All posts tagged 'Airports' - Page 3

General Aviation news briefs: Flying Wisconsin, Connecting Pilots and Prairie Aircraft

How many airports do you have in your backyard? Ever counted them all, and then flown there?

Wisconsin pilot and aviation advocate Rose Dorcey set out this summer, along with her pilot husband John, to do just that.

With 45 runways already checked off on their trip, they have 15 more to go. They then can say they visited 60 public airports in the Badger State’s 72 counties over the course of four flights.

Dorcey, who took her first flight lesson at in Wisconsin Rapids at South Wood County Airport (ISW) on her 30th birthday “a few years ago,” says she still has not lost the passion of being up in the air. The image at the top of this post, taken from her blog, shows the next trip she envisions — flying a set of waypoints that allows her to trace out the state boundaries of Wisconsin. Or perhaps her flying IFR into the 17 general aviation airports in the state that support it.

We think her current endeavor is just as neat and as future one may be. Plus, it is something many of us could do if we possess as much creativity. What better mode can connect you to your statewide neighbors and, at the same time, allow you to take in the scope of countryside that surrounds you? Read about the voyage and see tons of aerial pictures of the beautiful lake-filled American countryside on her blog, Flying Wisconsin. [more]

Want to plot a similar journey for yourself? Make sure to begin with our Airport Resource Center. With it, you can look up airport listings by state, and then check each individual airport for current weather conditions, approach information and FBO prices.

Print out a kneeboard summary and find places to golf, to eat or to sleep along your trip, all from the same web page.

Speaking of useful tools, is another new web site that aviators will find useful for social networking. Dubbing itself the “Aviation Compass for Aviation 2.0,” it harbors links and contacts for flight schools, fellow pilots, aviation blogs and other handy resources we can use, whether in the air or on the ground dreaming of the next flight.

Started by blogger Vincent Lambercy, the project continues to seek companies, individuals and resources to feature on the site. Visit it and check it out.

Also today, we would like to recognize Prairie Aircraft Sales. The dealership announced this week that it acquired certification to be the exclusive Cessna Piston Dealership for the Canadian Provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and the Northwest Territories.

“We continue to represent Cessna for the full Caravan line for all of western and northern Canada, as well as all makes and models of pre-owned aircraft from singles to jets,” the company said in a statement. Check out Prairie Aircraft Sale’s inventory in our Aircraft Exchange by clicking here.

Handguns at the Security Checkpoint: Don't Do It.

According to a recent post on The TSA Blog, at least two passengers a day are caught at security checkpoints with a gun in their carry-on luggage. According to the post, when the passengers are caught, the most common response is "I didn't know it was in the bag." Unfortunately, that excuse works for the TSA just about as well as "the dog ate my homework" works for a high school teacher.

Once caught, a passenger potentially faces a number of consequences. First, the subsequent interaction with and interrogation by local law enforcement will quite often result in the passenger missing his or her flight. Next, the passenger could face criminal prosecution for violation of 49 C.F.R. 1540.111 which prohibits carriage of a weapon on your person or accessible carry-on luggage if security screening was required before boarding of the aircraft. The passenger may also be prosecuted under other local statutes that prohibit possession of a handgun at a checkpoint or in the secured area of an airport. [more]

Finally, and in addition to criminal prosecution, the TSA could also initiate a civil penalty action seeking to impose a civil penalty/monetary fine against the passenger for violation of 49 C.F.R. 1540.111 The penalty could range in amount from $1,500 to $7,500, depending upon whether or not the handgun was loaded. The civil penalty action is similar to an FAA enforcement action and does not provide as many constitutional rights and protections as a passenger would have in a criminal proceeding.

The TSA recommends, and I concur, that all passengers double check their carry-on baggage BEFORE arriving at the security checkpoint to confirm that they do not have a handgun or other prohibited item(s) in their luggage. Seems like a "no-brainer" to me. But, if you are caught "packing" at a checkpoint or in the secured area of an airport, hire an aviation attorney to help protect your rights.

For more information on the restrictions placed upon firearms at airports and in aircraft, please read my article on the topic: Carrying Firearms On Aircraft.

No pilot wants to be escorted by fighter jets: What to know about TFRs

Current TFR for Martha's Vineyard. Courtesy

Since Sept. 11, 2001, the level of security among aviation operations and presidential visits has increased sizably, and understandably so. In turn, the actions from time to time have affected the general aviation community.

