Wind Farms Pose Risk for Small Aircraft

Are you a small aircraft pilot or passenger? You need to asses the risk of flying near wind turbine farms.

A study from the University of Kansas School of Engineering points to potential safety hazards that could affect hundreds of airports throughout the country. Study results call for updated guidelines to improve aviation safety. At issue is the proximity of wind farms to general aviation airports. The small aircraft that use them could be adversely affected by turbulence generated by wind turbines, ref. 1.

By using advanced computer modeling, the research team studied the effect of winds from 10 mph to 40 mph. They found the higher the wind speed, the farther the turbulence reached. They found turbulence could stretch as much as 3 miles from a single turbine before dissipating, ref. 1.

Kansas has about 140 public-use airports and many more private use airports. There are currently 16 wind farms operating in Kansas. There are proposals for an additional 58, with some planned in close proximity to existing airports, ref. 1.

For more information on wind turbines, please read the book: “Renewable Energy: A Common Sense Energy Plan” available at Amazon. The author, Brad Linscott, has authored over 15 wind turbine technical research reports published by NASA and the DOE. Wind turbines have their attributes as well as drawbacks. Both are given a fair and balanced assessment in the Renewable Energy book.

Ref. 1 The Hays Daily News, 1-17-2014