Author Topic: Seems strange that VFR pilots can just bust in through a MOA if they want to.  (Read 23881 times)

Offline numbthumbs

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F-18 from Fort Worth Naval Air Station operating in the Brownwood MOA.



Offline DaveL

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As I understand it, VFR pilots are not restricted from flying in a MOA, so they aren't "busting" anything. If the military or FAA wants to prohibit flight in certain airspace they have the power to do so. Does anyone know if there has ever been an accident attributed to a VFR pilot choosing to fly in a MOA?

Offline numbthumbs

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Dunno about accident but here is a lively conversation.

Offline sykocus

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A couple excerpts from AIM about MOAs:
Quote
3-4-5
b. Examples of activities conducted in MOAs
include, but are not limited to: air combat tactics, air
intercepts, aerobatics, formation training, and
low-altitude tactics...
c. Pilots operating under VFR should exercise
extreme caution while flying within a MOA when
military activity is being conducted...

Military pilots shouldn't be shocked when VFR's fly though "their" airspace and GA pilots shouldn't be shocked when they find themselves in the middle of "air combat tactics, air intercepts, aerobatics, etc.".
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Offline StuSEL

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Military pilots shouldn't be shocked when VFR's fly though "their" airspace and GA pilots shouldn't be shocked when they find themselves in the middle of "air combat tactics, air intercepts, aerobatics, etc.".
Unfortunately that wasn't an intercept.

Regardless, flying through an MOA does not entail volunteering to be the target of a practice intercept. The intercepts referenced by the AIM are those being practiced among participating military aircraft.
CFII

Offline MikeNYC

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Strange to be flying a Beech Premier bizjet VFR through an active MOA in the first place, unless it was a quick <20mi reposition.
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Offline sykocus

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Military pilots shouldn't be shocked when VFR's fly though "their" airspace and GA pilots shouldn't be shocked when they find themselves in the middle of "air combat tactics, air intercepts, aerobatics, etc.".
Unfortunately that wasn't an intercept.

Regardless, flying through an MOA does not entail volunteering to be the target of a practice intercept. The intercepts referenced by the AIM are those being practiced among participating military aircraft.

The AOPA is the one that called it an intercept not me. More then just intercepts are mentioned as activities that take place in a MOA. Air combat tactics is a broad category and is even first one mentioned. Firstly don't think I am defending the F-16 pilot. I *do* think he abused the waivers afforded to him in MOA airspace.  I don't understand the one pilot's reaction saying "he needs to be [talking to someone]". That is the exact reason the AIM says: "Pilots operating under VFR should exercise extreme caution while flying within a MOA". When I was a controller in the military 90% our airspace from 8k-22k was active MOA/ATCAA, from sunrise to sunset, 5 days a week. Most of the pilots avoided them like the plague. However those that didn't almost seemed like they looked forward to getting a show.

On the other side of the coin is the military pilots they think it's airspace for their exclusive use. They're doing their aforementioned activities and don't have a lot of time to be looking out for a VFR puddle jumper who decides to go an afternoon jaunt through the MOA.
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Offline sykocus

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Strange to be flying a Beech Premier bizjet VFR through an active MOA in the first place, unless it was a quick <20mi reposition.

110% conjecture here, but it's possible he was told the only way he could go direct to where he wanted was VFR because of the MOA.
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Offline MikeNYC

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Strange to be flying a Beech Premier bizjet VFR through an active MOA in the first place, unless it was a quick <20mi reposition.

110% conjecture here, but it's possible he was told the only way he could go direct to where he wanted was VFR because of the MOA.
Probably right, but it seems foolish to plow into an MOA at (likely) over 300kts, near the flight levels, only under "see and avoid". One of the main purposes of IFR flight is guaranteed separation from other aircraft.
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Offline StuSEL

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Military pilots shouldn't be shocked when VFR's fly though "their" airspace and GA pilots shouldn't be shocked when they find themselves in the middle of "air combat tactics, air intercepts, aerobatics, etc.".
Unfortunately that wasn't an intercept.

Regardless, flying through an MOA does not entail volunteering to be the target of a practice intercept. The intercepts referenced by the AIM are those being practiced among participating military aircraft.

The AOPA is the one that called it an intercept not me. More then just intercepts are mentioned as activities that take place in a MOA. Air combat tactics is a broad category and is even first one mentioned. Firstly don't think I am defending the F-16 pilot. I *do* think he abused the waivers afforded to him in MOA airspace.  I don't understand the one pilot's reaction saying "he needs to be [talking to someone]". That is the exact reason the AIM says: "Pilots operating under VFR should exercise extreme caution while flying within a MOA". When I was a controller in the military 90% our airspace from 8k-22k was active MOA/ATCAA, from sunrise to sunset, 5 days a week. Most of the pilots avoided them like the plague. However those that didn't almost seemed like they looked forward to getting a show.

