Accession Number:

ADA242403

Title:

Vegetation as an Agronomic Method of Dust Control on Helicopter Training Areas at Fort Rucker, Alabama

Descriptive Note:

Final rept.,

Corporate Author:

ARMY ENGINEER WATERWAYS EXPERIMENT STATION VICKSBURG MS ENVIRONMENTAL LAB

Report Date:

1991-09-01

Pagination or Media Count:

92.0

Abstract:

Intense, low-altitude training in rotary wing aircraft helicopters on the predominantly infertile, sandy clay soils of Fort Rucker, Alabama, has led to erosion of the soil surface and the generation of dust clouds of such severity as to impair pilot vision and increase wear and maintenance costs on the helicopters. Pilot safety became an issue, and some severely eroded training areas were closed. Some of the possible approaches to alleviate the problem included chemical soil stabilizers, membranes, limestone gravel, concrete asphalt pavement, and vegetation. Chemical soil stabilizers alone were considered a temporary approach, and membranes were believed to be a safety hazard themselves due to possible torn pieces being pulled into the rotary blades of helicopters. Concrete or asphalt pavement and limestone gravel would provide a more permanent solution. However, the cost on large areas may be considered excessive. Vegetation is considered a more permanent solution at a lower cost, but this approach had previously been considered a failure. Improving and maintaining the quality of vegetative cover may decrease soil erosion and dust generation.

Subject Categories:

  • Terminal Flight Facilities
  • Biology
  • Soil Mechanics

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE