VFR flying through an MOA

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VFR flying through an MOA

Postby staylor4 on Sun Aug 16, 2009 5:37 pm

Over the past few weeks I've made several VFR transports between Kansas City, Missouri and Shreveport, Louisiana, always on radar following so that I have a discreet squak and thereby show up on Flightaware. The route took me through the HOG High and HOG Low MOAs in Arkansas. Memphis Center controls these MOAs. On the first attempt through the controller stated, "The HOGs are hot," and without comment vectored me around them, adding considerable time/distance to the flight. On the return leg the same thing happened. On a subsequent trip the controller stated, "Be advised the HOGs are active." Hmmmm. I asked the controller if "active" and "hot" had the same meaning. He said they did. He also stated that I could fly through them if I wanted, but he could probably not provide radar advisories. The weather was CAVU so I went through. Today I spoke with a friend of mine who is with ATC and asked him about one controller vectoring me around the MOA, and another just advising me that it was active and advisories may not be available. He told me that due to the possible multiple targets in an active MOA a controller may not be able to keep up with advising me on each of them. He suggested that in the future if I wanted to proceed through an active/hot MOA and the controller was reluctant, request to terminate radar advisories and then pick them up again when exiting the MOA. The simple problem is, understandalby, the controller does not want the responsibility of providing radar advisories to a VFR flight that's flying through an active MOA. Class dismissed.
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Re: VFR flying through an MOA

Postby mrbrightman on Sun Aug 23, 2009 4:14 pm

Two points:
First, his vectors were advisory in nature. Since you were VFR under flight following, you were not under radar control. You could have declined those vectors. Secondl point, if the controller is unable to provide radar vectors, it is the controllers responsibility to so state. Your friend is wrong in recommending you terminate radar services. That would be up to the controller..........
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Re: VFR flying through an MOA

Postby Jon on Mon Aug 24, 2009 9:35 am

I'd like to come at this from a different direction.

First, in the flight planning stage you can determine the times MOAs are going to be hot. If they are not hot during the planned flight then there are no issues in taking a route that brings you right through the middle of them.

If they are going to be hot, then you have two choices. The first is to plan a route around them. Often if you are provided advance planning you can go around them with very little added distance. The second option is to determine if you want to go through them, and if you do how to do it in the safest manner. That's a judgment call and nobody can make that decision for you. Personally, I would rather go around and allow our military to have the space all to themselves, but if I had to go through a hot MOA I would probably try to do it at one of the extremes, such as at the floor of the MOA, or around one of the perimeters and I would strive to stay away from the middle of the space.

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