Filing a NASA Form & finding info on Sports TFRs!...

Discussion in 'Lessons Learned' started by SamIAm, Aug 29, 2016.

  1. SamIAm

    SamIAm Guest

    So.... flying the other day, I apparently encountered a MLB TFR. This was in the lower section (<1,000') of the Hudson River VFR corridor. (Yankees won, BTW) Other pilots noted this on the CTAF when I made a position report, (but not when I was reporting APPROCHING it...) and a controller later confirmed when I called up for alternate route flight following. I was not on FF prior, and in 20/20 hindsight I will get on FF prior to the same flight in future and / or call the Approach controller for up-to-the-minute info. I was monitoring the local approach freq for my location and heard nothing.

    So I will file a NASA form, and have looked up the relevant NOTAM - FDC 4/3621, Oct 2014, a blanket NOTAM.

    Question one - I have read in other threads discussing the NASA form to NOT to admit to busting or a violation in the title / "Type of event / Situation" - Might I be OK wording it as "possible TFR encounter", or "suspected Airspace penetration" or what would POA suggest?

    I had a Lockheed-Martin / Leidos (or whatever it is this week) briefing for the flight & area 1 hr prior to wheels up, and specifically asked the briefer about any sports TFR's and got "None" There was a VIP TFR charted to the east which I noted to the briefer - I had checked the FAA's site and that was the only nearby red circle........

    Called FSS when I was back on terra firma and was informed that it is Pilots' responsibility, and NOT FSS / FAA to see /know if there are any sports events in stadia with crowd > 30k persons.

    OK I get that now. I know the local sports teams and can check their schedules, but is there any reliable source for this info? What if I am in another less familiar area? Call the Local TRACON, Tower? Seems like a big possible hole in effective and critical knowledge notification. Whether the sports teams / venues call the FAA to let them know of an event or the FAA already HAS their schedule, that info WOULD be known by the FAA prior, so why not share it? Not making excuses, just seems like a broken link to me....

    *I see that ForeFlight does apparently show stadium TFRs. I do not yet have an iPad or FF, but that certainly ads to the many reasons to invest in that....

    * Also here..... https://www.aopa.org/go-fly/tfrs/stadiums-and-speedways

    How much detail would you include? Just the facts, Ma'am, or note times, the squawk codes I got later from the two major airports? I will note the Notam # and that I take this as a lesson in being better informed, aware of these TFRS and in using Flite Following esp. on flight into such tight airspace...

    SECOND - and not to sound too much like a Luddite - is it safe / confidential / anonymous to file the ASRS form on-line? Pretty sure I sent one in via USPS many years ago, but these new-fangled, hacker-prone computer things make me pause...... I suspect that no one gave this much / any official notice, but do want to be on record / file just in case...

    Certainly did learn a bunch with this. "Doveryai, no proveryai"
     
  2. rk911

    rk911 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I ALWAYS check my route using SkyVector which will show active TFR's. further, when I activate a flight plan post takeoff I will ask if any there are any pop-up TFR's along or near my route. the LM flight planning page will also show TFRs and you can arrange an alert to be sent to your cell phone when a TFR is issued. beyond that I don't see a way to be 100% aware of a pop-up TFR. but with proper planning you can show a good faith effort to be aware of them. I'm a relatively new pilot with a couple of hundred hours so I'm open to additional suggestions from those far more experienced than I.
     
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  3. RV10flyer

    RV10flyer Pattern Altitude

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    Before Foreflight started putting little red circles up, I had already found the list of stadiums and entered all of them as user way points. Otherwise, as a non-sports fan, I would have been busted by now.
     
  4. SoCal RV Flyer

    SoCal RV Flyer Line Up and Wait

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    +1 for SkyVector, so I know when to avoid Dodger and Angel stadia. (I like the Latin plural there, SamIAm. :D:D)

    For the NASA form, the fullest confession possible is the right course of action, and a line at the end about what you've learned and how you'll do things differently is priceless. I sent mine in via snail mail...I had done everything online, but when I clicked to send it in I wasn't 100 percent sure it took. So paper, pen and a stamp to be sure.
     
  5. BillTIZ

    BillTIZ En-Route

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    LM is not responsible for alerting stadium TFRs.

