42 votes
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Why would the Pakistan airspace closure cancel flights not headed to Pakistan itself?

To give an example of how flights can be affected by this in ways to make them impossible, Iranian airspace is closed from sunset to sunrise (unless things have changed recently). Any aircraft that ...
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  • 14.9k
39 votes
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Can civilian aircraft fly through or land in restricted airspace in an emergency?

FAR 91.3 states that any pilot in command may deviate from any regulation or rules to the extent needed to deal with the emergency. That includes entering restricted or prohibited airspace. In the ...
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38 votes
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Why is there a strip of uncontrolled airspace between Russia and Norway?

Details of the No FIR area The area extends on 175,000 square kilometers: From ≈70°N (Bodø FIR) to the North Pole. From 30°E to ≈32°05'E, and to 35°E for a portion east of Svalbard archipelago. ...
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  • 67.6k
34 votes

When flying VFR without GPS, how do pilots know if they are inside controlled airspace or not?

VFR aviation maps called "sectionals" (and now GPS map displays) depict the types of airspace through borders with different colors and dashed lines. You can buy or download the maps for free from ...
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  • 11.2k
27 votes
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Can I fly "into" the Grand Canyon?

The answer is: no, normal flights are not allowed under the canyon rim. If you look at the sectional chart, you see this notice: Searching through the CFR (Title 14, Part 91) brings up this Special ...
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  • 69.7k
27 votes

Do I have any authority over airspace above my land?

In the US you have, effectively, zero rights over the airspace above your land by default: Control of airspace is entirely delegated to the FAA, and they're super serious about it. If you designate ...
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  • 67.2k
25 votes
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What is the difference between the airspace's classes (for non-pilots)?

Although Lnafziger's answer is correct, I'd like to elaborate on the purpose of the airspace classes. Class A: This airspace is intended for high-speed, point to point travel. That is why pilots ...
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  • 1,188
21 votes
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Do I have any authority over airspace above my land?

In Bernstein of Leigh v Skyviews [1978] 1 QB 479, the High Court of England and Wales held that, at common law, the right of a landowner to the airspace above their land was "to such height as ...
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21 votes

What is the difference between the airspace's classes (for non-pilots)?

The short version, for non-aviation people is as follows: Class A: All Airspace above 18,000 ft. Anybody flying here must receive a clearance from, be talking to, and be controlled by ATC. Class B: ...
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  • 57.5k
21 votes

Why does Class D overlap class B around SeaTac? ...and other Seattle Bravo airspace strangeness

This is a great question. For those who are unfamiliar, and in areas where airspace is complex, it’s sometimes useful to look at the VFR Flyway Chart. This is the one on the back of FAA Terminal Area ...
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  • 23k
20 votes
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How does aviation deal with satellite and Moon laser ranging, and other scientific lasers in the sky?

Is there a NOTAM or a temporary flight restriction associated with laser ranging activity? Apparently yes: The lasers on the telescopes are in the range of 15-40 watts. The FAA calls a no-fly zone ...
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  • 31.5k
20 votes

When flying VFR without GPS, how do pilots know if they are inside controlled airspace or not?

Use of a sectional chart and pilotage. You will have to be aware of where you are using ground references while cross referencing where the boundaries of controlled airspace lies in relation to those ...
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20 votes

What does the "T" on sectional charts mean in reference to airspace altitude?

T is used to signify that the top of Class C airspace that lies under Class B is the bottom surface of that airspace. This is important when the Class C segment lies under multiple layers of Class B, ...
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19 votes
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What is it like flying in class B airspace?

On my first cross-country as a student (dual), we actually transitioned through the class B airspace just north of us, flew to a smaller airport north of town, did a landing there, followed by flying ...
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  • 648
18 votes
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Can gliders access restricted airspace?

Since gliders have no engines, they are often permitted to operate under special agreements called Letters of Authorization, which permit them to operate where other aircraft may not. These agreements ...
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  • 16.4k
18 votes
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Why does only class C airspace have an "outer area"?

The Class C outer area is the airspace surrounding Class C airspace out to 20nm, and from the lower limit of radar coverage to the top of the controller's airspace. The outer area is not charted, ...
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  • 16.4k
18 votes
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Is it possible to get permission for a GA flight to land at Reagan National Airport?

The TSA operates the DCA Access Standard Security Program (DASSP), which allows general aviation flights originating at designated gateway airports to fly into DCA, however there are many restrictions ...
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18 votes
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Does Flight Following automatically include permission to fly through class C or D airspace?

Lets back up a minute and discuss what is required to enter C and D airspace. For C and D airspace you must establish 2 way radio communications with tower or approach controller. Let's first discuss ...
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18 votes
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What's usually going on in a "hot" military operations area (in the US)?

Military pilot here. I can certainly understand why there's confusion surrounding MOA's, having been a Private Pilot long before I flew for the military, and I'm glad you asked the question. The ...
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  • 376
18 votes

What is the legal altitude to fly through Yosemite Valley (US)?

Short answer: you can fly in Yosemite Valley at 500ft AGL (most likely); there's no special regulation applicable there; the wording on the sectional is a non-regulatory 'encouragement' only. By ...
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  • 70.2k
18 votes

When flying VFR without GPS, how do pilots know if they are inside controlled airspace or not?

Generally: By Using a (Physical) Map Aviation charts have landmarks and airspaces on them, which you can use to estimate where you're at. Other answers give great examples of this already, I don't ...
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  • 301
18 votes

Why would the Pakistan airspace closure cancel flights not headed to Pakistan itself?

Not mentioned in the other answers is simply logistics coordination. If you can't fly over Pakistan, that suggests that maybe you have to fly somewhere else. Perhaps flying around means an ...
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  • 5,157
17 votes

What is it like flying in class B airspace?

There are several big differences between working around a Class B airport versus a Class C. Explicit clearance required. Operation in Class C airspace simply requires establishing two-way contact ...
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  • 22.2k
17 votes

Do military aircraft overflying other countries' airspace require special clearance?

In general, a diplomatic clearance is required for overflight of military aircraft over other countries. The aircraft are considered state aircraft and prior clearance has to be obtained through ...
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  • 98.4k
16 votes

How precisely are airspace borders defined?

The boundaries are defined more precisely than the chart can show. What you see on the chart is a visual representation of the text published in JO 7400.9Z (or the most recent version of it): AWP ...
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  • 70.2k
15 votes

Is special permission required to take off from a field within restricted airspace?

The most obvious point to make here is that KMRH is not in restricted airspace: the sectional shows that it's in uncontrolled class G airspace, with class E at 700' AGL. But having said that, there is ...
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  • 70.2k
15 votes

What are the differences between a VOR and a VORTAC?

VOR stands for VHF Omnidirectional Range. It is a navigation beacon intended for civil use and provides a user with a radial to/from the station. It works on frequencies between 108.00 and 117.95 MHz....
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  • 74.2k
15 votes

Can civilian aircraft fly through or land in restricted airspace in an emergency?

Being an air traffic controller I know this situation is not as simple as that. Given emergency category pilot can decide to use restricted area or land a military runway. But in the mean time pilot ...
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