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User avatar
By magentabluesky
#405305
aeroexperiments wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 3:33 pm
I may be wrong but I bet that JO 7400 doesn't even address whether, if you are in an airplane above Newport at 800' AGL, you are within the Class-E-to-airspace "designated as a surface area for the airport", or within the Class E w/ 700' floor designated by the faded magenta border.
. . . .
Steve,

With your example of above Newport at 800’ agl in an airplane, the criteria would be the in-flight weather minimums of Part 91.155 the airplane is experiencing. If the surface weather observation was less than 1000 and 3 miles, it would be hard to maintain VFR at 800’ agl, but not necessarily impossible. If there was a cloud bank that just enveloped the airport but it was totally clear east of the airport the aircraft would be completely legal to be in the Class E surface airspace per 91.155 maintaining 1000 ft above and 2000 ft horizontal and 3 statute miles visibility when the reported official weather observation was 0-0.

While I am sure some would argue 91.157 would require an IFR clearance or Special VFR based on the language “within the airspace contained by the upward extension of the lateral boundaries of the controlled airspace designated to the surface for an airport.” The requirements of 91.157 is an option in lieu of 91.155. So as long as you can maintain basic VFR of 91.155, there is not a requirement for an IFR clearance or special VFR even while in the Class E surface airspace.

With regard to 91.157 there are many opinions on whether a Special VFR clearance gives you authorization to fly one mile and clear of clouds into the extensions of Class E surface airspace. If you exit the Class E surface airspace into Class G you can continue one mile clear of clouds, but if you exit the Class E surface into any Class E airspace to continue legally you have to have 3 miles visibility, 500ft below, 1000ft above, and 2000ft horizontal. Special VFR into Class E Surface extensions is a source of debate.

Check out Southwest Oregon Regional (KOTH) at Coos Bay. If you are leaving or arriving at KOTH with a Special VFR to the north there is an “indentation” extension over Sunnyhill Airport. So if the Special VFR does not apply to the “indentation” extension you could find yourself unable to maintain VFR visibility and cloud clearance requirements of 91.155 transitioning through that little airspace. There could also be problems going east into the big extension.

If you accept Mike’s (Wonder Boy) view climbing through 700ft or 1200ft within the lateral boundaries of the Class E surface could be a problem for the Special VFR pilot if he/she did not encounter VFR conditions prior to entering the “new” Class E airspace above.

Sorry to diverge, but it gives an overall view of the legal requirements of the Class E surface airspace.
#405306
This is the 2006 "Hucker" ruling--
https://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/he ... tation.pdf

Basically the FAA had been claiming that airspace under or over the "shelves" of Class B airspace, was considered to be "within the lateral boundaries of the surface areas of Class B airspace".

That's pretty far out there and they had to admit their mistake.

Our issue is MUCH more subtle. Michael (magentabluesky) is absolutely right, this is not just something that we can go up to the door of the FSDO and ask for an interpretation. He is taking the right approach.

Unfortunately, this very same ruling narrowly missed a chance to clarify our own issue, specifically re the class-E-to-surface "extensions".

It says-- "When the floor of the Class D and certain Class E airspace(designated for an airport) begins at the surface and extends upwards, aerobatics are prohibited in accordance with section 91.303(c). However, it should be noted that there are other Class E airspace areas that extend upward from some distance above the surface... such areas are not surface areas and aerobatic flight in these areas is not prohibited by 91.303 (c)."

Well-- gee-- obviously. But, what about the fact that there are also certain OTHER Class E airspace areas that extend upward FROM THE SURFACE but are not labelled in JO 7400 as "designated for an airport"? What a missed opportunity to give some clarification here. Did they just assume it was obvious that the "extensions" were "surface areas" because they go to the surface? But that's not the terminology we see used in the section headings of JO 7400, and the AIM. The "extensions" are never called "surface areas" there. And even if you do want to call them "surface areas", they still aren't "designated for an airport".

And this is a LEGAL OPINION, not something that someone in the FSDO said.

