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June 11th, 2005

Weird flight restrictions

I was in my flight planning software looking up a route of flight and in the nationwide view saw some bits of red in Massachusetts. Zooming in out of curiosity, I discovered a smattering of very odd looking flight restricted areas:

Usually TFR's are cylindrical, prohibiting flight within a certain radius of a sensitive event, usually somewhere that our cowardly president Bush is speaking, but sometimes for other things such as the Superbowl. But these are BOX shaped, which struck me as odd. So I looked up the associated NOTAM text.

4/2488 -  MA.. LASER LIGHT ACTIVITY BOSTON, MA.
LASER LIGHT ACTIVITY WILL BE CONDUCTED AT THE RECTANGLE
AREA, IN THE VICINITY OF BAOSTON, MA, 6 MILES NORTH AND
SOUTH BY 9 MILES EAST AND WEST CENTERED ON THE BOSTON
VORTAC, 422130N/0710336W AND THE BOSTON /BOS/ VORTAC 286 DEGREE
RADIAL AT 3.3 NAUTICAL MILES; WEF 0411170001-0510010400.
THIS IS A DOWNWARD POINTING LASER ONLY. LASER LIGHT BEAM
MAY BE INJURIOUS TO PILOTS/PASSENGERS EYES AT 3000 FEET
BELOW THE LASER AIRCRAFT, WITHIN 3000 FEET LATERALLY BELOW
THE LIGHT SOURCE. FLASH BLINDNESS OR COCKPIT ILLUMINATION
MAY OCCUR BEYOND THESE DISTANCES. THE BOSTON TRACON IS THE
FAA COORDINATION FACILITY. WIE UFN

Downward pointing laser? Some kind of topographical or geodetic survey? Weird.

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Charley

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