View Full Version : TFR
17th Jun 2012, 06:52
I don't know why it upsets me so much but the stories about the F15s forcing the C172s to land when they penetrate a political TFR (usually where the Anointed One has staged a political rally or fund raiser) make me feel that it is so unfair and unnecessary. First, why does a mere politician, especially when he is campaigning and not doing the job of Leader of the Free World, need a TFR? And 30 miles? How frightened of his subjects is he? It goes beyond paranoid. He spends his holidays in Hawaii and forces flight schools and flight seeing companies to shut down for the weeks he is there, many going out of business as a result. And this one takes so many holidays and does so much campaigning he is all over the country all the time. It is practically impossible to be current on his travels. And he is not the only one with the delusions of grandeur.
And really; publishing his travel plans makes him a bigger target, doesn't it?
I can understand the FBI and Police forces taking a delight in confronting the hapless pilot of the little airplane; that is right up their jackboot alley, but why would a professional Air Force pilot think it is OK to terrify and threaten a civilian pilot who is obviously just unaware of the existence of the TFR? There have never been any terrorists on these airplanes, and they are no threat anyway even if they were to be piloted by a bad guy. Anyone who has been in a small airplane can attest to that.
What if the airplane does not choose to follow the F15? Is it going to be shot down? Killing someone's granny? And maybe causing the airplane to crash into some innocent person's house?
If the pilot does follow the instructions and lands to be torn a new one by the local feds, now he faces the loss of his license and livelihood, and for what? So some slimeball with a power kick gets his jollies?
The attractions of the top job include the ability to shut down highways with the cavalcade of vehicles, have Air force One to travel on, have Hail to the Chief as a lullaby, and now the right to keep a coward's bubble around him to protect against the evil light airplane pilot. I would guess that the next guy will not give all this up, and we will be stuck with it forever.
Is it common around the world or is it peculiar to the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave? (see my tongue firmly in my cheek there? Do I need to say I am being sarcastic or can you see that already?).
And I am a US citizen so I am not just bashing the "cousins". I really think this is wrong and the only way to stop it is to object every time it happens.
I fly all over the US as GA pilot and I don't always have time or access to the system to find out if the area I intend to fly in has a TFR. They can pop up without warning and if I am not using flight following I will not even be told until I see the fighter off my wing. Losing my job for such a useless and ineffective harassment would be galling.
Why am I the only one who feels this way? Why is there so much acceptance of this stupidity from the aviation community? Why does no-one point to the fact that only a gross coward would even want this sort of "protection"? Why does nobody point out that it is totally ineffective anyway?
Does someone have to die before we speak up?
Do you really think its the passenger that makes these rules? Or that it would be any different with a different person, of a different political paryt, in the same job?
Methinks that any pilot who doesn't keep up to date on operating restrictions or doesnt read the NOTAMS shouldn't be allowed to fly. But that's only an ill informed opinion.
If you don't like the restrictions, why not petition the FAA for a review? That should be about as effective as moaning on Pprune?
You should be thankful he didn't want a haircut.
17th Jun 2012, 10:28
Serves you right for living in America.
Here in the UK we don't have many "Important" people.
herman the crab
17th Jun 2012, 10:47
Just a load of sporty type who'll have similar protection in East London? ;)
17th Jun 2012, 10:54
Do they still have 'Purple' airspace in the UK for certain members of the Royal Family?:)
17th Jun 2012, 10:58
This is a problem, but the GA industry is moving towards a solution (at about the same pace glaciers move) by clearing local operators to fly in the TFR. See here
The politicians/organisers are the real problem by giving so little notice. I have personally been refused landing permission less than 4 hours from landing due to a European Prime Ministers' conference that was planned and announced six months previously. I kept asking for days beforehand if there would be a problem, and being told "No problem" until asking for en-route clearance on start-up, and being told "No".
Accessing the system is not always possible if, for instance, your take-off location is a lake in the Rockies. My best advice is to make your first stop a small location that does have access to the system, and don't fly anywhere presidents go en-route, especially if you don't have a radio.
There is no need to be frightened of the F-15s. Believe it or not, they're quite good at formation. If you haven't seen them till they turn up on your wing, then you may want to sharpen up your lookout. Anyway, just do as you are told. The procedures for being intercepted are simple and short, and an inevitable consequence of 9/11. See here
Interception Procedures from the AIM (http://jcmservices.net/inter.htm)
Q:Will they shoot you down if you don't comply?
A:Why do you think they've sent up heavily armed trained killers and not an FAA Cessna?
