Powered Parachute Flying Handbook

Chapter 8 — Airspace Classification and Requirements

Navigating the Airspace

Knowledge of airspace dimensions, requirements to enter the airspace and geographical location of the airspace is the responsibility of all pilots. The current sectional chart is the primary official tool to determine the airspace you are flying within or trying to avoid.

Pilotage is navigation by reference to landmarks to determine your location and the location of airspace. Pilotage is the best form of navigation to ensure that you avoid airspace you are not authorized to enter. Locating your position on the sectional chart and locating/identifying the airspace you want to enter/ avoid requires preflight planning on the ground and situational awareness in the air.

GPS is a very popular form of navigation use by powered parachute pilots. The GPS receiver is small, simple to use and inexpensive compared to other forms of electronic (radio) navigation. Simple modes of operation and the aviation database give the pilot a considerable amount of information about the flight, the terrain and Class B, C and D airspace, and special use airspace. Many pilots use GPS to determine distance from airspace with restrictions and/or communications requirements. When using GPS to avoid airspace, allow for a buffer between the aircraft and the airspace. The aviation database in the GPS may not exactly match the airspace as depicted on the sectional chart. If there is a difference between the sectional chart and GPS information, the sectional chart should be considered the correct information.

A PPC pilot using GPS should ensure that the batteries are fresh and the aviation database is current. Never rely entirely on the GPS for navigation. Always back up GPS by using pilotage with a sectional chart and checkpoints when flying beyond visual range of a familiar airport. In addition, the GPS should be secured in the powered parachute so it does not depart the cart, nor touch the propeller before it stops.

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