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2 Answers

Operations in Class E Transition Area

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Airspace, General Aviation, Private Pilot

If I am operating departing an uncontrolled airport in Class G airspace that is under a Class E transistion area do I need to communicate with the control tower for the airport that is driving the Class E transistion area if I climb above 700 ft AGL?  Assume that weather is clear and not an issue.


Here is an example, using the JAX sectional.  If I were to depart X04 (Orlando Apopka) and climb out of pattern altitude to 1000 ft AGL which is in the Class E transistion area direct to X23 (Umitilia) approx 350 degrees, do I need to contact Leesburg tower (LEE)?  I am remaining clear of the Class D space.


My interpertation is I am not required to communicate with LEE CT.  



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2 Answers

  1. Nathan Parker on Jan 19, 2012

    “My interpertation is I am not required to communicate with LEE CT.  ”

    +3 Votes Thumb up 4 Votes Thumb down 1 Votes

  2. Bill Trussell on Jan 19, 2012

    It is best to know why this airspace exists in the first place.  Class E transition areas were created to impose on the VFR pilot a higher level of weather clearance requirements in marginal weather.  The reason one would design the system this way is to make a provision for the VFR pilot to have higher weather so that an IFR flight transitioning from IMC to VMC would have more time to see and avoid the VFR traffic.  Were the transition area not there and the IFR pilot were arriving into the area on an instrument approach the VFR pilot could be operating a 1000 AGL in a mile and clear of clouds while the instrument pilot were decending out of those same clouds with no time to leave them before perhaps encountering the VFR flight.  Put the Class E transition area in place and now the VFR pilot must meet basic VFR weather minimums, including 3 miles flight visibility and 500 Ft below the clouds, giving the IFR pilot perhaps as much as 60 seconds or more to breakout, look for and find the traffic before bad things happen.
    Likewise it never hurts to communicate with ATC, even though it may not be required.

    +5 Votes Thumb up 6 Votes Thumb down 1 Votes

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