FAA Safety Information on Solar Eclipse Flying

Solar EclipseImage via Wikipedia Commons: Takeshi Kuboki

The FAA has released a safety notice regarding flying during the solar eclipse on August 21st that every pilot should read.

Solar Eclipse

Path of the Solar Eclipse. Image courtesy of NASA.

Most of us know about the total solar eclipse set to hit the United States on August 21, 2017. If you, like most of the population aren’t already in the direct path of the 100% total solar eclipse, you may be considering loading up a plane and flying to somewhere that is.

Before you do take this rare opportunity to fly to a better eclipse viewing location, please take a minute to read the FAA safety notice you’ll find below regarding flying during the solar eclipse.


Are You Flying to the Eclipse Path
Notice Number: NOTC7320

Do you plan to fly your aircraft on August 21 during the solar eclipse? If yes, you’re not alone. Several airports located in the path of the eclipse have notified the FAA that they are anticipating a significant increase in air traffic before and during the eclipse. Many of these airports are non-towered and have limited capacity to accommodate an increase in traffic. Here are some tips to fly safe in the path of the eclipse.

  • Use US Chart Supplements (formerly AFD).
  • Check NOTAMs for your departing and arriving airports, including airports along the route of your flight.
  • Remember, some airports may already be at capacity.
  • Call your destination airport, and respect the runway closures and safety information they provide.
  • Expect Unicom congestion, and check for additional instructions on ASOS/AWOS voice over.
  • See and Avoid is a high priority. Watch out for possible drone activity.
  • Utilize Air Traffic Services when available.
  • Use IFR operations when appropriate, file VFR flight plans …. let Air Traffic assist you!
  • Have some specific questions about an area or airport? The FAASTeam is here to help. Our local FAASTeam
  • Program Managers (FPM) are available to help with local knowledge. Find your local FPM for any given area https://www.faasafety.gov/FAASTApp/directory/default.aspx

For a refresher on non-towered airport communications, click https://www.faasafety.gov/files/notices/2017/Jun/Non-Tower_Airport_Comms.pdf

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