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Volume 25, Number 42b
October 16, 2018
 
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Aerion First Flight Set For 2023
 
Russ Niles
 
 

Aerion Corporation says it will fly its AS2 supersonic business jet in 2023 and will do its first trans-Atlantic flight with the aircraft on Oct. 24 of that year, the 20th anniversary of the last commercial flight of the Concorde supersonic airliner. At a news conference at NBAA in Orlando, CEO Tom Vice said that GE has designed an engine to push the 11-seat aircraft at Mach 1.4 over the ocean and subsonically over land. Vice said the engine was the final piece of a complex puzzle to create an aircraft that would be comfortable, efficient, environmentally responsible and quiet and still meet the speed demands of the new market. “This is the first supersonic business jet in history and the first civilian supersonic aircraft in 50 years,” said Vice.

Aerion, which is funded by “passionate investor” Robert Bass, hasn’t built any part of the aircraft and has been concentrating on research aimed at making the aircraft fit into the existing airspace and regulatory structure. To that end it has enlisted help from Honeywell for the avionics and other electronic systems and Lockheed Martin for the system integration and overall design through its Skunkworks research and development center. As the final arbiter for all the systems that the complex aircraft will need, Skunkworks project manager Dave Richardson said the engine was the last obstacle. “There are no showstoppers,” he said.

Vice also elaborated on how the aircraft might be able to use technology to fly supersonically over the U.S. Supersonic flight over the U.S. is now banned by the FAA but the AS2 will have technology on board that will analyze environmental conditions and calculate speeds and altitudes (up to the service ceiling of 60,000 feet) at which it can break the sound barrier without the resulting boom hitting the ground. As for subsonic operations, the aircraft will meet the more stringent Stage 5 noise restrictions that will come into effect in 2022, making it among the quietest aircraft available. It will also exceed emission standards, Vice said.

Aerion plans to build a maximum of 500 of the $120 million aircraft and reinvest the proceeds into follow-on designs that are larger and faster. Vice said there is already a supersonic airliner on the drawing board but it won’t be like existing airliners. There is no timeline on the subsequent models.

In a follow-on news conference GE Aviation unveiled the new engine. The Affinity engine is a 16,000- to 20,000-pound medium-bypass design with two shafts and fans. It’s built around the core of the ubiquitous CFM 56 engine, which powers thousands of airliners and has accumulated billions of flight hours. To handle the rigors of high speed and high altitude (service ceiling of 60,000 feet) many components had to be beefed up and able to handle the high temperatures of Mach 1.4 operations. At the Aerion news conference, GE spokesman Brad Mottier said the technical challenges have been overcome. “It’s a remarkable machine for a remarkable aircraft,” he said.

First Man: Neil Armstrong As He (Partly) Was
 
Paul Bertorelli
 

Of all the stories told about Neil Armstrong—and there are many—my favorite was related by the lively Alan Bean, the lunar module pilot on Apollo 12 who died earlier this year. One morning in 1968, Bean had learned that Armstrong had just punched out of the notoriously twitchy Lunar Landing Training Vehicle, missing being incinerated by less than a second.

Bean was shocked that Armstrong was at his desk an hour later. “Those guys out in the office said you bailed out of the LLTV this morning,” Bean asked Armstrong. “He said ‘yeah.’ That was all he said, ‘yeah’! I mean, this guy was a second and half from being killed. That was it!” Bean said, incredulous.

Bean knew that story captured the essential Neil Armstrong: unflappably analytical, task focused and with emotions controlled as tightly as a banjo string. Those of us who grew up in the age of Apollo know this, by degree, about Armstrong and now a new film by director Damien Chazelle attempts to reveal Armstrong to a wider audience nearly a half century after his historic boot prints in the regolith of the Sea of Tranquility.

First Man, based on the book of the same name by NASA veteran James Hansen, is an ambitious effort, given the long arc of Armstrong’s aerospace career and the largely unknown depth of his achievements unrelated to Apollo. The book is nearly 500 pages and chronicles Armstrong’s life in exhaustive detail. Cinematically, where do you even begin with such a thing, festooned as it is with so much technical minutiae as to glaze the eyes of even space geeks? Chazelle and screenwriter John Singer, who was born three years after that summer of tranquility, began in the middle and not, I am afraid, auspiciously.

