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49ers Levi's Stadium is blinding pilots

Levi's Stadium, home of the San Francisco 49ers and host of Super Bowl 50, may be a serious airport safety hazard. According to NBC Bay Area, pilots have been filling complaints to the Federal Aviation Administration because the stadium's lights are blindingly bright at night, making it difficult to land at nearby San Jose Mineta International Airport. ( Mehr...

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Ric Wernicke 2
Pack a pair of Ray-Bans and you're clear to land.
preacher1 3
Haven't seen it but how cum the lights are pointed skyward rather than on the field?
joel wiley 7
The way they're playing at times, they might not want the field lighted too well.
aidannorman 1
That`s what I was wondering

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

vulcansunray 1
How come FAA signed off on this project if there is an obvious problem with night flights?
aidannorman 1
Just looked at google earth and yes the stadium is right on the approach path most GA planes would use
Generally speaking, I'd say most aircraft (GA, commercial) come in over the downtown. The stadium on the horizon for those approaches would definitely be blinding.
randomguy 1
You are correct. About 90% of the time they are on 30L/R
preacher1 2
Well, I can see it's on the approach path but I ask again, how come the lights show to the sky rather than the playing field. I have came in over and to the side of many stadiums but other than them lighting their area, they definitely haven't been laser quality in the cockpit.
Derek Thomas 1
Googling for more news stories, it sounds like the major problem is the jumbotron boards
joel wiley 4
Maybe they could handle it like the landing lights at an unstaffed tower. 5 clicks on the right frequency and the jumbotron shuts off for the approach and landing.
preacher1 2
That seems to the gist I'm getting to.
paul trubits 0
The Monday Night Football people will have a field day with that. Can't be any worse than following a minivan down the highway with porn on the DVR. Got to be any easy fix for this.
Michael Cole 1
I've been blinded by the lights at Levi's stadium, and it annoyed the #### out of me. Too hard to concentrate on flying when you have a very large light shining through the cockpit.
Mike Hill 1
This is a really good (do I mean bad?) example of outrageous light pollution. Ask an astronomer about the ill effects of such misdirected light.
joel wiley 2
Mike Hill 1
Thanks Joel - good article
Bob Harrington 1
Hmmm. Point about a bazillionth of the wattage used by the stadium at a plane via a laser pointer, and you get to share a cell with Bluto for a few years....
randomguy 1
Yea, but what's more "fun" to play with? a 2W laser pointer or a 2W LED flashlight?
Thomas Jahnke 1
Isn't there a TFR around the stadium during a game?
Kells Moore 1
Yes, but apparently not during the light testing. Guess mandating a TFR for 10 mins is impractical in the eyes of the FAA.
randomguy 1
The TFR doesn't apply to regularly scheduled commercial flights either.
Nick Hesler 1
I have been told that when they were doing all the studies on the stadium, they did not take into account the brightness of the jumbotron wehich they should have done. Source is someone who worked on the project.
WhiteKnight77 1

Someone screwed the pooch for sure. I do not ever recall the lights at Anaheim Stadium ever causing problems when flying the pattern at Los Alamitos. Then again, back then, they didn't really have the big TV screens and such. :/
toolguy105 0
Stupid question; Most landings are crosswind anyway, is it possible to change the direction of the runway for Sunday nights or When the stadium is in use at night?
randomguy 2
Most landings aren't cross-wind. Also because of the proximity of SFO and Oakland, changing the direction of one requires changing all three (plus Moffett field, etc.)

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