Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Another installment

Ok, moving the camera just slightly to the right, what do we see?

There is a string of telephone wires, but in front of that there are also some orange and white towers - you can just see them barely taller than the treeline. I have not had any luck finding out what exactly they are - radio reception towers most likely.

The orange and white paint scheme is a sure giveaway that you're near an airport. The aviation world has adopted these colors to promote awareness and safety. I'm sure you've seen those orange balls on the telephone wires before. Picture to left from Tana Wire Markers: Mark power lines, communication antennas, and guy wires at airport or helicopter areas, river and canyon crossings, overhead obstruction areas, construction sites, migratory waterfowl refuge areas, bird diversion, and more!

There is a whole FAA ADVISORY CIRCULAR AC 70/7460-1K on Obstruction Marking and Lighting. It says any temporary or permanent structure, including all appurtenances, that exceeds an overall height of 200feet (61m) above ground level (AGL) or exceeds any
obstruction standard contained in 14 CFR part 77, should normally be marked and/or lighted. It also specifies the patterns that objects should be painted in, for example:

a. Solid Pattern. Obstacles should be colored aviation orange if the structure has both horizontal
and vertical dimensions not exceeding 10.5 feet (3.2m).
b. Checkerboard Pattern. Alternating rectangles of aviation orange and white are normally displayed on the following structures:
1. Water, gas, and grain storage tanks.
2. Buildings, as required.
3. Large structures exceeding 10.5 feet (3.2m) across having a horizontal dimension that is equal to or greater than the vertical dimension.

Don't worry, I won't reproduce the whole manual here - it is extensive! If one had the time, they could know what size an obstruction is just by the type, location and intensity of the lights...


  1. Anonymous9:47 PM

    I think the towers you are looking at are the airport communications antennas, which are mounted on top of these towers. Remember the area at LGA where we park is called "Five Towers." The towers in your picture appear to be the same as "Five Towers" at LGA.


  2. It's been so long since I've been to LGA I had forgotten. Thanks, John!