Denny Cunningham
(Top Gun)
06/15/17 03:24 AM
Class E Airspace Question

Well, this was kinda flattering, I guess-- more than 20 years since I retired, and I got pulled (via conference call) into a meeting at FAA HQ this morning. They wanted my opinion on the following hypothetical:

Imagine there's an airport that has instrument approaches and weather reporting, but no tower. That airport is at the center of a chunk of Class E airspace, and this Class E airspace has extensions to protect the instrument approaches. There is a private airfield underlying one of these extensions.

The weather reporting at the primary airport is reporting the weather to be IFR.

Can a pilot legally depart the private airstrip, and climb through the overlying Class E extension, without contacting the controlling facility? It is assumed that the pilot can comply (or, at least, claim to comply) with the required VFR weather minima for Class E airspace as he does so.

I gave an answer, which (it turns out) was the same as the answer they received from Flight Standards (and which clearly didn't sit well with some of the attendees). But I'm curious as to what the folks here think.



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