Following the terror attacks that day, the FAA grounded all air traffic. Four hijacked commercial aircraft forever changed the way we look at our nation’s security and the way we regulate our sky.

These security measures sometimes present new problems for private pilots. Whereas a TFR was mostly a bowl of unknown alphabet soup to many who stayed close to home and flew VFR a decade ago, it now can lead to serious consequences in any corner of the country if you fly at the wrong place at the wrong time.

No pilot wants to end up in the same situation as Charles “Lee” Daily.

Daily piloted the Cessna 180 floatplane this week that entered a presidential TFR. NORAD scrambled a pair of F-15s from the 142nd Fighter Wing Division of the Oregon Air National Guard, near Portland, to respond the Seattle area, where President Obama was visiting. [more]

The two planes broke the sound barrier, and thousands of residents heard the resulting two loud booms that registered on the Richter scale in western Washington. Phone lines jammed as scores of concerned citizens called 911 dispatchers to report what sounded to them like an explosion.

Those who didn’t hear the sonic boom immediately were later treated to another sort of noise: Widespread coverage of the mishap on local news broadcasts, where the pilot called the incident “a simple, stupid mistake” on his part.

NORAD spokesman Lt. Desmond James said more than 3,000 jets responded to possible air threats in the continental United States since Sept. 11, 2001. Aircraft have flown more than 57,000 sorties supporting domestic defense initiatives during the same timeframe.

The commanding officer of the responding Air National Guard unit told local reporters that the sonic boom resulted as the F-15s flew over a less populated area, after the pilots received clearance for supersonic speed to deliver “the fastest response possible.”

As far as how or why the jets received clearance for a response that included supersonic speeds, James said NORAD cannot comment on an ongoing investigation. Some things that personnel consider when making such decisions include the type of aircraft voilating restricted airspace, the elevation, location, speed and direction of travel, and whether or not the pilot is in contact with aviation authorities.

So what is the best way to avoid being this situation? 

As of now, it is ultimately up to an individual pilot not to end up like the Seattle floatplane pilot, stuck unknowingly in the 10-mile no-fly zone for general aviation at the center of a TFR. The AOPA issued a statement this week noting the work amongst the GA community to ensure private pilots avoid such mishaps.

“This incident demonstrates how a careless mistake can have far-reaching consequences,” said Craig Spence, AOPA vice president of operations and international affairs. “When one pilot makes the news for violating a TFR, it can set back progress we’ve made on improving access for the hundreds of thousands who haven’t.”

We, as well, do our best here at to provide the best information to aviators in the most accessible way possible.

Avoid TFRs by frequently checking this link to get up-to-date listings from the FAA. Also search for local airport information and check current NOTAMs by clicking on the appropriate tab in our Airport Resource Center.

Those in the Martha’s Vineyard area of the Massachusetts peninsula currently are under a TFR, as the president and his family vacation there this week. Last year marked the first presidential vacation in the area since Sept. 11, 2001. Some aviation businesses, such as that of a scenic biplane tour operator, expected large economic losses during that period last year. Strengthening security by restricting airspace can sometimes leave unhappy people at smaller airports.

Throughout the past three decades, TFRs generally have become more frequent and, certainly in the last decade, more restrictive. Yet it is something with which we all must comply. In order not to see that fighter jet on your wing, we highly recommend looking out for TFRs well before completing your pre-flight checklist.

Presidential TFRs, for the sake of security, ofen do not get posted until 24 to 48 hours before they take affect.  

Let us know what you thought of the situation in Seattle. What do you think can be done better to ensure every private pilot is aware of what is going on around his or her home airport? At what point in the flight-planning process do you check for TFRs? Weigh in by posting a comment below.

Tracking hurricanes and other weather on



Entering mid-August, between now and mid-September historically is the peak time for hurricane formation. Though there fortunately are no storms at sea presently, this time of year often leads to aircraft loaded with scientific data flying into the eye of the deadly storms.

OK, so you are probably not going to be flying into a hurricane anytime soon, unless you pilot a P3 or G-IV for NOAA (or a C-130 for the Air Force Hurricane Hunters). Still, that does not mean you cannot track them when they form via our Airport Resource Center, which provides local and national aviation weather for the entire United States.

