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View Diary: Exxon's Skies: Why Is Exxon Controlling the No-Fly Zone Over Arkansas Tar Sands Spill? (219 comments)

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  •  On TFRs (10+ / 0-)

    A 5 nm TFR with a 1000 AGL limitation is not much of a limitation.  Football stadiums get a wider berth for Division I college games.  TFRs placed around forest fires are routinely under control of the firefighting crew.  Is this different?

    Press helicopters have really good telephoto lenses and gyro-stabilized mounts.  They can show you whatever you want to see in great detail from 1200 AGL.  Fixed wing aircraft probably ought not buzz around the area less than 1000 AGL anyway, for standard (legal) safety reasons.

    POTUS is in town today and tomorrow in the SF Bay Area, and his TFR is 70 miles in diameter, extending from the ground up to 18,000 feet.  It's basically shutting down general aviation throughout the metropolitan area for a day and a half.  Airport businesses and people with personal air transportation needs just have to suck it up.  It's been like this since 9/11.

    "They let 'em vote, smoke, and drive -- even put 'em in pants! So what do you get? A -- a Democrat for President!" ~ Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!

    by craiger on Wed Apr 03, 2013 at 06:03:54 PM PDT

    •  Yep. Copied from NOTAM #FDC 3/8699 (9+ / 0-)
      On the LITTLE ROCK VORTAC (LIT) 319 degree radial at 22.4 nautical miles. (Latitude: 34º58'55"N, Longitude: 92º26'42"W)

      Radius:     5 nautical miles

      Altitude:     From the surface up to and including 1000 feet AGL

      No one has any business flying around there at less than a thousand feet anyway.  A five mile radius and a thousand feet is not even an inconvenience for a news operation.

      The FAA defines MSA (minimum safe altitude) in the Federal Air Regulations.

      In the United States in particular, the Federal Aviation Administration calls this concept the Minimum Safe Altitude (MSA), and specifically defines it as follows in § 119 of Part 91 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (FAR):

      1. Anywhere: an altitude allowing a safe emergency landing without undue hazard to person or property on the ground;
       2. Over Congested Areas: an altitude of 1,000 feet above the highest obstacle within a horizontal distance of less than 2,000 feet;
      3. Over Populated Areas: an altitude of 500 feet AGL;
      4. Over Open Water or Sparsely Populated Areas: an altitude allowing for a linear distance greater than 500 from any person, vessel, vehicle, or structure;
      5.Helicopters: If without hazard to persons or property on the surface, an altitude lower than in definitions 2, 3, and 4 above, provided in compliance with any routes or altitudes specifically prescribed for helicopters by the FAA.
      Since the MSA over Mayflower, Arkansas is no lower than 500 feet, an extra five hundred is nothing to squawk about. News aircraft have to operate at a thousand feet or more over congested areas anyway, and we see lots of news stories shot in big cities from over a thousand feet.
       

      The general who wins the battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses makes but few calculations beforehand. - Sun Tzu

      by Otteray Scribe on Wed Apr 03, 2013 at 06:37:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  1200 feet would not be legal (0+ / 0-)

      if the restricted area goes up to 1000 feet, the lowest any aircraft could legally fly over it would be 1500 feet, giving 500 feet of clearance to any traffic within the restricted area.

      "We refuse to fight in a war started by men who refused to fight in a war." -freewayblogger

      by Bisbonian on Thu Apr 04, 2013 at 02:54:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  that's a very creative interpretation (0+ / 0-)

        Please cite a FAR in support of your assertion.

        "They let 'em vote, smoke, and drive -- even put 'em in pants! So what do you get? A -- a Democrat for President!" ~ Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!

        by craiger on Thu Apr 04, 2013 at 06:25:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It is an interpretation, based on nearly 18,000 (0+ / 0-)

          hours of flight experience, but I wouldn't consider it an especially creative one...just prudent. Part 91.111a prohibits flying close enough to another aircraft so as to create a collision hazard.  Per the AIM, a near mid air collision is defined as proximity to another aircraft of less than 500 feet, or a report is recieved from a pilot or aircrew member that a collision hazard existed.

          A prudent pilot would be able to prove that he was at least 500 feet from an aircraft in a TFR, in case that aircraft reported that there was a hazard. The aircraft in the TFR is authorized to fly up to and including the highest altitude in the restricted area, (as specified in the NOTAM, in this case)

          What is your interpretation, and based on what?

          "We refuse to fight in a war started by men who refused to fight in a war." -freewayblogger

          by Bisbonian on Thu Apr 04, 2013 at 07:28:32 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  plain language (0+ / 0-)

            The regulations say that I am legal so long as I remain outside the designated limits of the TFR, and see and avoid other air traffic so as to avoid a collision hazard.  With a Mode C resolution of 100 feet, maintaining 200 feet above the top of the restricted airspace unambiguously establishes my compliance with the airspace, and my responsibility to avoid running into other airplanes is the same as any other time I'm not tied down on the ramp.

            What you're saying, it seems, is that it is "prudent" to remain 500 feet above the top of the TFR as a CYA maneuver in case someone decides to lie to the FAA and falsely claim a near-midair.  That is a little different than what is "legal" isn't it?

            I've got 1000 hours in my C182 and an instrument rating.  More than a dozen years flying around San Francisco and Los Angeles airspaces.  Flying 200 feet below a Class B floor is neither illegal nor unusual.  Flying 200 feet above a TFR is no different, legally.

            The only near-midair experience I ever had was when a professional pilot of a Pilatus PC-12 deviated from his IFR clearance and failed to make his departure turn within one mile of the airport.  He nearly took off my right wing from behind, two miles upwind from the airport where I had departed ahead of him.  Separation was about 50 feet horizontally and zero vertically.  I filed an NMAC with the tower manager, and nothing ever came of it.

            "They let 'em vote, smoke, and drive -- even put 'em in pants! So what do you get? A -- a Democrat for President!" ~ Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!

            by craiger on Thu Apr 04, 2013 at 10:20:45 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  One of the few near midairs have had was (0+ / 0-)

              with a Bonanza, flying around 200 feet below the SFO class B, while I was on an IFR approach into OAK, with 137 passengers.  He is no longer flying.

              "We refuse to fight in a war started by men who refused to fight in a war." -freewayblogger

              by Bisbonian on Thu Apr 04, 2013 at 11:03:27 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Oh, and the other pilot doesn't need to lie. (0+ / 0-)

              Have you got a five hundred foot ruler you can use to tell how far another airplane is away from you?  He doesn't either.  Now, suppose an Exxon pilot, in a TFR, says you got to close, and you say you didn't ... But please, try it.  I get the feeling we'll all be better off.

              "We refuse to fight in a war started by men who refused to fight in a war." -freewayblogger

              by Bisbonian on Thu Apr 04, 2013 at 11:09:17 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

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