A NOTAM is a Notice to Airmen – to alert pilots of potential hazards along a flight route or at a location that could affect the safety of the flight. More information, see 5-1-3 in the AIM.
Over the past few weeks KBDN (Bend, Oregon) airport has had large formations of geese flying over the field, usually south to north or vice-versa at around 200 to 300 feet. I’ve personally witnessed a couple of near misses with aircraft. One such time I was supervising my student as he did his preflight as three huge formations overflew the field, one coming close to a departing airplane. So I called the airport manager to tell him about the situation – thinking he might send out an email or perhaps consult a wildlife specialist (to find ways to deter the birds maybe). About 2 hours later I was doing my usual preflight planning for the next flight and found the following NOTAM and email had been issued:
I have received a report, verified by Unicom, that pilots are reporting a high number of migrating geese at around 300’ AGL although the elevation could vary considerably.
Please use caution and be aware that a NOTAM for this situation has been issued. Although being close to Thanksgiving it might bring some smiles this is a legitimate NOTAM issued for your safety.
!MMV 11/082 BDN AD GEESE ACTIVITY NEAR AIRPORT 1311271948-1312111948EST
This is a courtesy notice only. Dates and times may change. The only official source of NOTAM information is from the FAA Flight Service Station systems.
Bottom line is we are all responsible for safety – see something that doesn’t look right or might be a safety issue – speak to someone about it.
Check for current NOTAMs by speaking to a flight briefer (1-800-WX-BRIEF) or https://pilotweb.nas.faa.gov/PilotWeb/