We really need to be very careful here to phrase our questions very carefully to clearly illuminate the issue at hand. I'm wondering if there's any real hope any getting a well-considered ruling or if it's more like the flip of a coin. At least it will be an answer either way. Is that what we want?

What exactly does FAR 91.303(c) say? "No person may operate an aircraft in aerobatic flight within the lateral boundaries of the surface areas of Class B, Class C, Class D, or Class E airspace designated for an airport".

You would think that if the were interpreting "designated for an airport" to be a meaningful qualifier to "surface area of Class E airspace", separating these areas from the Class-E-to-surface "extensions", as is so clearly implied by JO 7400, they would have said something about it here. But-- not necessarily. The issue they were directly addressing was the issue of the Class B shelves.

All these past rulings are such a muddle; as is all the terminology-- probably the best thing to do (re the "extension" issue) is to concentrate specifically on the January 10 2018 Memorandum re drones, plus any other memoranda or rulings that clearly and unambiguously contradict it, and say "please give a ruling as to which is the correct interpretation."

This 2006 "Hucker" ruling does NOT clearly and unambiguously address the issue of whether the Class-E-to-surface extensions fall within the meaning of "lateral boundaries of the surface areas of Class B, Class C, Class D, or Class E airspace designated for an airport". It does tend to imply that all the Class-E-to-surface airspace is basically the same kind of animal but it doesn't come right out and say it clearly.

The "designated for an airport" phrase is the key thing to focus on. The "surface area" phrase is too ambiguous as to whether that alone is enough to mean that we aren't talking about the "extensions" -- and too likely to be interpreted in a way not favorable to us.

Steve
User avatar
By aeroexperiments
#405308
Re the Class-E-to-surface extensions, the Jan 10 2018 memorandum is the thing to focus on. Scott Gardner is (or was) the head of integration for FAA on UAS (drones). The ruling has been discussed all been over the commercial drone forums, it's not some obscure thing. You can sure they are out there actually flying under those rules and if the FAA has changed their mind about it we'd hear about it. For example here's a video on it from April --


So we just point out that the memorandum is exactly harmonized with the letter of the FAR's and JO 7400, and FAR 103.17 uses the same language as FAR 107.41, so are the rules the same for us?

I still say it might help to have at least one example of some sort of past policy or ruling or statement from some sort of FAA official or ATC personnel or something somewhere that stated the opposite, in writing--SPECIFICALLY in reference to ultralights, not something else-- so that we can make the case that a ruling is actually needed.

All this more general stuff about getting into all the possible meanings of "surface area", getting off into issues of SVFR, etc, would just complicate the picture too much. Stay focussed on the Jan 2018 ruling and maybe one example of a policy somewhere regarding ultralights that is contradictory to that, and get it resolved. Are the extensions included or not w/i the meaning of "within the lateral boundaries of Class E surface areas designated for an airport" or are they not. This is our chance to get a favorable interpretation. Despite my cynicism before, I guess I've changed my mind after seeing how all the commercial drone people are already talking about this and already following the January memorandum.

All this other stuff-- does the weather matter-- if the Class-E-to-surface "went away" when the weather was CAVU they'd be talking about that on the drone forums too. They aren't. I think it's a non-starter. The altitude stuff? Well you know my opinion on that, I think it's another distraction, but whatever. Believe me if were legal to fly all over the top of a Class-E-to-surface airport at 701' without asking anyone, after launching in one of the Class-E-to-surface "extensions", we'd be hearing about it on the drone forums.

Anyway after seeing all this forum chat by commercial drone flyers actively implementing the Jan 2018 ruling I find myself feeling more optimistic about it being a good idea to try to get a ruling that the same applies to us.

But, keep it simple. Put the "extension" issue at the top of the list and get a clear answer on that based on the January memo. That's where we have the strongest case and the best hope for a favorable ruling.

