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Thu, Mar 31, 2016

AeroSports Update: The Sun ‘n Fun NOTAM

Special Air Traffic Procedures Are Required Reading For All Aviators Flying To Sun ‘N Fun At Lakeland Linder Regional Airport In Lakeland, FL

The Sun ‘n Fun Fly In & Expo starts next week on April 5 and runs through the 10th. For pilots planning to fly into the event it is critically important to thoroughly review the FAA NOTAM that has been published for operating during that time period. The NOTAM is 27 pages, and it’s complex, but anyone who follows the instructions and whose pilot skills are up-to-snuff should be able to pull it off with no problems.

The FAA NOTAM lists’ various altitudes and airspeeds that must be maintained for holding patterns, approaches, and departures. It’s important that you’re able to hold airspeeds and altitudes while maneuvering. The radio will be crowded and controllers may ask you to “rock your wings” as an acknowledgment to a clearance. If at any time during your approach to landing you feel the landing approach has become destabilized, don’t hesitate to advise the controllers and make a go-around.

While the NOTAM looks scary because of its size, not all of it applies to all aircraft. The first part of the NOTAM titled, preflight planning and safety information should be read thoroughly with the important paragraphs highlighted as it pertains to your operation. The NOTAM contains all the flying information needed and it also includes instructions for ground operation. The NOTAM for this event is so extensive that it is not issued by flight service over the phone.

Here’s some hints for using the NOTAM: Section out the pages that don’t apply to you and assemble a binder of the pages that do apply. Highlighting the key parts of the diagrams helps. Each diagram contains radio frequency information. Consider transposing this to a quick reference card that fits in your shirt pocket. Get organized. Review the other sections of the NOTAM to see how other patterns interface with yours.

The NOTAM references numerous ground checkpoints for VFR approaches and departures. A good way to prepare for what the real world is going to look like is to go online to an earth map website that will allow you to see what these landmarks actually look like from the viewpoint of a pilot. You might even consider printing map sections and drawing the procedures you intend to use on the earth map.

The excitement is about to begin and we at ANN are excited about being part of it. If you can’t make it there yourself, we will be providing complete online coverage about events, happenings, and products.

FMI: Link to the NOTAM

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