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.