Old 08-18-2015, 09:35 PM #1
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Default Laser Warning For Pilots - Not What You Think

I had completly forgotten about this and should have thought of it after joining the Forum. It is simply a tid bit of unusual information.

I used to fly a Cessna 210 from Manassa, VA to Youngstown, OH during a crazy time when I had two Complimentary medical practices. This was in the late 90s. Flying around the DC area there were only two prohibited area, one near the White House and the second near the Naval Observatory where the VPOTUS lives. I used to take people on a tour circumnavigating the Mall at 1000 feet. On the 4th of July I would circumnavigate Colleg Park Airport and watch the fireworks not only at the Mall but in Baltimore and everywhere else.

After 9-11, everything changed. First the area became an Air Defense Identifcation Zone (ADIZ,) then as it is now, a Special Flright Rules Area (SFRA.) The bottom line is that for all intents and purposes you can only transit certain corridors...forget flying around the Mall or watching Fireworks.

You can lose your pilots license if you fly within its boundaries without clearance. To that end, they installed laser warning lights which are activated and flown only at the intruding aircraft, right at the cockpit. Here is a link to a video of what it looks like from the cockpit as well as FAQ from the FAA. You will have to download the video and Fact Sheet: https://www.faasafety.gov/VisualWarn...ualWarning.htm

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Old 08-18-2015, 10:21 PM #2
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Default Re: Laser Warning For Pilots - Not What You Think

This is very interesting... The link to the video on the website isn't working though!
Thanks for sharing this, I will be doing some reading about this sysem and its history tonight!!!
EDIT: video is now working

https://www.faasafety.gov/VisualWarn...heet%20PCT.pdf
Here's a copy from the website in case the link doesn't work for some people

The Visual Warning System (VWS) is designed to warn pilots who are violating the Air
Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) established by the Federal Aviation Administration
(FAA) over Washington D.C. VWS is a ground-based system that uses safety-tested
low-level beams of alternating green and red lights to alert pilots that they are flying
without approval in designated airspace. These visually conspicuous lights, distinct from
other light signals currently used by FAA Air Traffic Control, are designed to provide a
clear warning to pilots who enter the ADIZ without authorization and cannot be
contacted on radio by Air Traffic Control. The lights are so designed that illumination
levels are eye-safe and non-hazardous at all ranges. Only aircraft that are unauthorized or
unidentified and unresponsive would be visually warned. This visual warning is
designed to prompt immediate action by the pilot to contact Air Traffic Control and exit
the ADIZ. The FAA has issued a prominent Special Advisory Notice describing the
lights and prescribing action.
The VWS system is considered a Class I laser device, that is, the safest class possible. It
is eye safe at the aperture and all distances. The VWS is safer than laser pointers and can
be directly viewed for extended time (up to eight hours). There is no eye hazard
associated with viewing the beam. In comparison, green or red laser pointers are
typically Class IIIa, which have the potential for causing eye damage if viewed beyond
second. The laser power is much less than a sun glint and is less than the power for FAA
regulated critical flight zones for commercial laser shows. What the pilots see is a bright
dot of flashing red/green light that stands out among the many city and radio tower lights
at night or scenery clutter during the day. The narrow beam of the warning light
minimizes the probability that a non-intruder aircraft will be illuminated when the device
is directed at an intruder aircraft. If another aircraft approaches the same azimuth and
elevation as the intruder as determined by radar data, the warning will terminate. The
VWS does not affect any aircraft systems.
Part of the overall layered defense of our nation’s capitol, VWS provides those involved
with securing the air space over the national capitol region a rapid means of contacting
pilots when radio attempts have failed.
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Old 08-18-2015, 11:05 PM #3
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Default Re: Laser Warning For Pilots - Not What You Think

Thanks for copying. i don't know why I did not think to do that...the reason the video did not come up is because it is a download in wmv format.

I posted this because of what I thought was a bit of irony despite the fact that what they are doing makes sense.

I have flown in and out of the SFRA and you really have to be on your toes. A friend of mine was flying his plane and nicked a corner. I was surprised but they made a big deal out of it. He was lucky not to lose his ticket.