Btw that airport featured at 1:02, Tahoe City airport (TVL), is the first time I've seen a dashed magenta extension abutting against a dashed magenta circle. I didn't know they had any of those. THAT IS VERY INTERESTING-- I thought that sort of thing only happened when the tower closed for the night and the dashed blue circle for the class D turned into a "virtual" dashed magenta circle-- this case seems a little simpler somehow-- the designated ceiling for the class D is no longer in the picture to confuse things-- that TVL airport would be a good example for a sample question to propose to the FAA. It's really sort of a simplest case. Without prior authorization can an ultralight fly here, and likewise here. And in any case where the answer is "no", then up to what altitude does this apply. Bang, it's done. Right?

Steve
Last edited by aeroexperiments on Thu Oct 11, 2018 2:15 am, edited 3 times in total.
User avatar
By Wonder Boy
#405309
The Drone ruling on extensions is very simplistic, they are not for an airport.
That's why the drones do not need prior authorization to fly in the extensions.

Given the fact they spelled out those extensions are not for an airport the same applies to us.

The extensions they are referencing are the separate extensions, not keyways that are part of the dashed magenta, but when you have a separate extension piece.
User avatar
By aeroexperiments
#405310
Wonder Boy wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:52 am
The Drone ruling on extensions is very simplistic, they are not for an airport.
That's why the drones do not need prior authorization to fly in the extensions.

Given the fact they spelled out those extensions are not for an airport the same applies to us.

The extensions they are referencing are the separate extensions, not keyways that are part of the dashed magenta, but when you have a separate extension piece.
Yes, well, that's what I've been going on and on about. It may be simple but who knows they very well might CHANGE the rules for the drones before long. I may have this wrong but I think the regulations originally applied to COMMERCIAL drone pilots-- that's what the video is about-- and now with the new proposed regs that just got passed there's a very good chance they will apply to every drone hobbyist as well as every conventional radio-control-airplane flyer. Sooner or later someone will scratch his head and say "hey, do we really want to tell all those people that the only place in the whole country where they can exceed 700' without asking anyone is in an 'extension '"? Then the rules start to change, and/ or the interpretations of the rules start to change, and the nice exact symmetry between the language of the drone/ rc rules and the language of FAR 103.17 is no longer available to help us.

You say the rules are very simple but I say they aren't so simple that the FAA couldn't screw things up and lose sight of the fact that FAR 103.17 should not apply to the extensions. All they would have to say is well, it IS a surface area because it does go to the surface, and it IS designated for an airport because why else would it be there, and the "designated for an airport" language in JO 7400 was not a definition of that phrase but rather was merely some descriptive language that could just as well have been applied to the "extensions" also, and there you go, we can't fly in the extensions any more. Look how bad they messed up that other ruling I referenced a few posts back-- the 2006 "Hucker" ruling-- so the thing to do is to act to take advantage of this Jan 2018 memorandum to get clarity on the extensions, before some new ruling supercedes it.

Enough for tonight
User avatar
By aeroexperiments
#405311
By the way the commercial drone operators have reason to be really up on the meanings of the vertical dimensions of the airspace because they are inspecting TALL TOWERS that may penetrate up beyond the 700' etc. For whatever that's worth.

For example (didn't really read the content , just saw what they were talking about--)

https://coaerialimaging.com/class-e-towers/
User avatar
By magentabluesky
#405315
Here is Rod Machado's take on Class E Surface Airspace:
Rod Machado wrote:Greetings Michael:
Sorry for the delayed response. This isn't unusual at all. The surface-based Class E airspace provides only a weather restriction, not a flight restriction. So anything that flies is allowed to participate in flight in, near or around the airport.
. . . .
https://rodmachado.com/
User avatar
By aeroexperiments
#405316
magentabluesky wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 4:17 pm
Here is Rod Machado's take on Class E Surface Airspace:
Rod Machado wrote:Greetings Michael:
Sorry for the delayed response. This isn't unusual at all. The surface-based Class E airspace provides only a weather restriction, not a flight restriction. So anything that flies is allowed to participate in flight in, near or around the airport.
. . . .
https://rodmachado.com/

