Can solar arrays interfere with pilots’ vision?

Yes, says Steven Hayward in an article in Power Line.  Hayward’s article highlights the intense light problems some problems have complained about when flying over large solar arrays.  Another problem with solar power?

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3 responses to “Can solar arrays interfere with pilots’ vision?

  1. As a private pilot I can attest that any large shiny surface can cause problems for pilots. Even a parking lot can laser you in the eye if the angle between the sun, the windshield of a car, and your eyes is just right (or just wrong in this case). On the one hand, it may be beneficial to mark large arrays on the charts so that pilots have a heads-up if their flight path takes them close-by, but on the other hand, the risk is no greater than that of any chunk of glass, metal, or water on the landscape. A decent pair of sunglasses is considered required safety equipment for that very reason. That’s why large, dark or mirrored sunglasses are called “aviators”. Bausch & Lomb specifically developed them for military pilots.

    Also, if you’re in a position where closing your eyes for a few moments puts you in danger, you have already made a huge mistake. It’s not like driving. There is never a reason to fly in a crowd. The one possible exception would be if an idiot put a large array near a landing pattern in such a way that it hits you during the last seconds of final approach. Even then, if you’re licensed to fly, you should be able to apply power and abort the landing with your eyes closed.

  2. A “solar array” is supposed to absorb light and convert it to electricity. Reflecting light is lousy engineering.

  3. Send the laser cops after them.
    At least they will still be there to arrest.

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