Lesson 9 Airports, Airspace, Radio Communications

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Airport Marking Aids And Signs

Grouped into four categories

1. Runway markings:

There are 3 types of runway markings:


Non-precision instrument

Precision instrument

Runway designator; mag. Number L, C, R

1. Runway Markings

Runway aiming point; solid block 1000 feet down

Touchdown zone; solid and broken lines every 500′

Side stripe; continuous white stripe on each side

Shoulder markings; continuous yellow stripe not for aircraft use

1. Runway Markings

Threshold markings; 2 types 4 to 16 stripes or a 10’wide white bar across the runway called a threshold bar

Displaced threshold; not at the beginning of the runway for obstacle clearance or construction. May be used for taxi, rollout and takeoff but not landing

1. Runway Markings

Demarcation bar; yellow across delineates unusable portion of overrun, blast pad, stopway, or taxiway

Chevrons; area that may appear to be useable but is not

2. Taxiway Markings:

Centerline; 6″ yellow stripe

Edge markings; 2 types double yellow delineates area not to be used for aircraft or dashed double yellow and delineates area that can be used for aircraft like an apron

2. Taxiway Markings

Shoulder; yellow lines 90 degrees to edge markings

Painted direction signs; indicate left or right turn

Geographic position markings; help you id your position in low vis conditions

3. Holding Position Signs

Runway hold lines; 4 lines, 2 solid 2 broken.

One may find hold lines preceding the runway, on the runway eg intersections, and on a taxiway that cuts to close to approach/departure end of a runway.

No part of the aircraft may cross the hold short lines.

3. Holding Position Signs

ILS hold lines; 2 solid lines and lines 90 degrees to them

Taxiway hold lines; single dashed line

4. Other

Taxi signs; black background with yellow letter indicates taxiway aircraft is on, yellow background with black letter indicates direction of taxiway ahead

4. Other

Runway distance sign; usually has black background white#

Visual Approach Slope Indicator (VASI)

1. Visual approach slope indicator (VASI)

Provides safe obstruction clearance +-10 degrees off centerline and 4NM from the threshold

Most are 2 bar and 3 degree slope

Visual Approach Slope Indicator (VASI)

Some are 3 bar 3.25 degree slope for higher cockpit aircraft can be as high as 4.5 degree slope for obstacles.

Red over white alright, white white out of site, red red your dead.

Remember going below glide path indicators is illegal at tower airports unless safety dictates.

Quentin Stepon contribution (vertical to visual)10/20/2014

2. Precision Approach Path Indicator (PAPI)

Single row of 2 or 4 lights.

All white more than 3.5 degrees.

Right red 3.2 degrees.

2 right red on glide 3 degrees.

3 right red 2.8 degrees.

4 red less than 2.5.

3. Tri-color System

Red below, green on, amber above

4. Pulsating System

On glide steady white

Slightly below steady red

Pulsates faster the further you go above or below

Runway Lights

Instrument runways the last 2000 are amber otherwise white

Pilot controlled lighting 3 clicks low, 5 med, 7 high within 5 seconds

Threshold lights are green, runway end lights are red taxiway lights are blue


White and green, civil lighted airport

White and yellow, lighted water airport

Green yellow white, lighted heliport

White white green, military airport

Operation of beacon during daylight indicates IFR conditions


Vertical dimensions

Horizontal dimensions

Pilot requirements

Equipment requirements

Visibility requirements

How depicted on the sectional

Special requirements

Class A

18,000 to FL 600.

Contiguous U.S.

Pilot must be IFR rated.

Plane must be IFR rated.

No vis requirements.

Not marked on sectional.

Must be under IFR.

Class B

Surface to 10,000 msl

Denoted by solid blue line

Pilot can be student in some private minimum in others

Mode c and two way radio

3 miles vis clear of clouds

Class B

Solid blue line

Must have clearance prior to operating

Only found around heavy traffic areas a

30NM mode c veil surrounds class B surface to 10,000msl

Class C

Surface to 4000agl

Inner circle 5nm, outer circle from 5 to 10nm from 1200agl to 4000agl

Pilot can be lowest form

Mode c and two way radio

3 mile vis 500 below 1000 above 2000 horizontal

Class C

Solid magenta line.

Must establish two way radio comm. Prior to entering.

2 way radio comm. Is established when they say call sign back.

Found around high traffic areas but less than class B airports.

Class D

Surface to 2500agl

Average 4.4 nm based on rwy length

Pilot can be lowest form

Two way radio

3 mile vis 1000′ ceiling

Dashed blue line

Class D

Must establish two way radio comm. Prior to entering.

Some class D airports have surface based E extensions controlled by the tower.

If no weather reporting when tower closes, then it reverts to G.

If there is wx reporting then it reverts to E.

Surface Based Class E

Surface, magenta dash line

700agl, magenta shading

1200agl blue shading

14,500msl not marked

Ends at: to but not including 18,000

Surface Based Class E

Pilot can be lowest form

No radio re
quirements when VFR

Less than 10,000msl; 3 miles 500 below, 1000 above, 2000 horizontal

Over 10,000msl; 5 miles 1000 below, 1000 above, 1 mile horizontal

Surface Based Class E

If desired ops in surface E with weather less than 3 miles and 1000′ ceiling need special VFR otherwise none

Configured to include instrument approaches

Surface based; dashed magenta line

Class E Transition Area

700agl magenta shading towards the area designated

1200agl blue shading towards the area designated

Blue zippers designate special altitudes of floors on sec

14,500msl denoted by sharp edged blue shading forming a box

Class G Uncontrolled

Surface to 700agl

Or surface to 1200agl

Or surface to 14,500msl

Denoted by shading

Student pilot

No equipment requirements

Class G Uncontrolled

Less than 1,200agl day 1 mile clear of clouds, night 3 miles 512BAH

More than 1,200 agl but less than 10,000msl day 1 mile 512BAH, night 3 miles 512BAH

More than 1,200agl and more than 10,000msl 5 miles 111BAH

Terry Haws contribution (night G 10/20/14)

Class G Uncontrolled

Look for the class E depictions

By process of elimination any airspace that is not A,B,C,D, or E then it must be G

Special Use Airspace

1. Prohibited

2. Restricted

3. Warning areas; 3nm outward from US

4. Moa

5. Alert areas; high volume of training

6. Controlled firing areas; ops suspended automatically

7. National security areas; voluntary like Hanford

Other Airspace Areas

1. Airport advisory area; 10nm FSS.

2. MTR; 4 numbers below 1500agl, 3 numbers above 1500agl.

3. Temporary flight restrictions; by notam, toxic gas, volcano, nuclear accident, hijackings ect.

4. Parachute jump ops; contained in AFD

5. Published VFR routes through class B, VFR flyways, corridors, transition routes

6. Terminal radar service area


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