BA787
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Planes And Fireworks: Any Danger?

Sun Nov 04, 2007 6:42 pm

I'm currently sat in my room watching all of the fireworks out across the valley and glancing occasionally at the flashing lights of yet another LS 733 on approach into LBA. It made me wonder whether there is any danger to these low flying birds as the huge rockets shoot up into the sky. It certainly must be distracting but is there any actual danger. Some of these fireworks go fairly high and seem to go much higher than these approaching planes (since I can read the logos etc.)

Just a thought, but I bet it scares the cr*p out of some of the passengers.

BA787
 
B747forever
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RE: Planes And Fireworks: Any Danger?

Sun Nov 04, 2007 6:45 pm

Of course it can be a danger for a/c.
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BA787
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RE: Planes And Fireworks: Any Danger?

Sun Nov 04, 2007 6:47 pm

Quoting B747forever (Reply 1):

Well thats what I thought, but I wondered if there were any special procedures at this time of year (higher approaches) or if they banned houses under the low airways from doing so. We don't have any restrictions so it can't be that.

BA787
 
B747forever
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RE: Planes And Fireworks: Any Danger?

Sun Nov 04, 2007 6:51 pm

Quoting BA787 (Reply 2):
if they banned houses under the low airways from doing so.

I really doubt that they ban it.

Quoting BA787 (Reply 2):
but I wondered if there were any special procedures at this time of year (higher approaches)

It is more likely with higher approaches.

But one thing has to be sure. Airlines can just ignore fireworks, right???
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mhodgson
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RE: Planes And Fireworks: Any Danger?

Sun Nov 04, 2007 7:29 pm

I think you'd have to be right under the final approach path for a household firework to affect an aircraft; I doubt they can go more than 100' up, and so common sense should prevail.
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Analog
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RE: Planes And Fireworks: Any Danger?

Sun Nov 04, 2007 8:01 pm

Quoting B747forever (Reply 1):
Of course it can be a danger for a/c.

Non-category 4 (non-professional fireworks) really pose a danger? In a non-trivial way?

If an aircraft is dumping fuel and the fuel trail is hit by a shell... maybe. If a pilot is freaked out by a blast in his/her line of sight and somehow does a nosedive or stalls the a/c, maybe.
 
kubik
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RE: Planes And Fireworks: Any Danger?

Sun Nov 04, 2007 10:09 pm

Hi there, it might be just coincidence, but I have seen yesterday at LHR BMI bird landing when firework gone off in the proximity of the guidence lights for landing and the aircraft imidiatly stoped landing manuever and gone as missed approach.

Kubik
 
tdscanuck
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RE: Planes And Fireworks: Any Danger?

Mon Nov 05, 2007 12:18 am

Quoting BA787 (Thread starter):
It made me wonder whether there is any danger to these low flying birds as the huge rockets shoot up into the sky.

They're not exactly big rockets...even a pro shell is something like 6" in diameter and the explosive power is very small. Just enough to burst the shell and ignite the stars.

Quoting B747forever (Reply 1):
Of course it can be a danger for a/c.

How so? If it actually struck the aircraft there might be some burn damage but I don't think there's nearly enough energy for structural damage. A firework just looks pretty...most of the bang is the charge to lob it to altitude and that's gone long before it gets near the plane. The shell itself is just cardboard, plastic, and slow-burn power with a small black-powder bursting charge. If you were so unlucky as to have an engine suck in a whole shell it would probably result in an engine shutdown but not really any worse than a bird as far as I can tell.

If it went off right beside a window I suppose it the shockwave might crack the window but that's far from being dangerous...mostly annoying (and expensive).

Tom.
 
SkyexRamper
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RE: Planes And Fireworks: Any Danger?

Mon Nov 05, 2007 3:42 am

Generally household fireworks don't get higher than 150-200ft. I would be more leary of an airplane flying that low when not on short final to a runway.
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graphic
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RE: Planes And Fireworks: Any Danger?

