Class E Airspace

Topic Progress:

The Everywhere Airspace

Echo airspace is the most common type of airspace you will encounter, no matter where it is you fly in the country.  You will find Echo airspace below 18.000′ msl everywhere that either Class B, C, D, or G airspace does not occupy.

Echo airspace is controlled airspace, but does not typically have a operating control tower associated with it.  Instead Echo airspace is airspace that ATC has control over usually via Radar coverage, and can issue clearances for pilots to go into the Echo airspace who are flying under IFR (instrument flight rules) or flying under Special VFR.  When you are flying under VFR (Visual Flight Rules), which you will be flying under 99.9% of the time as a private pilot, you do not need a clearance to enter into Class E airspace.


  • No specific equipment requirements
  • Basic VFR minimums are 3sm visibility, 500′ below clouds, 1,000′ above clouds, 2,000′ horizontal from clouds.  When you are flying above 10,000′ msl the MINIMUMS BECOME: 5SM VISIBILITY, 1,000′ BELOW CLOUDS, 1,000′ ABOVE CLOUDS, 1SM HORIZONTAL FROM CLOUDS.
  • Again, don’t sweat every detail of the VFR minimums, just REMEMBER the numbers 91.155 (that’s where you look it up in the FAR/AIM during your checkride).
  • Remember 3-152’s  or Three – One Fifty Two’s (like 3 Cessna’s)  3-152s stands for 3sm, 1,000′ above, 500′ below, 2,000′ Horizontal.

cloud clearance requirements ground school pilot