Friday, February 29, 2008

Oddball NOTAMs

Notices to Airmen (NOTAMs) are used to disseminate important information to pilots and over the years I've seen some pretty unusual notices. One involved a flight restriction over a river necessitated by a flurry of news helicopters filming a pair of wayward whales. I've seen NOTAMs in the past (but not in the last few years) warning pilots of the possibility of guns being fired into the air on the Fourth of July. But just when you think you've seen it all ... (emphasis mine)
FDC 8/5536 FDC SPECIAL NOTICE ..
THIS NOTAM REPLACES FDC 8/5501 DUE TO ADDITION OF CONTACT NUMBER. EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY UNTIL 0803092300 UTC. AIRCRAFT ARE ADVISED THAT A POTENTIAL HAZARD MAY OCCUR DUE TO REENTRY OF SATELLITE USA-193 DEBRIS INTO THE EARTHS ATMOSPHERE. FURTHER NOTAMS WILL BE ISSUED IF MORE INFORMATION BECOMES AVAILABLE. IN THE INTEREST OF FLIGHT SAFETY, IT IS CRITICAL THAT ALL PILOTS/FLIGHT CREW MEMBERS REPORT ANY OBSERVED FALLING SPACE DEBRIS TO THE APPROPRIATE ATC FACILITY TO INCLUDE POSITION, ALTITUDE, TIME, AND DIRECTION OF DEBRIS OBSERVED. FAA HEADQUARTERS, AIR TRAFFIC SYSTEMS OPERATIONS SECURITY, 202-493-5107, IS THE FAA COORDINATION FACILITY.

2 comments:

Chad said...

If I run that through my government to English translator, I get something like:
Dear pilots, if you happen to see parts of our crippled spy satellite as it reenters the atmosphere, please let us known so we can get to it before anyone else. Oh, and it might hit you too, so watch out.

brian said...

Be on the lookout for debris from our "spy satellite."
Sounds like a good cover story for UFOs, too.