Before I plod on, my usual disclaimer. Aviation people are generally sticklers for aeronautical detail, but we’re sophisticated enough to understand a director’s need for license in order to keep the unwashed masses sufficiently engaged to swill the second Super-Sized sugary drink. Now, back to your regularly scheduled film review.

Chazelle’s opening scene has Armstrong in the darkened cockpit of the X-15, an aircraft that he flew seven times, launching on a research flight. Just one quibble—why must the shot show the release skimming a cloud deck? (It’s rhetorical; don’t answer.) My larger complaint is that the scene depicts Armstrong almost shivering in fear in a bucking bronco of an airplane because this is thought to be the only way to convey risk taking to an audience. Unfortunately, it sets a tone for the some of the subsequent scenes in which the astronauts seem to display overt fear in the way we, as pilots, know they don’t, at least if they hope to survive.

Just as a technical aside that I concede couldn’t be included, that X-15 flight was what became known as the Pasadena Flyover. Armstrong was flying south at Mach 5 and the test card called for testing a g-limiter in the control system. Armstrong pulled a little too vigorously and popped above the atmosphere where the X-15’s aerodynamic controls had too little bite for him to turn back north to Rogers dry lake. By the time he could turn—over Pasadena—he was low and swished the Joshua trees on final into another lake. (That’s what all that radio dialog describing turning was about.)

Chazelle uses this as a vehicle to introduce the central tragedy of Armstrong’s life: the loss of his two-year-old daughter, Karen, to cancer. It’s implied that his flight performance was hampered as a result, although Armstrong—as told to author Hansen—didn‘t think he was affected enough to ground himself. Karen’s death and his suppression of his grief are emblematic of Armstrong’s emotional distance throughout the film, at least as played by Ryan Gosling.

But if the film stumbles out of the blocks, it redeems itself by moving briskly to the Gemini and Apollo programs. Boy, does it. The scene of Armstrong’s recovery of a wildly out-of-control Gemini spacecraft docked with an Agena target vehicle is riveting and terrifying, even if you know what’s going on, which I did. In case you don’t or forgot, Armstrong and Dave Scott had just completed the first hard dock with the problematic Agena Target Vehicle, using little proven orbital transfer methods. But a stuck thruster caused by a short circuit spun the two vehicles, which promptly roll coupled into a vicious rolling tumble that eventually reached 360 degrees per second after Armstrong undocked. Armstrong and Scott were within seconds of losing consciousness before Armstrong recovered with the re-entry reaction control system, requiring the mission to be terminated early.

First Man hits a few of the space program high points—the selection and training, the loss of Elliot See and Charlie Bassett in a T-38 crash and, of course, the Apollo 1 fire. Even though the film is exceptionally long at 2 hours and 21 minutes, it doesn’t drag a bit. It squeezes the Apollo 11 mission into the final 30 minutes. The lunar segment is alternately too abbreviated and stylized and absolutely stunning for its visuals.

The details of the 1201/1202 alarms drift by in the wind, but if the Eagle’s translation over the cratered surface doesn’t make your palms sweat, you’ve got your eyes closed—and you know what’s going to happen. When Gosling’s Armstrong steps off the LM onto the surface, cinematographer Linus Sandgren’s shot is so perfectly composed and lighted that no suspension of disbelief is required. You are there. That and the Gemini 8 segment make First Man worth the 10 bucks and two-and-half hours.

However. And there’s always a however. I think it paints a one-dimensional picture of Neil Armstrong, or at least just one version of Neil Armstrong. Hansen’s book has the editorial breadth to offer a more nuanced portrait of Armstrong to the extent that you understand his emotional decoupling was a function of two things. An intense curiosity—about everything—to the exclusion of all else and a conviction that the story of space exploration was about the program, not the guys sitting in the pointy end of the rocket.

In the run-up to Apollo 11, no less a literary lion than Norman Mailer fussed and fumed at Armstrong’s refusal to emote in a manner appropriate to the achievement of walking on another celestial body. Mailer—and the press—pined for a Homeric figure of epic eloquence. But Armstrong focused, rightly, on what might be overlooked that could cause Grumman’s brilliantly engineered LM to be his and Buzz Aldrin’s sarcophagus. And there were a thousand things that could have.

