Flying from KPRB to KKIC, in a straight route shown on SkyVector, except keeping slightly to the East of R-2504A&B, holding an altitude of 3500MSL, except for normal takeoff and descent rates, am I correct in the following?

  • Taking off from KPRB, you're in Class E airspace within the dashed magenta lines.
  • Once you're out of KPRB's dashed magenta lines, all the way to landing at KKIC, you're in Class G airspace.

I'm watching a video from PilotEdge, and at 47:33 he roughly says "We know we're going to be in Echo as we take off. We're going to be in Echo for the rest. We know we're in Echo by default, because there's nothing else around."

I think the "We're going to be in Echo for the rest" part is wrong. Am I correct here? If I'm wrong, can you please explain why it's Class E? It's not within a fuzzy blue or magenta line, and we're flying at 3500MSL, so obviously never going above the Class G 14500AGL ceiling.

I think he's just simplifying things because in another video said VFR pilots in the air can practically treat all Class G airspace as Class E, not using the less restrictive weather minimums, and be safer. But, starting to learn aeronautical charts and flight planning, I want to know if I'm fundamentally starting with a misunderstanding or not. The YouTube video has no comments about this statement.


2 Answers 2


As long as the flight climbs above 1,200’ AGL before exiting the area where class E begins at the surface, the whole flight is conducted in class E airspace until descending below 1,200’ AGL on the approach to the KKIC airport.

The point of confusion I think is where you've read that class G airspace goes up to 14,500 MSL.

Class G Airspace within the United States extends up to 14,500’ MSL.

But first you must consider the following.

Class E Airspace exists at 1,200’ AGL unless designated otherwise.

We can see to the west that there are areas where there are exceptions to the 1,200’ AGL specification, but this flight plan does not go through them. This means that the en route phase of the flight, if conducted above 1,200’ AGL is conducted in class E airspace.

We can reference all this using the Aeronautical Chart User's Guide.

  • $\begingroup$ ahh. The blue areas are inverted from the magentas. The magentas go from solid to lighter going inward, and the blues go in the reverse from lighter to solid going inward. So, ignoring the direction of the shading you can look at it in a simplified way of that the magentas carve out lower class E floors (700AGL rather than 1200AGL) and blues carve out class G areas from floor to 14500AGL. So, the default assumption because the inverted blue areas are relatively small, is that if you don't see graduated blue, you're at an area with class E floors at 1200AGL? $\endgroup$ Oct 10, 2015 at 8:00
  • $\begingroup$ and, adding to your first sentence, you'd be in class G during the descent at KKIC from 1200AGL to surface, right? $\endgroup$ Oct 10, 2015 at 8:08
  • $\begingroup$ That's correct. I made the an edit to correct that. $\endgroup$
    – ryan1618
    Oct 10, 2015 at 14:00
  • $\begingroup$ The Aeronautical Chart User's Guide is often overlooked, but it's an awesome resource if you want to be a master of the charts. It comes as a PDF or also has a web based version that's really great too. $\endgroup$
    – ryan1618
    Oct 10, 2015 at 14:01

The whole flight is in Class E airspace once above 1,200 FT AGL.

The reason is that the Blue shaded line is so hard to find. It's easier to find Class G airspace upto 14,5000 FT MSL on a IFR low enroute chart.

See this excerpt from Skyvector. Notice the brown shaded area. Click on the Phoenix sectional and see the blue shaded line.


IFR Low Enroute chart showing Class G airspace VFR Sectional chart showing Class G airspace

  • $\begingroup$ thanks, you and Ryan set me straight. Looks like there's a typo here though, looks like Class E starts at 1200 AGL, not MSL. $\endgroup$ Oct 10, 2015 at 7:48

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