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Old 10-04-2011, 12:37 AM
DanBeadle DanBeadle is offline
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 6
Default Phase 1 & Control Towers

I have a hanger at Reno (KRNO). I am debating doing the first flights (Phase 1) at Reno or going to an uncontrolled airport.

What is the group experience with doing Phase 1 at a controlled airport? I am planning a structured testing with plenty of taxi tests, etc. This is easier at an uncontrolled field, but quite workable with the Reno traffic levels (and three runways).

I like the idea of being at a major airport in case anything goes wrong. And it is easy to stay over uncongested areas around Reno. But, how much, if any, push back should I expect from the FSDO and / or Local Tower?

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Old 10-04-2011, 03:24 AM
Bob Axsom Bob Axsom is offline
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 5,685
Default Hi Dan! I flew mine out of Chino

I'll bet your plane is a beauty.

I flew my Phase 1 flights out of Chino which I know you are familiar with. The tower gave me no problems whatever. The paper given me by the DAR gave specific limitations on flying during that period. For the normal testing I was given a transition corridor from the airport over Corona, down the east side of Saddleback then directly east to a fairly small diameter test area over a reservoir from which I could see the Mt. Palomar Observatory. I did not have the option to go over to Corona for example and conduct phase 1 operations at the non-tower airport. It has been 7 years since I made the first flight so my memory is a little fuzzy but you may be able to work with your DAR or FAA rep. to get a satisfactory set of restrictions - I never tried. My first flight however, was one trip around the pattern, land remove the cowl and inspect. I did essential testing of ground operation systems during very limited taxi testing - the only high speed taxi testing I did was on the first flight takeoff roll. I have not been into Reno since 1987 when we went to the races with the Flying Club so I don't have a good Idea of its compatibility with Phase 1 testing. Bob Mills is based at Stead and is a SWA pilot so he may chime in with something here.

You were planning to build a RV-8 as I recall from our e-mail exchange from several years ago (it took me 8 years). I am so glad to see that you have reached this point. I am certain you enjoyed the build process and will enjoy the flying experience as well. Hope the wife and kids are fine. Your old (1984) instrument student,

Bob Axsom

Last edited by Bob Axsom : 10-04-2011 at 03:46 AM.
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Old 10-04-2011, 06:52 AM
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Alan Carroll Alan Carroll is offline
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Madison, Wisconsin
Posts: 778

I did my phase I from MSN, which has a tower, three large runways, and crash/fire/resucue. No problem with the FSDO, but I did get instructions to avoid built-up areas near the airport etc. The ability to do this would depend on the specific airport.
Alan Carroll
RV-8 N12AC
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Old 10-04-2011, 07:41 AM
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Mel Mel is online now
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Dallas area
Posts: 11,229

You should have absolutely no problems operating phase I out of a towered airport unless it is completely surrounded by congested area.
We have one such airport in the Dallas area. Phase I operations are not allowed out of Addison Airport (ADS) because of congested area, but others are fine.
Mel Asberry, DAR since the last century. Over 1,000 certifications accomplished. Discount for Veterans, Law Enforcement, Fire Fighters.
EAA Flight Advisor/Tech Counselor, Friend of the RV-1
Recipient of Tony Bingelis Award and Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award
USAF Vet, High School E-LSA Project Mentor.
RV-6 Flying since 1993 (sold)
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Old 10-04-2011, 09:34 AM
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jjconstant jjconstant is offline
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Oakland CA
Posts: 771

All the folks at Livermore did their Phase 1 from there. No problem, and the tower is a training tower so occaisionally inexperienced controllers are there (with supervision). I think in the early days folks had a chat with the tower guys just to get on the same page, but these days, you announce first flight, and/or intentions of staying over the airport above pattern altitude. The only issue here is that if you want to be higher than 3 or 4 thousand feet they want you to be talking/listening to NorCal approach. For first flights, a few of us used a chase plane whose job it was to talk to tower/approach, work the test card reminders and tell us if we were leaking/shedding anything.

If there aren't a number of first flights or Phase 1 operations out of your airport, it can't hurt to have a chat with the tower and brief them on what you're going to be doing. If you show up with AC90-89A and go over your plan with them it should help dispel any hesitation on their part of they're unfamiliar with first flights.

Prepare well and have a great time!!!!

Jeremy Constant
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Old 10-04-2011, 01:30 PM
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rvmills rvmills is offline
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Georgetown, TX
Posts: 2,156


First, hope to meet ya soon! We oughta have you up to meet the RV gang at Stead!

As far as Phase I goes, you might give Bill Kunder at the Reno FSDO.
The general RNO FSDO number is 7758587700, and they are at:
5466 Longley Lane
Reno, Nevada 89511

Bill helped me with my Phase I for some mods I just did this past summer, and he was very helpful...straight shooter and very reasonable. He'll be able to discuss any limitations to PH I ops out of RNO. Might be as simple as early turns off specific runways, and corridors to and from test areas. Perhaps depart RNO and head over by Silver Springs to do your work out there. Early engine break-in flights over RNO may be an issue if you want to stay within gliding distance of RNO, but I suspect Bill will have the info you need on that.

If it turns out to be a big hassle, we can perhaps find you a hangar to operate out of at Stead. I'd trade hangars with you for all or part of your Phase I if needed too (and if our landlords concur...should be OK.)

PM me or give me a holler any time at 7755443511. Any friend of Bob Ax's is a friend of mine!

Bob Mills
RV-S6 "Rocket Six" N49VM
Cross Country-Marshall Field (07TS)
Georgetown, TX
President/Sport 49, Sport Class Air Racing
Trustee, Formation Flying Inc (FFI)
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