July 16, 2013
By Benét J. Wilson
As fire season continues, general aviation pilots are reminded to be aware of and prepare for temporary flight restrictions (TFRs) during the pre-flight process. Flying near forest fires can create great danger to a GA pilot, and not planning ahead of the flight can leave pilots in danger of penetrating TFRs.
Pilots flying near an area with potential wildfires should do the following: obtain a complete pre-flight briefing; check notams prior to flight; be vigilant in parts of the country where wild fires occur; and visit the FAA's website for graphical TFR depictions.
There has been a reported uptick in GA pilots violating firefighting TFRs, so members are advised to plan accordingly. “We want pilots to make sure they are aware of how to prepare for firefighting TFRs as part of their pre-flight planning to ensure pilots remain out of harm’s way,” said Melissa McCaffrey, AOPA senior government analyst of air traffic services.
The size of a firefighting TFR can vary depending upon the extent of fire, so pilots should leave plenty of room from a TFR, as smoke and other hazards can drift beyond boundaries and put them in danger.
FAA Information and Services,
Safety and Education
With a closing speed of about 900 knots, Air Force pilots on a training mission have seconds to aim and shoot heat-seeking and radar guided missiles at a drone target. Their success came from repeated rehearsals. But as author Larry Brown writes, “there is nothing like the real thing to gain experience.”
AOPA staff members updated attendees of the Montana Aviation Conference Feb. 27 through March 1 on the association's involvement in issues that affect pilots.
Pilots from Maine and New England turned out in numbers for the annual Maine Aviation Forum hosted by EAA Chapter 1434.
AOPA thanks our members for their continued support in protecting the freedom to fly.