December 1999 Issue

How Low Can You Go?

Running scud or operating from small fields puts low altitude skills to the test

With all too chilling regularity, pilots who fly close to the ground wind up on the losing side of the battle against wires, towers and other obstructions.

There are many reasons pilots fly too close to obstructions, and some of them are legitimate. Forced landings are what they are. Approaches to and takeoffs from small airports carry risks that may be unavoidable. Buzzing, enjoying the scenery down low and pressing on into lowering ceilings, however, open the aircraft to extraordinary risk from stationary objects.

Agricultural pilots, by the very nature of their jobs, operate in an airspace filled with obstacles of every description. Avoiding electric transmission cables, towers of v...

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