Topic

Class G Airspace

Topic Progress:

Gee, I see lots of Airspace!

Yes, I bet you do.  It’s simpler than you think however.  Remember that airspace comes in layers, we’ll go ahead and start building it from the ground up explaining each layer one at a time.

Class Gulf

When it comes to Class G, think “G” for Ground.  Class G airspace will always start at the ground AND GO UP TO 14,500′ msl as a maximum.  Now why that is in CAPS there is because they like to ask you that on a written exam, in all reality, Class G airspace always ends well before 14,500′ msl due to another layer of airspace being on top of it.  In most cases, the airspace overlying Class G is Class E airspace.

Thus: the most common thing you will find in the space between all the airports is Class G airspace going up to 1,200′ agl, and then Class E airspace starting above that.  Near airports that are non-towered, yet still a little busy, you will find that the Class G airspace only goes up to 699′ agl, and the Class E airspace over top of and near the airport starts at 700′ agl.  To see examples of this, check out the video above!

Requirements:

  • Uncontrolled, do not need to contact ATC to fly in
  • No specific equipment requirements
  • Basic VFR minimums are 1sm visibility and Clear of Clouds (don’t fly your airplane into a cloud or let it touch a cloud)
    • These minimums cover most Class G airspace, but are only valid during the daytime when you are within 1,200′ agl of the surface.
  • VFR minimums at night anywhere below 10,000′ msl AND you are higher than 1,200′ above the surface, 3sm, 1,000′ above, 500′ below, 2,000′ horizontal
  • VFR minimums above 10,000′ msl day or night, and more than 1,200′ agl: 5sm, 1,000′ above, 1,000′ below, 1sm horizontal

cloud clearance requirements ground school pilot

 

Clarification:

A lot of people wonder how can you be higher than 10,000′ msl (above sea level) and still within 1,200′ of the surface (only 1,200′ agl or less).  This really only applies out west in very mountainous terrain where the mountains are 10,000′ or more above sea level, then you could be that high, and still close to the surface (mind you that you’d be close to the surface of a mountain which doesn’t always end so well for airplanes, watch out!)

REMEMBER: You don’t have to remember all of this!  Just remember “91.155” that is the section number in the FAR/AIM that has the table below in it.  It is totally fair game to use that as a reference during your checkride.  No one expects you to remember ALL of this off the top of your head.  Just the basics will suffice!

Airspace
Flight visibility
Distance from
clouds
Class A —————————– Not Applicable ——————- Not Applicable.
Class B —————————– 3 statute miles ——————– Clear of Clouds.
Class C —————————– 3 statute miles ——————– 500 feet below.
1,000 feet above.
2,000 feet horizontal.
Class D —————————– 3 statute miles ——————— 500 feet below.
1,000 feet above.
2,000 feet horizontal.
Class E:
Less than 10,000 feet MSL.
3 statute miles ——————– 500 feet below.
1,000 feet above.
2,000 feet horizontal.
At or above 10,000 feet MSL. 5 statute miles ——————– 1,000 feet below.
1,000 feet above.
1 statute mile horizontal.
Class G:
1,200 feet or less above the
surface (regardless of MSL
altitude).
Day, except as provided in
Sec. 91.155(b).
1 statute mile ———————- Clear of clouds.
Night, except as provided in
Sec. 91.155(b).
3 statute miles ——————– 500 feet below.
1,000 feet above.
2,000 feet horizontal.
More than 1,200 feet above the
surface but less than 10,000
feet MSL
Day ———————————– 1 statute mile ———————- 500 feet below.
1,000 feet above.
2,000 feet horizontal.
Night ——————————— 3 statute miles ——————– 500 feet below.
1,000 feet above.
2,000 feet horizontal.
More than 1,200 feet above the
surface and at or above
10,000 feet MSL.
5 statute miles ——————– 1,000 feet below.
1,000 feet above.
1 statute mile horizontal.