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I'm going to fess up to a mistake I made yesterday. I was flying at 850' AGL heading towards my neighbors grass strip. I've flown/lived in this area over the past 10 years and thought I knew every single grain elevator, tower, tall trees, power lines around me. I was wrong! In the past 12 days somebody built a new cell tower within 3 miles from the strip & a mile from my house! About another 35 seconds and it would have been very close to my path/altitude. Has anybody made this mistake that is still alive and will admit it?

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Has anybody made this mistake that is still alive and will admit it?

 

Lets just say that towers can be very difficult to see in daylight. 90% are NOT daylight lit (strobes), there is not a row of them like power lines to spot. Some are damn tall, and don't forget the guy wires extend out some distance as well.

 

Is this airport on a chart? If so, why are we letting the FCC allow a permit to build such a monster only 3 miles away?

 

Goldy

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Been there done that, was flying a route I had flown a week or two before, maybe a little lower than I should have over hills and mountains but there it was at 12 aclock , luckly I saw it soon enough. Don't know the rule for building those things but they should have to notify airports and post on notoms at least 6 months before they are started, plus post the for the next 6 months after they are finished.

 

Maybe they do but you know us helicopters pilots, how many check?

Edited by rotowing
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May be un- professional but fact are facts, how may of us get complacent and do stupid things we take for granted like flying the same route and never check notams. Face it, it happens every day!

If I told any one that I done every thing perfect and correct ever flight I would be lying! Mistakes we make and live to talk about makes us better pilots. Face we all skirt around things from time to time, Maybe not you!

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The other day we had especially clear weather and as I was sitting in the den looking outside, I noticed a tower. I have been out of state for most of this last year and so maybe this tower was already there and I just don't recall it or maybe it is newer. Either way, it is there just waiting for someone. We live in a rural area. Thanks for taking time to REMIND people to be as aware as we can. Just took a break to go look and see if it is on the sectional. How about that; it isn't shown!

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Lets just say that towers can be very difficult to see in daylight. 90% are NOT daylight lit (strobes), there is not a row of them like power lines to spot. Some are damn tall, and don't forget the guy wires extend out some distance as well.

 

Is this airport on a chart? If so, why are we letting the FCC allow a permit to build such a monster only 3 miles away?

 

Goldy

 

 

It's just a private grass strip that's not on a sectional. I went up yesterday afternoon in the aeronca and flew over it a few times checking it out. It looks like they got about another 50ft or so on the ground that they have to put up.

 

As far as the notams.. I did check that day when I got my briefing and there wasn't any posted for that area. I spoke with a briefer this morning when I was thinking about going up and getting some actual instrument time and she gave me a number to call, and told me what information about the tower I need to have to give the office so they can issue a notam on it. I'll admit I'm guilty as heck when it comes to checking notams or even getting briefings when I just go up and stay local. Especially when I fly the champ off the grass strip.

Edited by jumpngonuts
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One advantage flying in LA, we have mountains all around to build towers on, we dont need to build 500 foot monsters everywhere just to make a cell phone work. There are a few out here that will get you though, like the KFI tower off Fullerton, that one is about 850AGL.

 

We've all been caught by surprise by something, thats why you fly with your eyes OUTSIDE!

 

Fly safe,

 

Goldy

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Does anyone have a link or know the specifics on regulation for tower construction? How tall before a light is required. What the length of the red/white striping needs to be etc...? I've looked and looked but can't find anything.

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Does anyone have a link or know the specifics on regulation for tower construction? How tall before a light is required. What the length of the red/white striping needs to be etc...? I've looked and looked but can't find anything.

 

It starts here:

 

How and Where to Notify the FAA

The FCC requires antenna structure owners to first obtain a valid determination of “no hazard” from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) before registering with the Commission.

 

The FAA must be notified of the proposed construction or alteration via FAA Form

7460-1 (Notice of Proposed Construction or Alteration).

 

The completed form must be forwarded to: Chief, Air Traffic Division, Federal Aviation Administration.

