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User avatar
By Wonder Boy
#405212
Class E extends down to 1200 feet, and 700 ft AGL. Class Esurface area lateral boundaries extend from the surface to a designated altitude or adjacent or overlying airspace.

Excluding extensions, that mean surface area lateral boundaries do not exist above 700 ft,
They extend up to, (not past )up to a designated altitude the same way the 700 foot lateral boundaries do not extend up past 1200 ft.

Regardless of what other groups have posted and talked about it, whatever video is out there. It's clearly stated e service area lateral boundaries extend up to a designated altitude.
Everyone including myself was overthinking it.
User avatar
By aeroexperiments
#405214
Wonder Boy wrote:
Thu Oct 04, 2018 3:54 pm
Class E extends down to 1200 feet, and 700 ft AGL. Class Esurface area lateral boundaries extend from the surface to a designated altitude or adjacent or overlying airspace.

Excluding extensions, that mean surface area lateral boundaries do not exist above 700 ft,
They extend up to, (not past )up to a designated altitude the same way the 700 foot lateral boundaries do not extend up past 1200 ft.

Regardless of what other groups have posted and talked about it, whatever video is out there. It's clearly stated e service area lateral boundaries extend up to a designated altitude.
Everyone including myself was overthinking it.


There you go again...
Last edited by aeroexperiments on Thu Oct 04, 2018 4:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
By DMarley
#405215
https://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publica ... -13-18.pdf
e. Functions of Class E Airspace. Class E
airspace may be designated for the following
purposes:

1. Surface area designated for an airport
where a control tower is not in operation. Class E
surface areas extend upward from the surface to a
designated altitude, or to the adjacent or overlying
controlled airspace. The airspace will be configured
to contain all instrument procedures.

(a) To qualify for a Class E surface area, the
airport must have weather observation and reporting
capability, and communications capability must exist
with aircraft down to the runway surface.

(b) A Class E surface area may also be
designated to accommodate part-time operations at a
Class C or Class D airspace location (for example,
those periods when the control tower is not in
operation).

(c) Pilots should refer to the airport page in
the applicable Chart Supplement U.S. for surface area
status information.

2. Extension to a surface area. Class E
airspace may be designated as extensions to Class B,
Class C, Class D, and Class E surface areas. Class E
airspace extensions begin at the surface and extend up
to the overlying controlled airspace.
The extensions
provide controlled airspace to contain standard
instrument approach procedures without imposing a
communications requirement on pilots operating
under VFR. Surface area arrival extensions become
part of the surface area and are in effect during the same times as the surface area.
Nowhere do the rules indicate that Class E extensions extend up to Class A, or up to 14500 msl. In fact, as you see, they extend up to Classes C,D, and E only, E being the overlying and adjacent class airspace in this case discussion.
Because class E surface is being extended upwards from the surface, it extends up to the overlying controlled airspace of class E in our case.

Instead of referring to model aircraft and other non-aerospace sources, perhaps it would be better to refer to the actual rules, rather than the interpretations of those who are not really engaged in flying. I won't assume most UL pilots know and understand the rules either.
Last edited by DMarley on Thu Oct 04, 2018 5:17 pm, edited 4 times in total.
User avatar
By aeroexperiments
#405216
Once again, you guys are the only two people in the world who follow this interpretation of the Class-E-to-surface airspace -- or specifically the meaning of the airspace "within the lateral boundaries of the surface area of Class E airspace designated for an airport"-- ending at 700 feet above the surface. Try to foist this concept on any knowledgeable bunch of aviators-- talk about how it would affect the concept of Special VFR, in which only one aircraft is allowed to be flying IFR or SVFR in the Class-E-to-surface airspace at a time-- and just see how far you get.

Or try to tell the FAA that under the text of 14 CFR 107.41, which contains the EXACT SAME "within the lateral boundaries of the surface area of Class E airspace designated for an airport" verbiage, that it's just fine to fly a drone at 701 feet over the surface of an airport surrounded by the dashed magenta circle, with no prior authorization. Let us know how well that works out for you.