Even some of the astronauts may have felt the same. Implicit in Alan Bean’s story above is the notion that his reaction to surviving the LLTV crash was somehow just a little too laid back. The wisecracking Pete Conrad would have embellished it into a rip-roaring-there-I-was story Bean would have loved. For Armstrong, it was just another day at the office. The film has Armstrong wound up after the incident, something the book simply fails to authenticate.

Even after his death, we still keep trying to make Armstrong into something he was not. And here a spoiler alert. Near the end of the film, Armstrong stands on the rim of a lunar crater and slowly opens his glove, revealing a tiny bracelet of Karen’s introduced earlier in the story. He tosses it into the shadows. Armstrong never revealed what he carried to the moon in his personal preference kit, but the director couldn’t resist tying it in a nice bow with what we wish he would have carried.

Armstrong said he understood why people felt an overpowering need to cannonize the astronauts and especially the first man to walk on the moon. If he accepted it, he never embraced it. I always took that at face value and not as false modesty. But Armstrong and wife Janet divorced in 1994 after 34 years of marriage; she cited emotional estrangement as causal. And here a word for Claire Foy, who plays Janet. If an Oscar comes this film's way, she oughta get it.

I think Neil Alden Armstrong’s sister, June Hoffman, told the ultimate truth about the first man: “He was the man that you saw. That was him.”

Once you’ve seen the film, I highly recommend Hansen’s telling of the story. You’ll find the detail fascinating and unfreighted by a regrettable veer toward hagiography. And here's a documentary film that's a nice companion to the book.

Microsoft Billionaire and Aviation Entrepreneur Paul Allen Dead at 65
 
Paul Bertorelli
 
 

Microsoft co-founder and aviation entrepreneur Paul Allen died Monday after a struggle with cancer. He was 65. Allen is well known in the tech industry as a co-founder of Microsoft in the 1970s, along with Bill Gates. But he had wide-ranging interests including major business ventures in aviation, most recently the Stratolaunch multi-engine jet designed as an airborne launching platform for orbital payloads, a project that‘s expected to enter service in 2020.

Allen also had a prized collection of military aircraft housed at the Flying Heritage Collection in Everett, Washington. The collection totals 31 aircraft and includes a Spitfire and a MiG-29. In an interview with Business Insider, Allen said he had a lifelong interest in aviation. "I'd spend hours reading about the engines in some of those planes," Allen told Forbes. "I was trying to understand how things worked—how things were put together, everything from airplane engines to rockets and nuclear power plants. I was just intrigued by the complexity and the power and the grace of these things flying."

In addition to his technical expertise and aviation interest, Allen was also an accomplished guitarist and even established his own museum dedicated to rock ‘n roll. 

General Aviation Accident Bulletin
 
 

AVweb’s General Aviation Accident Bulletin is taken from the pages of our sister publication, Aviation Safety magazine, and is published twice a month. All the reports listed here are preliminary and include only initial factual findings about crashes. You can learn more about the final probable cause in the NTSB’s website at www.ntsb.gov. Final reports appear about a year after the accident, although some take longer. Find out more about Aviation Safety at www.aviationsafetymagazine.com.


July 12, 2018, Tolani Lake, Ariz.

Beechcraft C90A King Air

The airplane experienced an inflight upset and was substantially damaged at about 0210 Mountain time while climbing. The pilot and passengers were not injured. Instrument conditions were reported along the route of flight; an IFR flight plan had been filed.

The pilot later reported the airplane entered an uncommanded left bank and downward pitch. The event occurred during the initial climb to cruising altitude, with the autopilot engaged and between 17,000 to 19,000 feet MSL. The pilot regained control of the airplane and continued to the destination without further incident. After landing, inspection revealed damage to both wings.

July 13, 2018, Geneseo, N.Y.

Cessna 182T Skylane

At about 1800 Eastern time, the airplane was substantially damaged during an attempted takeoff. The commercial pilot sustained serious injuries and the two passengers sustained minor injuries. The airplane was operated by the Civil Air Patrol as a familiarization flight. Visual conditions prevailed.

Earlier, the pilot had positioned the airplane to the departure airport uneventfully. During the takeoff from Runway 23, the pilot performed a soft-field procedure on the bumpy grass surface. The airplane became airborne at about 45 KIAS, and everything seemed normal as he began to climb out of ground effect at 60 KIAS. At that time, the nose pitched up abruptly. The pilot pushed the yoke forward as hard as he could while engaging nose-down electric elevator trim. However, the airplane continued to climb at an excessive angle of attack and stalled. It subsequently rolled left, descended to the ground and came to rest inverted. Initial examination revealed damage to both wings and the fuselage. The elevator trim actuator arm position corresponded to the full nose-down position. The preliminary examination was unable to document all flight control continuity. Weather observed 20 miles away at 1754 included wind from 220 degrees at seven knots.

