Sawyer AviationKSDL
15 reviews

The majority of Sawyer Aviation’s fleet are air-conditioned. Arizona is home to great flying weather and 360-days of sunshine. However, there can sometimes be too much of a good thing. For those extra-sunny days, Sawyer Aviation’s aircraft keep you cool, comfortable, and dry – flying year-round.

• Flight Instruction
• Rental
• FS101 ATD
• Elite PI-135 BATD w/ Garmin 430
• WiFi
• Snack Machines
• Pilot Lounge
• Piston & Turbine Aircraft Maintenance
• Nationwide Charter
• Free learn to fly seminar every Thursday
• Pilot Supplies
• CATS Testing Center
• Cirrus CSIP Instructors

CFI Rate: $71.00/hr
CFI Ground Rate: $71.00/hr
Aircraft Rental Sales Tax: 10.45%
Flight Instruction Sales Tax: 2.50%

Local Procedures Briefing
Sawyer Aviation
Scottsdale Municiple Airport - KSDL

Operator Procedures                                        

Fueling Aircraft

This is easy. Call Landmark, the FBO, at 480-948-2400 if you need gas. They will fuel the airplane, clean the windscreen, and typically bring water if you give them 30 minutes notice. 

[PRO TIP] Fill engine oil with 6-7 quarts per the AFM, but no more. Over servicing the oil is wasteful and just gets the airplane dirty. 

Access to Aircraft
Typically you'll simply be dispatched by the Sawyer front desk. If you find the building locked, don't panic. Call Landmark to unlock. (This can happen occasionally, especially on weekends.) 

After hours, ask the folks at the desk at Landmark, they’ll get you what you need.

Returning the Aircraft
If you return after hours go through Landmark to get back in. See instruction in your confirmation email on where to secure keys, etc.

Getting Reimbursed if You Buy Fuel Elsewhere
Reimbursement for fuel purchases elsewhere will not exceed $6 / gallon.  

Securing the Aircraft Post-Flight

Please secure the aircraft when you are done flying. Aircraft should be tied down, locked, all switches off, parking brake off, sunshades, pitot cover installed.  

The ramp at SDL is spacious. All aircraft locations are drive in, drive out parking. No getting your hands dirty messing with the tow bar here. But please keep a sharp eye out for ropes. They can mess up your whole day. 

When you get back, just take the Northern most available tie down.  Preferably between taxiways A7 and A6. 

Caution Areas, Where Hanger Rash is Most Likely

Please be extra careful when taxiing in the vicinity of numerous twins that share the ramp. Be extra vigilant at night for chocks on the ramp. They make for an impressive prop strike if you hit one. 

What Fuel Load to Expect, and How to Change It
The fuel state of the aircraft varies thought the day. If you need a specific fuel load for your flight, please contact the Sawyer front desk via telephone with 48 hour notice and they will do their best to accommodate you.

Local Airspace Considerations                        

Standard Departure Procedures
As depicted... 

Best Way to Get Flight Following

Phoenix Approach is on 120.7 

You can request a transition through the Class B. Expect to be directed over the top of PHX. 

Local Reporting Points  
Have a copy of the TAC chart handy. Typical landmarks are charted. Here are the ones you should be most familiar with: 

  • Care Free airport 11NM to N
  • Pinnacle Peak 7 NNE
  • Fountain Hills 10 E 

Typical TFR Considerations
Fires. Firefighting operations often bring TFRs. 

Preferred IFR "gates" ATC wants you to DEPART TO
Expect radar vectors outbound.

Preferred VFR "gates" ATC wants you to ARRIVE FROM
When West of Scottsdale Road, expect right base entry for runway 21. 

Local Airfield Operations                                        
What Does Tower Want You To Do Before You Call?  
Advise the tower direction of departure on first call up.

Noise Abatement Procedures
As depicted.

Reccomended Pattern Altitude
2,500 MSL

Preferred Pattern Entries
Don’t be surprised by being directed to fly mid field downwind patterns. 

Special Cautions for Flying the Pattern
Buildings around the area tend to cause orthographic turbulence, don’t be surprised by sudden airspeed changes at low level. 

Runway Slope
One more time. The VASI at SDL is steeper than normal. 

Local Flight Planning Tips                                     

Noise Sensitive Areas
As depicted.