I've already said plenty in previous posts to thoroughly defend my argument here. You seem to imagine that you are the only one looking at the "actual rules"-- not the case. I've made extensive reference to the actual text of 14 CFR 103.17, AND to "Order 7400.9W" or its latest incarnation, and to the AIM, AND to the previous incarnation of some of the rules and terminology as they existed at the time that FAR part 103 was first created. But why repeat myself endlessly? See previous posts.

Steve
Last edited by aeroexperiments on Thu Oct 04, 2018 5:16 pm, edited 5 times in total.
User avatar
By DMarley
#405217
Steve,
I've done a bunch of research on this, and you're right....
there is a bunch of material out there that has the wrong interpretations. Perhaps they have likely interpreted our present rules with the ideas and misinformation of others from years past. Just as in the past these class E surface extensions were refered to as Positive Control Airspace, they are no longer refered to that terminology.
User avatar
By aeroexperiments
#405218
DMarley wrote:
Thu Oct 04, 2018 5:04 pm
Steve,
I've done a bunch of research on this, and you're right....
there is a bunch of material out there that has the wrong interpretations. Perhaps they have likely interpreted our present rules with the ideas and misinformation of others from years past. Just as in the past these class E surface extensions were refered to as Positive Control Airspace, they are no longer refered to that terminology.

Well, has your research turned up ANY material from the FAA that solidly supports your contention?

By the way, class-E-to-surface extensions were NEVER referred to as "Positive Control Airspace".
User avatar
By DMarley
#405219
Actually Steve, I found two articles that indicated as such. The terminology puzzled me because, hey, there's no control on non-towered airports, unless an ATC is in active control of that un-towered 'port.
User avatar
By aeroexperiments
#405220
DMarley wrote:
Thu Oct 04, 2018 5:10 pm
Actually Steve, I found two articles that indicated as such. The terminology puzzled me because, hey, there's no control on non-towered airports, unless an ATC is in active control of that un-towered 'port.

I doubt the exact phrase "positive control airspace" was used-- if it was, it wasn't used correctly-- because that was the old term for the class A airspace that begins at 18,000'. The term "control zone" was used in the past to refer to what is now the class-E-to-surface areas surrounding airports. And of course it can be called "controlled airspace", because it's not class G.

Alright, enough for tonight. You get the last word if you want it. I'm channeling my energy into this discussion: https://aviation.stackexchange.com/ques ... 5714#55714 . I'm sure you can tell which answer is mine.
User avatar
By magentabluesky
#405228
The best explanation is the January 10, 2018 Memorandum by Scott J. Gardner of the FAA.

Pdf Link

Ultralight operators need permission to enter Class E Surface Area airspace for designated airports (circles and keyholes) but do not need special permission for Class E Surface extensions.

Just remember to stay off the railroad tracks, the train may be coming.
User avatar
By DMarley
#405229
Nice Mike.
However....
14 CFR 107.41 states: “No person may operate
a small unmanned aircraft in Class B, Class C, or Class D airspace or within the lateral
boundaries of the surface area of Class E airspace designated for an airport unless
that person has prior authorization from Air Traffic Control (ATC)”.
This has very little, if anything, to do with manned ultralights, or does it?

Nor does it clarify the height extent of the surface extensions. As the Class E surface extensions extend from the surface and proceed upward until reaching a controlled airspace, one could understand that the extensions stop at the Class E level of 700' or 1200', or a designated elevation, or classes B,C, or D, which ever is above the surface extension, or a combination of all the above.
Last edited by DMarley on Fri Oct 05, 2018 5:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
By BBJCaptain
#405230
Well, not exactly Steve,

They are the only two people on the planet trying to show you the light!
Attachments
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User avatar
By magentabluesky
#405231
DMarley wrote:
Fri Oct 05, 2018 5:38 pm
Nor does it clarify the height extent of the surface extensions. As the Class E surface extensions extend from the surface and proceed upward until reaching a controlled airspace, one could understand that the extensions stop at the Class E level of 700' or 1200', or a designated elevation, or classes B,C, or D, which ever is above the surface extension, or a combination of all the above.
. . . .
I can tell you where the Class E Surface Airspace ceiling doesn’t end, 700ft or 1200ft.
Class E airspace extends upward from either the surface or a designated altitude to the overlying or adjacent controlled airspace. When designated as a surface area, the airspace will be configured to contain all instrument procedures. Pilot/Controller Glossary
. . . .
Let me repeat: "When designated as a surface area, the airspace will be configured to contain all instrument procedures."
User avatar
By DMarley
#405232
Mike,
When giving examples of rules, please include the links. Otherwise they are near meaningless. If your verbiage is not from the FAA then it is without real value.
User avatar
By Wonder Boy
#405233
DMarley wrote:
Fri Oct 05, 2018 9:09 pm
Mike,
When giving examples of rules, please include the links. Otherwise they are near meaningless. If your verbiage is not from the FAA then it is without real value.
I have previously. I'm not going to every post.

