow percepetions.

Volunteers re-paint practice runway

Last night saw a group of volunteers in action on the Ski Strip at Fairbanks International Airport.  A dozen people assembled at 6:15 p.m., along with a pick-up with trailer, painting equipment, small Honda generator, a rake and a broom. The mission: to repaint the markings on the gravel runway.  The goal of the project is to improve aviation safety by providing a place to practice precision landings—before heading to the more challenging back-country strips.

Judging from the fact that a lot of the initial marks, painted in early June, had been completely obliterated, I would say the “practice runway” has been getting lots of use.  The volunteer paint crew waited just off the runway for a few minutes so a Champ could do some last minute touch-and-go’s before the NOTAM closing the runway went into effect.

Kathleen Fagre marks the spot for the paint crew to set their template.

Kathleen Fagre marks the spot for the paint crew to set their template.








Kevin Alexander admires the template he designed: hinged for storage and transport, with cords on each end making it easy to move without wearing too much paint.

Kevin Alexander admires the template he designed: hinged for storage and transport, with cords on each end making it easy to move without wearing too much paint.






Stan Halvarson applies paint to the 2' by 4 ' rectangle, while

Stan Halvarson applies paint to the 2′ by 4 ‘ rectangle, while Tim Berg looks on. In the background, Ron Dearborn and Janet Daley move the second template to the next mark.








In an hour, two 800' by 24' practice runways (one at each end of the gravel runway) have been re-painted.

In an hour, two 800′ by 24′ practice runways (one at each end of the gravel runway) have been re-painted.













Since this crew had worked together previously,  painting progressed at a rapid pace. A small team armed with a tape measure, can of marking paint, the rake and broom led the way, to re-establish the locations for marks that were totally gone.  We learned that raking and sweeping the loose gravel away from the area to be painted gets the paint on the hard-pack surface of the strip, which lasts longer than just spray painting loose rocks.

The paint crew has two plywood templates (designed and build by Kevin Alexander, with UAF’s Aviation Program), which they leap-frog down the runway to mark the 800’ long by 25’ wide practice runway.

With a full crew working on the project, we only spent an hour on the runway.  It took a little longer to clean up, but still left time to enjoy some cold beverages and fresh baked goods at the Air Park before heading home, or on to the next evening project.

Other Practice Runways?

FAA has approved six airports in Alaska to paint markings on their ski-strips. So far this summer in addition to Fairbanks, runways at Wasilla (IYS), and Goose Bay (Z40) have been painted and Palmer (PAQ) plans to mark theirs soon. Soldotna (SXQ) markings survived the winter.  If you are within range of one of these airports, go check it out and see how precise your landings are…
[Update Aug 21: Palmer marked their runway last week, Soldotna is planning to repaint soon.]

Who does these projects, anyway??

What does it take to have a dozen people show up on a Monday evening and work for a couple hours? This project is absolutely a partnership between the airport staff and numerous pilot groups.  The airport files the NOTAM to close the runway, provides a safety plan and makes sure that we are putting the marks in the right places. The Fairbanks General Aviation Association (GAA,) a local airport group at FAI, has taken the lead to organize the work parties.  Ron Dearborn, a charter member of the GAA—who also serves as the AOPA Airport Support Network (ASN) Volunteer at FAI, sends an email to local stakeholders, inviting them to participate.  The individuals may belong to any of a number of organizations. At Monday night’s session the following groups were represented: the 99’s, Alaska Airmen’s Association, AOPA, Fairbanks Flight Service, the airport staff and UAF.  Who knows—these folks may find other ways to make improvements that enhance the airport’s value for the users, and to the community.

If your airport has a local airport support group, consider joining.  If it doesn’t, think about starting one (AOPA can help) .  Acting locally is often the best way to head off airport problems before they fester.  See if your airport has an ASN Volunteer.  If not, think about signing up for that program. It is people and groups like these that make it possible to have a practice runway at your airport!

Hauling to the cabin—by air

In a state with few roads, airplanes take on an important role as basic transportation.  Getting supplies to your “cabin in the woods” often means loading them into the plane, instead of tossing them in the back of a pick-up.  But what about those bulky items that don’t fit inside?
custom cabin title photoI recently received an email from my next door neighbor with the subject line, “If only I had a Beaver…”  Attached was a photo story that documented in pictures the steps he took to accomplish the simple task of building and hauling a screen door to his families cabin, on a lake about 70 miles west of Fairbanks.  Getting it attached to the outside of the airplane was a good part of the challenge.

Carrying external loads takes some time, training, patience, and (at least in Alaska) paperwork from the FAA.  But it is often the only way to haul those bulky items that don’t fit inside.  Canoes, moose antlers, and lumber are a few of the things that you may find strapped on the outside of a float plane, heading to a remote cabin or hunting camp. Even if you do have a Beaver in your fleet!