What I don't know is if the laser can be seen during the day. I tend to doub it.
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Old 08-19-2015, 07:01 PM #4
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Default Re: Laser Warning For Pilots - Not What You Think

I bet you'll know real quick when a couple f-22's show up on either side of you.
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Old 08-19-2015, 07:40 PM #5
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Default Re: Laser Warning For Pilots - Not What You Think

Actually, while they tend to be rather strict, much more so than in the past, the protocol for initiating intercept procedure has been set out and is not instantaneous...certainly not for a GA flight of a known tail number that simply went of course.

There is a chain of command that has to be followed. In any case, even prior to 9-11 intercept procedures were published in the FAR/AIM. Anyone can find them online and anyone with a pilot's license has to know them.
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Old 08-19-2015, 08:40 PM #6
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trendkilla254 View Post
I bet you'll know real quick when a couple f-22's show up on either side of you.
That's funny as hell, but it won't be f-22 they are no longer in use. The f-1/35 replaced it a few years ago!
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Old 08-19-2015, 09:48 PM #7
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Default Re: Laser Warning For Pilots - Not What You Think

I really would not want any US fighter jet chasing after me!
9-11 really did a number on GA along with everything else.
To fly out of any airport within the SFRA you have to be vetted and receive a pin!
What is most upsetting about all of this is my personal beleifs regarding what really happened that day.
At the time, I was livng less than a mile from the Pentagon and becausee I am originally from Manhattan, I went up there the next day....don't even want to get into all of that. The general public has pretty much forgotten and does not really care about getting to the bottom of it....and lets' not forget Oklahoma City!
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Old 08-19-2015, 11:05 PM #8
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Default Re: Laser Warning For Pilots - Not What You Think

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Originally Posted by noobphaser215 View Post
That's funny as hell, but it won't be f-22 they are no longer in use. The f-1/35 replaced it a few years ago!
SOrry for the thread jack, but I thought they decided against going with the F-35 as it lost the bidding war. I need to brush up on my plane info apparently.
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Old 08-19-2015, 11:31 PM #9
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Default Re: Laser Warning For Pilots - Not What You Think

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trendkilla254 View Post
SOrry for the thread jack, but I thought they decided against going with the F-35 as it lost the bidding war. I need to brush up on my plane info apparently.
nope! but next year they'll be introducing something that words can only explain as a space fighter lmao
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Old 08-19-2015, 11:51 PM #10
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Default Re: Laser Warning For Pilots - Not What You Think

No doubt retofitted from that alien craft they have at area 51 lol
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Old 08-21-2015, 01:33 AM #11
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Default Re: Laser Warning For Pilots - Not What You Think

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No doubt retofitted from that alien craft they have at area 51 lol
Cool avatar the SR-71 is my favorite plane.
Never saw one in person

But in HS we had a trip to NYC and I saw a A-12 on the USS intrepid.

When no one was around I touched the hull quick.

Felt very weird.

Also does anyone else think that green laser is bright enough to mess up your night vision?

They do mention it as a rather narrow cone yet.
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Old 08-21-2015, 05:44 PM #12
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Default Re: Laser Warning For Pilots - Not What You Think

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Cool avatar the SR-71 is my favorite plane.
Never saw one in person

But in HS we had a trip to NYC and I saw a A-12 on the USS intrepid.

When no one was around I touched the hull quick.

Felt very weird.

Also does anyone else think that green laser is bright enough to mess up your night vision?

They do mention it as a rather narrow cone yet.
Having grown up in Manhattan I go up there often and have watched the Intrepid become more and more popular. If you get a chance you need to go to Air & Space both in DC and it extension site at the Hazy Center at Dulles which is where the SR-71 story I am about to share, is presently located.

Prior to the contraction of the Hazy Center, the SR-71 and the Enterprise which is now also on the Intrepid, were kept in a hanger owned by the Smithsonian at Dulles. A friend of mine, an A & P for United had access to the hanger (with security present) and took me to see my favorite aircraft. I was virtually alone with it and of course went up to touch it The Starter Cart was also there. I could have started the thing up and taken a Joy Ride...just kidding.