Gee that's very clearly not true at all, and Rod Machado is a famous authority on flight instruction. Clearly not on flight instruction in ultralights... or for drones...
I don't think I'll be looking through any of the training materials he produces for further guidance on this or similar questions!
User avatar
By magentabluesky
#405318
Mull this over:

Amendment of Class E Airspace Areas, and Establishment of Class E Airspace; Bishop, CA
The Rule

The FAA is amending Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 71 by modifying Class E surface area airspace, modifying Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface, and establishing Class E surface area airspace designated as an extension, at Bishop Airport, Bishop, CA.
. . . .
Yes, Bishop Airport with the Hang Glider symbol in the middle of the Class E Surface Airspace.
User avatar
By aeroexperiments
#405319
Well
a) not everything makes sense
b) if hang gliders are frequently there, they are frequently there, regardless of whether they are there legally or not
c) perhaps someone as assuming that "prior authorization" is-- or at least may be-- frequently granted here. Perhaps the guy who puts the symbols on the sectional chart isn't burdened with the task of finding out whether prior authorization has been granted or not.
d) better that than an "objectionable" tag
User avatar
By aeroexperiments
#405320
magentabluesky wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 8:04 pm
Yes, Bishop Airport with the Hang Glider symbol in the middle of the Class E Surface Airspace.

You know, maybe, just maybe, we better not going asking for an official interpretation after all.

Maybe we ought to ask the hg guys who frequently land at Bishop, or frequently fly in that airspace, first.

Sorry to keep changing my mind but that's what I'm thinking now.

I have no idea if they routinely land there or not. IF they don't, and IF Mike's (Wonder Boy's) interpretation is right that it's fine to be there as long as you are over 700' AGL, then no harm in asking, but I'm 100% sure that that is not the reality. I'm sure the prohibition (without prior authorization) goes all the way to 17,999' and arguably even higher. So why get something in writing that is specific to us? If it's just a drone ruling maybe there is a tiny bit of wiggle room in some cases. At least a pilot could claim ignorance and confusion.

Maybe there really is some form of formal "prior authorization" there, that specifically references the weather conditions or something. I doubt it.

So...


Actually it's more like-- we already knew about the prohibition on flying over Class-E-to-surface surrounding the airport. It's not a new thing. Some of us were confused about the altitude limit but most of us weren't. It's all pretty much there in black and white. Still, why get in writing once again to make it even blacker and whiter. Go ahead and ask about the "extensions", I still think that's a valuable thing to pursue for the reasons I mentioned in post 405308. viewtopic.php?p=405308#p405308 . Use the Tahoe City airport as an example for simplicity. Just don't bother bringing up the question of how high the limits go. Likewise whether or not it is weather-dependent. We already know the answer.

So, a simple three - sentence question:

We are cognizant of the January 10 2018 Memorandum from Scott Gardner clarifying the meaning of "within the lateral boundaries of the surface area of Class E airspace designated for an airport" in relation to FAR 107.41 ( http://goldsealgroundschool.com/uav-lib ... ations.pdf .) We note that the phrase "within the lateral boundaries of the surface area of Class E airspace designated for an airport" appears in FAR 103.17 as well as FAR 107.41. May we therefore be assured that for the purposes of FAR 103.17, class-E-to surface "extensions" that do not enclose the airports whose approaches they protect, appearing under the headings "Class E Airspace Areas Designated as an Extension to a Class C Surface Area" or " Class E Airspace Areas Designated as an Extension to a Class D or Class E Surface Area" in FAA JO 7400 "Airspace Designations and Reporting Points", referenced as "E2" in the January 10 2018 Gardner Memorandum, as are not to be considered "within the lateral boundaries of the surface area of Class E airspace designated for an airport"?

