MEMBER ALERT: AOPA is closed today, March 5, due to inclement weather. We will reopen March 6 at 8:30 a.m. Eastern.
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.
AOPA eNewsletter and Social Media Editor Benét J. Wilson joined AOPA in 2011. She is working on her private pilot certificate.
FAA Information and Services,
Safety and Education
Controller David Bricker of Albuquerque Center assisted a Cessna 172 pilot that encountered moderate precipitation, icing, and turbulence in mountainous terrain.
Controller James Hansmann of Los Angeles Center guides the pilot of a Cessna 182 with inoperative radios who had become disoriented in mountainous terrain, near restricted airspace and an international border.
AOPA has joined the “Know Before You Fly” campaign that seeks to educate users of unmanned aircraft systems about safe and responsible operations, including where and how high unmanned aircraft may be flown.
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