Airspaces

by Josh on June 10, 2012

There are many different types of airspaces, some more complex than others. Many pilots are restricted by their knowledge of airspace and fail to understand the different types of airspaces and requirements to fly into them. Here I’m going to review the different types of main airspaces and what you need to fly into them.

Class D Airspace

Class Delta- Class D airspace is the simplest of all of the controlled airspaces. On the sectional chart, it is depicted as a blue dotted line and is generally four miles across. To enter class d airspace you need to follow the 3-152 rule. That is 3 miles visibility, 1000 feet above, 500 feet below and 2000 feet horizontal from the clouds. You must also establish two way radio communications with ATC before entering. You do not need a mode c transponder to enter the class d airspace.

Class C Airspace

Class Charlie- Class C airspace is structured much like class b airspace but smaller. It is depicted on the sectional by a solid magenta line. The lower shelf of class c airspace is usually five miles across and the upper shelf is usually ten miles across. To enter class C airspace you must again follow the 3-152 rule and establish two way radio communication. But in class c airspace, you must have a mode c transponder in and above the airspace.

Class B Airspace

Class B Airspace

Class Bravo- Finally Class B airspace is the most complex and busiest airspace. Class b airspace has many shelves normally topping off at 10,000 ft and is depicted on the sectional as a solid blue line. To fly VFR in thebravo airspace you need three miles of visibility and remain clear of all clouds (no minimum distance). To enter the class b airspace youneed to hear ATC tell you “Cessna 512R, CLEARED INTO THE CLASS BRAVO AIRSPCE.” No matter how many times they acknowledge you, you cannot enter until hearing those words out of his or her mouth. You will need a mode c transponder within thirtynautical miles of, and inside of the airspace

Class Alpha- Class A airspace is IFR only airspace so unless you have an aircraft that can actually get that high and have an instrument rating, you will not need to worry about the class a airspace.

As you can see, there are lots of different types of airspaces and many rules that you have to follow to enter the airspace, but with a little practice and confidence, getting into that class b airspace should be no problem. Don’t be afraid to take a quick flight into some controlled airspace next time you fly because the only way you learn is to get out there and do it.

-“A Good Pilot Is Always Learning”

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