NOTAMs ("NOtice To AirMen") are informational documents filed to make
pilots and other aeronautical projects in your flight range aware of
your activity. To the best of your knowledge, it contains the details
and aspects of the flight pertinent to everyone's awareness and
The NOTAM is constructed from information gleaned from our flight simulations, and information
about the sites we
launch from (particularly the airports and other flight navigation
aids that pilots might refer to).
What follows are the step-by-step instructions currently employed by
the HARBOR flight team to construct and file a NOTAM in advance of a
flight. These instructions are based on our current template:
We also recommend using our Flight Planner Sheet and our
Launch Sites Summary during NOTAM preparation, to consolidate
and keep all the pertinent information organized:
Preparing a HARBOR NOTAM
- Header (Line 1): Change the date to the date of
- Header (Line 2): Change the flight designation to the correct
designation for the proposed HARBOR flight, HARyymmdd
- Header (Line 3): Change the Time and Date to the time for
which you last ran a flight
simulation. The data from that flight simulation will be used
to create the NOTAM.
- NOTAM (Item 2): Change the callsigns in the aprs.fi links to
the callsigns that will be used by CATS/BATS during the flight.
The flight director should have this information.
- NOTAM (Item 3): Change the time to the expected time of launch
activities. To allow for unforseen contingencies, HARBOR generally
uses a wide window, starting from at least one hour before our
expected launch time, and ending approximately two hours after a
nominal landing time. The time specification should be given
first in local time (LT), and parenthetically in UTC
(denoted "Zulu" Z). To transform between MDT and Zulu: MDT
= ZULU - 6h.
- NOTAM (Item 4): Change the launch site. If launching from an
airport, include the three character airport identification code.
If you don't know the code, the flight director should, or it can
be found from the aiprot database at AirNav.
- NOTAM (Items 5-8): The stack details for most HARBOR flights
change little. Consult the flight director to determine if any of
the physical characteristics of the stack should be changed in
- NOTAM (Item 9): Change the estimated landing time in both
local time (LT) and UTC (Z). The values here should
be consistent with the launch time reported on ITEM 3, and the
flight duration reported on ITEM 8 (i.e. landing time = launch
time + flight duration).
- NOTAM (Item 10): Change the estimated impact to the landing
predicted by your flight simulation. The simulation reports the
distance, the bearing, and the LAT/LONG of
the landing site. Report all of those values here, converting the
bearing into the best approximate compass direction (be sure to
use interstitial directions, such as ENE when appropriate).
- NOTAM (Item 10, sublines): Here you have to do a little work.
The sublines note the landing location with respect to navigational
beacons typically used by pilots, known as VORs ("VHF
Omnidirectional Range"). Since most HARBOR flights are limited
in their downrange runs, an easy way to find nearby VORs is to look
at the AirNav page
for the airport launch site (midway down the page is a section
called "Nearby radio navigation aids).
Click on the VOR identifier that is closest to your landing site,
and you will be taken to a page with the critical data for the VOR.
The information you care about are the LAT/LONG and the
Variation. Note these numbers down.
Using a great circle distance calculator to get the bearing and
range from the VOR to the landing site. Many different ones exist
online; I use GPS
Visualizer. Make sure your starting point in the
calculator is the VOR, and the ending point is your landing
To specify the relationship to the VOR, one notes the
distance (from your great circle calculator), and the
radial direction. VOR radial directions are based on local
directions toward magnetic north. The radial direction for VORs
with "E" variations is given by Radial = Bearing -
Variation. For negative results, add 360.
- NOTAM (Item 11): Change this to the predicted direction of
flight (the bearing of your landing site from the simulation),
being sure to convert the angle into an appropriate compass
- NOTAM (Item 12): Change this to the predicted distance of
flight (the distance of your landing site from the simulation).
- NOTAM (Item 13, 14, 15): Change this to the contact
information for the faculty flight director on the flight.
- FOOTER (Line 5 -- last line): Change the launch locale and
- FOOTER (Line 5 -- last line): Change the distance to landing
site and the direction of the flight.
- FOOTER (Line 5 -- last line): Change the specification after
WEF ("When In Effect") to the time covered by the NOTAM.
The first number is from the Launch Time (Item 3) in format:
YYMMDDhhmm where the hours (hh) and minutes (mm) are
specified in UTC (Zulu).
The second number is from the Esimate Time of Impact (Item
9) in format YYMMDDhhmm where the hours (hh) and minutes (mm) are
specified in UTC (Zulu).
- Congratulations! Your NOTAM is now complete. Verify
it with a faculty flight director, then move on to the filing
Filing a HARBOR NOTAM
- Call the Prescott Automated Flight Station (877-487-6867). The
automated system will ask you from which state you are departing
from; this is the state we a LAUNCHING from. Once you respond, you
will be connected to a person.
- When you get to a person, tell them would like to file a NOTAM
for a HiBALL out of airport name. The critical data they
need is in the last line of the NOTAM -- the distance, the
direction, and the time when in effect, in Zulu.
- After you call it in, the NOTAM should also be emailed to the
faculty flight directors, and our FAA contact. As of 2011, this
is: Stephen Pearce (Stephen.D.Pearce@FAA.gov ANM/FAA
- Make the subject of the email NOTAM Details --- HIBAL
from U69 2011-08-07, Weber State University, with the
correct DATE and AIRPORT CODE.
- Keep the email short. The body should start with a short
note including the time you filed the NOTAM with the Prescott
Station, like this: This NOTAM was filed with the Prescott
AFSS [877-487-6867] on Friday, 10 JULY 2011 at 5:25pm MDT (2325
- Paste the entire text of the prepared NOTAM after your
- If they ask for who you are, tell them "The NOTAM should be
filed under faculty flight director's name."
- In the event of a scrub, call the Prescott Automated Flight
Station (877-487-6867). When you get to a person, tell them you had filed a
NOTAM for a HiBALL out of airport name and you would like
to cancel the NOTAM.
HARBOR --- Historical NOTAMS