This is my first question here and I am about to start my Private Pilot License (PPL).

Now I am flying in my Flight Simulator X. So, I am at KDKK airport. It has an elevation of 692 MSL . I got my ATIS report 2100 MSL scattered and 3000 MSL broken. The airport is in class G and the weather minimum here is clear of clouds.

At 1200 AGL we have class E airspace and 500 feet below clouds rule applies here. The question is: flying at 1800 I will still be flying in G airspace, but will not comply with 500 feet class e rule and will be closer than 500 feet to the clouds. Is it legal?

And the second question: still didn't find clear definition of "clear of clouds". Is that mean that there are no clouds at all? or it could be clouds, and I can fly very close to them, but I can't get through the clouds?

  • $\begingroup$ I think I made a mistake in my question when gave ATIS altitudes in MSL. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 5, 2018 at 9:05
  • $\begingroup$ Related $\endgroup$
    – Pondlife
    Commented Jan 5, 2018 at 15:31
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, as in your question here you do not account for the fact that the ASOS gives the ceiling in feet AGL. But the question is still relevant if you consider the case when ceilings are 700 feet lower than what you said, i.e. actually 2100/3000 MSL. $\endgroup$
    – randomhead
    Commented Mar 1, 2021 at 12:22

2 Answers 2


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KDKK is under a Class E shelf starting at 700 ft AGL (Magenta vignette around the airport). If the airport elevation starts at 692’ MSL, the Class E shelf will begin at 1392 ft MSL. Therefore operation at 1800 ft MSL above KDKK will put you in Class E airspace and subject to the VFR weather minimums of 3 sm visibility and 1000 ft above / 500 ft below / 2000 ft lateral cloud clearances.

As the the second question, clear of clouds means remain in a position outside of clouds and a flightpath which will not place you in immediate risk of entering a cloud.

  • $\begingroup$ Sorry, it was my mistake. BUT what if there is no magenta vignette around the airport and class E starts at 1892 ft? Just want to understand cloud clearance in my scenario in my question. Thanks. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 5, 2018 at 6:32
  • $\begingroup$ Then if you’re flying at 1800 ft MSL, you’re in Class G and subject to Class G VFR weather minimums. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 5, 2018 at 6:40
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks. So, I can fly in class G, just right below class E, even if there are clouds in class E and clearance between me and clouds less than 500 ft. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 5, 2018 at 6:48
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ It’s not the wisest idea, but it is legal. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 5, 2018 at 6:55
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @CarloFelicione, there's a typo clear "or" clouds. (it's not possible to make short edits to repair typos) $\endgroup$
    – Fattie
    Commented Jan 5, 2018 at 15:39

WELCOME to Aviation Stack Exchange!

Carlo Felicione gave you a great answer. But to help you along, I keep a printed copy of page 1-3 from FAA-H-8083-15B-- instrument_flying_handbook.pdf and a copy of the sectional legend in my aircraft's slip pocket for quick reference. A quick glance lets you visualize just about any common airspace that you may fly into. I had a friend with a high quality color laser print them front and back and then laminated it.

A visual aid helps answer questions such as yours better than my memory. I also use MS FS flight simulator to keep my skills during the winter so I also keep a copy of these next to my computer.

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  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Not sure what to do here. This does not (event attempt to) answer the question, but provides extremely useful advice. It should be a comment, but comments are ephemeral, and as I said, it is very useful advice to a new pilot in training. $\endgroup$
    – CGCampbell
    Commented Jan 5, 2018 at 15:18

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