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Pilots VS wind farm, redux

Matthew Broughton, an aviation lawyer and president of the IFR Pilots Club in Roanoke, said the wind turbines would create a hazard to navigation, particularly when the condition are IFR. Aircraft on IFR approaches to Roanoke usually use runway 6, and Broughton and other pilots say the approach path would take them too close to wind turbines.

Western Virginia Aviators Say Poor Mountain Is A Poor Site For Wind Farm
A proposed wind farm consisting of 15 to 18 wind turbine generators near Roanoke Regional Airport (KROA) in Western Virginia has gotten the attention of a pilots' group in the area.

A company called Invenergy applied to the FAA for a "hazard determination" to see if they could build windmills on top of Poor Mountain, where there are already a number of radio and other communications towers. But the wind turbines would be over 440 feet tall, which is about twice as tall as any existing tower on the mountain.

Matthew Broughton, an aviation lawyer and president of the IFR Pilots Club in Roanoke, said the wind turbines would create a hazard to navigation, particularly when the condition are IFR. Aircraft on IFR approaches to Roanoke usually use runway 6, and Broughton and other pilots say the approach path would take them too close to wind turbines on Poor Mountain which would be roughly the same color as the clouds.

The Roanoke Times reports that Broughton said if the company is allowed to build its turbines, he is concerned that the FAA would require a steeper approach to KROA and raise the... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Western Virginia Aviators Say Poor Mountain Is A Poor Site For Wind Farm
A proposed wind farm consisting of 15 to 18 wind turbine generators near Roanoke Regional Airport (KROA) in Western Virginia has gotten the attention of a pilots' group in the area.

A company called Invenergy applied to the FAA for a "hazard determination" to see if they could build windmills on top of Poor Mountain, where there are already a number of radio and other communications towers. But the wind turbines would be over 440 feet tall, which is about twice as tall as any existing tower on the mountain.

Matthew Broughton, an aviation lawyer and president of the IFR Pilots Club in Roanoke, said the wind turbines would create a hazard to navigation, particularly when the condition are IFR. Aircraft on IFR approaches to Roanoke usually use runway 6, and Broughton and other pilots say the approach path would take them too close to wind turbines on Poor Mountain which would be roughly the same color as the clouds.

The Roanoke Times reports that Broughton said if the company is allowed to build its turbines, he is concerned that the FAA would require a steeper approach to KROA and raise the decision height above its current 405 feet agl. That would require airplanes which miss the approach at Roanoke to divert to Lynchburg, VA (KLYH) or Greensboro, NC (KGSO). Roanoke Regional Airport executive director Jacqueline Shuck says that such diversions are rare. Normally, she says, when the weather is that bad at Roanoke, airlines will put a ground stop on flights before departure. She also said the did not anticipate the FAA would raise IFR minimums at the airport.

But Shuck says the airport's main concern is that, if the windmills are built, the combined height of the mountain and the towers would prevent the FAA from lowering minimums once NextGen comes on line.

Pilots in the region are not opposed to windmills per se, they simply don't want them on top of a mountain that close to the primary ILS approach they use most often. Flight instructor and Pilots Club member Gordon Ewald told the paper "The wind turbines aren't the problem. It's where they want to put them. I certainty want wind turbines, but not sticking into the airspace pilots have to occupy when the weather is most challenging."

FAA review of Invenergy's request is expected to take several months.


Source: http://www.aero-news.net/in...

JUL 14 2010
http://www.windaction.org/posts/27213-pilots-vs-wind-farm-redux
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