The AD pilots are not expecting instant compliance (I know, I used to be one), but you need to get your act together, so know the procedures
17th Jun 2012, 11:40
Do they still have 'Purple' airspace in the UK for certain members of the Royal Family?
that was normally implemented to protect the rest of the aviation community when Phil the Greek or Big Ears were flying.
17th Jun 2012, 17:08
Wow. The naivete and lack of information you display gives one reason to question the FAA's licensing process; as in "How did they manage to give you one when you clearly don't understand the world in which you live?".
The President doesn't make the rules around his security. Seriously. He is not an egomaniac making 172 pilots sit on the ground because he gets a kick out of keeping the little guy down. No other president has been either. Egomaniacs? Quite possibly. Concerned with the activities of a few hundred GA pilots? Please.
He may be merely on the campaign trail and not doing the business of POTUS, but he's still the same person and, therefore, the same target (or risk, depending on your view). To argue that one activity, and not the other, deserves security measures is naive in the extreme.
Can we have a verifiable reference, please, for the "many flight schools and sight seeing companies" that have gone out of business because of a presidential TFR?
All of the points above are merely immature ranting and extreme naivete. Those can be put down to poor socialization as a child and being severely let down by a school system that allowed you to develop such childish beliefs.
What can NOT be forgiven, however, is having earned a PPL then claiming
I don't always have time or access to the system to find out if the area I intend to fly in has a TFR
If you don't have the time to check NOTAMS, then you don't have the time to safely conduct the flight. Stay on the ground. And there is almost no way you could avoid having some way to check the FSS website or call 1-800-WXBRIEF to get a full briefing on NOTAMS. There is absolutely no excuse for making a flight without having complete knowledge of the weather and NOTAM situation.
Any pilot that violates a TFR and gets an ass-chewing or loses his job is not being meaninglessly harassed. He's being expected to have the maturity required, and accept the responsibility, to safely exercise the privileges of his license. Avoiding a TFR and thereby avoiding a fighter intercept, ass-chewing, or harassment by authorities, is entirely in the control of the pilot.
If you cannot accept that as a checklist item #1, then you need to rethink being a pilot. It's a fundamental part of flying culture. In your OP, you make yourself sound ill-informed, childish, insolent, and irresponsible. Please seriously rethink your place in aviation and whether you should have one at all.
17th Jun 2012, 17:33
Whether you like it or not is not really the issue. Live with it or go play golf. It's not as if it is that difficult to find out where a TFR might be and then to fly perfectly legally through it, or around it if you want. How do you deal with all the other types of protected, restricted, or special use airspace? Your thread shows a disregard for the whole ethos behind safe flying and I hope for your own sake that this is some kind of joke....
17th Jun 2012, 18:25
So when you lay your head down on the pillow at night after reading stories like the one below, you sigh and say to yourself that the world is indeed a safer place because we now have TFRs to protect us from the bad guys. Like these fellows?
Three Planes Violate Presidential TFR In LA | Aero-News Network (http://www.aero-news.net/index.cfm?do=main.textpost&id=c76bb936-300a-4088-83bc-f19c7f109082)
AOPA Online: Large Presidential TFR to impact Texas pilots (http://www.aopa.org/whatsnew/newsitems/2002/02-3-149x.html)
Terrible TFR (http://www.pilotjourney.com/terrible-tfrs/)
EAA News - Are 35 nm Presidential TFRs Becoming the Standard? (http://www.eaa.org/news/2009/2009-05-14_tfrs.asp)
EAA News - Hawaii Presidential TFR Remains a GA Burden (http://www.eaa.org/news/2009/2009-12-29_hawaii.asp)
AOPA Online: Boyer explains impact of presidential TFRs (http://www.aopa.org/flightplanning/articles/2008/081201tfrs.html)
And I am not alone in my thinking:
Improved GA access seen for Hawaii TFR (http://www.aopa.org/advocacy/articles/2010/101216improved_general_aviation_access_for_Hawaii_tfr.html)
Archer Bravo Aviation – Bravo Blog » honolulu tfr (http://www.archerbravo.com/bravoblog/?tag=honolulu-tfr)
I have no problem with a TFR, just with those designed for political purposes. Those are the ones that are most likely to pop up without notice, or to affect major areas such as Hawaii or Chicago. If they are not happy with 30 miles, and are starting to increase the size to 35, who knows when even that is not enough?
Might I remind you that this is an election year?
Not everyone has a cell phone or cell phone access, so it is not always possible to find out before flight. Not everyone has an instrument rating or IPAD or can fly IFR or even get flight following. But some of you say "stay on the ground or give up flying altogether". Very mature, as my teenage daughter would say.
