2 thoughts on “Tower! VFR Obstacle Avoidance

  1. There’s one near Fullerton, CA (KFUL) that’s in a precarious location near the right downwind leg on RWY 24. It claimed lives not too long ago and the airport is in the middle of some very busy airspace: you’re below 6000 unless you have Class B clearance (LAX).

  2. Many years ago, as a fairly green VFR pilot, I was flying a rented C150 from Key West back to South Florida. There was (and I assume, still is) a very tall radio tower south of Tamiami airport. I was from Illinois and not familiar with South Florida.

    Although I had seen the tower on a sectional chart, there is no geo referencing on a piece of paper like we have now! I believed myself to be East of the tower, north bound.

    Very fortunately, a TRACON controller who was offering me flight following suggested that I make a turn to the East as the tower was on my present heading. I thanked the controller and made a small turn, less than 10 degrees. About 30 seconds later, I passed less than a couple hundred meters to the east of the tower, below the top. I am quite sure that had the controller not provided that advisory, I may very well have either hit the tower or one of the guy wires that were on all sides and my very young piloting career would have ended.

    Since that time, most of my flying has been IFR or, if VFR, in areas that I am very familiar with. Even then, I always request flight following and almost always get it. Controllers sometimes miss advisories for VFR traffic, but on balance, it is much, much better than not having someone watching.

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