18-1-2. CLASS E SURFACE AREAS http://tfmlearning.faa.gov/Publications ... r1801.html

a.  A Class E surface area is designated to provide controlled airspace for terminal operations where a control tower is not in operation.
Class E surface areas extend upward from the surface to a designated altitude; or to the adjacent or overlaying controlled airspace. Class E airspace surface areas must meet the criteria in paragraph 17-1-3 of this order.
b. When a surface area is established to accommodate part time operations at a Class C or D airspace location,
the surface area will normally be coincident with that airspace. If the airspace is not coincident, it should be explained in the rule.


The above bold and underlined tells you the "lateral boundaries" exist up to (not talking about class E "surface extensions") a designated altitude for Class E surface area"lateral boundary". That is 700' the shaded magenta. (Interesting they put that verbiage first) Remember under 700' and 1200' class E airspace is normally Class G.
The 700' shaded magenta is the floor for class E and a "designated altitude" for Class E surface area. (for the airports we are talking about)
The "or to the adjacent or overlying controlled airspace" applies the the class E surface extensions.

Its all Class E airspace we are talking about. All airspace has lateral boundaries, the class E "surface area lateral boundaries" we must not fly within. Its the only controlled airspace we can be in with an exception of and area we can't.
(Take the dashed magenta ring, that has a lateral boundary, 700' to 1200'. No one thinks that goes to 17,999')
Last edited by Wonder Boy on Fri Oct 05, 2018 10:12 pm, edited 5 times in total.
User avatar
By magentabluesky
#405234
I did give a citation: “Pilot/Controller Glossary”

The Pilot/Controller Glossary is from the FAA.

Under: CONTROLLED AIRSPACE, subheading: 5. CLASS E, second and third sentences. Page: PCG C-7 Dated: 10/12/17.

Pdf Link

Where’s your super sniffer. I’m working for free. I would not give this to a student. I would make them look it up so they would have self reliance and be able to find answers on the own.

I am so Nice.
User avatar
By DMarley
#405235
Sorry guys.... too many Mikes here. I should have been more specific to which Mike I was referring. WonderBoy-Mike.... I am in complete agreement with the FAA and you about the height limits of Class E surface extensions. :thumbsup:

Mike Grisham: Yeah you... :P you're the guy I'm referring to, so that you will provide links to the words of which you're trying to prove your thesis.

Anyway Mike Grisham, when was the last time you did an IFR approach, roughly 14500 ft or a bit lower, directly above a Class E airport with a surface extension? Nope. You likely have not had to do that. And you'd be within controlled airspace anyway, above that non-towered airport. IFR approaches are not typically initialized above the terminal airport. It's usually miles away from that airport, and that is why Class E is lowered about the non-towered airport that has IFR capabilities. And if deemed necessary, there can be a class E surface extension from the ground up to the lowered class E layer, that further protects the IFR approach.
Get it?
Got it!
Good!
:P
User avatar
By magentabluesky
#405236
The shortest answer is the one I gave:
magentabluesky wrote:
Fri Oct 05, 2018 5:04 pm
The best explanation is the January 10, 2018 Memorandum by Scott J. Gardner of the FAA.

Pdf Link

Ultralight operators need permission to enter Class E Surface Area airspace for designated airports (circles and keyholes) but do not need special permission for Class E Surface extensions.

Just remember to stay off the railroad tracks, the train may be coming.
. . . .
If you want a more in-depth longer “Short Answer” go the Steve’s Link. That is a good answer.

