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Re: [TowerTalk] FAA & Private Airstrips

To: "'William Hein'" <>, <>
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] FAA & Private Airstrips
From: Bert Almemo <>
Date: Thu, 29 Dec 2011 20:16:14 -0500
List-post: <">>
Hi Bill,

I don't think anyone is allowed to fly as low as 100ft over populated areas.
That would definitely be too close for comfort for me!;-)



-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of William Hein
Sent: Thursday, December 29, 2011 7:57 PM
Subject: [TowerTalk] FAA & Private Airstrips

My family and I recently moved to a wonderful house in beautiful Glade Park
CO (on the other side of Colorado National Monument from Grand Junction.
The house itself is an ultra-energy efficient Earthship (Google "Glade Park
Earthship" for more info).  We have 35 rural acres of land around our house
in a low population density rural area.  All in all it's going to be a great
place for ham radio.

I've had stations in Malibu CA (as KC6EDP and AA6TT), Tiffany CO (as
AA6TT/0) and Topsham VT (AA6TT/1 and NT1Y) so I have some idea of what works
and what doesn't with regard to terrain, RF and the ionosphere.  In this
regard my new location is superb with great 'shots' to EU and JA and
elsewhere and is confirmed by the success the other ham who lives up here -
Jerry K0DU - has in contests and pileups.  I'm counting the days until the
ground thaws and tower construction can start in earnest - I've been off the
air due to a heavy workload for several years and I'm dying to be back on
the air.

Since moving in I've noticed a small private plane passing overhead fairly
low (I'd say 100 feet or less) on a regular basis and landing nearby.
Checking Google Maps aerial photos I discovered a small grass airstrip with
a windsock - "Pinyon Airport" - on what I believe is private land a little
over 5 km SE of me (5.586 km per Google).  The runway is not pointed towards
my house nevertheless seeing the plane flyover directly overhead so low
motivate me to Google FAA, airports and towers.  Here is a picture from
Google Maps of my house with a line drawn to the closest point on the

if you want to take a gander at my place on Google Maps yourself:

          39.013949 N
        -108.744371 W

        479 South 16 1/2 Road
        Glade Park CO 81523

The FAA Website TOWAIR indicated that "Structure does not require
registration"after I plugged in my coordinates along with elevation (6840-ft
ASL approx.). There are no airports within 8 kilometers (5 miles) of the
coordinates you provided."  TOWAIR went on to caution "TOWAIR's findings are
not definitive or binding".  Since "Pinyon Airport" (a rather pretentious
designation for a grass airstrip with a windsock) is 5.5 km away I am guess
it is either not registered with the FAA or somehow doesn't count as a real

I have a 142-foot Big Bertha tower which I previously had installed in
Vermont which I intend to reinstall here along with at least one other
100-ft + tower and a few smaller structures.  For many reasons I'd hate to
see a airplane run into Bertha.

So what should I do now?  Contact the FAA for an opinion?  Find out who owns
the airstrip and give them a verbal or written heads up on my tower plans
and also request they avoid flying low over my house?  Something else?


William Hein, AA7XT

AMSAT Life Member
ARRL Life Member
UKSMG Member

1st W to OH0 QSO on 6m
1st North America to Asia QSO on 60m

Tel   +1 (970) 628-5120
Loc:  DM59pa
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Skype   williamhein
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