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New Rules for Crowded Skies

August 23, 1987

Admittedly, the FAA and various investigation boards are doing outstanding jobs at trying to lower or eradicate the conflict in air traffic over the Los Angeles basin. I do think, though, that there is another factor which needs to be stressed or addressed.

There are so many "restricted" or "controlled areas" within 100 miles of LAX, that it is impossible for any pilot to know and avoid them all. These areas are not marked in the sky. A pilot has to be able to see and recognize landmarks or he has to be told by ground air traffic controllers the headings and altitudes he must fly to avoid them.

In my opinion, many of the near-misses have been caused by pilots who looked away from the sky ahead of them to study maps or to tune to other radio frequencies. In heavy traffic areas, a pilot cannot afford to take his eyes off the sky ahead of him for longer than a very few seconds, since closure rates between aircraft are from slow rates up to 500 miles per hour.

R.F. TOLIVER

Encino

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