Airspace violations...


Nov 25, 2001
Total Time
This from the National Association of Flight Instructors newsletter. I recommend that you join this branch of EAA if you instruct.

>>FAA Letter Reminds Pilots to Seek Up-to-Date TFR Info

The wake of a trickling stream of pilots violating Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFR) for areas around the East Coast has caused the FAA to issue a Letter to Airmen instructing pilots to obey all TFRs, stating it is the pilot's responsibility to know the locations of all TFRs. FAA also clearly states the potential consequences of restricted airspace violations: interception by military aircraft and possible FAA legal enforcement action.

"Staying out of restricted airspace is ultimately the pilot's
responsibility," said Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) President Phil Boyer. "Even filing an IFR flight plan or following air traffic vectors does not relieve the pilot of that responsibility."

"Proper flight planning is crucial to avoiding flight into TFRs," said the FAA letter. "Pilots must familiarize themselves with all NOTAMs and TFRs along their proposed route. Every pilot needs to obtain the latest NOTAMs from an FSS controller or via DUATS immediately prior to flight."

While TFRs are not shown on sectional or other aeronautical charts, their locations are available through flight service stations or DUATS. If in doubt, said the letter, pilots should ask the FSS controller if there are any TFRs to avoid on their route of flight. Graphical representations of TFRs are available on the website. The FAA is also posting
graphical depictions of four of some 35 national security temporary flight restriction at

Federal government officials reported that three separate airspace incursions by general aviation aircraft occurred into Camp David's restricted airspace earlier this month when the President was there. While the incursions were labeled "accidental," their effect cannot be understated, according to the EAA's Washington, D.C., office. The growing
belief among agencies involved in security, national defense, and protective services is that the existing laws do not include sufficient penalties and that the general aviation (GA) pilot community is not taking TFRs seriously enough. Proposals are being floated internally to dramatically increase the
penalties for TFR airspace violations to include fines, jail time, automatic certificate revocation, and even aircraft confiscation, according to EAA.

To complicate matters, the federal government is apparently using several differing "baselines" for the identification of latitude and longitude locations for TFRs and other airspace restrictions. According to EAA, depending on which baseline is used to identify the location of a TFR, the restricted airspace can in fact be offset by anywhere from one-half mile to two miles when plotted on an aeronautical chart or identified by GPS or Loran in flight. As a result, some pilots flying close to restricted airspace by either visual or electronic navigation may actually violate restricted airspace by as much as two miles when they believe that they are
clear. NAFI recommends pilots add an additional margin of error when flying around restricted sites.
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