HOT Spots

This week I’m headed down to San Francisco to do a few hours of time building with BoatPix. In preparation, I’ve been reviewing the airspace (much busier than I’m used to) and the airport layout. The airport looks like it has a fair bit of helicopter traffic, and you can see several “helicopter alighting areas” (lower left corner). One thing I wasn’t familiar with were the 4 areas marked “HOT.” No airport I’d ever flown out of had anything like this, and I had no idea what they were. The legend for the airport diagrams wasn’t much help either–it just identifies them as Hot spots.

Right after the legend though, there’s an index of all the HOT Spots, similar to how you’d see alternate minimums or departure procedures listed in the TERPs. The preface describes the HOT spots as movement areas with a history or risk of collision or runway incursion. Makes sense–all these HOT spots are at complex intersections or intersections with high intersection angles. The number then refers to an index of explanations for each spot. In this case, 2 of the spots identify areas where pilots often make wrong turns, another is for the complex intersection of Rwy 01R-19L, Twy J, Twy A, Twy C, and Twy K, and the last is a hold-short area for 32L. The FAA lists about 90 airports that have identified HOT spots.

Unfamiliar airport, airspace, and aircraft, not to mention that I have only 6 hours in the R22 in the last 30 days. Should be a daunting flight. Wish me luck and good weather.

2 thoughts on “HOT Spots”

  1. Hi Chris, I just saw your post on Are they going to let you do all the flying? It looks interesting…I was just down in San Francisco a few months back. If I would have known about boatpix I would have attempted to do a little time building myself with them. Working in the cost of fuel I’m guessing the cost will be approximately 200 bucks an hour or so. Should be a good experience in Class Bravo airspace. In the case of hot spots, runway incursions are a big deal with the FAA for obvious reasons. The biggest airport I’ve flown in is the Anchorage International airport up here in Alaska, class Charlie.

    BTW I like your site; you’ve done a lot of work here. I know it’s not easy keeping a blog like this. In fact all the info presented gives me cold feet in some respects when it comes to being a helicopter CFI. The more I know the more I know I don’t know…. :-). I’m hoping to have my CFI rating in a couple of months. When I get a little more time I’m hoping to come back and help contribute. I added a posting to my site about your site back in April;

    1. Thanks for the link-back Jeff–I’m jealous of you flying up in Alaska.

      I’m working on a post to show a little of what the BoatPix flying was like. Unfortunately my video system has some kinks I need to work out, and it’s hard to see exactly what’s going on. I split the stick time with the Boatpix CFI (Kole) pretty evenly. Some of that is inherent in the work (who flies each pass is dependent more on getting the best shot than anything else), some of it was just my preference–while I was flying, Kole was tuning radios and navigating, then we’d switch off. We also avoided most airspace. We were low level most of the time, and I’m not sure we’d have been able to work in the KOAK and KSFO surface areas anyway. We were on with NorCal Approach while we were in the bay, but we did little more than let them know about where we were working. Again, this was also preference: I wanted to get in there and learn the photo contract more than build time.

      In one day I pretty much got a broad range of flying–XC, hit 2 Class D airports, flew over mountains and water, and of course the low-level work. Not a single trip through the pattern.

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