3
$\begingroup$

So it's been about a decade since I got my private pilot cert and almost as long since I got to fly. My map reading is a little rusty.

I'm trying to fly my drone at a local park and it's warning me that I'm in Class D airspace. I've marked on the map where the park is.

enter image description here

If I'm reading this correctly, then I should be in Class G airspace up to 700ft AGL

Am I missing something or is this probably just a bad GPS signal on start?

I'm not getting repeated warnings so I think it's a bad signal but I figured a prudent pilot would check.

$\endgroup$
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ As the answers have correctly noted, that location on the chart is Class G at the surface. However, do note that if you are flying your drone under 14 CFR 101, the recreational model aircraft rule, you will need to contact the tower: "(e) When flown within 5 miles of an airport, the operator of the aircraft provides the airport operator and the airport air traffic control tower (when an air traffic facility is located at the airport) with prior notice of the operation." Lakewood park is 4.8 NM from the runway at KBKL. $\endgroup$ – J Walters Dec 9 '18 at 12:50
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @JWalters I think you're mistaken KBKL to 413004N0814728W = 5nm google.com/maps/place/… $\endgroup$ – Anthony Russell Dec 10 '18 at 13:20
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I'm not sure what point you are referring to; the link takes me to a point in lake Erie north of Lakewood park. From that point to the runway at KBKL is a distance of 4.49 NM (5.167 SM). $\endgroup$ – J Walters Dec 11 '18 at 16:53
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @jwalters the point that I marked on the map is north east of Lakewood park just slightly and it's 5 nm from KBKL. You can put the coords I pasted into sky vector and see. Also I called the KBKL Tower and not only do they have no clue where Lakewood park is, they made it clear they didn't care. $\endgroup$ – Anthony Russell Dec 12 '18 at 12:18
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Ah, I see what you did. You are referencing the distance from the ARP (Airport Reference Point) which is generally the average center of all runways. In this case BKL's ARP is just east of twy D, roughly 3100 ft from the western end of the long runway, and 4.97 NM from the point you designated. The reg requires you to contact ATC and the airport operator if within 5 miles of the "airport", not the center of the airport or the ARP. Try that kind of measurement form KDEN to see why the difference is significant. $\endgroup$ – J Walters Dec 12 '18 at 23:50
3
$\begingroup$

Provided the drone is flying where the red dot is, you are correct and Class G extends from the surface to 700 ft AGL. If you really wanted to play it safe, call the tower at KBKL to establish two way radio comms before flying there.

$\endgroup$
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Note that under FCC regulations, calling the tower using airband radio requires you to have a radio license, unless you're aboard an aircraft. $\endgroup$ – Terran Swett Dec 7 '18 at 1:28
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ You don't even have to use a radio. They usually publish telephone numbers for control towers in the Chart Supplements. $\endgroup$ – Carlo Felicione Dec 7 '18 at 1:37
  • $\begingroup$ I don't know drone laws, but are you allowed to fly within the transponder ring of a class B without one? $\endgroup$ – Ryan Mortensen Dec 7 '18 at 5:07
  • $\begingroup$ @TannerSwett OP says they have a "private pilot cert", so presumably they have a radio license. $\endgroup$ – a CVn Dec 7 '18 at 20:20
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @aCVn As far as I know, most private pilots in the US don't have radio licenses. US pilots don't need a radio license unless they're flying internationally, or transmitting while not aboard an aircraft (47 CFR 87.18(b)). $\endgroup$ – Terran Swett Dec 7 '18 at 20:32
3
$\begingroup$

Yes you are in Class G at that location. The shaded red band indicates the floor of Class E airspace extends down to 700 AGL at that location, and the floor of theshelf of Class B airspace is 1900 MSL above you. The ground elevation is roughly 640 MSL according to the tower data nearby. I agree that a call to the tower to verify would be prudent.

$\endgroup$
2
$\begingroup$

Yes, you're reading the chart correctly. Either your drone's GPS is off by quite a bit, or it was deliberately designed to be overly sensitive so that you couldn't accidentally fly into nearby controlled airspace.

$\endgroup$

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.