Mon Nov 05, 2007 3:48 am

Well in the very unlikely scenario that a pro firework got sucked into an engine before the final explosive charge was detonated, that could cause some issues...
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BWilliams
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RE: Planes And Fireworks: Any Danger?

Mon Nov 05, 2007 3:57 am

Quoting Kubik (Reply 6):
Hi there, it might be just coincidence, but I have seen yesterday at LHR BMI bird landing when firework gone off in the proximity of the guidence lights for landing and the aircraft imidiatly stoped landing manuever and gone as missed approach.

Obviously it's hard to say for sure, but my guess is that it was more for the pilot's benefit then anything -- the firework could have distracted him from the landing, and the pilot figured that it would be better to go around and set himself back up so that situational awareness was at its highest.
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Analog
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RE: Planes And Fireworks: Any Danger?

Mon Nov 05, 2007 4:26 am

Quoting Graphic (Reply 9):
Well in the very unlikely scenario that a pro firework got sucked into an engine before the final explosive charge was detonated, that could cause some issues...

I imagine that even a large firework contains less energy than a large bird at 150+mph (bird strike test), though the energy might be directed differently.

(How well would a firework survive past the fan blades?)
 
tdscanuck
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RE: Planes And Fireworks: Any Danger?

Mon Nov 05, 2007 5:09 am

Quoting Analog (Reply 11):
(How well would a firework survive past the fan blades?)

Not very. That's a good point...most of the burst energy for a firework comes by containing the charge with the shell until the pressure can build up (since black powder burns pretty slowly). The fan would make mincemeat of the shell, which would greatly lessen the power of the burst.

Tom.
 
graphic
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RE: Planes And Fireworks: Any Danger?

Mon Nov 05, 2007 5:14 am

Quoting Tdscanuck (Reply 12):
The fan would make mincemeat of the shell, which would greatly lessen the power of the burst.

Would probably take away the burst completely, but at that point you have highly flammable particles flying into the burner cans of the jet engine. The end result of that coudn't be a good thing.
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Analog
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RE: Planes And Fireworks: Any Danger?

Mon Nov 05, 2007 5:39 am

Quoting Graphic (Reply 13):

Would probably take away the burst completely, but at that point you have highly flammable particles flying into the burner cans of the jet engine. The end result of that coudn't be a good thing.

Where does the Jet-A go?  Big grin
 
graphic
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RE: Planes And Fireworks: Any Danger?

Mon Nov 05, 2007 5:41 am

Quoting Analog (Reply 14):
Where does the Jet-A go?

What happens when Jet-A goes into a recip engine? ...same effect.
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F9Animal
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RE: Planes And Fireworks: Any Danger?

Mon Nov 05, 2007 6:08 am

Quoting BA787 (Thread starter):
Just a thought, but I bet it scares the cr*p out of some of the passengers.

BA787

Actually, I flew on the 4th of July 4 times out and into LAS. It was fun to see, but certainly not scary. The other passengers seated by windows obviously expected to view the fireworks. To be honest, it was not even spectacular. I find my heartbeat rising when I am under the firework displays!
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BA787
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RE: Planes And Fireworks: Any Danger?

Tue Nov 06, 2007 8:46 pm

Quoting F9Animal (Reply 16):

Suppose you're probably right.

Some fireworks must go higher than 200ft, or certainly appear to, but then I'm no expert on firewoks (most of the teenagers around my area are though  Yeah sure)

Thanks for the feedback guys, now i cant use my trademark "bet that scares the shit outta the guy flying that plane" line when a big one goes up Big grin

BA787
 
tdscanuck
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RE: Planes And Fireworks: Any Danger?

Wed Nov 07, 2007 6:38 am

Quoting BA787 (Reply 17):
now i cant use my trademark "bet that scares the shit outta the guy flying that plane" line when a big one goes up

I think you're still good...even if it's not a threat to the plane, I would think a big firework going off nearby would be a brown-trousers moment for the flight crew.

