Pilots urged to exercise caution at Worlds View

2012-01-10 00:00

PILOTS flying into Oribi Airport in Pietermaritzburg have been urged to take caution as they approach the Worlds View Tower at the top of Hilton Ridge, while its warning light is being repaired.

Local residents voiced their concern about the tower to The Witness, saying the beacon light at the top of the tower does not flash at night as per state regulations.

Sentech, the owners of the tower, have been alerted to the problem and they are in the process of repairing it.

But a local pilot, who asked not to be named, warned others that while this is taking place, flights coming in at night or in bad weather must be aware of it.

“It doesn’t really pose a threat to small aircrafts as the majority of them fly during the day and in favourable weather conditions.

“But pilots who do have night ratings must exercise caution as they run a risk of clipping or crashing into the tower as they come over the ridge,” said the pilot.

He added that, by law, structures over a specific height need to have warning beacons or lights attached to them as a warning to approaching aircrafts.

He pointed to a number of incidents last year where light aircrafts clipped the top of cellphone towers because they were not aware of their presence.

“With the World View Tower light being out, the main aircrafts which are at risk are light aircrafts and helicopters, particularly at times of failing light. Although they are not supposed to be in the air during this time, awareness needs to be created,” he said.

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