New private pilots are used to flying into smaller airfields and in uncontrolled airspace, but when your flight plans take you to a major city with a large, busy airport, you will need to know how to navigate the crowded skies and runways. That’s right, it’s time to brush up on your Class B airspace knowledge.
You are planning a weekend getaway and want to fly a straight line to your destination but as you consult the sectional, you realize that there is a large patch of restricted airspace right in the middle of your proposed flight path. Going around it would add over an hour to your flight, but that is your only option, right?
As a pilot flying out of a smaller airport just big enough to have a control tower, you will quickly become familiar with Class D airspace. This type of airspace is one that most general aviation pilots will encounter and need to be well-versed in.
When talking airspace, the closer we get to the beginning of the alphabet, the more nervous some pilots become. Each class of airspace moving towards A is accompanied by extra rules and regulations that can seem intimidating.
Unlike the other five classes of airspace, Class G airspace is uncontrolled. It simply exists anywhere that is not designated as Class A, B, C, D, or E. Class G airspace will be found bordering Class E airspace which is another type of airspace that often needs a bit of explanation. While IFR traffic is controlled in Class E airspace, once you enter Class G, both VFR and IFR traffic are uncontrolled.
Class E airspace may be the most common type of controlled airspace, but is also the least regulated, and perhaps one of the most confusing of the six classes of controlled airspace. With all its variations and complexities, it is no wonder that many pilots could use a little extra explanation on the logic behind Class E airspace. What are the requirements within Class E airspace? What types of Class E airspace are there? How are they designated and displayed on sectionals? At what altitude is Class E airspace found?