Friday, August 27, 2010

It’s Still a Radar World

This might be another ITYS (I Told You So) moment but I can’t find it and I’m tired of looking. It’s nothing that every thinking person in aviation didn’t think about -- radars pick up moving objects.

Wind Turbine Projects Run Into Resistance

Moving turbine blades can be indistinguishable from airplanes on many radar systems, and they can even cause blackout zones in which planes disappear from radar entirely. Clusters of wind turbines, which can reach as high as 400 feet, look very similar to storm activity on weather radar, making it harder for air traffic controllers to give accurate weather information to pilots.

And, no, -- non-aviation types -- switching to GPS tracking (ADS-B) won’t change a thing. There’s still the weather radar problem (mentioned above) and more subtle things -- like tracking terrorists and drug smugglers.

”Although the military says no serious incidents have yet occurred because of the interference, the wind turbines pose an unacceptable risk to training, testing and national security...”

And while we’re here, you might find this one interesting too.

Navy Drone Violated Washington Airspace

”The skies over the nation’s capital are crowded with presidential aircraft, military flyovers and the Delta shuttle, but this month a strange new bird was briefly among them: a United States Navy drone that wandered into the restricted airspace around Washington before operators could stop it.”

Like we didn’t see that one coming. Geez. Just wait until one is involved in a mid-air collision. You might think it can’t happen. But it can. You probably didn’t think this could happen either.

Biplane, Remote-Control Plane Collide Over Brighton

Be sure to click on the video on that page. Some of you might not realize how big model airplanes are getting these days. Some are as big as drones. Mr. Murphy never runs short of creativity.

Don Brown
August 27, 2010

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