A common procedure in flight training is the low approach: simulating a landing, but without actually making contact with the ground before powering up and either going around in the traffic pattern or executing a missed approach procedure, sometimes after flying all the way down to an approach's minimums.
In this situation, a pilot flies very close to the ground - one suggested crosswind training procedure suggests flying along the runway low enough that "[i]t's OK if the wheels inadvertently touch down during the exercise."
Contrast this to other operations, including a simulated engine-out procedure away from an airfield. These are governed by FAR 91.119:
Except when necessary for takeoff or landing, no person may operate an aircraft below the following altitudes:
(a) Anywhere. An altitude allowing, if a power unit fails, an emergency landing without undue hazard to persons or property on the surface.
(b) Over congested areas. Over any congested area of a city, town, or settlement, or over any open air assembly of persons, an altitude of 1,000 feet above the highest obstacle within a horizontal radius of 2,000 feet of the aircraft.
(c) Over other than congested areas. An altitude of 500 feet above the surface, except over open water or sparsely populated areas. In those cases, the aircraft may not be operated closer than 500 feet to any person, vessel, vehicle, or structure.
Training for missed approaches and going around are important for basic skills, and they are performed very frequently. However, the regulations make no exception for training. For a maneuver where a pilot descends below 500 feet AGL without intending to land, is there legal guidance that makes this OK near a runway, or is it an unwritten exception?