17th Jun 2012, 18:43
First question; how much GA do you think there is in the Middle East?
Second question: Have you any idea how much things are shut down for Rulers in the Middle East? In my experience, they'll shut down half the town for 8 hours just in case the Ruler wants to pop down the shops.
If the terrorists are a lot less likely to succeed, then they are a lot less likely to try, with all the innocent casualties that follow.
And 3 more poor pilots are likely to read NOTAMS in future, along with a fair proportion of the lazy ones who just read the articles. Let's be honest, there is a lot of useful, accident preventing stuff in NOTAMS (that's why they exist), and these 3 clearly hadn't read them.
17th Jun 2012, 19:28
Sorry, I edited while you replied.
One of the reasons we are better at aviation is precisely because we did not have the restrictions they do in China, Middle East, etc. How would we have developed if we had had those rules? Now we are starting down the same track. This is good?
You assume that a TFR would work as planned? Have you thought about that at all? I don't want to spell out details, but truly what defence can be mounted against an airplane flown at low level by a determined pilot? The TFR encompasses 2832 square miles. All of which has to be guarded 24 hours a day. I would think the emphasis would be on the bigger airliners that actually have a chance to do some damage, not the little Cessna that almost bounces off any buildings and cannot carry weapons that actually offer a threat to anyone on the ground.
You assume that pilots who do not know about the TFR are lazy. I think those who have been caught so far and suffered whatever consequences would argue very strongly against that suggestion. Just because it is easier than trying to fly in China or Russia, does not make it right or wonderful.
17th Jun 2012, 19:40
If this is causing you so much grief, I have a solution for you. If there is a TFR in an area you wish to fly in, file a IFR flight plan. Then it is up to the ATC to keep you clear of the TFR areas.
Then once you are sure you are clear of the TFR, cancel IFR and proceed on your merry way.
As for airport closures, not much you can do about that, except move your aircraft before it goes into force.
Bottom line, you can bitch or you can adapt. Your choice.
17th Jun 2012, 20:05
Boofhead, my post #6 is relatively understanding to your viewpoint. I have flown from the middle of nowhere too. From my limited time flying commercially in the US, I cannot recall an occasion when I 'did not have time to check the NOTAMs'
Do TFRs work?
The ranges are calculated, together with the alert status of the fighters, to ensure an interception is possible, and a shootdown if necessary, before the aircraft can hit the President.
How much damage can a 1 ton Cessna 172 at 120 kts with 50 gals of fuel on board do in the hands of a suicide bomber? Quite a lot. I wouldn't fancy my chances in the Prez's Limo from an aerial attack. Most of the armor is for ground based threats.
TFRs are an eminently sensible solution to a genuine threat.
but truly what defence can be mounted against an airplane flown at low level by a determined pilot?
As an ex-AD pilot, I can assure you no low level 'determined' pilot is the slightest problem. He isn't supersonic, he hasn't got 7 mates, and he isn't trying to shoot back.
17th Jun 2012, 20:50
There are two issues you're talking about
1. The legitimacy of TFRs
2. Pilots incurring them.
I won't argue point 1 with you but, for now, they exist and pilots have to comply. That's a given until the FAA changes the rules. You can fight that, but I suggest that that is done on the ground where one's ticket is not at risk.
But for point 2 you still don't seem to get that it is YOUR responsibility to ensure you are fully briefed and comply with ALL NOTAMs, including TFRs. Not everyone has a cell phone? Tough luck. How do you think we managed to not fly into NOTAMed air shows, for instance, back in the old days of 1995, when all we had were landlines?
Don't have an IR or can't get flight following? Man, the reasons it's someone else's fault for an incursion just keep piling up, don't they?
Call it lazy or whatever you want. A PIC is fully responsible for the safe and legal conduct of his flight. If he chooses to make that flight without full and complete information about it, then he has to accept the consequences of that choice. One of those consequences might be being intercepted for violating a TFR and the fallout that results. Either way, it is the PIC's choice to go or not.
Man up to the fact that you are solely responsible for your actions as an adult, and all of this stuff becomes remarkably clear.
Now, as to whether TFRs are a good thing, well thought out, necessary, etc., that's a different argument. But your personal opinion of the TFR, or the reason for it, is not justification for violating it or failing to make yourself informed.
17th Jun 2012, 23:57
Con, if I knew about the TFR I would just avoid it. The type of pilot I am talking about might not have an instrument rating anyway.
I did not expect to have to argue the legitimacy or effectiveness of this with a pilot. Surprises me.