Or shorter version --


We are cognizant of the January 10 2018 Memorandum from Scott Gardner clarifying the meaning of "within the lateral boundaries of the surface area of Class E airspace designated for an airport" in relation to FAR 107.41 ( http://goldsealgroundschool.com/uav-lib ... ations.pdf .) We note that the phrase "within the lateral boundaries of the surface area of Class E airspace designated for an airport" appears in FAR 103.17 as well as FAR 107.41. May we therefore be assured that for the purposes of FAR 103.17, the airspaces referenced as "E2" in the January 10 2018 Gardner Memorandum are not to be considered "within the lateral boundaries of the surface area of Class E airspace designated for an airport"?


That's what we want to ask. One of those. We give them the opportunity to give a simple one-word answer "yes" and not address all the other stuff we already know but sort of wish we didn't.
User avatar
By aeroexperiments
#405321
And once we get that answer in hand, anyone else can go asking all the other questions they want. Just wait till then. Me, I won't be asking any more questions.

(PS note I dropped the idea of referencing Tahoe City (TVL) after all. Keep it really simple. One of the two queries suggested above. That's it.)

And ask ASAP before they start freaking out about a bunch drone hobbyists clueing in to what the commerical drone operators already know. Because soon that's going to be the droners' only loophole.
User avatar
By aeroexperiments
#405322
Yet another variation (refinement?)

We note that the phrase "within the lateral boundaries of the surface area of Class E airspace designated for an airport" in relation to appears in both FAR 107.41 and FAR 103.17. We note that the January 10 2018 Memorandum from Scott Gardner ( http://goldsealgroundschool.com/uav-lib ... ations.pdf ) clarifies the the meaning of this phrase in relation to FAR 107.41, by noting that the airspaces labelled "E2" in the Memorandum do not fall within the meaning of "within the lateral boundaries of the surface area of Class E airspace designated for an airport" . Do the airspaces labelled "E2" in the Memorandum also fall outside of the meaning of "within the lateral boundaries of the surface area of Class E airspace designated for an airport" in the context of FAR 103.17? There has been much confusion in our community about this in the past and we have not been entirely successful in getting a consistent answer by consulting local FSDO's and other similar means, or by a careful perusal of the FAR's, FAA Order JO 7400, and the AIM. Thank you for giving this matter some attention.

Sincerely....

Don't get into any of the other stuff until we get an answer back on this, and maybe not even then, in my opinion.
User avatar
By aeroexperiments
#405323
(proposed communication for Michael magentabluesky's quest for clarification)

Refined to eliminate syntax errors-- spellcheck and check syntax again before using--

We note that the phrase "within the lateral boundaries of the surface area of Class E airspace designated for an airport" appears in both FAR 107.41 and FAR 103.17. We note that the January 10 2018 Memorandum from Scott Gardner ( http://goldsealgroundschool.com/uav-lib ... ations.pdf ) clarifies the meaning of this phrase in relation to FAR 107.41, by noting that the airspaces labelled "E2" in the Memorandum do not fall within the meaning of "within the lateral boundaries of the surface area of Class E airspace designated for an airport". Do the airspaces labelled "E2" in the Memorandum also fall outside of the meaning of "within the lateral boundaries of the surface area of Class E airspace designated for an airport" in the context of FAR 103.17? There has been some confusion in our community about this in the past and we have not been entirely successful in getting a consistent answer by consulting local FSDO's and other similar means, or by a careful perusal of the FAR's, FAA Order JO 7400, and the AIM. Thank you for giving this matter some attention.

Too obvious to be worth bothering about? I don't think so. See viewtopic.php?p=405310#p405310 , viewtopic.php?p=405306#p405306
User avatar
By magentabluesky
#405325
Looking at past practice it is not surprising to see the answers from “Tim at our local FSDO” and Rod Machado based on VFR weather minimums. These are carryovers from the control zone days.

Using the past practice of "control zones" the terminology used was "When the control zone was in effect." For the control zone to be in effect, there had to be an official weather observer and the observation was lMC (instrument meteorological conditions), less than a 1000 foot ceiling and less than 3 miles visibility. If you encountered VMC (visual meteorological conditions) in flight within the control zone you where still legal without an IFR clearance or Special VFR.

