Friday, April 27, 2012

Presidential TFR Delay

I was planning a short joyride to FT Lauderdale for lunch last week.  However, President Obama was in town and the corresponding temporary flight restriction (TFR) made my home airport a "no fly zone" until 3:15pm.

Apparently, the president didn't know (or care) about my plans... So I had to wait till he was gone. So much for the proverbial $100 hamburger :-(

It was such a nice day, I at least wanted to go for a joyride anyway.  But i knew TFRs can sometimes  get unexpectedly extended.  So, I wanted to ensure that I didn't violate any airspace rules.

The easiest way I have found to stay legal in situations like this is to simply file IFR.

It felt odd to file an instrument flight plan for a short 160NM trip in beautiful weather... But I did it anyway with a planned departure time of 3:16 PM.

I got to the airport to found a bunch of pilots loitering and waiting for the president to "get out of the way"

After finishing the preflight, I joined the crew loitering in the pilots lounge.  Then ~ 2:55, one of the other pilots heard from Lockheed Flight Service that the TFR was about to be terminated a few minutes early!

Immediately, the lounge cleared out as everyone (myself included) scurried to their aircraft to prepare for departure.  I finished my run-up and called Tampa Approach for my clearance @3:08.  

They immediately cleared me with a void time of 3:16 and I was airborne by 3:12!!

(I know it was only a couple of minutes early... But it felt like a minor consolation)

Apparently others had the same idea as me because the Tampa approach frequency was very crowded.  After I departed from the immediate area, things got back to normal.

The weather near my destination had deteriorated a little which you can see below:

Luckily FXE was perfectly positioned right between all of the precipitation.

So after an uneventful, dry landing, I ended up hanging out in Ft Lauderdale and having dinner on the beach instead of lunch. 


  1. What a pain in the arse. Glad you stuck it out though.

  2. I have the VP to deal with here at ILG, at least the tower gets us in and out with min imum ground holds.

    "I ended up hanging out in Ft Lauderdale and having dinner on the beach instead of lunch." Hmmm....what a consolation prize dinner on the beach, works for me.

    Glad to see you got the flight in!


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