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So much for the NOTAM ...

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I fly in the Brecon Beacons most of the time and am used to the huge amounts of military hardware that comes through. I live and mostly fly from a spot on the banks of the River Usk, which RAF pilots use for easy navigation, so I always have a NOTAM booked. In the past I've seen aircraft curve nicely around my grid ref when I've been setting up, giving me good clearance.

Last night I was about to launch and a military helicopter came over at about 500 feet, in the murk of an inversion, and went directly over my launch field. It didn't inspire confidence that there wouldn't be a return trip for it (they often come back using same route). 

The guy at Wittering was as friendly and helpful as usual on the phone but, interestingly, while he was away getting the forms I could hear the other guys in the office talking about how run down it's all getting there and how within a year there might be nobody in their office. That followed by my NOTAM being ignored set me wondering ... 

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That's not a fair accusation.  I fly commercially and the sheer number and format of Notams is impossible to assimilate. I'm always amazed that even now, maybe, especially now, when information transmission is cheap, the Notams are truncated and abbreviated to the point of obfuscation. We all read them, they just dont sink In.  



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