Convoluted And Confusing TFR Procedures Bag Errant Pilot And
Another Black Eye For GA
News/Analysis By Jim Campbell, ANN Editor-In-Chief
It's a story that we've told before and will, we regret, be
telling again at some point in the future. The archaic US Airspace
system and the FAA's poorly thought-out TFR program have bagged
another pilot... who, regrettably, should have known better.
According to the friendly, gun-toting, folks at NORAD, fighters
intercepted a Beechcraft Bonanza 11 miles from Camp David Saturday
at 1525 EDT. The aircraft was not in radio contact, but two F-15s
out of Jacksonville IAP, FL, escorted the plane out of the area --
whereupon it landed at Hagerstown, MD, without incident. The Feds,
of course, are investigating.
NORAD, of course is the United States and Canada bi-national
organization charged with the missions of aerospace warning and
aerospace control for North America. Aerospace warning includes the
monitoring of man-made objects in space, and the detection,
validation, and warning of attack against North America whether by
aircraft, missiles, or space vehicles, through mutual support
arrangements with other commands.
The GA community has been inundated with ever more numerous and
complex TFRs over the course of the last few years, escalating
sharply in the wake of 9/11. More and more reasons have been used
to eliminate access to larger and larger areas of airspace, even to
the point where commercial operators (like Disney) and others have
been able to get the government to issue highly restrictive TFRs
despite the protests of the aviation community, for questionable
Over the course of this single weekend (and by no means is this
a complete list as the FAA site is notorious for errors and
downtime), there were still 3 TFRs posted for Sunday, 28 TFRs for
Saturday (not including those that have since been canceled and are
no longer posted), and 9 for Friday. It might have been easier to
issue one 'non' TFR, to tell us where we COULD fly...
Welcome to the land of the free... which obviously does not
extend to the nation's airspace.
ANN E-I-C Note: Someone PLEASE tell
USA Today that when they select photos to go along with their
stories, that using an F-18 instead of an F-15... two very
recognizable airframes and planforms, makes them look foolish and
ignorant... just like they do when they try to report on Oshkosh
each year... sigh.