    When this first started I was inbound to home airport. I knew there was a NASCAR race that afternoon. I contacted TRACON for FF and asked if the race had ended and when. They had no clue and asked why I wanted to know. "So I can determine if the TFR is closed", and their response? "What TFR?"
     
  6. Hank S

    Hank S En-Route

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    Sports TFRs near your home base are one thing, but how am I supposed to know about every college stadium with 30,000 seats along my route of flight? Plus all of the other qualifying outdoor events several hundred miles from home. All the more reason to either get FF or file IFR; all I do without is make short hops to the next county for fuel (10.4 nm one way for slow full serve, 24 nm the other way for self serve).

    Only had one surprise me, at home, when I had been out of town for a week. Nearby tower alerted me when I was transferred to them, they nicely vectored me around the TFR and over midfield (did I mention it was a couple of hours after sunset?).

    But traveling, making a fuel stop or diverting for weather, I have no idea what any if the sports schedules are down there below me, what sports / events may be occurring, where they are, etc. how in the Sam Hill does the FAA expect me to comply with a two year old TFR covering thousands of outdoor events scattered all over the country and not published here in Nowhere, AL?
     
  7. cowman

    cowman En-Route

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    I'd want a second opinion on it being a pilot's responsibility to know about every major sports event along their route of flight. That's not only unreasonable but it seems completely unrealistic that anyone could reliable know about all of that.
     
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  8. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    Just state the facts and how you'll avoid the problem in the future in the form.

    Many people are unaware that the NASA forms are turned into a monthly newsletter for things they see as trends and pilots should know about.

    You can subscribe for an email reminder in your inbox to read it every month, and it has plenty of examples of how folks actually write them, since the reports are quoted with names removed.

    http://asrs.arc.nasa.gov/publications/callback.html

    It's usually worth the read. Some months it focuses on pro pilot or mechanic topics, some months stuff private pilots would be more interested in hearing about.
     
  9. cowman

    cowman En-Route

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    How would you avoid that problem in the future though. Every time I want to go somewhere now I have to search along the route of flight, find every possible venue for a sports event then dig around for their contact information, then get an events schedule.

    Really? Really? That's ridiculous.


    This discussion reminds me of something that happened this weekend. I was flying out to K15 and there was a TFR scheduled to start the next day for an air show. The TFR was not along my route but very close, about 2nm just beyond my destination. I'd seen it on foreflight, got a briefing, and as it happened I'd run into a CFI I knew at the FBO. While my plane was being fueled we were chatting about where I was going, he remembered seeing the TFR previously and looked at it to. I checked foreflight and saw it wasn't active that day, my briefing said it wasn't active, a CFI verified that interpretation......

    Fortunately, as I normally do, I'd chosen to use flight following. As I began my descent towards the airport the controller informed me that even thought the TFR wasn't active today it should have been and the area was actually hot. I was still able to continue as planned- as I said my destination was still 2nm on the opposite side of my destination airport so there wouldn't have been a bust either way but still... I trust this information I'm being given to keep me safe and on the right side of the law. It's a bit distressing when it doesn't tell you what you need to know.
     
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  10. Mason

    Mason Pattern Altitude

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    I would not make any admissions in the title. Maybe something like "Stadium TFRs Difficult To Find."

    Then in the body of the form, tell exactly what happened.
     
  11. MAKG1

    MAKG1 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Don't overstate the problem. Just fly at least 3500 AGL and you'll fly right over the top of every one. Well, except the Super Bowl, but that's not a standard sports TFR and FSS will know about it.

    They do show up on skyvector, though that's not a primary source.
     
  12. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Final Approach

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    15 years.

    15 years and people are just now finding out that lockmart does not tell you about the stadium TFRs.

    After 15 years.

    Think about it.
     
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  13. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Final Approach

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    Hmmmmm......
     
  14. vontresc

    vontresc En-Route

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    So it seems that no one really cares about stadium TFRs? That just confirms my suspicion that these were put into place to ban banner (bannerest?) tow operators.
     
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  15. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Garmin Pilot has a way to turn on the stadium TFRs. It doesn't show when they are active, but it does show where they are and that's helpful as a heads-up to check. I live in an area with at least 4 places (NFL, MLB, NASCAR, and NCAA football) close enough to be interesting. But as a local, I generally know when something is going on.
     
