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Bird Hazards and Flight Over National Refuges, Parks, and Forests


−4−5. Pilot Advisories on Bird and Other

Wildlife Hazards

Many airports advise pilots of other wildlife hazards
caused by large animals on the runway through the
Chart Supplement U.S. and the NOTAM system.
Collisions of landing and departing aircraft and
animals on the runway are increasing and are not
limited to rural airports. These accidents have also
occurred at several major airports. Pilots should
exercise extreme caution when warned of the
presence of wildlife on and in the vicinity of airports.
If you observe deer or other large animals in close
proximity to movement areas, advise the FSS, tower,
or airport management.


−4−6. Flights Over Charted U.S. Wildlife

Refuges, Parks, and Forest Service Areas

a. The landing of aircraft is prohibited on lands or

waters administered by the National Park Service,
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, or U.S. Forest Service
without authorization from the respective agency.
Exceptions include:

1. When forced to land due to an emergency

beyond the control of the operator;

2. At officially designated landing sites; or

3. An approved official business of the Federal


b. Pilots are requested to maintain a minimum

altitude of 2,000 feet above the surface of the
following: National Parks, Monuments, Seashores,

Lakeshores, Recreation Areas and Scenic Riverways
administered by the National Park Service, National
Wildlife Refuges, Big Game Refuges, Game Ranges
and Wildlife Ranges administered by the U.S. Fish
and Wildlife Service, and Wilderness and Primitive
areas administered by the U.S. Forest Service.


FAA Advisory Circular AC 91

−36, Visual Flight

Rules (VFR) Flight Near Noise-Sensitive Areas, defines
the surface of a national park area (including parks,
forests, primitive areas, wilderness areas, recreational
areas, national seashores, national monuments, national
lakeshores, and national wildlife refuge and range areas)
as: the highest terrain within 2,000 feet laterally of the
route of flight, or the upper-most rim of a canyon or valley.

c. Federal statutes prohibit certain types of flight

activity and/or provide altitude restrictions over
designated U.S. Wildlife Refuges, Parks, and Forest
Service Areas. These designated areas, for example:
Boundary Waters Canoe Wilderness Areas,
Minnesota; Haleakala National Park, Hawaii;
Yosemite National Park, California; and Grand
Canyon National Park, Arizona, are charted on
Sectional Charts.

d. Federal regulations also prohibit airdrops by

parachute or other means of persons, cargo, or objects
from aircraft on lands administered by the three
agencies without authorization from the respective
agency. Exceptions include:

1. Emergencies involving the safety of human

life; or

2. Threat of serious property loss.