June 15, 2011
By Dan Namowitz
The Luke Air Force Base Radar Approach Control (RAPCON) facility near Phoenix, Ariz., has increased its operating schedule, and encourages pilots to use the radar services to enhance safety when flying in the area’s busy airspace.
The radar facility now operates on a seven-days-a-week schedule. It had been closed Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays until the new schedule took effect June 11.
Radar services are now available from Monday to Thursday from 1300Z to 0530Z, and Friday through Sunday from 1300Z to 0300Z.
“Luke Air Force Base capitalized on an opportunity to better manage our air traffic control training workload, while simultaneously providing better service to the general aviation community by changing Luke RAPCON’s hours,” said Chief Master Sergeant Gregg Mowrer, the facility’s chief controller. “Currently, Luke RAPCON’s schedule change is forecast to be permanent and is a win-win situation for the 56th Fighter Wing and the general aviation community in the vicinity of Luke AFB.”
The expanded hours of availability of radar service do not affect the operating times of the Luke Special Air Traffic Rules (SATR) area. The SATR will only be active when military operations are under way. No weekend SATR activity is planned at this time, officials said.
Collaboration between the German government, academia, and airplane manufacturers may make future aircraft cabins more protective of pilots and passengers. The Safety Box team plans to apply auto racing technology to general aviation.
A father and his 14-year-old son were helping another pilot ferry a newly purchased aircraft from California to their home field in Virginia. The three made an overnight stop in Albuquerque before flying on to Illinois for fuel. But shortly after they parked the aircraft in Marion, Ill., they were approached by as many as 18 uniformed and non-uniformed law enforcement officers who came running toward the airplane.
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