Wednesday, November 30, 2016


I had a funny thing happen to me at Scottsdale Airport (SDL) self fuel at Ross Aviation. Ross had problems with their self fuel hose where it would kink up when rewound, and the next user could not get the hose out. It would take two linemen to pull the hose out to untangle it. Last 2 times when I could not untangle the hose I called Ross for help and no one ever came out. I taxied to my hangar and requested fuel out of the truck. Ross never showed on either occasion, and I had to go back the next day twice to refuel the plane out of the truck. This is not very good customer service.

Since I timed out when I turned on the hose and could not pull it out,  I was charged anywhere from 1/4 to 1/2  gallon for fuel I never pumped into my airplane. I called Ross, and they said this is a charge to pressurize the system. That did not sound right to me. If you go to a gas station and pump fuel you are not charged until the fuel starts going into your car. I contacted the GM again with no results. I then contacted the corporate office and was blown off again. The next time I used their self fuel, I noticed when I turned on the pump I was charged before putting any fuel into the airplane.

I wrote an email to the owner of Ross and never received an answer. I have used self fuel over the entire Western US and never was charged for fuel until it was pumped into the airplane. I called a couple of other self fuel operations,  and they all said the same thing that you should not be charged until fuel nozzle is turned on and fuel is flowing into the airplane.

I then went to the Aviation Commission meeting and explained my problem. They have put it on the agenda for next meeting for discussion.

In the interim I called ADOT weights and measures and explained my situation. They came out to SDL about a week latter and saw my problems and closed down the Ross Aviation self fuel at SDL. As of this writing it is still closed and red tagged by ADOT.

I emailed Ross and told them I could do this the simple way and asked for a small fuel credit, or the hard way and file a class action suit. The GM could not make a decision and passed it onto their legal department. I received an email a few days later giving me the credit I asked for.

When something like this occurs I wish to give the FBO the benefit of the doubt and would hope they would fix it. After numerous calls and emails, Ross did nothing to rectify the situation until they were closed down by ADOT for illegal operations. So instead of taking care of the problem they are now probably going to have to pay a fine to ADOT and appear before the Commission explaining why they did what they did and why their service is so bad on the field.

I dislike having to go to the effort to rectify the situation, but could not let Ross Aviation get away with what I consider criminal activity and lousy service.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016


In all my years attending the Aviation Expo at SDL, this one November 18 and 19 was the best one ever. I attended Friday and the show opened at 11AM. There was a crowd to get in when the gate opened. From the people I talked to, Saturday was even more crowded.

The hit of the show was the Diamond DA 62. I had seen this plane last year at NBAA Las Vegas. Let me tell you this is one sweet roomy airplane. It was my favorite too.

I enjoyed dreaming about which plane to buy. Although there might not be any sales at the show there are follow through sales each year from this event. So all I could do was drool over these beautiful aircraft.


Carbon Cub

Diamond DA 62 Turbo Diesel

Honda Jet

Robinson 44

Mock up Cirrus Jet

Cirrus SR 22


Eclipse 550

Mooney Ovation

Citation M2

Cessna Caravan

Cessna TTx

Cessna 206

Mooney Ovation

Piper Mirage 350

Tuesday, November 8, 2016


Copperstate held their fly in October 28 and 29 this year. It was a big move for them leaving a non towered field 60 miles south of Phoenix and moving to Mesa Falcon Field (FFZ), the 4th busiest GA airport in the country. I have not been able to obtain attendance figures and was there early on a Friday morning, so I do not know if this move worked out for them. There were about 200 people there when I was. The temperatures were very hot for the end of October reaching 86 degrees at 10AM.

Being so close to home I decided to drive. There was ample parking and plenty of airplane parking available right next to the show. You enter a large hangar to get in where several rows of vendors were with their displays. I had a great time talking with Tod Dickey who is president of the Arizona Sea Planes Pilots Association. Most vendors there were geared to the experimental market. This show is mostly about older airplanes and experimental airplanes. After walking the aisles and talking to several acquaintances I left the hangar to go to the ramp.

There were several tents set up for educational seminars. Two that caught my eye were on working with sheet metal and fiberglass. In addition educational classes were held throughout the 2 days.

Then I went to the ramp where the static display was. Being a glider pilot also the first thing that caught my eye was the Stemme Motor Glider.

War Birds were also displayed.

The show is all about tail draggers.

One of the neatest planes there was the Techam twin which drew large crowds.

All in all I think everyone had a great time in a relaxed atmosphere. I am hoping that the show was a success as I look forward to returning next year.