Powered Parachute Flying Handbook

Chapter 8 — Airspace Classification and Requirements

Published VFR Routes

Published VFR routes are for transitioning around, under, or through some complex airspace. Terms such as VFR flyway, VFR corridor, Class B airspace, VFR transition route, and terminal area VFR route have been applied to such routes. These routes are generally found on VFR terminal area planning charts.

Terminal Radar Service Areas

Terminal Radar Service Areas (TRSA) are areas where participating pilots can receive additional radar services. The purpose of the service is to provide separation between all IFR operations and participating VFR aircraft.

The primary airport(s) within the TRSA become(s) Class D airspace. The remaining portion of the TRSA overlies other controlled airspace, which is normally Class E airspace beginning at 700 or 1,200 feet and established to transition to/from the en route terminal environment. TRSAs are depicted on VFR sectional charts and terminal area charts with a solid black line and altitudes for each segment. The Class D portion is charted with a blue segmented line.

Participation in TRSA services is voluntary; however, pilots operating under VFR are encouraged to contact the radar approach control and take advantage of TRSA service.

National Security Areas

National security areas consist of airspace of defined vertical and lateral dimensions established at locations where there is a requirement for increased security and safety of ground facilities. Pilots are requested to voluntarily avoid flying through these depicted areas. When necessary, flight may be temporarily prohibited.

National security areas can be changed to TFRs with very little notice. Check the status of the airspace with the FSS before flying through a national security area.

Flight Over Charted U.S. Wildlife Refuges, Parks, and Forest Service Areas

The landing of aircraft is prohibited on lands or waters administered by the National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, or U.S. Forest Service without authorization from the respective agency. Exceptions include:

1. When forced to land due to an emergency beyond the control of the operator;
2. At officially designated landing sites; or
3. An approved official business of the Federal Government.

Pilots are requested to maintain a minimum altitude of 2,000 feet above the surface of the following: National Parks, Monuments, Seashores, Lakeshores, Recreation Areas and Scenic River ways administered by the National Park Service, National Wildlife Refuges, Big Game Refuges, Game Ranges and Wildlife Ranges administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Wilderness and Primitive areas administered by the U.S. Forest Service.

Powered Parachute Operations

PPC preflight planning should include a review of the airspace that will be flown. A local flight may be close to the field and include only Class G and Class E airspace. Minimum visibility and cloud clearance may be the only requirements for both the pilot and the powered parachute.

If you will be flying through controlled airspace, you must determine if the PPC meets all of the equipment requirements of that airspace. [Figure 8-3] You must also review your qualifications to determine if you meet the minimum pilot requirements of the airspace. If you or the PPC do not meet the minimum aircraft and/or pilot requirements of the airspace, then the preflight planning should include a course around the airspace. Extra time and fuel will be required for the circumnavigation and should be taken into consideration prior to departure. With proper preflight planning, transition or circumnavigation of the controlled airspace should not be a problem for the pilot or the powered parachute.

PPC and Air Traffic Control

In uncontrolled airspace separation from other aircraft is the responsibility of the pilot. Separation from higher speed traffic may require flight paths different than faster traffic. The PPC pilot may be asked to expedite or deviate from a traditional course. The PPC pilot must work with ATC in advising of the airspeed limitations and surface wind speed and direction limitations. Safe operation in controlled airspace requires that the controller understand the limits of the powered parachute.

In uncontrolled airspace the responsibility for separation from other aircraft is the responsibility of the pilot. The PPC pilot must be aware that the pilot of the other aircraft may not understand the requirements and/or limitations of the PPC. In operations at uncontrolled airports 14 CFR part 91 requires that PPCs avoid the flow of fixed-wing aircraft.

Regardless of the airspace, see and avoid is a key element of flying in a PPC. The slow speed of the PPC allows it to be overtaken by higher performance aircraft quickly. Vigilance and proper scanning techniques are extremely important in all airspace, particularly when operating around nontowered airports.

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