What better way to celebrate the freedom of flight than by flying? So if you chose to fly on the 4th, do what you always do - check for notams, check the weather, and fly carefully.
There will be a large TFR around Fort Bragg, North Carolina, as the President celebrates Independence Day with the troops. There might be a Cape Canaveral TFR for the shuttle Discovery launch. There are numerous fire TFRs in the West and Florida.
And there will be airshows and aerial displays. Remember that airshow notams are sometimes distributed only as local notams. That means you won't necessarily get it from a flight service briefing unless you ask for local notams.
Also be aware of Independence Day events. Both as a matter of courtesy and regulation ( FAR 91.119), you should fly at least 1,000 feet above an "open air assembly of persons."
And if you want to view fireworks displays from the air, remember that others may have had the same idea. Maintain a safe distance from the fireworks launch area, and keep a very sharp lookout for other aircraft. And consider that against the background of fireworks and city lights, it might be very difficult to see the navigation and anti-collision lights of another aircraft.
July 3, 2006