Saturday, September 24, 2011

The sky is falling

Usually the FAA contents itself with sending out safety tips and notifications that airspace will be closed because the President or (more often) Vice President is going on vacation or a campaign speech. But this morning I got this ominous caution in the email:

Urgent Airmen Notification - Satellite Re-entry
Notice Number: NOTC3252

Until September 26, 2011
U.S. airspace and territories

Specific instructions and restrictions are available from normal NOTAM sites and local air traffic facilities.

*For the latest information, call your local Flight Service Station at 1-800-WX-BRIEF.
Really, this raises more questions than it answers. For openers: why is this a warning to airmen and not to people on the ground? Blue skies! -- Dan Ford


At 12:12 PM, Blogger Peter Buckner said...

I had similar reaction. Since I run an aviation website which tracks NOTAMs ( I wondered exactly what this "falling satellite" notam might say. Oddly enough, there is no notam that I can find: it's not on pilotweb, as a current notam, nor is it a published notam. "NOTC3252" isn't a standard NOTAM code (!FDC 1/2422, etc.) So, any idea what we're supposed to do?

At 1:03 PM, Blogger Dan Ford said...

Yes! Sally wife explained it to me: the satellite had already fallen, and we are supposed to look for it!

(I think.)

Blue skies! -- Dan Ford

At 8:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for verifying I'm not nuts!!
Strange the FAA would send an Urgent Airmen Notification - that doesn't exist in their {normal NOTAM sites}.

At 5:50 AM, Blogger Dan Ford said...

Well, now it turns out that there may have been three thousand (?) pieces, and that they may have continued to fall through Saturday, so now I'm not so certain Sally was right. Blue skies! -- Dan Ford


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