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Does anyone know in which document I can find the legal minimum height for a low pass at an airport, assuming the pass has been approved by ATC? I have been discussing this topic a lot with several flight instructors but we haven't found any official document where a specified height is set.

I'd like to know about EASA regulations if possible, but FAA or others are also appreciated.

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    $\begingroup$ What do you mean by low pass @Flightfighter? An aborted landing is a low pass, so if all you want to do is fly low over a runway then all you need is clearance at a towered airport. At a non-controlled airfield you can just do it. $\endgroup$ – GdD Aug 4 '18 at 10:45
  • $\begingroup$ You are right, an aborted landing is a low pass, but what mean is: when you are cleared for low pass at any aerodrome, because your intentions are not to land but only to fly a low pass, there is a minimum legal height, or is it allowed to fly as low above the RWY as you want? You know what I mean @GdD ?😃 $\endgroup$ – Flightfighter Aug 4 '18 at 10:51
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    $\begingroup$ I don’t think that’s regulated - never seen it, anyway! I think it’s go as low as you want, but if the gears touch, you pay the landing fee. Hard to give negative proof though... $\endgroup$ – Cpt Reynolds Aug 4 '18 at 12:04
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    $\begingroup$ At least in the US I've requested "the option" and flown in ground effect/flare (nearly) the entire 8000 foot runway. I was probably no more than 2-3 feet off the ground. I've also done the same with just one wheel on the runway. $\endgroup$ – Ron Beyer Aug 4 '18 at 15:10
  • $\begingroup$ Technically as low as you can without touching the runway. In AF training my instructor told me to "go around at beer bottle height", and is a legal low pass. $\endgroup$ – Sami Aug 4 '18 at 17:55
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Official Record Series 4 No 1174 General Permissions

Standardised European Rules of the Air – Exceptions to the Minimum Height Requirements

1) Definition

In these permissions:

a) ‘SERA’ means the Annex to Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No. 923/2012 (‘the Standardised European Rules of the Air’ (and references to SERA followed by a number mean the corresponding provision of SERA)).

b) ‘licensed aerodrome’ means an aerodrome licensed under the Air Navigation Order 2009 or an aerodrome certificated under Commission Regulation (EU) No.139/2014 of 12 February 2014 and

c) ‘Government aerodrome’ means any aerodrome in the United Kingdom which is in the occupation of any Government Department or visiting force (as defined in article 255(1) of the Air Navigation Order 2009).

d) ‘notified’ has the same meaning as in article 255(1) of the Air Navigation Order 2009.

2) General (SERA.5005(f)(2))

a) The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) permits, under SERA.3105 and SERA.5005(f), subject to the condition set out in subparagraph (b), an aircraft to fly elsewhere than as specified in SERA.5005(f)(1) at a height of:

i) less than 150 metres (500 feet) above the ground or water; or

ii) less than 150 metres (500) above the highest obstacle within a radius of 150 metres (500 feet) from the aircraft.

b) The aircraft must not be flown closer than 150 metres (500 feet) to any person, vessel, vehicle or structure except with the permission of the CAA.

3) Approaches to Landing or Forced Landings

The Civil Aviation Authority permits, under SERA.3105, SERA.5005(f) and SERA.5015(b), an aircraft to fly below the heights specified in SERA.5005(f) and SERA.5015(b) if it is flying in accordance with normal aviation practice and:

a) practising approaches to land at or checking navigational aids or procedures at an aerodrome;

b) practising approaches to forced landings other than at an aerodrome if it is not flown closer than 150 metres (500 feet) to any person, vessel, vehicle or structure; or

c) flying in accordance with a notified procedure or when specifically authorised by the CAA in accordance with SERA.5015

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    $\begingroup$ Can I suggest formatting to make this more easily readable? From first looks though, I don’t think it answers the question (as in: If I approach to land but then don’t touch down, how low am I allowed to skim the blacktop?). $\endgroup$ – Cpt Reynolds Aug 4 '18 at 12:02
  • $\begingroup$ I am no expert on the subject, but I have been looking for a legal document about low approach and I haven’t found anything to respect minimum height. Then, I can only assume that is regulated under the above document. Again, I am no expert on the subject, but I would say, as stated on 3.B “... not flown closer than 150 meters (500 feet)”, be the minimum height. Unless we specifically are cleared for a Lower height in accordance with 3.c “ flying in accordance with a notified procedure or when specifically authorized by CAA...” $\endgroup$ – CTRRR Aug 4 '18 at 12:17
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    $\begingroup$ I‘d say it’s a), because you are practising an approach to land. It doesn’t matter whether you touch down or not, you will still fly the approach as if to land. So therefore, no minimum height applies for that scenario. Of course, my interpretation only, obviously :) $\endgroup$ – Cpt Reynolds Aug 4 '18 at 13:32
  • $\begingroup$ According to this, could a low pass be considered a notified procedure? "c) flying in accordance with a notified procedure or when specifically authorised by the CAA in accordance with SERA.5015" . If yes, then there could actually be no minimum height specified. $\endgroup$ – Flightfighter Aug 4 '18 at 13:53

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