 

Notify the office having jurisdiction over the area within which the proposed construction or alteration will be located. The geographic area of jurisdiction of each FAA office is indicated at right.

 

Contact the FAA to obtain copies of FAA Form 7460-1.

 

Then you follow CFR Title 47 for the construction. For marking info, go to this chapter:

 

http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx...47cfr17_09.html

 

I used to climb the stupid things...back when I was, well...stupid !

 

Goldy

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Thanks for the info goldy. We have some greedy com companies out here who built a ton of towers just under the limit before you need to have a light. It makes doing frost patrol a bit scary...

 

From memory, if its 200 feet or over it has to be painted, unless its hidden by buildings or terrain.

 

You can always complain to both the FAA and FCC if you find one that should be better marked, and in your opinion causes a hazard to aircraft. Just articulate it well...

 

Goldy

Edited by Goldy
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Has anyone on VR succeeded in getting visual (ball) markers installed on existing powerlines? There are tall power lines within 2 miles of SZP crossing the river that need to be marked. They are especially hazardous in that the wires ascend steeply to the higher towers on the ridge.

 

Thanks for the info on cell towers.

 

LR22

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Has anyone on VR succeeded in getting visual (ball) markers installed on existing powerlines? There are tall power lines within 2 miles of SZP crossing the river that need to be marked. They are especially hazardous in that the wires ascend steeply to the higher towers on the ridge.

 

Thanks for the info on cell towers.

 

LR22

 

That's actually VERY easy to get accomplished. Usually the power company will put them up for free if you ask. If you get nasty enough, they'll pay for the markers too.

 

As far as putting them over a river, that may be tough since they can't exactly take a bucket truck out there. You might need to get the FAA and a bunch of people to complain to get them to do that.

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Thanks! The river is dry much of the year and there are service roads nearby. Will try asking the power company first.

 

LR22

 

Susie- we use those wires to teach new students to pay attention!!

 

But yes, much safer if they were marked, they are really hard to see.

 

Goldy

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Just remember when it comes to towers and wires....... Most often pilots that hit them knew they were there. In addition to the tower/wires being charted.

 

Even in the mountains I am a little weary of flying below 500' AGL. There can still be some towers that high in the mountains. PHX for example has one in the Valley West of Sky Harbor. It is very hard to see most days.

 

We must always re-evaluate how we are doing as pilots and strive to do better. We teach our students(drill them actualy) to look at charts, flight plan, check weather(not just TAFs and Metars but the whole 9 yards) yet, when we get in the "real world" that art tends to get lost as we become complacent. No one is immune, it can happen to any of us.

 

To the OP. If you send me the information on the exact location or as close you can get I will pass that onto the FAA Safety Team and they can work on getting it charted in the future. Until then where can you find changes to published charts? There is also a form you can fill out should you wish to report a safety concern. Please feel free to send me a message and I'll get you all the information.

 

Many of these cell towers are not charted. Don't quote me but I believe if it's under 200' agl it doesn't need to be reported/charted unless it affects airport/heliport operations. The grass strip you talk of may not even be charted or factored into consideration for this rule. Just a thought.

 

JD

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I know where the towers are...EVERYWHERE! At least I treat it that way. When low level eyes belong outside. As visibility deteriorates slow down so you have enough reaction time. Flying over a road or directly above power lines when possible is a way to avoid towers. Just watch for crossing lines, look for the structures to each side you probably won't see the wires until it's too late.

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Has anyone on VR succeeded in getting visual (ball) markers installed on existing powerlines? There are tall power lines within 2 miles of SZP crossing the river that need to be marked. They are especially hazardous in that the wires ascend steeply to the higher towers on the ridge.

 

Thanks for the info on cell towers.

 

LR22

 

 

Our utility company put balls up on the power lines across the road from the grass strip that I fly out of for no cost. I was impressed with how quick they had them installed.

 

JD- Thanks for the offer, When I was at the local fsdo last week I told them and it should be taken care of.

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