Local Hazards
It is the desert. There are rugged mountains from Northern through Eastern sectors. 

Nearby Special Use Airspace
When departing to to the West, note you’ll encounter Luke AFB Alert Area, which requires communications w/ Luke Approach prior to transition. 

How To Easily Identify Boundaries of Overlying or Nearby Airspace
Class B airspace overlies the area, yet provides a comfortable a margin for terrain clearance. 
When departing Eastbound climb to 3,500 and aim to fly over the top of the KFFZ airport class D.
Class B transitions are easy, ask the tower for an early frequency change, and maintain runway heading, climb to 4,500 in the direction of Squaw Peak.  

Unique Weather Challenges / Microclimates
Winter months: 
Rising terrain to the North can result in low visibility and mountain obscuration. It might be the desert, but at altitude icing conditions may be plentiful. 
Flight to the South are more advisable when there’s weather in the vicinity. 
Summer months: 
T-storms tend to build rapidly, without much warning, causing all sorts of trouble…. You best bet is to divert to a nearby airport and let the storm pass, rather than trying to tough it out.
Desert conditions provide for bigger contrast between moist and dry air. So be prepared for bigger bumps when penetrating a cloud.  

Local Terrain Considerations
Note the terrain slopes downhill from the North, be vigilant and maintain that 1,000 feet AGL.  
2,000 feet AGL over lakes please, remember to fly quiet.
[PRO TIP] Remeber, the leeward side of mountains get mighty bumpy if the wind is blowing.

Best Airports to Visit Area
  • Sedona SEZ 80 N
  • Flagstaff FLG 100 N
  • Grand Canyon GCN 140 N
  • Grand Canyon West 1G4 (home of the glass Skybridge ) 170 N
  • Vegas LAS go to McCarran, every time. If flight plan from IGM, popping into Vegas unannounced can result in a 45 minute delay. Better idea is to file IFR if you can. If not, make sure you’v got the gas. Atlantic FBO is walking distance to The Strip.  What you save in ramp fees fling into Henderson, you’ll just pay back in cab fare.  
Best Sites to See From the Air  
  • The Lakes to the N/E and East Swarrow Lake through Roosevelt Lake.
  • Fountain Hills E 15 minutes (fountain at the top of the hour)
  • Fly the “Quick Valley Rally” Fly Southbound, transition the class B, hang a left at chandler KCHD, the fly over the top of Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport KIWA, then to KPHX then back to SDL.
  • Bartlett Lake, 25 nm NE and back
  • The San Francisco Peaks are 400 miles  to the north, and are the tallest point in AZ is  at 12.5K MSL.  
Restrictions That May Apply to Any National Parks
  • The Grand Canyon – refer to the special chart which Sawyer will be happy to sell to you. 
  • Fort Huachuca – Predator drones operate in the area.   
  • Then there is the Goldwater Gunnery Range 100 miles WSW. Don't fly through that.  
Local Laws Not on the Charts
As depicted.

Density Altitude Considerations
It gets hot in Arizona. Awareness of density altitude is critical.

Optical Illusions
VASI is steeper than normal at SDL for noise abatement.
The airport is buried in a densely populated area. The trick to finding it is to look for the 101 freeway as it curves from Northbound to Westbound. 


Parting thoughts
In the winter months, the Bear Jackson car auction, and Phoenix Open (That’s golf.) are big local events, don't be surprised if things get busy. 
  • Use of boost pump while flying in warm weather, per the AFM.
  • Expect elevated engine temperatures, but they will typically stay in the green arc. 
  • Lean for peak RPM, consult the checklist.
  • Don't be surprised by a low oil indication after landing, this is due to thermal breakdown due to warm engine. It's not unusual when flying around the desert. 
Fuel strainers are available in the plane.
Dumping fuel samples on the ramp is punishable by death. (We’re kidding, but not by that much!)
Clean fuel samples may be returned to the airplane.
Proper fuel disposal bins are in the storage boxes out on the ramp. 

July 26, 2013, 6:13 p.m.

Sawyer Aviation is rated 5.0 out of 5 stars from 15 reviews.
Pilot Comments

Operator Info

15115 North Airport Drive
Scottsdale, AZ 85260
Sawyer Aviation

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