Texas Air Travelers Mandated to Self-Quarantine

Texas Air Travelers Mandated to Self-Quarantine

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Texas Air Travelers From Designated Areas Only

On March 30th, Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued an Executive Order mandating that all travelers (including Texas air travelers operating or traveling in private aircraft) from the following designated areas were to self-quarantine for 14 days (or the extent of their stay in Texas, whichever was shorter) upon entering the State:

  • California
  • Louisiana
  • Washington State
  • Atlanta, Georgia
  • Chicago, Illinois
  • Detroit, Michigan
  • Miami, Florida

If you traveled to Texas by air from any of the above designated areas, you are required to fill out the Arrivals from Areas Designated for Mandatory Self-Quarantine Form. Failure to do so could lead to a $1,000 fine or 180 days in jail, or both. For private aircraft owners/operators, put your Tail Number in for Flight Number and “Private” for Airline.

Aircraft owners, stay away from the designated areas listed above and you won’t have any worries. A lot of you reading this are from Texas, so make Louisiana a fly over state for now and don’t make any landings in Cajun country.

Flight Training Deemed Essential Business

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There have been lots of changes in all parts of our lives with the coming of COVID-19. All of our lives have been affected in one way or another. We hope and pray that none of your families have been directly affected by the illness.

A lot of us have been living under Shelter in Place orders for several weeks now, only going out for groceries and making sure to keep our distance from people. We have to take a different mindset when we go out now. Even meeting new people is different since we can’t shake hands.

Flying has been an afterthought for a lot of pilots. There have been multiple ATC facilities where controllers have been afflicted with the virus and have had to shut down for hours or days. Airspace can change pretty quickly, going from what we all know as normal, to an ATC-ZERO scenario. This was the case for New York Center several times over the last two weeks.

There was some uncertainty regarding flight training under the shelter in place orders and Texas Top Aviation has been asked several questions about it over the last week. Yesterday, the Flight School Association of North America (FSANA) announced that flight instruction was indeed an essential business.

In an article on GeneralAviationNews.com, the website quoted a memorandum of understanding written by attorney George Winton on March 24th. Winton was a senior attorney for the FAA and U.S. Department of Justice, and now operates The Aviation Law Firm in Annapolis, Maryland.

“This memorandum affirms the statement that…flight training would be included as a critical infrastructure activity. Those engaged in the provision of and receipt of flight training who work to provide enhanced compliance with CDC recommendations for limiting potential COVID-19 exposure and spread would be considered exempt from travel limitations imposed by local authorities.”

Winton’s memo was sent to the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). In the memo, Winton stated:

“CISA listed Other Community-Based Government Operations And Essential Functions as follows: Workers who support necessary credentialing, vetting and licensing operations for transportation workers.”

“The aviation sub-sector stakeholders involved with operation of recreational aircraft and flight schools, who employ Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers from the Transportation Sector, support necessary credentialing, vetting and licensing operations for transportation workers seeking pilot certification by the Federal Aviation Administration. Since CISA intended to be overly inclusive to reflect the diversity of industries, the aviation mode stakeholders understand that essential employees involved with the operation of recreational aircraft and flight schools continue to be identified as Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers from the Transportation Sector. Accordingly, the aviation sub-sector stakeholders who employ Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers from the Transportation Sector will continue to operate recreational aircraft and flight schools, appropriately modified to account for CDC workforce and customer protection guidance, based upon the CISA memorandum dated March 19, 2020.”

Based on the above guidance, Texas Top Aviation will continue to operate flight training in all of it’s normal capacities, while maintaining vigilance concerning sanitation, cleanliness, and health. Our company will keep it’s customer’s up to date on instructor health and wellness and won’t hesitate to cancel if there is any kind of health concern. We ask our customers to do the same.

If you are scheduled to train with Texas Top Aviation, please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns you might have.

To read the entire memo from George Winton, you can find it here.


Concerning the 2020 Texas Top Aviation Santa Fe Golf Fly In scheduled for June 5th-7th, that event is currently being re-scheduled for September 2020. Dates will be announced by the end of April. We look forward to seeing you in Santa Fe in September!

MMOPA Spring Safety Standdown

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MMOPA will be hosting it’s second Safety Standdown event at many locations across the country for Piper PA46 owners and pilots. The first iteration of MMOPA Safety Standdown in the fall of 2019 was a big hit. Each event was very well attended by MMOPA members.

What is Safety Standdown you ask? Safety Standdown was put together as a mid-year training event as part of the MMOPA Master Aviator program. It’s goal is to allow PA46 owners and pilots to fly in to a location at a reasonable time (the event starts at 10am local time), received some good quality ground training over relevant safety topics by highly experienced PA46 instructors, have a free lunch, then depart mid-afternoon to arrive back home before dark.