Just remember if you are in a high density air traffic area expect other air traffic to be in the extensions going to or from the airport. If you do not need to be in that airspace voluntarily stay clear.

From a practical point of view let’s say we are planning a cross country from any of the Arizona sites: Mingus, Elden, or the Craters going east following Interstate 40. There are no clouds and the visibility is unlimited, clear and a million. Following Interstate 40 we run smack into the Class E surface airspace for Winslow-Lindbergh Regional. We have a chase crew and are communicating on CB, 2 meter, or 151.625 (USHPA Frequency). Sure, the pilot can’t call Albuquerque Center directly unless he has a radio with ABQ’s frequency, but his driver can call on his cell phone: (505) 856-XXXX. “I am calling on behalf of a group of Hang Glider Pilots, flight of three, 20 miles west of Winslow Airport and am requesting clearance through the Winslow Class E airspace to the east along I-40.” Look if it is clear and a million and there is not an IFR aircraft within 200 miles inbound for Winslow, Albuquerque Center is going to reply: “Cleared through the Winslow Class E airspace, call when cleared east of the airspace.” The driver: “Hang Gliders, flight of three is clear of Winslow Class E airspace.”

It would be better to prearrange this before the flight with Albuquerque Center so they are not scrambling on the initial call.

So, I will leave you with this one. Check out KBIH, Bishop Airport. Right in the middle of the Class E Surface Airspace for Bishop Airport is a Hang Gliding Symbol. KBIH Link
User avatar
By magentabluesky
#405237
DMarley wrote:
Fri Oct 05, 2018 11:23 pm
Anyway Mike Grisham, when was the last time you did an IFR approach, roughly 14500 ft or a bit lower, directly above a Class E airport with a surface extension?
. . . .
Yep, have had to do that. Check out that VOR or GPS-A to KBIH while we are there. Just “a bit lower” the initial approach fix is at 12000 and the note on the plate states: "Descend to 12000 in holding pattern prior to proceeding outbound for procedure turn." That is all above the airport. It is quite common to initialize IFR approach above the terminal airport. I’ve been around for awhile. Been there done that.

The bigger the plane the more fun it is to wind up and down those corkscrews.
DMarley wrote:to the words of which you're trying to prove your thesis.
. . . .
My thesis in life has been first not to kill myself (or others) and second not to get violated. I will accept a violation if in following the rules means I am going to kill myself. I have done a pretty good job so far. I am still alive and have not been violated.
User avatar
By magentabluesky
#405238
Once upon a time in the old days: a control zone was not in effect unless the weather at the airport was IMC (Instrument meteorological conditions). The control zone was from the surface to 14,500ft. If above the surface of the airport to 14,500ft VMC (visual meteorological conditions) (on top) were encountered you did not need an IFR (instrument flight rules) clearance to fly through the control zone with an aircraft. Note: Part 103.21 requires ultralight vehicle be flown by visual reference with the surface so “on top” is not allowed.

So in the old days of control zones Part 103.17 only required clearance when the weather at the airport was IMC and the control zone was in effect. There was a relationship between Part 103.17 and Part 103.23 that supports that old interpretation.

I have never heard Class E surface described as only being in effect when the weather was IMC, but it would be a great question to ask the FAA. The FAA is the only one who could really answer that question.

If the question was previewed with a review of the old control zone and the example of transitioning the Winslow Class E surface airspace, clear and a million, the FAA may give a favorable answer.

Why does KBIH have a Hang Glider symbol in the middle of the Class E surface airspace?
User avatar
By aeroexperiments
#405240
magentabluesky wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 1:50 am
Once upon a time in the old days: a control zone was not in effect unless the weather at the airport was IMC (Instrument meteorological conditions).

Michael, I really don't think this is true. Are you sure? Ramifications such as only one airplane allowed in the Control Zone at a time under IFR or SVFR may have only applied during poor weather, but that's not really the same as saying it's as if the control zone was not there at all. Perhaps there were other ramifications such as required radio communications that only applied during poor weather-- I'm not sure-- but again that's really the same as saying it's as if the control zone was not there at all. It may have been common pilot lingo to say that the control zone was or wasn't "in effect" but was that really strictly accurate especially in the context of what we're talking about now?