Today, automatic weather observations have increased the hours the Class E surface airspace is active compared to the old days of control zones and I have never heard Class E surface airspace ever be referenced as being in "effect". Typically in the old days the official weather observer was a company employee of the Part 135 or 121 operator who would only be at the airport an hour or so before and after a flight. Most of these small airports only had one or two flights a day so the control zone was hardly ever in effect.

Thirty-five years ago I flew regular scheduled commuter service, Part 135, to Bishop KBIH and Mammoth. That is the way it was. There are plenty of stories, like the time the roof blew off the terminal building, and the Cessna 402 rolling inverted at 700 feet on final due to turbulence southeast of the airport by Blacks. Those were the good ol' days.

Although the January 10, 2018 Memorandum from Scott Gardner (http://goldsealgroundschool.com/uav-lib ... ations.pdf ) only addresses FAR 107.41 focusing on drone operations, the implications are obvious because the wording mirrors Part 103.17. The Scott Gardner Memorandum is a fairly recent development, issued only ten months ago, a game changer.

In addressing the challenges of the Scott Gardner Memorandum I have come to appreciate Mike’s (Wonder Boy) approach as to the FAA’s legal definition to the airspace under the FAA Order 7400.11B. If you were ever violated for flying through the Class E Surface Airspace above 700ft or 1200ft as the case may be, a good lawyer may get you off using the legal definitions of the airspace. I do not think that approach will stand the test of time though.

I’m still doing some poking around before using the direct approach.
User avatar
By Wonder Boy
#405326
Just an FYI, that's not my approach, that's what the FAA Commissioners Office told me.
Different altitudes of class E are "a designated altitude" of Class E.
Adjacent and overlying airspace applied to extensions.
#405327
magentabluesky wrote:
Fri Oct 12, 2018 11:30 am
Looking at past practice it is not surprising to see the answers from “Tim at our local FSDO” and Rod Machado based on VFR weather minimums. These are carryovers from the control zone days.

Using the past practice of "control zones" the terminology used was "When the control zone was in effect." For the control zone to be in effect, there had to be an official weather observer and the observation was lMC (instrument meteorological conditions), less than a 1000 foot ceiling and less than 3 miles visibility. If you encountered VMC (visual meteorological conditions) in flight within the control zone you where still legal without an IFR clearance or Special VFR.

See Michael the thing is that being legal to fly an aircraft into a control zone without requesting SVFR, is a totally different thing from being legal to fly an ultralight vehicle (not considered an "aircraft" by the FAA) into a control zone with no prior authorization under 103.17. I don't think terminology like "When the control zone was in effect" ever appeared in the FAR's, and certainly not in part 103, and probably not in the AIM either, but you could see why pilots and controllers might adopt that lingo as a handy shorthand for whether or not an aircraft could enter that area without requesting SVFR.

Still that's a totally different thing from being legal (with no prior authorization) to conduct aerobatic flight within the lateral boundaries of the control zone (FAR 91.303c), or to operate an unmanned free balloon within the lateral boundaries of the control zone below 2000' AGL (FAR 101.33a), or to operate an ultralight vehicle (not considered an "aircraft" by the FAA) within the lateral boundaries of the control zone (FAR 103.17).

The difference is that those regs make no mention of weather, while FAR 91.155c (operating without SVFR, within the lateral boundaries of a control zone, under a ceiling of less than 1000') and FAR 91.157 (using SVFR authorization to operate with less than standard Class E visibility and cloud clearance requirements within the lateral boundaries of a control zone) do explicitly reference the weather conditions.

Perhaps some controllers or FSDO personnel or whatever missed the distinction, or simply didn't care and cast a kind, blind eye toward ultralight activities, but it was never strictly legal to operate within the lateral boundaries of a control zone without prior authorization, regardless of weather.