Tom.
 
tcfc424
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RE: Planes And Fireworks: Any Danger?

Wed Nov 07, 2007 7:57 pm

I think that for some of the professionally produced fireworks shows there are regulations that prohibit launches within scheduled approach and departure patterns. This is likely just to prevent pilot distraction. We are all thinking about small fireworks and big planes...but what about some GA aircraft? Any difference?
 
BA787
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RE: Planes And Fireworks: Any Danger?

Wed Nov 07, 2007 8:07 pm

Quoting Tdscanuck (Reply 18):

 rotfl  That tickled me. That might be better : I bet that pilots wife had a fun job getting the stains outta his underwear" cud be gud too

BA787
 
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RE: Planes And Fireworks: Any Danger?

Wed Nov 07, 2007 8:27 pm

Quoting TCFC424 (Reply 19):
think that for some of the professionally produced fireworks shows there are regulations that prohibit launches within scheduled approach and departure patterns.

Absolutely correct. You cannot have a professional lifeworks show in the approach & departure paths or common holding patterns of an active airports.

For small VFR only landing strips you can have fireworks at night because no plane would be using the runway. This has allowed some small airport airshows to have rather nice fireworks displays in the evenings.

I also believe, but am not sure, that an airport can be declared out of service to allow a fireworks show at night.
 
tdscanuck
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RE: Planes And Fireworks: Any Danger?

Thu Nov 08, 2007 4:43 am

Quoting TCFC424 (Reply 19):
We are all thinking about small fireworks and big planes...but what about some GA aircraft? Any difference?

Probably depends on the aircraft, but a lot of light GA stuff isn't build for nearly the impact resistance that a jet is (for structural and certification reasons). I certainly wouldn't want to be in a Cessna 172 that got hit by a pro firework shell.

Tom.
 
747fan
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RE: Planes And Fireworks: Any Danger?

Thu Nov 08, 2007 5:05 am

What about the "big ones," such as the shells in the larger public firework shows that professionals do? I'd think the type that go off during the Macy's Fourth of July Firework Show in NYC would possibly pose a danger to aircraft, but I may be wrong.
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: Planes And Fireworks: Any Danger?

Thu Nov 08, 2007 7:24 am

Quoting Tdscanuck (Reply 7):

If it went off right beside a window I suppose it the shockwave might crack the window but that's far from being dangerous...mostly annoying (and expensive).

Imagine the dry cleaner bill. Oh the humanity!
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MD11Engineer
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RE: Planes And Fireworks: Any Danger?

Thu Nov 08, 2007 10:50 am

Quoting Tdscanuck (Reply 7):
Quoting BA787 (Thread starter):
It made me wonder whether there is any danger to these low flying birds as the huge rockets shoot up into the sky.

They're not exactly big rockets...even a pro shell is something like 6" in diameter and the explosive power is very small. Just enough to burst the shell and ignite the stars.

Actually the size of pro mortar shells (for Japanese style fireworks) goes up to 50cm (about 1.5') and they pack quite a bang, but pro fireworks are usually restricted (and, depending on the country) can only be carried out with a prior approval by the authorities, by a licenced pro after a safety assessment (which would include the proximity of airfields).

Common household fireworks (BAM Class II fireworks in Germany, which can be used by anybody above 18 but only burnt during new year's eve night) have a maximum launch altitude of 70 meters (230").

Jan
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Buzz
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RE: Planes And Fireworks: Any Danger?

Thu Nov 08, 2007 12:35 pm

Hi TCFC424, Buzz here. Every 4th of July there's a large fireworks show near Portland Oregon. It's often launched from a barge near Pearson Airfield (KVUO) which is closed when the fireworks are scheduled. The arrivals and departures are pretty much up and down the Columbia river for noise abatement.

