Powered Parachute Flying Handbook

This chapter introduces the various classifications of airspace and provides information on the requirements to operate in such airspace. For further information, consult the Pilot’s Handbook of Aeronautical Information, the Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM) and Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) parts 71, 73, and 91.

Powered parachutes (PPC) share the airspace with all other types of aircraft and must avoid the flow of fixed wing aircraft. Although most PPCs fly low, slow and close to the field, you must be aware of the airspace in which you are operating. Each type of airspace has communication, equipment, visibility and cloud clearance requirements, and therefore may require additional pilot training with logbook endorsements. Some airspace may not be accessible (Class A) while other airspace (Class B and Class C) may not be prudent for PPC operation. Knowing the types of airspace and their requirements is necessary for safe and proper PPC operations.

The two categories of airspace are: regulatory and non-regulatory. Within these two categories, there are four types: controlled, uncontrolled, special use, and other airspace.

Each type of airspace may have different minimum pilot certification, equipment, visibility and cloud clearance, and entry requirements.

Figure 8-1 presents a profile view of the dimensions of various airspace classes. Figure 8-2 provides the basic weather minimums for operating in the different airspace classes. Figure 8-3 lists the operational and equipment requirements. Refer to these figures as you review this chapter.


Controlled Airspace

Controlled airspace is a generic term that covers the different classifications of airspace and defined dimensions within which air traffic control service is provided in accordance with the airspace classification. Controlled airspace consists of Class A, Class B, Class C, Class D, and Class E.

Class A Airspace

Class A airspace is generally the airspace from 18,000 feet mean sea level (MSL) up to and including 60,000 feet (FL600), including the airspace overlying the waters within 12 nautical miles (NM) of the coast of the 48 contiguous states and Alaska. Unless otherwise authorized, all operation in Class A airspace will be conducted under instrument flight rules (IFR). It is not likely PPCs will be operated in Class A airspace.

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