09: Airspace

Can I launch here? you ask. Probably, but there are some things you must know.

In the U.S. our freedom is immense; we can fly almost everywhere, but like all freedoms, it carries immense responsibility. Knowing about airspace and adhering to its restrictions is an important part of keeping that freedom.

Look no further than our flying friends in the Washington D.C. area who can no longer fly in their home area due to security restrictions. Regardless of what anyone thinks about those restrictions, they are the new reality. We owe it to the continuance of our minimally regulated status to learn and respect the airspace we fly in!


PPG Flying In Wilderness Areas

Is It Legal to fly in Charted Wilderness Areas? I was working on the airspace video section that deals with wilderness areas — those lines with blue dots as shown at right — and thought it deserved some attention here. Pilots are “requested” to...

Airspace: When Control Towers Close

Can you paramotor at an airport whose control tower is closed for the day or night? I’ve always understood that when a control tower closed, the airspace reverted from D to E. That would keep the entire surface area off limits to us without permission from the...

Airspace: Where the Heavies Fly

To a paramotor, everything is heavy. But this article concentrates on where you can expect airplane traffic including airliners, to fly relative to airports. We know to stay out of the airspace around large airports but must also be vigilant when simply nearby. The...

Airspace: What’s Out There?

If you fly high, look out. A surprising amount of air traffic zips through airspace that we are allowed to use. Making matters worse is that we probably only see a fraction of the airplanes that pass within a mile of us.  You can almost count on it that they...

Class E Surface Area

Updated 2018-02-09  thanks to Bryan Schwartz and “aeroexperiments” on forum.hanggliding.org. We normally launch in Class G airspace and climb into E which starts at 1200 (or 700′) AGL and goes up to 18,000′. We canNOT fly in the “lateral...

Regs: FAR 103

FAR 103 | AC 103 | Preamble to 103 | FAR 91 for Ultralights Secs. 307, 313(a), 601(a), 602, and 603, Federal Aviation Act of 1958 (49 U.S.C. 1348, 1354(a), 1421(a), 1422, and 1423); sec. 6(c), Department of Transportation Act (49 U.S.C. 1655(c). Source: Docket No....

Airspace: We’re not Alone

From Jeff Goin’s 2006 USHPA Magazine Article Our sweetly simple FAR 103 grants enormous flexibility. It gives equally ambiguous restrictions—leaving a lot up to us. The sharp edge of this freedom is how easy we can cause problems or get “violated” by the Federal...

Airspace & Charts Overview for Ultralights

Exploring new areas by PPG is an experience in freedom seldom even imagined just a few short years ago. As with most freedoms it carries responsibility…which includes making sure you’re in allowable airspace. See also: Finding Legal Sites With Google The PPG Bible has...

Issuing / Filing a NOTAM

If you have a U.S. event, or do training, or towing where there will be a lot of paramotor or paraglider flights, it’s helpful to give general aviation pilots the opportunity to know about it. That’s done by filing a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM). It starts by...

Is This Legal? Clouds

Pictures don’t do it justice: airflow on exposed skin, the immediate smells, feeling temperature changes, and yes, playing near the clouds like this make open-air flying irresistible for some of us. But is it legal? Can we fly this close to clouds? For sure we...

Regs: Congested Areas

So what is “congested?” That’s hugely impactful given that we (ultralight pilots) aren’t allowed to fly over congested areas at any altitude yet”congested” is not defined. The PPG Bible delves into several court cases that have...

Chicagoland: The New ABC’s

Know the latest where of your nearby airspace An envelope recently arrived from the FAA. The last time it was a grant of exemption (tandems) so letters from the FAA aren’t all bad. Thankfully, this one was only mildly bad–sort of a two-edged sword for me....

Hualapai Indians Declare Airspace War

A Paramotor Pilot Is Arrested for Merely Overflying Hualapai Nation Tribal Lands | Airspace Lionel De Antoni contacted us a week ago after being arrested and having his gear confiscated by Indians. His crime? Merely flying over their land, even though he never set...

Washington Airspace Training for Paramotor Pilots

New Training Requirements for flight within 60 nautical miles of Washington D.C. I have been asked to comment on a recent FAA training requirement for pilots flying within 60 nautical miles of Washington D.C. After the 9/11 attacks, special airspace was created around...

Can I Cross that Line on the Chart?

There are a lot of lines on sectional charts. It’s confusing to know which ones we must pay attention to or not. This should help demystify those lines. Of course you can look at the sectional chart’s legend to see what the lines are but that doesn’t...