AVSIG: Class E Airspace Question wwswsigarch.jpg (7236 bytes)

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AVSIG Discussion Sections >> Air Traffic Control

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Gil Buettner [KAUW]
Top Gun


Reged: 05/16/04
Posts: 2847
Loc: Gateway to the Northwoods
Re: Class E Airspace Question [Re: Scott Dyer [HPN/NY]]
      #439522 - 06/16/17 11:26 AM

Quote:

Larry - That was my point, that Class E or higher would overlay a Class B . I'm not aware of Class G above D in the contiguous US.




I think it is Class G above FL 600.

--------------------
-Gil


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Scott Dyer [HPN/NY]
Top Gun


Reged: 01/11/03
Posts: 20065
Re: Class E Airspace Question [Re: Gil Buettner [KAUW]]
      #439526 - 06/16/17 12:42 PM

Gil -- Certainly. But FL600 isn't immediately overlying Class D!

--------------------
www.scottdyercfi.com


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Jeff Hartmann CIC
Top Gun


Reged: 05/18/04
Posts: 7323
Loc: Chico,CA
Re: Class E Airspace Question [Re: Scott Dyer [HPN/NY]]
      #439555 - 06/17/17 12:07 PM

Glad you guys remember all those letters, I don't think I have flown VFR in 15 years....except to fly the hours off of Tom's RV-12.

I think I may renew my CFI just to relearn all that crap :-).

--------------------
Jeff

nothing clever to say right now...


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Randy Sohn
Gradn Exlated Ordre of teh Fyling Fingres


Reged: 08/31/01
Posts: 23187
Loc: Savage, MN - U.S.A.
Re: Class E Airspace Question [Re: Jeff Hartmann CIC]
      #439585 - 06/18/17 03:06 PM

Quote:

Glad you guys remember all those letters




Jeff, same thought, PRECISELY!

best, randy


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Scott Dunham (RDU)
Top Gun


Reged: 04/29/04
Posts: 6470
Loc: Chapel Hill, NC
Re: Class E Airspace Question [Re: Gil Buettner [KAUW]]
      #439799 - 06/22/17 08:50 PM

...class G above FL600...

Nope, class E. You can get an IFR clearance for VFR on top up there if you want. :-)


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Scott Dunham (RDU)
Top Gun


Reged: 04/29/04
Posts: 6470
Loc: Chapel Hill, NC
Re: Class E Airspace Question [Re: Scott Dyer [HPN/NY]]
      #439800 - 06/22/17 09:07 PM

The controller that refused an SVFR clearance on the basis that the airport was reporting VFR even if you weren't was wrong - this is what the 7110 says:

b. SVFR operations may be authorized for aircraft operating in or transiting a Class B, Class C, Class D, or Class E surface area when the primary airport is reporting VFR but the pilot advises that basic VFR cannot be maintained.
NOTE:
The basic requirements for issuance of a SVFR clearance in subpara a apply with the obvious exception that weather conditions at the controlling airport are not required to be less than basic VFR minima.


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Andy Alson (HPN/NY)
THE TOP GUN!


Reged: 08/31/01
Posts: 1862
Re: Class E Airspace Question [Re: Scott Dunham (RDU)]
      #439801 - 06/22/17 09:31 PM

Thanks, Scott. That's good to know.

Andy


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Scott Dunham (RDU)
Top Gun


Reged: 04/29/04
Posts: 6470
Loc: Chapel Hill, NC
Re: Class E Airspace Question [Re: Scott Dyer [HPN/NY]]
      #439802 - 06/22/17 09:38 PM

Humble opinion: I could make an argument that 91.155's "that airport" means "the one you're actually taking off or landing at" while "an airport" could still mean the one with weather reporting. And 91.157 does allow the pilot's observation of at least a mile visibility to be determinative at a satellite airport, so even if the whole area was scuzzy but 0/0 at the primary airport, ATC could still issue an SVFR departure clearance for a satellite airport inside the class E surface area if necessary.

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Scott Dunham (RDU)
Top Gun


Reged: 04/29/04
Posts: 6470
Loc: Chapel Hill, NC
Re: Class E Airspace Question [Re: Andy Alson (HPN/NY)]
      #439803 - 06/22/17 09:39 PM

Well, only if you get your mitts on a surplus U2...

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Denny Cunningham
Top Gun


Reged: 09/01/01
Posts: 915
Loc: Gold Canyon, AZ
Re: Class E Airspace Question [Re: Denny Cunningham]
      #439944 - 06/26/17 02:48 AM

Talked to the guy at FAA HQ that originally broached the question (he's actually retired FAA now, working for a contractor). He gave me some more details; here's my understanding of the situation as he explained it to me:


The airport in question is Walla Walla, Washington (KALW), which has a tower, but reverts to Class E when the tower is closed. There is a private strip underneath one of the Class E extensions, and the doctor that owns that strip got gigged by the feds for departing his strip when the tower was closed, but the weather reporting at KALW was showing the field to be IFR. The doc claimed he was VFR; the feds said the doc needed a clearance, either IFR or SVFR, to operate in the Class E under those conditions.

The doc said they were wrong. Upon further review, it appears that the doc was right, although perhaps not for the reasons he thought he was.

Turns out, there are actually six (!) different types of Class E airspace, E1 through E6, depending on what elements were used in determining why Class E protection of the airspace was necessary. The Class E that encircles the Walla Walla airport is E2, which is specifically associated with the airport. I think he said it was based on a 4.3nm radius (with some cutouts), and that the lateral dimensions are the same as the Class D when the tower is open. Of course, that airspace goes to the surface.

However, the Class E EXTENSIONS are not E2, they're E4-- and they do not go to the surface, but begin at a designated altitude above the surface (700 feet, IIRC). They exist not because of the airport, but because of the instrument approach.

Apparently, weather reporting at the airport pertains to the E2 portion, but not the E4 portions. So, reported weather at Walla Walla is not relevant to a pilot operating from the private airstrip located under the E4 extension. As long as he can maintain VFR, he's good. If he can't maintain VFR, an IFR clearance is required-- but SVFR is not an option.

Why? Because according to the 7110.65, "SVFR operations may be authorized for aircraft operating in or transiting a Class B, Class C, Class D, or Class E surface area...". The E4 extensions under discussion don't go to the surface, so the controller is prohibited from issuing a SVFR.


BTW, the phone call that prompted my original post came after the folks at HQ asked a FSDO pilot for an opinion, and he told them "If you ask ten different pilots, you'll get ten different answers." They decided to ask a few, and found out he was right. So, they're now developing guidance for both pilots and controllers, on this and similar subjects. They're working with AOPA to find the best way to disseminate the information to the pilot contingent.


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