Flights in and out of KPDX don't seem to have much of a problem, the barge is about 3 miles downstream from the big airport, and everybody seems to climb above the level of the bursts. We watch it from the terminal at PDX, or sitting on an airplane, or from a high-lift. I'd guess the maximum altitude of the bursts is about 1000 feet or so, most are less.
That's just an estimate, there's the 245 foot tall Interstate 5 bridge in the background as a handy gauge to the altitude.

And there is VFR traffic that night, private pilots often fly around the area to see the different sets of fireworks, they're talking to PDX tower and are generally below 2000 feet for that sight seeing. If you want to cross through PDX airspace they have you cross midfield at 1500 feet.

So... the fireworks are colorful, but the airline stuff climbs above them.

g'day
 
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derekf
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RE: Planes And Fireworks: Any Danger?

Thu Nov 08, 2007 12:54 pm

I was at a fireworks display on Saturday 3rd November at Cheadle near Manchester. The site is right under the 23R approach at about a 2.5 mile final so the aircraft would be around 800ft or so. For the duration of the display, 10-15 minutes, Manchester held off any arrivals. The display organizers were in contact with ATC about when to start the display and I think it was NOTAMed as well.
Whatever.......
 
mayhem
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RE: Planes And Fireworks: Any Danger?

Fri Nov 09, 2007 12:42 pm

Something that is forbidden in the proximity of airports if i recall correct are those skybeamers like:

http://ens.ch/ens/sternwarte/lichtverschmutzung/helle_not/skybeam3.jpg

these, often used at parties.
 
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HAWK21M
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RE: Planes And Fireworks: Any Danger?

Sat Nov 10, 2007 8:09 am

With Diwali being celebrated these days out here.This is something we were discussing at work the other day  Smile
As long as no fireworks in the vicinity o the Airport and along the Aircraft flight path its permitted.

regds
MEL
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RamperMAF
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RE: Planes And Fireworks: Any Danger?

Sat Nov 10, 2007 6:29 pm

I seem to remember reading something about a group of teens getting in serious trouble for attempting to hit approaching aircraft at IAH years ago. I recall reading something about their "malicious intent with fireworks" at an IAH viewing area off rwy 27 i believe. I think it was right off of Lee Rd. I was pissed when they shut it down and closed up the viewing area for what I can only guess was this stupid stunt and I hope those kids got the book thrown at them.
 
2H4
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RE: Planes And Fireworks: Any Danger?

Sun Nov 11, 2007 1:54 am

Quoting F9Animal (Reply 16):
Actually, I flew on the 4th of July 4 times out and into LAS. It was fun to see, but certainly not scary.

Awhile back, I took a 152 up on the 4th of July specifically to watch fireworks from the air. I climbed up to maybe 1500' AGL (I can't remember), aimed into the wind, lowered the flaps, and hung there at a safe distance. It wasn't really that impressive, though, since the fireworks never really made it above the horizon. Fireworks against a black sky are pretty amazing, but fireworks against the ground tend to get lost in the ground lighting.

As for the danger to GA aircraft, I suppose I'd be more concerned about sparks near the fuel vent than anything else.

2H4
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HAWK21M
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RE: Planes And Fireworks: Any Danger?

Sun Nov 11, 2007 7:07 am

Quoting RamperMAF (Reply 30):
I seem to remember reading something about a group of teens getting in serious trouble for attempting to hit approaching aircraft at IAH years ago

What were they thinking.

What altitude wouls an Average Fireworks display reach.
regds
MEL
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9VSIO
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RE: Planes And Fireworks: Any Danger?

Mon Nov 12, 2007 5:22 pm

Quoting Mayhem (Reply 28):
Something that is forbidden in the proximity of airports if i recall correct are those skybeamers like:

http://ens.ch/ens/sternwarte/lichtve...3.jpg

Haha, indeed! The pilot might suddenly think that it was WW2 again and initiate a bombing run!
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