Whether the sky is threatening or friendly, you can rely on our information to help you plan flights, (though we obviously discourage using these maps for navigational purposes).

By clicking on our Airport Resource Center weather section you get access to data on icing, turbulence, convection, PIREP, METAR, TAF, AIRMET, SIGMET, satellite imagery, radar loops, surface maps, winds aloft, temperature, NEXRAD, precipitation, rain, snow, sleet, thunderstorm, enroute and prognostic charts. All of it is up to date and comes from NOAA, ADDS and DTC DUATS.

The images above were taken from our web site just as Hurricane Gustav made landfall in Louisiana in 2008. [more]

Keeping with the hurricane theme, the late summer of 2008 was a rather active time for the cyclones. A mere two weeks after this image, Hurricane Ike made landfall near Galveston, Texas. This storm created a bit of history when its remnants combined with an upper-level disturbance once over land.

It resulted in a freak-occurrence, no-rainfall, hurricane-force windstorm that closed airports in our region, including Louisville International (SDF), our now-home of Bowman Field (LOU) and Cincinnati/ Northern Kentucky International (CVG). Hundreds of thousands lost electrical power for days, including our office then located near downtown.

The event led us to increase our backup capability to help ensure you get the accurate aviation information from us when you need it. We encourage you to check out our Airport Resource Center for flight info, weather, and even to find a hotel, golf course or $100 Hamburger stand. Happy travels!

Kentucky, Ohio and Wisconsin salute the general aviation industry

“No plane, no gain,” the slogan has become a mantra in our industry to show the world the importance of business aviation. Several states helped that effort recently, putting the proof is in the pudding. in Kentucky, Wisconsin and Ohio combine for $10.25 billion in annual revenue from general aviation.  

Thus, governors in the three states each issued proclamations in the past few weeks recognizing aviation for its benefits to economic growth, as well as to personal and professional livelihood. The Alliance for Aviation Across America this week released statements applauding each.

The latest three add to a growing trend where the states of Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Kansas, North Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont, Washington and West Virginia also issued official commemorations recognizing the value of the aviation industry.

The Buckeye State, dubbed the “Birthplace of Aviation,” celebrated its Aviation Industry Awareness Day on July 16, noting the more than $5 billion it provides to the state’s economy.

“Whether it's aerospace, aircraft manufacturing, educational institutions or our vast network of (more than) 160 community airports statewide, aviation is a crucial part of our state and country's infrastructure,” Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland said. “We need to continue to support and encourage the growth of this vital industry.”

During the week of EAA Airventure, the Badger State’s Gov. Jim Doyle proclaimed it “Wisconsin Aviation Week,” saluting its 132 public use airports, 41,000 aviation jobs, and $3 billion annual economic contribution to the state.

In the Bluegrass State, from which hails, Gov. Steve Beshear recognized July as “General Aviation Appreciation Month.” In addition to $1.75 billion in economic contribution each year, the designation honored general aviation aircraft and airports as a necessity for medical care, law enforcement, tourism and other resources.  

The latter event sparked a personal sense of pride for many in our office., located at Bowman Field (KLOU) in Louisville, Ky., is proud to work in an aviation industry that includes our state’s largest private employer, UPS, whose “Worldport” air hub across town at Louisiville International Airport (SDF) employs thousands and contributes billions in wages. Many other local businesses rely on aircraft to get people and supplies to their destinations. Many businesses, like ours, work to support the industry itself.

The NBAA singled out Beshear’s proclamation as well, just as it did when nearby Hardin County, home of Fort Knox, issued a similar resolution earlier this year. Kentucky is home to 60 publicly owned airports, 112 private airstrips and more than 6,500 pilots. We tip our hats to each person involved with them

Further, this blog post comes just a day after Bluegrass Airport (KLEX) in Lexington, Ky., celebrated the addition of a new GA runway, part of $66 million in improvements at the facility.

"NBAA applauds Gov. Beshear for honoring the essential role business aviation plays in the vitality of Kentucky's companies and communities," NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen said. "The industry employs thousands of Kentuckians, provides a crucial link to rural communities and contributes to disaster relief and response to medical emergencies."

As Kentuckians and employees of the aviation industry, we gladly echo his sentiment.

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