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seb146
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Flying Near Restricted Areas

Sat Sep 21, 2019 3:51 am

This silly "Alien-Stock" party near Area 51 in Nevada makes me wonder: what restrictions near Area 51 do police and media have? Obviously don't fly over it. There are accounts of CO Island Hopper between HNL and GUM where there were military on board and tell everyone to lower the window shades at one or two of the islands. Would media or police have altitude restrictions like below 5000 or have military personnel on board as they fly over NV-375 or US-95?
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GalaxyFlyer
Posts: 3682
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:44 am

Re: Flying Near Restricted Areas

Sat Sep 21, 2019 2:39 pm

The border is the border. If your outside of it fine. The land including Freedom Ridge was brought under AF control under the Clinton administration. The airway north of the ranges sometimes allows a peek into the restricted area.

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spacecadet
Posts: 3462
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2001 3:36 am

Re: Flying Near Restricted Areas

Tue Oct 01, 2019 12:50 am

seb146 wrote:
This silly "Alien-Stock" party near Area 51 in Nevada makes me wonder: what restrictions near Area 51 do police and media have? Obviously don't fly over it. There are accounts of CO Island Hopper between HNL and GUM where there were military on board and tell everyone to lower the window shades at one or two of the islands. Would media or police have altitude restrictions like below 5000 or have military personnel on board as they fly over NV-375 or US-95?


The media and police need to follow the same aviation rules as everybody else, and there's nothing special about the airspace to the north and east of R-4808N (area 51) except that it's an MOA. MOA's are basically one step below restricted areas in that you're encouraged to be on frequency but absolutely not required to get permission to enter them, whether they're "hot" or not. So police and media could just fly right over NV-375 at any altitude legal for VFR traffic. It would be kind of stupid for them to do it when it's active (which is most of the time), but there's no law against it, and they don't even need to tell anyone they're doing it.

This guy flew through that area, you can see what he could see: https://theaviationist.com/2017/05/10/w ... w-it-went/

The media or cops could do the same thing.

Over US-95 is not any sort of special use airspace and in fact there is a Victor airway running right through that airspace and parallel to 95. I would guess it's a pretty busy airway because everyone's going to be routed to that who'd otherwise be flying near area 51, not to mention all the other VFR traffic flying around the restricted airspace, so if police or media wanted to fly there, the biggest worry they'd probably have would be keeping clear of other aircraft. But that's actually quite a ways away from area 51; I doubt you'd be able to see anything from there anyway.

It seems to me that the government has decided that the current boundaries of the restricted area are sufficient. There's gotta be a border somewhere. Outside of that border, pretty much anything goes that goes for that same type of airspace elsewhere in the country.
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JayinKitsap
Posts: 1477
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2005 9:55 am

Re: Flying Near Restricted Areas

Tue Oct 01, 2019 5:35 am

High resolution sat photos betray any secrets not under cover. A plane flying over wouldn't learn much more. US Navy submarine propellers are very classified, the base commander will very quickly be flying a desk in Adak if photos got out of any open propellers in dry dock. They are covered quite quickly, before the water is out of the dry dock. One sub at Bangor wasn't covered with a tarp for about 12 hours and Google Earth got a picture of it back a decade ago. The Refit Commander was relieved for cause the next day.

Airspace control is to eliminate specific threats, no so much to prevent observation.

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