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User avatar
By jimrooney
#207108
So, ya'll have had some time to puzzle over this one.

I'm curious...
Do you actually still believe you're going to get a solid answer from anyone but an aviation lawyer?

You'll probably find an answer that you can live with elsewhere.... but... s---... just look around. Ya'll can't even decide if keyways are part of surface class E or not. :crazy:

Jim
User avatar
By BBJCaptain
#207109
We CAN NOT fly into any Class E to surface airspace, all be it an extension to B, C, or D or a to the surface area (when the tower is closed) WITHOUT RECEIVING PRIOR APPROVAL period!!!
(form the tower or approach control when the tower is closed)

If the Class E airspace is Dashed..........NO FLY ZONE (without approval) this E goes to the surface!!
If the Class E airspace is Shaded..........Yes ( this Class E dose not go to the surface even if it is an extension to an airport)

I personally would not fly inside a 10 mile radius from a tower controlled field without a courtesy call to the tower and letting them know where and when.
User avatar
By jimrooney
#207129
Awe man... why'd ya go and *give* them the answer?

Next thing ya know, they're going to realize that most towers are active during the day, which allows us to fly in the EtoSurface bits cuz they're only E when the towers are off. And who cares what Class it is at night?... cuz we can't fly at night anyway?

But then you have to start explaining how even when the E is inactive, the other airspace around the airport is still active.
:stirpot:

(storm in a teacup anyone?)
Jim
User avatar
By aeroexperiments
#207176
jimrooney wrote:So, ya'll have had some time to puzzle over this one.

I'm curious...
Do you actually still believe you're going to get a solid answer from anyone but an aviation lawyer?
No! I totally agree with your comments on that. Nobody should take any of my / our guesses as the final word!
jimrooney wrote: You'll probably find an answer that you can live with elsewhere.... but... s***... just look around. Ya'll can't even decide if keyways are part of surface class E or not. :crazy:

Jim
Not following you there Jim. My point was that the AIM and that other big honkin document seem to give some importance to the appellation "surface area" but it's not at all clear why. They like to reserve that phrase for the inner core of airspace that surrounds the actual airport and not the dashed magenta extensions. Which makes very little sense because the same big honkin' document very clearly spells out that class E airspace in the dashed magenta extensions does in fact come down to the surface.

Point to any point on a sectional and we can agree instantly whether not the class E airspace there actually comes to the surface or not. There's no confusion around that.

Steve
Last edited by aeroexperiments on Sat Sep 25, 2010 12:31 pm, edited 3 times in total.
User avatar
By aeroexperiments
#207179
BBJCaptain wrote:We CAN NOT fly into any Class E to surface airspace, all be it an extension to B, C, or D or a to the surface area (when the tower is closed) WITHOUT RECEIVING PRIOR APPROVAL period!!!
(form the tower or approach control when the tower is closed)

If the Class E airspace is Dashed..........NO FLY ZONE (without approval) this E goes to the surface!!
If the Class E airspace is Shaded..........Yes ( this Class E dose not go to the surface even if it is an extension to an airport)

I personally would not fly inside a 10 mile radius from a tower controlled field without a courtesy call to the tower and letting them know where and when.
I think the AIM contradicts what you said here. At the very least the AIM is extremely misleading, if you are right..

See 3-2-6, e in http://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publicat ... m0302.html

The dashed magenta class-E-to-surface extensions to class B/C/D are NOT listed in the "designated for an airport" category, and FAR 103 explicitly uses the phrase "designated for an airport" to specify which class-E-to-surface areas that we have to stay out of.

Are you the FAA (or have you received direct information from the FAA)?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that the AIM can be relied on as the final word.

Steve
Last edited by aeroexperiments on Sat Sep 25, 2010 1:27 pm, edited 2 times in total.
User avatar
By aeroexperiments
#207185
jimrooney wrote:Next thing ya know, they're going to realize that most towers are active during the day, which allows us to fly in the EtoSurface bits cuz they're only E when the towers are off.
Huh?

Yes the class D circle reverts to E-to-surface when the tower is off. Yes you are right this is almost totally irrelevant to hang gliding because we usually fly when the tower is on. Even in a sunrise flight where the tower was off it wouldn't matter because no one is going to come after us for being above that class D circle above the specified class D ceiling, even if (if? maybe?) it technically has no specified ceiling when it is reverted to class E.

But the class-E-to-surface dashed magenta extensions to B,C,D (or if the tower is off, E) never change status. Why should they? Aircraft could be coming through that airspace on instrument approaches at any time. That's the main point of interest here.