If you want to see the old language of the regs here are a couple of links--

balloon regs (FAR part 101) from January 64 http://www.chem.hawaii.edu/uham/part101.html

original text of FAR 103 http://www.ultralighthomepage.com/FAR.part103.html -- scroll down to 103.17 and they give the original text followed by the new text

It was in late 93 that the current system of current system of Classes A, B, C, D, and E came into use and replaced the control zone terminology so any regs or AIM from 1990 or sooner would certainly use the old terminology. You may have an old copy of the FAR's or AIM in your basement from your past commercial flying days and may be able to peek at the old versions of some of the other regs I referenced above and I think you'll see there hasn't been that much change-- for the most part "control zone" has just been replaced by "within the lateral boundaries of the surface areas of ... Class D, or Class E airspace designated for an airport" or similar. Again if you want to read about the history of these changes I talk about it some in the last half of this link-- (may soon be split off into a separate link) https://aviation.stackexchange.com/ques ... 5714#55714

Steve
Last edited by aeroexperiments on Fri Oct 12, 2018 12:34 pm, edited 4 times in total.
#405328
Wonder Boy wrote:
Fri Oct 12, 2018 11:46 am
Just an FYI, that's not my approach, that's what the FAA Commissioners Office told me.
Different altitudes of class E are "a designated altitude" of Class E.
Adjacent and overlying airspace applied to extensions.

I totally believe you. See my recent post re FAA blunders.

Here's an idea--

Since the phrase "within the lateral boundaries of the surface area of Class E airspace designated for an airport" appears in both FAR 103.17 and FAR 107.41 (pertains to Small Unmanned Aircraft), one could use one of the on-line forums for commercial drone operators as a sounding board for ideas like "we're fine to overfly Class-E-to-surface without prior authorization as long as we are over 700' above the ground", or "the dashed magenta lines are not in effect if the wx is above standard Class E minimums". Except you'd say "waiver" instead of "prior authorization"; that's how it works in their world. Those forums are well populated with people who are very much in the public eye and under FAA scrutiny, and don't want to risk confiscation of their expensive tools, fines and jail, and loss of business opportunities. They have real-world experience as to how the FAA is enforcing the regs. They would would definitely give you some rapid feedback. Just make it clear that you are talking about the regs CURRENTLY in effect and not those that may be coming into play in the future. Though actually I don't think any of that changes for them.

Examples of such forums-- https://commercialdronepilots.com/ , https://inspirepilots.com/forums/certif ... pilots.16/ -- there are many more -- just google "commercial drone operator forum" or "drone operator forum".

You would need to make sure to phrase your question in such a way as to make clear that there are no aircraft currently operating near the airport so you aren't interfering with the traffic pattern-- you would need to emphasize that you are specifically referring to the limitations imposed by FAR 107.41 "Operation in certain airspace." and not FAR 107.43 "Operation in the vicinity of airports." (basically says you can't interfere with "operations and traffic pattern" near airports) or FAR 107.37 "Operation near aircraft; right-of-way rules" (just says you must yield the right-of-way to aircraft and can't create a collision hazard ).

Tap into the hive mind to test out your theories before you go asking the FAA questions you might not want to know the answer to. Then decide if it's worth asking.

But Michael (magentabluesky), specifically regarding the Class-E-to-surface "extensions", I hope you do eventually pursue a query like the one in suggest in my recent post 405323 (viewtopic.php?p=405322#p405323) through the proper channels. That one is not likely to hurt us and it would be nice to get it nailed down after 8 years of discussing it here.

Note that through at least the first 40 posts or so of this thread, it was focussed on trying to figure out whether or not the "extensions" were included in the meaning of "within the lateral boundaries of the surface area of Class E airspace designated for an airport" -- many people expressed conflicting opinions-- yes things seem clearer now after the Jan 10 2018 Memorandum but it would be nice to get it nailed down with something a little stronger than a Memorandum intended for drone pilots.

Steve

(PS no I didn't type all these two posts up in the last two minutes-- was about to hit send on this one when Magentabluesky's previous came in)
Last edited by aeroexperiments on Fri Oct 12, 2018 1:19 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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