Articles filed under Safety from Texas

No easy answers blowing in the wind: Wind farms trick radar, raising public policy questions

Some technical solutions are on the horizon. Raytheon has plans to roll out new software algorithms as early as 2012 ...Patrick Paddock, an operations specialist and radar expert at Naval Air Station Kingsville, said those solutions would require years of testing and procurement processes before the military could begin to implement them.
2 Apr 2011

Military officials say wind turbines can stir up problems for bases

Giant wind turbines dotting the Texas landscape have made the Lone Star State the nation's leader in the development of wind power, but they may also pose a hazard to military installations by interfering with crucial radar operations, state lawmakers were told Tuesday. The wind turbines could cause false signals on radar and endanger aerial maneuvers or produce erroneous information about storm conditions.
27 Apr 2010

Wind farms' effect on radar a clear concern

The U.S. military is growing increasingly concerned that proposed wind farms can disrupt or block radar designed to detect threats and protect America's skies, a problem that is stalling the alternative energy projects around the country. A top U.S. general told Congress on Thursday that federal agencies need to work better together on a formal vetting process for the wind projects.
21 Mar 2010

Wind farms may endanger pilots

"Is anyone looking at wind farms from a pilot training standpoint?' was the question and stunned silence was the answer. The question came during a discussion on encroachment last month at the Department of Defense (DOD) Community Conference in Orlando, Fla. For example, did you know that placing wind turbines between 5 and 8 miles from an airfield creates "blind spots" due to the clutter created on the radar screen?
5 Dec 2009

Wind farm makes deal with FAA; $300M project was in jeopardy over turbines

Construction on a $300 million San Patricio County wind energy facility will move forward on schedule after a compromise between the wind farm's owner and the Federal Aviation Administration was announced Monday. The project was in jeopardy after the FAA objected to 81 of 120 proposed sites for 109 wind turbines because of potential interference with a sombrero-shaped radio beacon that pilots can use to determine their proximity to Corpus Christi International Airport.
24 Mar 2009

Turbines' effect on navigation studied

The VORTAC building is located about eight miles west of Portland. A radio beacon that airplane pilots can use to determine their proximity to Corpus Christi International Airport poses an obstacle to a $300 million wind farm under construction in San Patricio County. ...The federal agency has taken issue with the turbines' collective proximity to and potential impact on the radio navigation signal, housed about eight miles west of Portland, according to a notice of presumed hazard filed by the FAA.
28 Dec 2008

Man injured after fall inside wind turbine

A 29-year-old contractor for Global Windpower Services fell 50 to 60 feet inside the shaft of a wind turbine on Wednesday, breaking ribs and a leg, rescue officials said. His fall was broken by a metal deck about 12 feet above the ground, according to Lt. Greg Goettsch, spokesman for the Abilene Fire Department. The man was conscious when rescuers arrived. ...Global Windpower Services is contracting with FPL Energy to work on the turbines, Stengel said. The Elm Creek Community Association and Buffalo Gap volunteer fire departments, South Taylor County EMS, the Abilene Fire Department, the Taylor County Sheriff's Office and MetroCare responded to the scene of the accident, Goettsch said.
17 Apr 2008

Wind farms can befuddle radar

"One windmill will not put out much noise, but when you put a cluster of them together and get the blades all spinning at the same rate, then it begins to emit noise -- enough that our radar can 'hear' the noise." You could tell the radar to ignore that frequency, but if there's a thunderstorm with the same frequency, it also would be ignored. "The use of wind energy has become a big problem not only in the meteorological world, but also to the military community as airplanes could fly low under a wind farm and one would never know the difference as to whether they are looking at false returns from the wind farm or an enemy plane."
7 Apr 2008

Tractor Trailer Drops A Massive Load

A truck driver transporting the midsection of a huge wind energy turbine lost his load on the I-37 frontage road near Rand Morgan. It happened around 3:30 Tuesday afternoon. Police say the driver was supposed to be following a state ordered route, but that he got off track and tried to make a sharp turn.
16 Oct 2007

Plane Crash Kills Area Crop Duster

Investigators believe the plane hit a wind tower and clipped the left wing and then crashed the plane about a quarter mile North of the tower. They say a farmer saw the plane and noticed it didn't complete the last circle of crop dusting. He then looked to see smoke coming from the field.
19 May 2005

http://www.windaction.org/posts?location=Texas&p=4&topic=Safety&type=Article
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