Back to New England

Hi all,

From your new Eastern Regional Manager — My family and I have relocated back home to New England to be better positioned to serve AOPA members in the Northeast.  Thank you for your patience and support as I continue to work to get up to speed on legislative issues and become active in the region’s aviation community.

I had plans to go flying today but the gusty winds postponed my insurance checkout flight until Saturday, so hopefully the Aviation Gods will allow for more-enjoyable flying weather!

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for future posts.

Tailwinds & Blue Skies!

Sean

5 thoughts on “Back to New England

  1. Hi Sean:

    I have a question regarding the Hudson River Class B exclusion zone that maybe you can answer or direct me to where I can find an answer. My question is whether there are any stadiums within 3nm of the Hudson River big enough (>30,000 seats) to fall under the “Sport Notam” prohibiting flight within 3nm below 3000 feet during a game – other than Yankee Stadium. Madison Square Garden looks like it holds around 20,000 seats, but I don’t know if any other venues are large enough to check event schedules before planning a VFR flight down the Hudson River at 1200 ft msl.

    Thanks & welcome back to New England
    Dave Smith
    AOPA member

  2. Hello Dave,

    Thanks for your question.

    For awareness, I always like to point members in the direction of my AOPA alma mater—the Pilot Information Center. This member service employs a room full of experienced pilots and aviation geeks (like me) to help answer all of your aviation questions; everything from Airports to Airspace and anything in-between.

    Now post shout-out to my brothers and sisters in the PIC, I’m happy to share what I know..

    Stadium TFRs are pesky indeed and for the very reality that no universal list exists—at least none that we’re aware of. As such, there is no convenient way to determine what stadiums meet FAA/TSA criteria. As I reread the NOTAM, however, I note that it says (section in bold):

    “9/5151 – WITHIN A 3 NMR UP TO AND INCLUDING 3000 FT AGL OF ANY STADIUM HAVING A SEATING CAPACITY OF 30,000 OR MORE PEOPLE WHERE EITHER A REGULAR OR POST SEASON MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL, NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE, OR NCAA DIVISION ONE FOOTBALL GAME IS OCCURRING. THIS NOTAM ALSO APPLIES TO NASCAR SPRINT CUP, INDY CAR…”

    Pertinent to your question, I googled Madison Square Garden and found that it has a seating capacity of only 18,200, however, as is not used for any of the events specified would also argue it does not qualify regardless of seating capacity. It also goes on to say:

    “THE RESTRICTIONS DO NOT APPLY TO THOSE AIRCRAFT AUTHORIZED BY AND IN CONTACT WITH ATC FOR OPERATIONAL OR SAFETY OF FLIGHT PURPOSES.”

    Whenever in doubt, simply tell ATC what you’re doing (maintaining communication) and you shouldn’t have a problem. I flew the corridor at dusk, years ago during flight training. It was no doubt one of the best flight experiences I’ve had to date and recommend it to anyone—though its best to have a second pilot aboard as flying and communicating in crowded airspace can make for a hair-raising experience!

    My best advice is always proceed near any stadium or structure with caution—sometimes it is just better to assume it meets the NOTAM’s description than not and never hesitate to ask ATC because then, at least, you’re on record inquiring about its status. Hopefully you find this useful.

    Regards,

    Sean Collins
    Eastern Regional Manager

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