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Aviators sound wind farm warning  

Credit:  ABC News, www.abc.net.au 29 December 2010 ~~

A Senate Inquiry has been told wind farms, like the one planned for Scone in the Upper Hunter Valley, pose a critical threat to low-level aviation safety.

Scone’s Kyoto Energy Park includes 34, 100-metre-high wind turbines, with 45-metre-wide blades.

But the project does not sit well with the Aerial Agricultural Association of Australia, which represents pilots who spray crops and survey mines.

Chief Executive Officer, Phil Hurst has told a Senate inquiry that wind monitoring towers, put up before turbines are erected, pose an enormous risk as they often appear without warning.

“They’re very small, slightly larger than a star picket except 85-metres tall and very very difficult to see when you’re in the air.”

Mr Hurst says the sheer size of the turbines will limit the activities of pilots.

“When you are operating a heavily laden agricultural aircraft, the turning circle isn’t exactly outstanding, so it may actually impact on noxious weed control or putting fertiliser out and so on, so it’s a real issue to consider.

“Now there are some things developers can do to make wind farms more acceptable to us, like trying to align the turbines in straight lines.”

In her submission to the inquiry, Helen White says the wind farm, which is just two-kilometres from her house, will be intrusive, noisy and ruin her quality of life.

Source:  ABC News, www.abc.net.au 29 December 2010

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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