It's hardly a tempest in a teapot, to want to know if we can enter these areas or not. To me the AIM suggests we can.

(For those who have flown Woodrat in Oregon-- look at this chart! http://www.airnav.com/airport/KMFR )

Also, the airports with class-E-to-surface rings (or irregular shapes) don't have towers and that airspace never changes status. (Example http://www.airnav.com/airport/KONP ) . This airspace is clearly "designated for an airport" and thus off limits to ultralights without any question.
jimrooney wrote:But then you have to start explaining how even when the E is inactive, the other airspace around the airport is still active.
I don't have the foggiest idea what you are talking about!

Steve
User avatar
By jimrooney
#207213
I don't have the foggiest idea what you are talking about!
Sure you do...
Yes the class D circle reverts to E-to-surface when the tower is off.
I think the AIM contradicts what you said here.
The AIM doesn't matter.
Airman's Information Manual

The FARs are the legal documents that determine what's what. The AIM is just there to try to help you understand things. If it ain't in the FAR, it doesn't exist. And if it contradicts the FAR it still doesn't exist.

The guy's spot on.
He just handed you an extremely clear and concise... oh and correct... explanation.

Jim
User avatar
By BBJCaptain
#207220
STEVE WROTE:[/b
Are you the FAA (or have you received direct information from the FAA)?


No Steve I am not the FAA, but I am a Captain on a Boeing Business Jet for the largest gaming company on the globe. I have just short of 11,000 hrs with no airline time.
I am no expert by any stretch of the word. I know just enough about the FAR's to keep my but out of trouble!!
I tend to treat the FAA like a rattle snake in the room, and I give them a VERY WIDE birth. If you give them a reason to look in your shorts for a skid mark,
believe me they will not think twice about it.

I think you are still having trouble understanding what make Class E a TO THE SURFACE area associated with an airport.

If it is Dashed magenta...............it goes to the surface weather the tower is open or closed.....it DOES NOT MATTER it is always
CLASS E TO THE SURFACE DESIGNATED FOR A AIRPORT.....THIS IS A NO FLY ZONE unless you talk to tower or approach and get PERMISSION

If it is shaded magenta weather the tower is open or not it DOES NOT go to the surface. It starts at 700' if part of the instrument approach to the airport or 1200' if it is
part of the victor airway. YOU CAN FLY though this Class E airspace. Is it smart to do this without letting someone know. Only you can decide if you want the FAA
looking for your skid mark or not. Me, I like my ATP license and my current job way to much to even think about trying it.

If you think about what makes up an airport traffic area around an airport with a control tower, it might help you to understand also.
Class C ATA is 4000' and 5 miles. What makes it a Class C is having radar approach control at the airport.
Class D ATA is 2400' and 4 miles. It may have radar our not but it is generally used as surveillance radar and doesn't issue vectors or provide separation.

The airport traffic area is defined on the chart by a blue dashed area defining the lateral limits of the ATA. 99.9% of the time they will be 5 miles for C
and 4 miles for D.
If for some strange reason the FAA thinks they need to protect the airspace (instrument approach safety zone) around the airport TO THE SURFACE.
They will add an extension to the ATA. 99.9% of the time the extension is dashed magenta, or Class E airspace. This extension IS NOT Class C or D
airspace but it falls under the same requirement as C or D (Two way radio communication at all times)but if you think of it as part of the CLass C or D
and read the requirements to fly inside both places (C and D) you will hopefully understand why we can NEVER FLY INTO this airspace.
( Class E to the surface associated with an airport) anytime of the day or night without approval.
If an airport has more than one runway then you may have extensions to one or more runways also, both dashed or shaded. The reason it is shaded is
usually becausebthe landing runway is to the south and you are approaching form the south and you have to reverse coarse i.e. a procedure turn. They are
generally 10 miles in length and the aircraft doesn't get very close to the ground doing the procedure turn back to the inbound coarse, but do fly into then out of the ATA.

The shaded magenta extensions is the only Class E airspace associated with an airport that we CAN fly in without approval. For me though this is still a no fly zone.
I am not sure if you have ever been in an airplane shooting an instrument approach while, all be it IFR or VFR or not, but I will guarantee than most of the
time no one is looking out the window!!!!!!!!!

I hope this make the muddy water just a little less cloudy.