  16. Dave Theisen

    Dave Theisen Cleared for Takeoff

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    Another ridiculous point to these, the times are based on a sporting event. You are supposed to keep track of Overtimes, Extra Innings, Rain Delays, Caution Flags, long winded National Anthem singers ..........
     
  17. MAKG1

    MAKG1 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    No, they are there to keep YOU from colliding with THEM.

    I've flown (legally) inside a stadium TFR. I really don't like it. Over an A's game, landing Oakland, there were two banner tows and an airship all very close to the traffic pattern. It was a total zoo.
     
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  18. MAKG1

    MAKG1 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    It is totally not anywhere near as hard as you make it out to be.

    Frankly, flying in nasty airspace without talking to anyone, while legal most of the time (not at Oakland, though), is STUPID. Read the TFR, and you'll see why that makes it not at all a big deal.

    People only run into trouble with sports TFRs if they insist on flying low altitude without talking to anyone.

    TFRs pop up due to police action (helicopters) every once in a while, too. Same deal. Fly at altitude or talk to someone. A police helicopter isn't any good to anyone above 1000 AGL. No one plans pursuits or standoffs, so FSS or anyone else isn't going to have a clue ahead of time.
     
  19. Vance Breese

    Vance Breese Line Up and Wait

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    I had heard stories about how difficult stadium TFRs were and was making an effort not to violate a stadium TFR.

    I was flying from Fullerton to Santa Paula and fly under the edges of the Burbank airspace toward Whiteman.

    As I was talking to El Monte ATC I asked ATC if the Stadium TFR at the Rose Bowl was over and she said; “I don’t have that information.”

    For those unfamiliar with the area the Rose Bowl is eight miles from the El Monte airport and the stadium TFR nearly bumps up against the El Monte class Delta airspace.

    Flight following doesn’t work for me if I am at 2,000 feet MSL there.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2016
  20. vontresc

    vontresc En-Route

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    Wait flying in NorCal makes you a real pilot? I thought that was only SoCal?
     
  21. MAKG1

    MAKG1 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Does no one EVER read the damn TFR?

    You were in contact with EMT Tower.

    Since it seems so difficult for people to do their homework, here it is. Yes, it's a lot of words. But READ IT. I've even emphasized the critical line.

     
  22. neilw2

    neilw2 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Well maybe in that case he was ok because he was talking to tower, but I think he is right in his overall point.

    1. Sometimes at low level it is impossible to be in contact w/ ATC for flight following.

    2. ATC seems not to be generally unaware of these stadium TFRs which is not helpful

    3. It is difficult to preflight effectively for these because LM and other primary briefing sources doesn't have this info handy.

    It seems like you have a good procedure to make sure you don't violate. However, many other lowly pilots (like me) are not as good as yourself and find these procedures confusing, overly burdensome, and too easy to violate themselves.
     
  23. neilw2

    neilw2 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    And reading what you cited when did Van say he was "authorized to enter" as depicted via the TFR. Just talking doesn't mean authorized to me but again I'm a lowly uninformed pilot.
     
  24. MAKG1

    MAKG1 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Nothing about a "real pilot." Just, in Oakland, the stadium is inside Class C and the TFR encloses the airport. You simply have to be in contact with ATC, so that TFR is essentially irrelevant, except for the crazy traffic it contains.
     
  25. MAKG1

    MAKG1 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    It's not a clearance like Class B. You do not have to be cleared to enter. Some TFRs do require that, and will contain a frequency to contact (e.g., fire TFRs) if it's necessary. "Enter left downwind for runway XX" that would put you through the TFR is an authorization. Honestly, you want to avoid that stadium anyway if there is a game going on. It's nuts.

    If they want you to stay out, you'll get a positive instruction along those lines. This happens at Palo Alto when there is a game at Stanford (the TFR is mostly inside the Class D).
     
  26. Vance Breese

    Vance Breese Line Up and Wait

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    Thank you for your help.

    I was not authorized to do anything by ATC beyond transitioning their airspace and the TFR is outside of El Monte’s air space.

    The use of the word “and” suggests to me simply being in touch with ATC is not enough without authorization.