July 13, 2018, Deer Park, Wash.

Cessna 172R Skyhawk

The airplane experienced an inflight breakup at 1021 Pacific time and collided with terrain. The flight instructor and two student pilots were fatally injured. The airplane was substantially damaged. Visual conditions prevailed.

This was the first flight in the left-seat occupant’s training program; the aft-seated student pilot was observing. Radar data indicate the airplane was at 7,000 feet MSL with an estimated groundspeed of 77 knots at 1020:53. From that point, the track made a sharp 90-degree right turn and continued on a 305-degree heading for about 3020 feet and about 20 seconds. The track then made another sharp 90-degree right turn. After about 880 feet, the last radar return at 1021:18 indicated an estimated groundspeed of 117 knots. The accident site was located about 740 feet southwest of the last recorded radar return, at 2,265 feet MSL elevation.

The wreckage was distributed over a lateral distance of 400 feet on a median magnetic bearing of about 030 degrees. Witnesses reported the airplane was in a steep dive toward terrain when both wings departed the airframe at the same time.

July 17, 2018, Fort Rice, N.D.

Cessna 152

At about 1423 Central time, the airplane impacted the Missouri River while maneuvering. The solo commercial pilot sustained fatal injuries; the airplane was substantially damaged. Visual conditions prevailed.

The pilot was conducting aerial photography operations using a handheld digital camera with a telephoto lens pointed out the left window while referencing a map on his kneeboard. At about 1330, the pilot departed on the accident flight. At about 1442, local law enforcement was notified the airplane was in the Missouri River. The airplane was discovered nose down at a 65-degree angle, in about five feet of water. After the airplane was recovered from the river, examination revealed no preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures.

July 17, 2018, Miami, Fla.

Piper PA-34-200 Seneca/Cessna 172N Skyhawk

The two airplanes collided in midair at 1259 Eastern time. The Piper was destroyed, and the private pilot and designated pilot examiner (DPE) aboard were fatally injured. The Cessna was destroyed; its flight instructor and student pilot also were fatally injured. Both airplanes were registered to and operated by the same operator. Visual conditions prevailed.

Preliminary information indicates the Piper was enroute to a nearby training area at about 1,500 feet MSL and was outside the local Class D airspace. The Cessna was returning from the training area and had contacted ATC to enter the Class D airspace just prior to the collision. The controller acknowledged the Cessna and issued a traffic advisory, but no further communications were received. A review of radar data revealed the two targets converged nearly straight on. At the time of the collision, the Piper was flying northwest and the Cessna was flying southeast. Weather observed at 1253 included visibility of 10 sm and scattered clouds at 3,500 feet and 4,200 feet AGL.

July 17, 2018, Truckee, Calif.

Ryan Navion B

At about 0734 Pacific time, the airplane experienced a loss of engine power shortly after takeoff. The private pilot and one passenger sustained fatal injuries; one passenger was seriously injured. The airplane was substantially damaged during the subsequent emergency landing. Visual conditions prevailed.

Shortly after takeoff from Runway 11 and during the initial climb, the pilot reported to ATC he had experienced a power failure and would be returning to the field. During the right turn, the airplane lost altitude, impacted terrain in a flat attitude and came to rest upright about a mile southeast of the departure end of Runway 11.


This article originally appeared in the October 2018 issue of Aviation Safety magazine.

For more great content like this, subscribe to Aviation Safety!

FlightAware Tallying ADS-B Compliance
 
Russ Niles
 
 

An accurate tally of the number of U.S. active aircraft equipped with ADS-B is now available thanks to the flight tracking app FlightAware. The company, which started with a single feed from FAA ATC data ten years ago, now offers global flight tracking through satellite and ground stations. It can keep track of which aircraft do and don’t emit an ADS-B Out signal. At NBAA-BACE in Orlando, the company released precise data showing about 60 percent of the turbine-powered GA aircraft in the U.S. have met the FAA’s Jan. 2020 equipage mandate.

