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Old 07-22-2020, 06:28 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by JohnJ View Post
Yeah, I have absolutely no idea of how the Blue Angels clear the path in front of them in an event like this. No TFR, but there was a NOTAM issued to at least warn pilots of the event. I saw the joint Blue Angels/Thunderbirds flyover of NYC from Connecticut (awesome event, BTW) and that covered an enormous area, and one that has a ton of general aviation traffic. Somehow it all worked out.
Without a TFR, it is very likely done by working with the applicable approach control so that there is an ATC Specialist assigned and dedicated to supporting the operation by providing advisories on a discrete frequency. They would need that anyway, because after each fly-over, the teams are typically returning to a flight level in the 200s and rendezvousing with tanker support. In addition, both teams employ one or more chase aircraft for these events. The back-seaters on those airplanes are taking publicity photos, but the pilots can help clear the airspace using their fighter's radar. Of course, spotting something as small as a hobby drone without a transponder would be very problematic, but a light aircraft is something they deal with all the time. I've been intercepted during Fertile Keynote exercises a number of times by F-15s, and their pilots have told me that they regularly use their Fire Control Radar to alert them to the presence of light airplanes.

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