On the other side of the coin is the military pilots they think it's airspace for their exclusive use. They're doing their aforementioned activities and don't have a lot of time to be looking out for a VFR puddle jumper who decides to go an afternoon jaunt through the MOA.

I hear ya. I wouldn't be one to fly in an MOA myself for those very reasons.
CFII

Offline sigmet25

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Re: Seems strange that VFR pilots can just bust in through a MOA if they want to.
« Reply #10 on: September 03, 2012, 01:23:57 AM »
Most pilots do feel the need to be aware if they are flying through a MOAs, VR routes, or maybe an alert area.  Just because you can technically fly through these unimpeded by atc, if your vfr, doesn’t make it a good idea.  I’ve actually worked these cowboy guys out of NFW when I was at Sheppard afb, they were pretty predictable and would cancel IFR so they could transition through our MOAs at Sheppard to get to R5601, no issues, they seemed to understand the risks well.  Also to me it seems safer when these military pilots take the time out of their training to "escort" a pilot through a moa.  It always makes me a little more at ease when I give traffic to an aircraft operating within a MOA and they start heading toward where I said the traffic is to actually get it in sight, "play" with it a little and resume their maneuvers after they are sure the GA guy is clear, I’m not sure if that’s their goal but it is safer than just continuing their maneuvers and hoping the GA guy is looking for them.

Offline rightseat

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Re: Seems strange that VFR pilots can just bust in through a MOA if they want to.
« Reply #11 on: September 06, 2012, 02:05:49 AM »
I've canceled IFR and went through a MOA for a bunch of reasons.

Some of the Southern Cal. MOA's are a little out of hand. Blocking out SFC/18K or 8k-18k for MOA next to airways with 11k MEA's. Deviating for a CB is tight, and many times canceling IFR and penetrating is THE ONLY SAFE option.

Not to mention going IFR between airpots 50 miles apart surrounded my MOA's and IFR trips end up being a 100 mile adventure, or you can "try" to keep radar services in the MOA (lol) and go VFR.

There defiantly needs to be a better system where VFR pilots can have some access to areas of that MOA that are not being used or at least advisories of where to stay away from. Because the amount of airspace blocked out in the central valley and deserts of CA is huge. It leaves little room to deviate from buildups without just going VFR into the MOA and doing your own thing. Then have some F16 come mess around and endanger your aircraft and passengers just because he feels like defending his "turf".

Someone I work with had the same thing happen at Lemore A,B,C,D they went into the MOA to deviate around a buildup. Next thing they knew F18's were on either wing, not close or doing anything stupid but they rolled up close enough for my friend to snap a good pic of the airplane with his Phone they sped off and anded up running into them again 30 minutes later. Taxpayer dollars at work.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2012, 02:08:27 AM by rightseat »

Offline StuSEL

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Re: Seems strange that VFR pilots can just bust in through a MOA if they want to.
« Reply #12 on: September 10, 2012, 03:27:55 AM »
I've canceled IFR and went through a MOA for a bunch of reasons.

Some of the Southern Cal. MOA's are a little out of hand. Blocking out SFC/18K or 8k-18k for MOA next to airways with 11k MEA's. Deviating for a CB is tight, and many times canceling IFR and penetrating is THE ONLY SAFE option.

Not to mention going IFR between airpots 50 miles apart surrounded my MOA's and IFR trips end up being a 100 mile adventure, or you can "try" to keep radar services in the MOA (lol) and go VFR.

There defiantly needs to be a better system where VFR pilots can have some access to areas of that MOA that are not being used or at least advisories of where to stay away from. Because the amount of airspace blocked out in the central valley and deserts of CA is huge. It leaves little room to deviate from buildups without just going VFR into the MOA and doing your own thing. Then have some F16 come mess around and endanger your aircraft and passengers just because he feels like defending his "turf".

Someone I work with had the same thing happen at Lemore A,B,C,D they went into the MOA to deviate around a buildup. Next thing they knew F18's were on either wing, not close or doing anything stupid but they rolled up close enough for my friend to snap a good pic of the airplane with his Phone they sped off and anded up running into them again 30 minutes later. Taxpayer dollars at work.
I never realized how rampant of an issue this was until now. The whole idea of fighter jets coming to "mess around" with VFR aircraft is a recipe for a serious (and expensive) disaster.
CFII