By the end of September, 10,032 of the 17,179 U.S.-registered turbine-powered aircraft currently operating in the U.S. were sending signals to the thousands of little orange receivers Flight Aware has sent to companies, airports, individuals and government agencies across the U.S. The receivers pick up transponder and ADS-B signals from passing aircraft and feed them to FlightAware’s enormous data crunching machine and the data is extracted from there. Presumably it has the same information for the piston and helicopter fleet and we’ve asked for that. You can see a PDF of the turbine tally by clicking the "Related File" link below this story.

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Garmin's Turbine Avionics at NBAA 2018
 
Larry Anglisano
 
 

As the National Business Aircraft Association convention opens in Orlando, Florida, Garmin is showing off its G5000 retrofit for the Cessna Citation XLS, plus a variety of other equipment, including the G700TXi. Aviation Consumer Editor Larry Anglisano is at the convention and talked with Garmin's Phil Straub about the advancement of Garmin avionics for the turbine market.

EAA Funds $1 Million For Flight Training
 
Mary Grady
 
 

EAA has announced it will fund up to $10,000 each toward the cost of flight training for up to 100 young people, thanks to a $1 million grant from the Ray Foundation. The foundation, based in Naples, Florida, aims to help boost the flight-training success rate from the current 20 percent to 80 percent. The scholarship program will be managed by EAA, and is expected to continue annually. Chapter members will identify former Young Eagles for the Ray Aviation Scholars program and mentor them through flight training.

The local chapters’ participation is critical to the success of the program, EAA said. Chapters must apply to EAA to be selected as a Ray Aviation Scholarship Fund approved chapter, and then can recommend candidates on a quarterly basis. More details about how chapters can participate will be explained in a 90-minute online webinar on Nov. 13, at 7 p.m. Central Time. Preregistration for the webinar is open now at the EAA website. The Ray Foundation also pitched in a half-million last year to fund scholarships at the University of North Dakota. The foundation aims to further the legacy of James C. Ray, who died last year. He was dedicated to aviation and to supporting education for youth.

Podcast: Gulfstream G600 Approaching Certification
 
Kate O'Connor
 
 

Gulfstream recently delivered its first G500 business jet. Next up: the G600. Gulfstream's Dan Nale told AVweb more about the G600 and how the certification process is coming along at the 2018 NBAA Business Aviation Convention.

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Textron and NetJets Sign Fleet Agreements
 
Kate O'Connor
 
 

Textron Aviation announced two new fleet agreements with NetJets at the National Business Aviation Association Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA-BACE) on Monday. The agreements give NetJets the option to purchase up to 175 Cessna Citation Longitudes and as many as 150 Citation Hemisphere business jets. The Longitude option includes first deliveries as early as the second half of 2019, with additional options to be exercised over the next 10 to 15 years.

“We are proud to expand our relationship with NetJets once again through this significant milestone for the Citation Longitude and Citation Hemisphere,” said Chairman, President and CEO of Textron Inc. Scott Donnelly. “The Longitude fleet will build on the success NetJets has enjoyed with the Citation Latitude midsize jet.”

The Citation Longitude has a 3,500-NM range, Garmin G5000 flight deck, 1,600-pound full fuel payload, Garmin GHD 2100 head-up display and enhanced vision capability. The Hemisphere is still in development, a process that was temporarily suspended earlier this year reportedly due to issues with the Safran Silvercrest engines chosen for the plane. According to Textron, “collaboration with NetJets will also yield a version of the Citation Hemisphere that offers an aviation experience customized to meet the needs of NetJets Owners.”

NetJets has owned and operated approximately 500 Citations, since it began using them in 1984. The company currently operates 75 Citation Latitudes, with another 25 expected to enter service next year.

NASA: ISS Flights To Resume Next Year
 
Mary Grady
 
 

Starting next year, U.S. astronauts will no longer have to hitch a ride from Russia to reach the International Space Station, says NASA—both a SpaceX rocket and a Boeing spacecraft will provide ISS crew transport. “The first human spaceflight aboard a SpaceX rocket to the International Space Station (ISS) is expected to take place in June 2019, while a flight on a Boeing spacecraft is set to follow in August 2019,” NASA said last week. Before those launches, each of the vehicles must first complete uncrewed orbital flight tests, and then a crewed flight test, to be certified by NASA for ISS crew missions. NASA astronauts currently travel to the ISS aboard Russian Soyuz spacecraft, and that contract is set to expire in November 2019.

