Edward W. Sleight wrote:
Guys, let me add my 2 cents worth here. The FAA requires that ALL
above a certain height be both painted, and have suitable obstruction
The airspace from the ground to 500 feet is sorta unprotected, with the
except of TCAs around airports.
While generally speaking, you are required to maintain an altitude of
at least 500 feet over "civilian" areas, military aircraft are allowed
to disregard this rule when traning for "sandblower" missions. These
missions are flown normally during daylight hours over relatively
unpopulated areas, but they do intrude on populated areas. For training
purposes during daylight hours, the maximum altitude used is 100 feet.
When possible, we would drop down to 50 feet, and that is the altitude
always used over water. Night missions are flown in training at 500
feet, BUT, with the realization in mind that these are actually cleared
to "sandblower" altitudes at the pilot's discretion. ( I was never
discreet over the WV mountains )
And for the final 10 mins or so of the mission, our routes did take
us directly over populated areas.
It just makes sense if you put something up over tree level in the 200
+ range, that you light it up. You never know with today's night
guidance what might come zooming along. Not to mention the "indians"
who get caught in bad weather and descend just trying to keep visual
contact with the ground.
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