    I am uncomfortable interpreting “I don’t have that information” as authorization.
     
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  27. MAKG1

    MAKG1 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Sure, that's legit. Stay out if there is any doubt, and/or ask ATC if you're authorized.

    I've asked NorCal if there was a Giants game going on. I've found that fairly often, only the controller for that particular sector knows. AT&T Park is not inside Class B, it's (mostly) below it. Transitions through that TFR are not routinely allowed. Which sucks, 'cause there is great sightseeing there.
     
  28. Hank S

    Hank S En-Route

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    My worry is going somewhere new during football or baseball season. How am I supposed to know what teams are there, if they have a home game, or when the game starts / is expected to end? Because at some point I have to fly below 3500' agl unless I get some really big tires . . .

    To say nothing of what happens if I divert for weather, pax request or something else. What's down there besides lots of little buildings and really skinny roads? Throw a dart at a sectional that you're not based on and tell me what you'll need to worry about when approaching to land there. Especially if FSS & Lockmart's new name have no idea themselves, and neither does anyone else on the radio.
     
  29. Vance Breese

    Vance Breese Line Up and Wait

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    I use Weathermeister and it shows the potential stadium TFRs.

    I look up the various locations on the internet and have an answer.

    I mark them on my paper chart if they are active or likely to be.

    In the case described above it was a football game that was supposed to be over and I was checking to see if it was over to no avail so I went around it as though they were still playing.

    I just made my path past Burbank more convoluted.
     
  30. SamIAm

    SamIAm Guest

    OP Here -

    Many great replies with exactly the info and experience I was looking for. Many great suggestions fro the form as well.

    Still begs the question - if SkyVector et. al. can easily get this .Gov mandated info, why not LM / FSS have it as well? Sad.
     
  31. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Final Approach

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    Consider this: If the FAA does not have information on when the TFR is "active", how could they enforce it?

    Obviously, they have the information, they just choose to not share.
     
  32. azure

    azure Final Approach

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    Eternal September. ;)
     
  33. MAKG1

    MAKG1 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    They don't necessarily have the information ahead of time. Game times change at the whim of TV producers. Enforcement never takes place before the game starts.

    And there is much more than one ATC.
     
  34. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Probably someone at the stadium with binoculars or a camera will call FAA to report an N#, date, and time. Other than that, I doubt there is any ATC that is monitoring the TFR boundaries.
     
  35. Vance Breese

    Vance Breese Line Up and Wait

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    I have thought about it.
    I learn every time I fly.
    I often learn when I read Pilots of America.
    It is my job to teach others to learn when they fly as a part of aviation culture.
    I knew about how hard it is to find Stadium TFRs because of my personal aviation experience.
    Not everyone has had the same experiences in aviation.
    I suspect others know things I don’t because of their personal aviation experiences.
    Most of the aviation luminaries I have met realize they don’t know everything about aviation.
    Part of what I love about aviation is there is always something to learn.
    It is a puzzle to me that some here on Pilots of America appear critical when people don’t know everything about aviation.
     
  36. Vance Breese

    Vance Breese Line Up and Wait

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    I feel it would be a mistake to imagine that all stadium TFRs are not actively enforced.
     
  37. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I agree.
     
  38. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Final Approach

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    I was thinking about how the FAA can set something up, and somehow, in spite of briefings, notams, flight reviews, etc. etc. etc. word just doesn't get out.
     
  39. SkyDog58

    SkyDog58 En-Route

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    There are probably some NFL stadiums that are used for little or nothing besides their NFL team's home games. With a total of 4 preseason games and 16 regular season games that is a total of 20 games or 10 home games for a team that does not make the playoffs. So out of 365 days in a year, it is very easy to not consider there is a game on one of those 10 days. It is just not an everyday event nor does everybody follow football and know the schedules. It is very easy to miss. Now consider that most other sports are less significant to the average American than pro football and you can see the problem.
     
  40. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    I don't think the "stadiums are only used for NFL football" part is accurate at all. Concerts, soccer in some cases, big religious rallies, even marching band competitions, all things Mile High is regularly used for.

    Figuring out the attendance numbers from these things is damned near impossible, too. Is it 30,000 people or only 29,999? Or whatever the magic number is this year.