The event is free to all attendees. Lunch will be provided at each location. This event is not exclusive to MMOPA members, either. Any PA46 owner or pilot, or just anyone interested in the PA46 world, are invited to attend.

Texas Top Aviation is hosting the South Central Region Spring Safety Standdown at the Henrickson Jet Center at the Austin Executive Airport (KEDC). Hank Gibson and Pedro Vargas-Lebron will be presenting on the following topics:

  • MMOPA Operational Practices review and importance of stabilized approaches
  • Crosswind Takeoffs and Landings
  • High Density Altitude Operations
  • A discussion of thunderstorms, resources in the cockpit for weather avoidance, and accidents that have occurred involving thunderstorms

The MMOPA Spring Safety Standdown will take place on Saturday, April 18th, 2020. Registration is required for the event. The link for registration can be found here.

Come on out for some high quality training and free BBQ with 50 of your closest PA46 buddies!

Piper PA46 Maintenance Shops

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Sometimes, it’s hard to find a good shop that does quality work and communicates well without charging a fortune. Luckily for the PA46 owner, there are lots of good options. Here are the Texas Top Aviation recommended Piper PA46 maintenance shops.

Lubbock Aero (KLBB)/Abilene Aero (KABI)-Texas

Lubbock Aero and Abilene Aero are owned by the same company. Both are Piper service centers. I have had some Piper PA46 maintenance interactions with Chad at Lubbock Aero over the last year and have been impressed.

The folks at Lubbock Aero are friendly, knowledgeable, and keep the customer abreast of what’s going on with their airplane. I haven’t been to Abilene Aero, but I suspect that the same quality of service exists there as well.

Chuck’s Aircraft (KEDC)-Austin, TX

Chuck’s Aircraft has been a Cirrus Service Center for a number of years. Recently, Chuck’s put several mechanics through Kevin Mead’s M-Class which educates mechanics on the ins and outs of Piper PA46 maintenance. Chuck’s is a great, convenient spot to get your PA46 worked on.

First Line Aero (KJSO)-Jacksonville, TX

Located on the same airport as Casey Aviation, First Line Aero specializes in Piper PA46 maintenance. Walking up to their hangar, it’s loaded with Malibus, Mirages, JetProps, and Meridians. Charles Crossman, the owner, has been turning wrenches for a lot of years. Anyone recommended by Joe Casey has a stamp of approval in my book.

Midwest Malibu (KHUT)-Hutchinson, KS

One of 2 nationally renowned PA46 shops, owners bring their PA46s from all over the country to Midwest Malibu. Owner Tony Beauchamp has personally assisted multiple of my customers when they have gotten in AOG situations with their PA46s.

Des Moines Flying Service (KDSM)-Des Moines, IA

I have not had any direct interaction with Des Moines Flying Service, but I have several customers who have. The reviews have all indicated knowledgeable mechanics, good work, and good communication.

Malibu Aerospace (KANE)-Blaine, MN

Malibu Aerospace (the second nationally renowned Piper PA46 maintenance shop) has done many great things for the PA46 line of aircraft. From the M1 Cooling Mod that alters the lower cowl and add baffles for cooling air getting to where it needs to go, to the M5 TSIO 550C upgrade for the original PA46-310P, the Malibu Aerospace guys know what they are doing with the PA46.

Hetrick Aviation (KTOP)-Topeka, KS

I recently learned about Hetrick Aviation in Topeka. I met a customer there to pick up his plane where it was having a pre-buy and annual done. Keith Hetrick, the owner, has worked on a lot of PA46 airplanes and was very knowledgeable in my discussions with him. He is also a pilot, so he flies each airplane after maintenance is done to make sure no bugs are present when an owner picks it up.


Those are the Texas Top Aviation recommended PA46 shops. Have another one to add? Post in the comments below and we’ll get it added to the list.

AOPA Air Safety Institute: More Difficult Decisions

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The AOPA Air Safety Institute is making it’s annual loop through Texas this January. The topic for this Safety Seminar is “More Difficult Decisions: Choices & Consequences.”

The seminar is geared our the decision making process that we as pilots face on each flight. Some decisions are easy (what altitude should I pick?) while some have much greater consequences and should be taken very seriously.

This event will be interactive for the participants as several scenarios will be presented. The goal is to help pilots learn to think through each decision, weighing the consequences along the weigh to arrive at the safest outcome of the flight.

The first area seminar will be held on Tuesday, January 21st at the Stinson Field Airport (KSSF, 8535 Mission Road, San Antonio, TX 78214). The second area seminar will be held on Wednesday, January 22nd at the TXDOT office in Austin (200 E. Riverside Dr., Austin, TX 78704). WINGs credit is available for all attendees.

Learn more here.