The Warning Zones.

Were Warning Zones Active?

FAA records reveal that the United States Navy had "activated" two aviation "Warning Zones" off the south coast of Long Island on the night of the crash. These zones are identified as W-105 and W-107, and are marked on the FAA sectional charts of the area.

The following is a scan of the actual teletype notice sent out activating the warning zones for the night of the crash.

[The Activation Notice]Click for full size telex.(24.6K)

A map of the warning zones.

[Warning Zones]Click for full size diagram.(14.4K)

What Are Warning Zones For?

Section 3-32 of the Airman's Information Manual states that these areas "denote the existence of unusual, often invisible, hazards to aircraft, such as artillery firing, aerial gunnery, or guided missiles". The same exact warning, word for word, appears in most student pilot manuals, in the case of my (very) old Jeppeson manual, on page 7-21.

What Is The Difference Between Warning Zones And Restricted Zones?

Restricted zones are within U.S.territorial airspace. Warning zones extend into international airspace beyond the three mile limit where restriction is legally unenforceable. Otherwise they are identical.

Is An MOA A Restricted Zone?

No. Military Operations Areas are not the same thing as a restricted or warning zone. MOAs are always "on" for training flights. Restricted or warning Zones are "activated" for specific usage.

How Are Warning Zones Activated?

It's not a trivial exercise to activate a warning zone. In addition to written entry in the FAAs "Warning and Restricted Areas Information Log", phone calls must be made to all the TCAs that border the activated zone.

What Does An Active Warning Zone Mean?

It means that the U.S. Navy was conducting an operation that presented a real hazard to air traffic. Activation of the warning zone is tantamount to saying "danger: keep out".

How High Did The Active Warning Zone Go?

10,000 MSL, or 10,000 feet above sea level. The Aegis cruiser does not sail at 10,000 feet, nor does the submarine, and the P-3, when it hunts submarines, flies at under 1000 feet. When its NOT hunting subs, its just another airplane in flight not requiring an active warning zone.

In activating the warning zones up to 10,000 MSL, the Navy clearly expected something hazardous to be up several thousand feet in the air.

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