FAA GA Survey helps define Alaska aviation

While the airlines report lots of details about their operations directly to the government, the overall volume of general aviation activity is a lot harder to quantify.  Collectively, how many hours a year do we fly? What kind of avionics do we have in our airplanes?  The type of aviation we individually practice and enjoy is highly variable, which makes it difficult to summarize across a given state or for that matter, the nation.

ga survey logo

One of the principal sources of information that both the government and aviation advocacy groups rely on is the FAA GA and Part 135 Activity Survey.  In the next few weeks, aircraft owners should receive a copy of the survey in the mail.  A couple of points to consider:

  • While it says FAA 2012 GA Survey, it is actually conducted by a private firm, Tetra Tech, who summarizes the data so that no information tied to your N number is forwarded to the FAA.
  • The survey is going to 100% of Alaskan aircraft owners, so if you DON’T get one in the mail, check your aircraft registration to make sure it is up to date!
  • You can take the survey online, www.aviationsurvey.org using your N-number as a log-on password.

The results of the survey help us understand the accident rate in Alaska (we know how many accidents, but this allows the FAA to compute the number per thousand hours of operations).  Data from the survey also help us understand the impact of government policies.  Without this information, we are often left to speculate. Good solid numbers often allow us to make a much more solid case.

To complete the survey, dig out your pilot and aircraft log books.  Questions include how many hours you flew in 2012, how many landings were made, what percent of your flight hours were in Alaska?  They also want you to estimate the types of use: recreational, business travel, instructional, proficiency, for example.  I would look at the questions first, and then go through your logbook to extract the information needed.

The survey also asks what kind of fuel you burn and how much per hour. This information helps quantify our reliance on 100LL, if that is what you burn.  Perhaps the section that is easiest to answer, but the most depressing for me personally, is the last section where I get to NOT fill in the boxes for all the neat equipment I haven’t installed in my airplane (yet, I hope).  It shouldn’t take more than about 15 minutes to fill out this survey, so please dig it out of your mail or go on-line and take the few minutes to quantify your use of aviation.

Those of us attempting to advocate on your behalf really need this information to make the best case possible!


Inaugural Kansas Aviation Expo taking off in Wichita

Reprint from the “July 2013 Reporting Points from the Salina Airport Authority” electronic newsletter
The Kansas Commission on Aerospace Education is proud to announce its partnership with the Kansas Department of Transportation’s   Division of Aviation to bring forth the first-ever Kansas Aviation Expo   event. “Where the state capital meets the air capital” is the theme   as KDOT Aviation leads a team of industry stakeholders towards a common goal   – to promote aviation in the state of Kansas.”Kansas   is home to one of only five aerospace clusters in the world, yet we don’t   have a singular event for industry leaders to gather,” said Brian   Youngers, KCAE President. “Several states across the union have similar   events to demonstrate and celebrate the role aviation plays in their economy   and community and now it’s time for Kansas to have one as well.”This   year’s event will gather some of the great partners from across the aviation   family and include guest speakers from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots   Association, Aviation Workforce Development Group, National Weather Service,   United States Department of Agriculture (Wildlife), Kansas State Salina,   Kansas Association of Airports, Federal Aviation Administration and many   more.”We   can’t think of a better location to host an event to highlight the aviation   industry in Kansas than the National Center for Aviation Training,” said   Jesse R. Romo, Acting Director of Aviation at KDOT.

“Support   for this event has been tremendous and we couldn’t be happier to see it all   come to fruition, but the hard work isn’t over, yet. This is just the   beginning of the marketing campaign. We have some great speakers, like Paul   Bowen, and tremendous partners like AOPA coming to this event, but we also   need the aviation community from across the state to help make this event   spectacular.”

The   Kansas Aviation Expo is an opportunity for various facets of the aviation   industry to discuss the current climate and then strategize how to leverage   resources and join forces towards a brighter tomorrow. It’s an opportunity   for the Kansas aviation family to gather and for the community at large to   celebrate our rich aviation history. Concurrent sessions will include   discussions on airports, aviation fuel taxes, diversity matters, air traffic   control, weather, wildlife, insurance, flight clubs and more.

The   Kansas Aviation Expo will take place on the Friday leading up to the Wichita   Flight Festival, which will also take place at Jabara Airport. For more   information on hotel and event registration, you can go to the KCAE website   at www.ksaeroeducation.com or   visit the event Facebook page at www.facebook.com/KansasAviationExpo,   or contact Jesse R. Romo at 785-296-2553 or email [email protected].