Topic

Class A Airspace

Topic Progress:

Class A, that’s high eh?

Class A airspace is a fairly straight forward type of airspace to understand, it covers the entire globe, from 18,000′ msl or FL180 (flight level 180) up to and including FL600 (or 60,000′ msl).

Requirements:

  • You need a Altitude encoding transponder
  • An instrument rating and be on an IFR flight plan
  • Instrument equipped aircraft
  • You need DME for operating at and above FL240 (Distance Measuring Equipment, fancy way of saying GPS or something that tells you how far you are from a VOR / navigational station).

Fun Fact:

Yes some rare aircraft can actually fly at 60,000′ and beyond.  How high can they go?  Well that’s classified, but here’s a fun story of a SR-71 Black Bird

Los Angeles Center reported receiving a request for clearance to FL 600 (60,000ft).

The incredulous controller, with some disdain in his voice, asked: “How do you plan to get up to 60,000 feet?”

The pilot (obviously a sled driver), responded: “We don’t plan to go up to it, we plan to come down to it…”

SR71 ground school