Oh by the way this is my work ride that I have made over 10 around the world trips in( east and west ) and countless ocean crossings ( big pond and little )

Yeah I love my Job!!!!!! and the $ not bad either.
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My work ride.jpeg
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User avatar
By Rob McKenzie
#207241
The "class E to surface" is amusingly and frustratingly ambiguous. We don't have any of them near us at Crestline. If we did I would suggest going with.... getting local controlling agency permission by calmly stating to them where and how we wish to fly and see if it flies. If it did, then we'd return to focusing on trying to be safe HG-PG pilots.
User avatar
By BBJCaptain
#207245
That would be sound advice Rob. You would be surprised how well a courtesy call to the tower would be received. I think we are all doing a great job of not
drawing unwanted attention to ourself, and enjoying our freedom at the same time.
User avatar
By aeroexperiments
#207282
jimrooney wrote: The AIM doesn't matter.
Airman's Information Manual

The FARs are the legal documents that determine what's what. The AIM is just there to try to help you understand things. If it ain't in the FAR, it doesn't exist. And if it contradicts the FAR it still doesn't exist.

Jim
True. But the FAR is vague on this. FAR 103 says ""No person may operate an ultralight vehicle within... the lateral boundaries of the surface area of Class E airspace designated for an airport"

There is no question whatsoever that the dashed magenta extensions to class B/C/D airspace delineate class-E-to-surface. I never once suggested otherwise. Sorry if I was unclear enough to seem to suggest otherwise.

But the FAR also adds the qualifying phrase "designated for an airport" to specify which class-E-to-surface airspace ultralights need to stay out of. Can you show me any place in the FAR's which says this "designated for an airport" qualification includes the class-E-to-surface extensions for the instrument approaches, to Class B/C/D/ airports?

I would tend to assume they are included, except that the AIM strongly suggests they are not. See post # 25 above.

The FAA Order JO 7400.9U also seems to suggest they are not included, but not as clearly as the AIM. See post #10 above.

If they meant ALL class-E-to-surface airspace, why didn't they just say so in FAR 103?

Steve
Last edited by aeroexperiments on Tue Sep 28, 2010 11:39 am, edited 4 times in total.
User avatar
By aeroexperiments
#207283
BBJCaptain wrote: I think you are still having trouble understanding what make Class E a TO THE SURFACE area associated with an airport.
No. Not at all. See previous post. Steve
User avatar
By aeroexperiments
#207285
BBJCaptain wrote:If for some strange reason the FAA thinks they need to protect the airspace (instrument approach safety zone) around the airport TO THE SURFACE.
They will add an extension to the ATA. 99.9% of the time the extension is dashed magenta, or Class E airspace. This extension IS NOT Class C or D
airspace but it falls under the same requirement as C or D (Two way radio communication at all times)
This is absolutely not true. Every Cessna driver knows this! There is no requirement whatsoever for 2-way radio communications in those dashed magenta Class-E-to-surface extensions. Check the FARs for yourself, or just see the AIM http://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publicat ... m0302.html which says "Such airspace provides controlled airspace to contain standard instrument approach procedures without imposing a communications requirement on pilots operating under VFR. "

Functionally, those extensions just impose stricter cloud clearance requirements to facilitate the likely close proximity of VFR and IFR traffic.

BBJ you don't seem to be very reliable source!

Steve
Last edited by aeroexperiments on Tue Sep 28, 2010 10:28 am, edited 2 times in total.
User avatar
By aeroexperiments
#207286
Guys this is getting silly, I'm going you tuck the relevant pages from the AIM into my harness pocket and go flying in the extensions....

Steve
User avatar
By jimrooney
#207300
Can you show me any place in the FAR's which says this "designated for an airport" qualification includes the class-E-to-surface extensions for the instrument approaches, to Class B/C/D/ airports?
You seem to be under the misguided notion that the AIM overrules the FARs. I'll try and put this as delicately as I can... the AIM... ain't s---. If it's not in the FARs, it doesn't exist. If the AIM contradicts the FARs, the FARs win. They are legal documents, the AIM is not.

I'm also with BBJ on something else... you don't invite the FAA to look into your business. This is one of my many reasons for at least being very selective with talking to FSDOs. You'd do far better ringing up a control tower. Myself, I have the luxury of being able to find out things from an aviation lawyer. He's a local CFI, so I don't have to contract him as a lawyer for every little question I might have. But those answers aren't his fully-credited lawyer answers. For that level of answer, I have an aviation lawyer that I do contract, but that costs a mint.

What I can tell you though, is you're a fool if you tangle with the FAA without consulting someone who truly knows how to interpret the FARs. You'll find out very quickly just how black and white things can be, and how clear of an understanding THEIR lawyers do have.

And you will also come to fully appreciate Ryan's warning that ignorance is no defence. Misunderstanding, I would add, is likewise no defence. Knowing and understanding the rules is your responsibility... even if the rules are a mess.