I used to love just putting in a flight plan (or maybe not even that) and setting off without a word to anyone once on my way. Great freedom. Could wander off anywhere I wanted, so long as I kept clear of published airspaces. Now I don't dare. Never know if the big man has delayed his trip or decided to drop into Podunk for a fund raiser without notice.
I recently got an IPAD with Foreflight on it and that gives me a great map with all the TFRs highlighted. For that alone it is worth the money, but it annoys me that I need it at all.
If there was some benefit, I would support it 100 percent and gladly give up my freedoms. Since there is no benefit, I hate to do so and thought that most Americans believed in their rights as much as I do. Apparently the rot has settled deep.
Point 2 above: You are completely correct, and in the normal course of events this works well. If on some rare occasion the pilot does not get the word in time (he has been in the bush for a week, cannot get cellphone contact, perhaps even no-radio, remember those? Or he is a little lost, looking for his airport or trying to avoid the bad weather or big scary hills) and he flies into a TFR he would be dinged and allowed to explain. Mostly, he would be let off with a warning.
The TFRs that are issued for a politician are never excused. The controlling authority is the Homeland Security, not the FAA and those guys do not muck around. The least you can expect is a suspension of your certificate.
And for what? It is not to protect the guy on the ground, a Cessna pilot could not even see the man on the ground, much less identify which vehicle he is in, and even if he did, he cannot hit said vehicle with his airplane and cannot ignite his gas (all 50 gallons of it!).
A bad person on the ground is far more likely to be a threat, but we don't have an exclusion zone for vehicles or pedestrians do we? Just light airplanes, the least likely threat.
If what you said was true, we would not see inadvertent entries of these areas by the average Joe, because by now everyone knows the importance of avoidance of a TFR and the procedures needed. But we do, almost every time. We do see them, and will continue to see them, because everybody makes mistakes.
Except perhaps for the Holier-Than-Thou.
I know there have been plenty of times I have done a quick pre-flight and taken off without thinking of this trap, because I know the area well and can identify the other hazards. I will call flight Service after takeoff when I can get radio reception and ask for information on the possibility of a TFR but if I have already entered it, too bad. They are so massive it is easy to fly into one from below. Maybe not for you superior airline pilots, but many GA drivers just use their airplanes for fun or profit and don't have nannies to look after them. If they had learned to fly in China they would not be so cavalier, but would watch out for Big Brother.
I teach flying, and cover this in training. I stress all the things you much more superior pilots have said here, and make a big issue of it (obviously). I sound paranoid when I do it, but I am not paranoid enough. They ARE out to get me!
18th Jun 2012, 08:55
Boofhead; you've gone from 'what chance is there of stopping a terrorist pilot?' to 'there's nothing he can do anyway'. You're wrong on both counts, yet you are arguing against a pile of experts who have come up with TFRs from a position of ignorance. I suggest you educate yourself. Here's a start:
A suicide-Cessna is a valid threat. Risk = Probability x Hazard. It's not very likely but it is possible, and the Hazard is very high.
I'm not going into details on an open forum, but it would take any ex-mil pilot less than a day to mount an attack if there were no TFRs. Go find a friendly one and ask how s/he'd do it. Thankfully, we are the good guys.
It's a democracy - you can't deny the sitting President a chance to get re-elected just because you don't like TFRs.
Like I said, if you're in the middle of nowhere, make a short flight to somewhere still in the boonies but with a cellphone signal, and use the 1-800 number. Job done.
I hope the purpose of your posting on this forum was to educate yourself, but it seems like you not going to listen to anything except "OK, we'll take TFRs away because Boofhead doesn't like them"
Finally, remember that TFRs are not just there for Presidents. They are there for Firefighting Ops and Golden Knights displays and chemical spills; with none of which would it be a good idea to "get a little lost" near. If you or your students can't navigate well enough to be sure of steering clear of these, then head somewhere else. I've chosen to send solo student navexs to different destinations for precisely this reason.
18th Jun 2012, 09:41
boofhead says: I teach flying, ... now THAT is scary! :eek:
18th Jun 2012, 10:23
I've only flown GA once in the USA and that was with a seaplane instructor so, I thought, could I brief myself on temporarily restricted areas?
1. Google TFR
2. Stick in, e.g. LA.
3. 2/9602 NOTAM Details (http://tfr.faa.gov/save_pages/detail_2_9602.html)
Looks like someone important is going to New Orleans on 2oth June.
Mind those towers! Yo heah boy! :)
Just an exercise - Not trying to look top of the class. Bas. (Who once shot into a perm area at 350 kn and, a few years later, pootered into another :O)