The Enterprise by this time (1996) was a bit beat up and the Smithsonian planned renovations. After the Columbia disaster they took parts of the leading edge panels off to aid in the investigation.

The shuttle's TPS was one of the most complex systems to engineer. Each tile on the undersurface is unique and numbered. The leading edges of the wings are reinforced carbon carbon and though they can sustain high temperature to 1260 C. On re-entry, temperature can exceed this. The way this is managed is computer controlled yaw maneuver to rock the shuttle so that each wing alternately takes more of the drag with attendant heat build up. This continues until the shuttle becomes essentially an aircraft then utilizing conventional lift to fly.

As for green lasers with respect to night vision, any bright light will knock your night vision accommodation out to some degree. Of course you are only looking at the beam but still, you will get some loss. I used to do a lot of night flying myself and would always use a red light if possible during times when I was flying under VFR and needed to maintain my own visual separation.
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Old 08-21-2015, 11:53 PM #13
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Default Re: Laser Warning For Pilots - Not What You Think

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Originally Posted by Andrew124C41 View Post
Having grown up in Manhattan I go up there often and have watched the Intrepid become more and more popular. If you get a chance you need to go to Air & Space both in DC and it extension site at the Hazy Center at Dulles which is where the SR-71 story I am about to share, is presently located.

Prior to the contraction of the Hazy Center, the SR-71 and the Enterprise which is now also on the Intrepid, were kept in a hanger owned by the Smithsonian at Dulles. A friend of mine, an A & P for United had access to the hanger (with security present) and took me to see my favorite aircraft. I was virtually alone with it and of course went up to touch it The Starter Cart was also there. I could have started the thing up and taken a Joy Ride...just kidding.

The Enterprise by this time (1996) was a bit beat up and the Smithsonian planned renovations. After the Columbia disaster they took parts of the leading edge panels off to aid in the investigation.

The shuttle's TPS was one of the most complex systems to engineer. Each tile on the undersurface is unique and numbered. The leading edges of the wings are reinforced carbon carbon and though they can sustain high temperature to 1260 C. On re-entry, temperature can exceed this. The way this is managed is computer controlled yaw maneuver to rock the shuttle so that each wing alternately takes more of the drag with attendant heat build up. This continues until the shuttle becomes essentially an aircraft then utilizing conventional lift to fly.

As for green lasers with respect to night vision, any bright light will knock your night vision accommodation out to some degree. Of course you are only looking at the beam but still, you will get some loss. I used to do a lot of night flying myself and would always use a red light if possible during times when I was flying under VFR and needed to maintain my own visual separation.
haha I got story to tell you. I went to the airspace museum and i saw all the rockets 2 days before 2 I went there I had a dream about a earthquake. I was like whats gonna happen that will make me never come back to DC. So we get through the the muesuem
and i look at the standing rockets that were there on the first floor and I think what would happen to these rockets if a earthquake happened. about a hour later I'm on the 2nd floor about to take a pic of the x-15 and everything started shaking.People thought it was a terrorist attack and cops were out with machine guns. Weirdest day of my life.just weird.
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Old 08-22-2015, 12:03 AM #14
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Default Re: Laser Warning For Pilots - Not What You Think

Post 9-11 DC is a very strange place to be. Anything out of the ordinary happens and they go to battle stations...so to speak.
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Old 08-22-2015, 12:30 AM #15
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Default Re: Laser Warning For Pilots - Not What You Think

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew124C41 View Post
Post 9-11 DC is a very strange place to be. Anything out of the ordinary happens and they go to battle stations...so to speak.
i have a video of like 50 police cars outside some govt place.

while we were walking back to the parking garage there were like SWAT cops with machine guns directing traffic.
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Old 08-22-2015, 06:26 PM #16
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Default Re: Laser Warning For Pilots - Not What You Think

Andrew124C41 may I ask first if the starter cart for the SR-71 consisted of 2 Buick big block motors and what speed was that plane capable of ive heard outrages Mach numbers but it seems no one wants to say the truth. joeyss mabey you know also?
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