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Re: [TowerTalk] FAA & Private Air Strips

Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] FAA & Private Air Strips
From: K8RI <>
Date: Sat, 31 Dec 2011 03:13:33 -0500
List-post: <">>
On 12/30/2011 4:38 PM, Fred Kleber wrote:
> It is very important to determine if the airport is a private or commercial 
> airport.  This can conveniently be done at:
> Private airports are just that and do not have the "protection" from the FAA 
> that public airports do.  So why would people have private airports?  They 
> are exempt from a LOT of FAA red tape.
It depends on not only whether they are private or commercial and 
whether they are registered or not. This one is registered with the 
official identifier CO43
Again here is the airport information
Our local airport is public, but it is not a commercial airport. KIKW.  
Private airports main attraction is they do not normally have to be 
fenced, or have the security of public airports whether they are 
commercial or not. Typically if it is registered it has the same 
protection from obstructions as public airports.
> I would not talk to the owner of the private airport until you have your FAA 
> approval in hand.  With this, the FAA has spoken and he/she can't go and 
> raise a stink that could possibly cost you some time/money.  Believe me, I 
> have seen it happen...
> In the commercial wireless industry, it is nearly standard practice to have a 
> surveyor provide a letter with coordinates.  Coordinates are generally at 
> least "2C" (50' horiz&  20' vertical) accuracy and most of the carriers have 
> moved to "1A" (20' horizontal&  3' vertical) accuracy.  I am guessing this is 
> most likely due to potential liability issues.  Here's a link that will tell 
> you about this...
> Per the FAA at the link above,
> "Experience has shown that submissions often contain elevation and/or 
> location errors. Current directives require the FAA to apply accuracy 
> standards to obstacles when evaluating effects on instrument procedures. 
> These accuracy standards typically require a 4D adjustment of 250 feet 
> horizontally and 50 feet vertically to be applied in the most critical 
> direction. Normally, these adjustments are applied to those structures that 
> may become the controlling obstructions and are applicable until their 
> elevation is verified by survey.

It's only 11 miles from a major airport so WAAS may be available. If it 
is, he might be able to borrow an aviation GPS and meet the standard, 
but I don't think that will be necessary.  He's at least in the conical 
area and nearer the outer edge if they have one.
> <snip>

> round elevation, versus if you were on relatively flat terrain.  Proximity to 
> the limits of an airfield also can influence this decision.
I did have an engine failure a few years back and I'll just say I was a 
bit low as I came in over the mall parking lot<:-)) the noise shouldn't 
have bothered any one though as the engine wasn't running. <:-))  I was 
still high enough to clear the residential power lines along the road 
between the mall and airport. I didn't out the gear down until I was 
sure I had the runway made.
> There are two glide-slope radios that are generally applied for a rough 
> analysis:  1:20 and 1:50.  The 1:20 ratio is for airports with shorter 
> runways, (3700 feet I think), and the 1:50 is applied to longer runways.  
> Whether the airport has a heliport also influences their analysis.
Different portions of the same path may have different ratios.
> In Florida, the intermod tech also happened to be a ham.  Unfortunately he 
> happened to be a shack-on-a-belt type.  I had three "hits" on 40m, 80m&  
> 160m.  He said that if I would limit my ERP to 25w on 160m and 50w on 40/80m, 
> he could issue a no-hazard determination.  He mistakenly was of the 
> impression that "nobody uses those frequencies anyway".

As the final approach segment for GPS 06 is right over my house I often 
hear intermod from the aircraft radios.  Don't know what they are mixing 
with.  They've never reported hearing me.
> I asked to see their analysis model.  Why 160m I wondered?  LORAN, which is 
> no longer in use, was the answer.  I think it was developed by Univ of MI, 
> but the FAA would not back down.  I told them to cancel my request and that I 
> would build my tower one foot below the "no-notice" height and run all the 
> power I am legally allowed to.  BTW, a no-notice estimation tool is available 
> at:

Wish they'd have kept LORAN as it made a good, wide area, ground based, 
non precision back up for GPS.
> Any structure 200 feet, or taller, requires lighting and/or marking according 
> to FAA requirements.  Shorter structures can also have this same requirement, 
> depending on their proximity to an airport / flight paths.  Lighting can be 
> any combo of the following:
> * Painting the structure
> * Constant red beacon
> * Flashing red beacon
> * White strobes - low intensity
> * White strobes - high intensity
> * Spheres on the guy wires (very seldom)

You find these hanging on power, telephone, and cable lines at small, 
rural airports, both public and private. Sometimes on fences if they are 
real close to the end of the runway.

There's a small airport about 40 miles West of us at Lake Isabella with 
the power line less than a 100 feet from the end of the runway, or they 
used to be. I haven't been over there in a while. It seems like Bay City 
Clements used to have something similar on the East side of the airport 
with the Saginaw River (and dike) on the West. I ended up flying right 
between the masts on a freighter one day...Near the top of the masts as 
they usually have antennas between them.
> Additionally, any structure that is required to be lit is also required to be 
> monitored.  The FAA's national NOTAM center is required to be notified within 
> 15 minutes of any lighting outage.  Also, any tower that is lit is also 
> required to have a quarterly inspection to verify functionality of the 
> lighting and alarm monitoring systems.  If the tower is at your house, visual 
> monitoring is generally acceptable.
It seems like it'd be difficult to reply in the required time if you are 
> To the person talking about the plane that hit the power lines, I have 
> personally been through a tragic situation such as this.  An inexperienced 
> pilot was taking his friend and his family to a college football game and 
> evidently flew below the clouds as he was not instrument rated.  He yanked a 
> guy wire off the tower and landed 1600 feet downrange in a twisted mass of 
> guy wires&  airplanes.  Unfortunately all on board the aircraft perished.  
> Dealing with the FAA and all of the lawyers was not a fun experience either.
Couple summers back two guys rented a Piper Arrow over at Bay City.  
They brought it back and left a couple hours later.  On of the line guys 
looked out and asked what was going on with that plane. When they went 
out to look the discovered the flaps ere down on one side and couldn't 
be raised. Also the leading edge of one wing had a gap between it and 
the fuselage.  (Bad news) Turns out they had taken it right down low and 
were looking at the scenery instead of where they were going.   All of a 
sudden they realized there was a power line in front of them.  They 
pulled up and into a slight turn which put the wing tip lower than the 
rest. Hey hit the ground wire on top of the power line and pulled it out 
until it broke. I understand it spun the plane right around, but they 
never hit the ground. They were actually able to fly it back to the 
airport.  The State Police turned up looking for a plane just after they 
left. it seems as if that ground wire really whipped around and wrapped 
itself around the lines carrying power and and killed the power for a 
pretty large area between Bay City and Midland.  They probably ended up 
getting the bill for the repair of the power line and airplane which 
although not totaled was close to it what with having to replace the 
wing and controls.  They found both guys at the bar just down the road 
from the airport.


Roger (K8RI)
> Hope this helps&  hope to work the big AA7XT (why 7 land?) signal soon! 
> Very 73,
> Fred, K9VV / NP2X
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