January 4, 2005
A tethered balloon located near Barnwell County Airport in Aiken, South Carolina, could pose a collision hazard for VFR aircraft, and AOPA is urging the FAA to act quickly to protect pilots.
In a letter sent to the FAA on Friday, AOPA warns that the balloon extends 2,400 feet above the maximum elevation figure (MEF) charted for the area, reaching an altitude of 4,200 feet agl. That means pilots flying at VFR altitudes well above the MEF risk colliding with the balloon.
Although the balloon is limited to daytime VFR operation and a notam will be issued any time the balloon is up, pilots must specifically request the information to receive it as part of a flight service station briefing.
AOPA members can view the complete FAA proposal online and comment on the balloon hazard before May 23, 2005. Comments should be addressed to Ronald Ruggeri, Manager Airspace and Operations Support Branch, AEA-530 Non-Rule Case Number 05-ASO-0003-NR, FAA Eastern Region, 1 Aviation Plaza, Jamaica, New York 11434.
April 1, 2005
Collaboration between the German government, academia, and airplane manufacturers may make future aircraft cabins more protective of pilots and passengers. The Safety Box team plans to apply auto racing technology to general aviation.
A father and his 14-year-old son were helping another pilot ferry a newly purchased aircraft from California to their home field in Virginia. The three made an overnight stop in Albuquerque before flying on to Illinois for fuel. But shortly after they parked the aircraft in Marion, Ill., they were approached by as many as 18 uniformed and non-uniformed law enforcement officers who came running toward the airplane.
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