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TFRs - A Simple Way To Know When One Affects You

Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) – Simple Way To Know When One Affects You

Most aeromodelers in the U.S. know about Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFRs) and understand flying an R/C model in one specifically prohibiting “Model Aircraft Operations”, can subject them to criminal prosecution. This article will NOT address what a TFR is, why they are issued, or how they impact our hobby. That has been covered well in other areas of the good ole internet. What we will address is the question that should be nagging modelers: How are we supposed to know when a TFR has been issued affecting our favorite flying spots?

The Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) takes great steps to inform modelers. One way they do this is by posting effective TFRs on the AMA website. The FAA also has a web page that provides a map and a complete listing of TFRs.  That’s all fine and dandy if you’re inclined to check one of these sites EVERY single time you intend to fly.

Not sure about you, but that is not happening for me. First, I’m lazy. I really don’t want to add more items to the already long list of things to do before heading out to the flying field. Second, I’m forgetful. I would never remember to check so it pretty much goes without saying, I’m not actively looking for TFRs.

Enter a popular weather app called, MyRadar to get pain-free, virtually automatic TRF notification. The fine folks at MyRadar have just recently updated the app to include TRFs as one of its features. By simply turning on the ‘TFR layer’ in the overlays, all TFRs are automatically displayed on the radar map. Since I’m always using MyRadar before intending to fly, the app has just become an unavoidable check for TFRs.

Here is a screenshot of what a TFR looks like in MyRadar with the iPhone.



By tapping the red area, another window will open providing all the information regarding that TFR. Below is a screenshot of the information covering the area in the above map. A little more than half way down you will notice this one does prohibit “Model Aircraft Operations”



To turn on the TFR feature, open up the ‘layers’ window by tapping the third icon from the left at the bottom of the main screen (seen in the top screenshot). When you get to the layers window, displayed below, you will need to turn on ‘Aviation layers’ and also tap the orange arrow just to the right, in order to open the ‘Aviation’ window.



With the Aviation window open, turn on TFR and you’re all set. As you can see this app has other nifty stuff for the aviation enthusiast, for now I’m just gonna stick with TFRs.



Keep in mind this feature is only available with the ‘Pro’ version of MyRadar and is available for Android and iPhone. As of the writing of this article the pro app cost $1.99

For those wanting more info on TFRs and how they affect aeromodeling, I suggest reading the article by Rich Hanson of the AMA Temporary Flight Restriction Affect MA.

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