Jim
User avatar
By jjcote
#207304
Just as a general principle, I hate it when laws exist which cannot be read and understood by the people to whom they apply, such that they have to talk to attorneys to find out what the law is. I guess this is what you get when you elect lawyers to political offices.
User avatar
By johnpeace
#207324
Rob McKenzie wrote:The "class E to surface" is amusingly and frustratingly ambiguous. We don't have any of them near us at Crestline. If we did I would suggest going with.... getting local controlling agency permission by calmly stating to them where and how we wish to fly and see if it flies. If it did, then we'd return to focusing on trying to be safe HG-PG pilots.
A lot of times, Class E surface areas for airports lie OUTSIDE of the 'real' controlled airspace (Class C or D) for that airport. Sometimes, the Class E surface area is all that's there for an airport (like Lanai...in the Hawaiian Islands).

By all means, call the tower/approach control (airnav.com can help you figure out who is the controlling authority)..it might be a control tower facility, it might be another ATC enroute/approach control facility. Just talk to them about what you want to do and when you want to do it...they'll let you know whether it's OK and if it's not, it's because it's not a good idea.

If they say no to a reasonable request (like, overflight above 2000' AGL over the surface area)...talk to the supervisor and find out why.

People act like any interchange between the HG community and the FAA is going to result in 'bad' rules changes for soaring. You have to realize how thick a bureaucracy the FAA is...it'll take MAJOR work to change the FAR 103 rules...not a phone call from an ATC center by a controller.

So if you have a route you want to do and there's a class e surface area you're likely to need to penetrate to do it, get in touch with the right facility and ask...at the very least you'll learn something.
User avatar
By johnpeace
#207326
I'll try and put this as delicately as I can... the AIM... ain't s***. If it's not in the FARs, it doesn't exist.
That's a bit of a misrepresentation.

The FARs are of course legally binding and so are the 'law'.

The AIM is for 'guidance' on HOW to operate in the airspace system. It's introduction includes the following text:
This manual contains the fundamentals required in order to fly in the United States NAS. It also contains items of interest to pilots concerning health and medical facts, factors affecting flight safety, a pilot/controller glossary of terms used in the ATC System, and information on safety, accident, and hazard reporting.
So...if you operate in this airspace system in a way that is contrary to the guidance given in the AIM, what do you think an FAA inspector is going to want to know?

"Mr. Rooney, are you aware of our publication titled the Aeronautical Information Manual? We notice that in your report you indicated that you operated your FAR part 103 flight in a way that is contrary to the guidance given in that publication and hardly find that to be a demonstration of sound judgment, good decision making or solid airmanship. As such, we're sending you a letter of investigation and look forward to hearing more about your flight and how it wound up penetrating airspace you weren't authorized to conduct part 103 operations within. We're looking forward to working with you on this!"

The AIM is not regulatory in nature...but that hardly means that it 'doesn't exist'.

It's how the FAA wants you to conduct your business and it's how the other users of the airspace are expecting you to operate within the system. It would be wise to familiarize yourself with the portions relevant to your operation and adhere to them as closely as practical.
By swooda
#207333
There are two documents relevant to this issue.

CFR14 Part 103
The rules for ultralights

JO7400.9
A textual description of all the airspace in the US

These two documents spell out very clearly what airspace ultralights need to avoid and where that airspace is.

The main issue that some of you guys sound a little unsure about is how the class E airspace works around towered airports. There's not really an end all answer to this question. I couldn't figure out how to put this in text format, so I drew a picture of what the airspace looks like when the tower is open and closed.

i.imgur.com/88asZ.jpg

On the other hand. If the tower operates continually, then the class E to the surface is active continually.

Yes, it's confusing. It's a weird way of doing things. Simply looking at a sectional chart may not tell you all you need to know.

If you really want to know what's legal at your home site, you can either look very carefully at Part 103 and JO7400.9, or contact an aviation lawyer and have them do it for you. In either case, picking up the phone and talking to the guys in the tower about what's going on is never a bad idea. They are an awesome group of people, and have a genuine interest in keeping people safe and legal.


edit: My post count is too low, won't let me put in a proper link. I'm afraid you'll have to copy and paste to see my awesome artwork!
User avatar
By jimrooney
#207365
Zach's image...
(swooda)
Image
So...if you operate in this airspace system in a way that is contrary to the guidance given in the AIM, what do you think an FAA inspector is going to want to know?
If I'm operating in accordance with the FARs, he can get stuffed.

The AIM is there to help put the FARs in human readable language... not the other way around.

Jim
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