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.