Class E Airspace – Where The Heck Does It Start!?

Class E Airspace is confusing! Does it start at 700ft? or maybe 1,200ft? Is that AGL? or is it MSL? … See what I mean? This video will have it all make sense.

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Text Transcript

Hey everybody. Jason Schappert here of MzeroA.com. I want to share with you a question that not only I get over and over when I’m speaking, via email,on Pilot Training TV or… I even see it a ton on checkrides… and that is talking about Class E airspace.

It’s hard for people to understand. Where does Class E airspace start? Does it start at 700? Or does it start at 1200? This isn’t just student pilots now. This is… you know, people who are already private pilots working on their instruments, working on their commercial… people struggling with where that Class E, where that true controlled airspace starts. 700 or 1200 feet? So where gonna go to a clip here, and I’m gonna explain to you guys a little bit about where Class E airspace starts basing on looking at the sectional.

[Clip rolls]

Hey, everyone! So I really want you to get a good look at Class E airspace. We’re looking at it in the sectional chart.

We’re looking right now at Crystal River Airport. Uncontrolled airport, and around it you can see it has this magenta, kind of faded circle. This is what’s known as a Class E transition area. A class E transition area. Now pay close attention to this.

Inside, of this transition area, Class E airspace starts at 700 feet AGL. Anytime you’re outside of this — in what’s known as domestic enroute, everything else out here that’s not inside this magenta circle — it starts at 1200 feet AGL.

So again, inside here, anywhere here, 700 feet. Outside of it, unless otherwise indicated obviously that it’s another type of airspace, it’s going to start at 1200 feet. So, let’s play a game real quick.

Let’s say you are in a rocket ship and you want to take off right here where my cursor is. If you took vertically, what airspace would you hit? Initially, you’d be in class G airspace. Until what altitude? Well, until 700 feet because we’re inside of this magenta circle. The faded magenta circle, the Class E transition area.

So, once we’ve hit Class E airspace, we’ll rocket until we hit Class A airspace at 18,000 feet. Same thing out here, or if we take off out here. We’ll take off right from this little lake here. We took off, we’ll be in Class G airspace until 1200 feet. Once we hit 1200 feet, we’re officially in Class E airspace and we continue to rocket straight up until we hit Alpha airspace at 18,000 feet. You can do that all across the sectional chart, it’s a good way to get a grasp of your airspace.

Let me show you something else real quick here.

Like I said, unless otherwise indicated, in some of the higher altitude areas. Right here, we’re looking at Alexander, it’s out in Colorado. Check this out, we’re scrolling down here. Look at this.

15,500. This blue zipper line is showing you where Class E airspace begins. Look at this altitude here. 15,500 and what is it? It’s MSL. If it’s other than the 7 and the 12 rule, they’re going to indicate it and right here, it’s because of the mountainous terrain. It’s started at 15,500. So, unless otherwise indicated by this blue zipper line… again, you’re only going to find this typically in high altitude areas.. they’ll give you the altitude, always in MSL.

So hopefully, you have a better idea of when Class E airspace starts. It’s a big thing in the checkride. A lot of students are confused by it. Hopefully, this video made some sense for you. I want to hear what you guys have to say. If you’re on MzeroA.com, get down there and leave me a comment. I can guarantee a reply from MzeroA.com. In Youtube and Viddler, any other websites, I can’t guarantee that.. but go ahead, and put your comment out there, let me know what you thought. Let me know if you have any questions…  maybe you’ve struggled with this in the past and that it all now makes sense. Let me know what you guys think. I love talking to you guys, I love to hear from you guys.

So, below this video, go ahead and leave me a comment or question, whatever you guys have… most importantly guys, remember, a good pilot is always learning.

Have a great day guys. See ya.

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