Is it really your understanding that the original FAR 103.17, which specifically prohibited ultralights from "control zones" (without prior authorization) did NOT apply during good VFR weather conditions? I've never heard that before. IF we could really demonstrate that that was true, it might set an important precedent, but I've sure never heard that before. Of course those days were long before I started flying hang gliders.
magentabluesky wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 1:50 am
So in the old days of control zones Part 103.17 only required clearance when the weather at the airport was IMC and the control zone was in effect. There was a relationship between Part 103.17 and Part 103.23 that supports that old interpretation.

Can you explain more what you mean?

This link
http://www.ultralighthomepage.com/FAR.part103.html gives the text of FAR 103 along with PAST versions.

Here is the original text of 103.17--

"No person may operate an ultralight vehicle within an airport traffic
area, control zone, airport radar service area, terminal control area, or
positive control area unless that person has prior authorization from the air
traffic control facility having jurisdiction over that airspace."

And here is the original text of 103.23--

"No person may operate an ultralight vehicle when the flight visibility or
distance from clouds is less than that in the following table, as
appropriate:

Minimum
flight
visibility
Flight altitudes /1/ Minimum distance from clouds

1,200 feet or less above the
surface regardless of MSL
altitude:
(1) Within controlled airspace 3 500 feet below, 1,000 feet above, 2,000 feet horizontal.
(2) Outside controlled airspace 1 Clear of clouds.
More than 1,200 feet above the
surface but less than 10,000
feet MSL:
(1) Within controlled airspace 3 500 feet below, 1,000 feet above, 2,000 feet horizontal.
(2) Outside controlled airspace 1 500 feet below, 1,000 feet
More than 1,200 feet above the 5 1,000 feet below, 1,000 feet
surface and at or above 10,000 above, 1 statute milehorizontal
feet MSL

/1/ Statute miles."

The format may come across as a little jumbled but the key point is that there is NO specific reference to "control zones", or to whether the weather is or is not below VFR minimums at any given point. I'm sure I don't have to tell you, as a professional pilot, that "controlled airspace" is not at all the same thing as a "control zone". The old charts from the early 90's and 80's that showed the dashed blue "control zones", ALSO showed the magenta shading and blue shading showing where the floor of the REST of the controlled airspace was-- often 700' or 1200' AGL. (Those markings were present long before the 1983 introduction of FAR 103.)

The CURRENT version of 103.23 actually gives the minimum visibility and cloud clearance required for ultralight flight not only in class E airspace, but also in class D and class C and class B airspace! They are the same as the minimums for standard GA VFR aircraft. But in the ultralight case, we are given the reminder "All operations in Class A, Class B, Class C, and Class D airspace or Class E airspace designated for an airport must receive prior ATC authorization as required in Sec. 103.17 of this part."

So, we're right back to where we started-- figuring out the precise meaning of 103.17.

But yes, with PRIOR ATC AUTHORIZATION, we can go LOTS of places that we couldn't go otherwise. I think we can all agree on that.
magentabluesky wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 1:50 am
If the question was previewed with a review of the old control zone and the example of transitioning the Winslow Class E surface airspace, clear and a million, the FAA may give a favorable answer.

If you are referencing specific historical ultralight/ hang gliding activity within a "Control Zone" in the Winslow area (or anywhere else) then I think you may be referencing something that may have been accepted or condoned by a given FAA subculture at a given particular location but would not generally have been viewed as within strict letter of the FAR's -- unless of course you had PRIOR AUTHORIZATION from the relevant ATC facility.
magentabluesky wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 1:50 am

Why does KBIH have a Hang Glider symbol in the middle of the Class E surface airspace?

Authorization is commonly granted at this location? Maybe even "Permanent" prior authorization so long as the weather is good? Hey that sounds good to me--

Or are they just recognizing that an aircraft has a good chance of encountering a hang glider there regardless of whether it is legal or not?

Did you you know that there is an icon on sectional charts that indicates "objectionable"


Hope we don't start seeing THAT marking pop up near our flying sites! (Apparently it only applies to airports-- but there are some airports that see a lot of hang gliding activity such aerotowing or landings after mountain flights--

Steve
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