Pilots: watch out for space debris!

Pilots: watch out for space debris!

Pilots: watch out for space debris!

Bad Astronomy
The entire universe in blog form
March 1 2008 1:00 PM

Pilots: watch out for space debris!

I just got a note from my friend Jim Oberg that the Federal Aviation Administration is warning pilots to be on the lookout for falling debris from USA 193!

8/5536 - SPECIAL NOTICE

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.. THIS NOTAM REPLACES FDC 8/5501 DUE TO ADDITION OF CONTACT NUMBER. EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY UNTIL 0803092300 UTC. AIRCRAFT ARE ADVISED THAT A POTENTIAL HAZARD MAY OCCUR DUE TO REENTRY OF SATELLITE USA-193 DEBRIS INTO THE EARTHS ATMOSPHERE. FURTHER NOTAMS WILL BE ISSUED IF MORE INFORMATION BECOMES AVAILABLE. IN THE INTEREST OF FLIGHT SAFETY, IT IS CRITICAL THAT ALL PILOTS/FLIGHT CREW MEMBERS REPORT ANY OBSERVED FALLING SPACE DEBRIS TO THE APPROPRIATE ATC FACILITY TO INCLUDE POSITION, ALTITUDE, TIME, AND DIRECTION OF DEBRIS OBSERVED. FAA HEADQUARTERS, AIR TRAFFIC SYSTEMS OPERATIONS SECURITY, 202-493-5107, IS THE FAA COORDINATION FACILITY. WIE UNTIL UFN

I've poked around online and had a hard time finding this particular NOTAM; the FAA sends out a lot and this one may be scrolled off the current list. However, it looks legit (I've seen other credible sources who have reported it). So if you're in a plane over the next few days, keep a lookout!