The planned test flight dates are January 2019 for the SpaceX Dragon uncrewed demo, and March 2019 for the Boeing Starliner uncrewed orbital flight test. In June, SpaceX will launch a crewed test, and Boeing will do the same in August. The crewed missions will be the first to launch from the U.S. since the retirement of the space shuttle in 2011. The new system won’t provide the smooth runway landings of the shuttle—to return to Earth, astronauts will return home in a space capsule beneath a parachute, which can be a bumpy ride. NASA will provide updates to the launch plans online on its new Commercial Crew blog.

Bombardier's New Long-Range Business Jets On Schedule For 2019 Deliveries
 
Larry Anglisano
 
 

Bombardier announced at NBAA 2018 in Orlando, Florida, this week that it is nearly 70 percent completed with certification flight testing of two new clean-sheet-design long-range business jets—the Global 5500 and Global 6500. The new jets in Bombardier's Global family are powered by Rolls-Royce Pearl engines, which are purpose-built for the Global 6500 and 5500. The Rolls-Royce Pearl 15 engine will deliver up to 15,125 pounds of thrust under ISA+15 conditions.

The new jets in the Global series boast significant range—up to 5700 nautical miles for the Global 5500 and 6600 nautical miles for the Global 6500—with top speeds as high as Mach 0.90. In real world ops, that's New York to Cairo in the Global 5500 and Miami to Moscow in the Global 6500.

With newly designed interiors, the new Global series has no shortage of modern styling. At the convention, Bombardier was showing off the patented Nuage seat and Nuage chaise lounge seat for the Global cabin's conference suite. There's also ultra-fast cabin connectivity and a 4-K ultra-high-resolution media suite.

As for avionics, the new Globals will sport Rockwell Collins Vision flight decks, or CVS. It's the only suite for business jets that merges enhanced and synthetic vision in a single view. There's plenty of power to support the avionics and other cabin tech—the new Global aircraft are equipped with four variable frequency generators, in addition to an auxiliary power unit, or APU.

Bombardier is kicking up its support potential, too. At NBAA it announced a new service center at the Miami-Opa Locka Executive Airport. Expected to be operational in 2020, the service center will employ nearly 300 people and will be equipped to perform scheduled and unscheduled maintenance, mods, avionics installations and other support efforts for the Learjet, Challenger and Global model line. This is a $100 million investment, according to Bombardier. The Global 5500 is expected to carry a price tag of around $46 million and roughly $56 million for the Global 6500. Both jets are scheduled for delivery in 2019. For more, visit www.Bombardier.com.

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Letter to the Editor: Respecting TFR Boundaries
 
Ted Spitzmiller
 
 

Each year, starting on the first Saturday in October and running through the second Sunday, Albuquerque hosts the International Balloon Fiesta—about 600 hot air balloons from all over the world. A daily mass ascension (wind-willing) places this colorful display into the air at sunrise.

There are no grandstands for the tens of thousands of spectators—it’s expected that you will walk among these inflating giants and observe how they are launched—in waves that take about 90 minutes for the 600 (they are limited to that number) to clear the field. If you intend to observe from the air, then you have other considerations.

Like all large outdoor assemblies of people, this event is assigned a Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR). As noted in the accompanying illustration, this TFR (the orange circle in the center of the Garmin PILOT display) is three miles in radius (as are most) and extends from the surface to about 3,000 feet AGL. In this instance, the description of the date and time elements (on the right side of the illustration below) show its vertical limit as 8,000 feet MSL (as the elevation of the balloon field is about 5,200 feet).

Note that depending on the date (such as October 6th) there are two periods of time during the day—04:30 PDT to 11:00 PDT and 15:00 PDT to 19:00 PDT. What makes this display a bit tricky is that the local time in Albuquerque is Mountain time (MDT)—one hour later.

While the column of air depicted in the TFR is not to be infringed upon, the balloons themselves often drift miles beyond that boundary. Once a balloon has left the TFR, should you desire to move-in close to observe these aircraft that are defined as lighter-than-air (LTA), recall; FAR 91.111 (a) No person may operate an aircraft so close to another aircraft as to create a collision hazard and; (d)(1) A balloon has the right-of-way over any other category of aircraft. A respectful distance of 500 feet should be considered as the minimum.

Question of the Week
 

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Visit AVweb.com to participate in our current poll.

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