Whats the deal with Class E control zones?

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PilotY
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Whats the deal with Class E control zones?

Post by PilotY »

I have flown into a variety of uncontrolled airports and controlled ones. But the controlled ones were all class C. They had a tower and I had to be cleared to do everything. I'm set to fly into an airport with a Class E control zone, that also has an MF. So I'm kind of confused. Is it uncontrolled? Or is it controlled. Do I need to be cleared to land even if they don't have a tower?
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Cessna 180
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Re: Whats the deal with Class E control zones?

Post by Cessna 180 »

PilotY wrote: Sun Sep 13, 2020 5:27 pm I have flown into a variety of uncontrolled airports and controlled ones. But the controlled ones were all class C. They had a tower and I had to be cleared to do everything. I'm set to fly into an airport with a Class E control zone, that also has an MF. So I'm kind of confused. Is it uncontrolled? Or is it controlled. Do I need to be cleared to land even if they don't have a tower?
It's uncontrolled, even if there is an FSS. You announce your intentions to traffic, just like any uncontrolled field. If there is an FSS, you announce your intentions to the radio operator. do not confuse an FSS as a control tower. they are there to help relieve conflicts, but they are not controllers.

they are controlled for IFR purposes. It allows an IFR aircraft to stay inside controlled airspace all the way until landing.
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PilotY
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Re: Whats the deal with Class E control zones?

Post by PilotY »

Alrighty, makes sense. So in the case of an airport where an FSS has an RCO (In this case a London FISE). I should contact the FISE for an advisory service, and then switch over to the MF frequency for traffic reporting?

Edit: Ah wait. Im getting it now. The FISE is just enroute info. So I could make a decision about runways, etc based on that, and then contact the MF 5 minutes out. Some RCOs have an RAAS, which is an advisory service. I think Im getting there.
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lhalliday
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Re: Whats the deal with Class E control zones?

Post by lhalliday »

Class E is uncontrolled airspace with the weather minima of controlled airspace.

My home base (Kamloops CYKA) is such an airport. Keeps us VFR kiddies out of the way of Air Canada, WestJet and CMA doing grownup IFR stuff.

The fact that Kamloops has an MF is secondary to the airspace being Class E.

...laura
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photofly
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Re: Whats the deal with Class E control zones?

Post by photofly »

lhalliday wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:39 pm Class E is uncontrolled airspace with the weather minima of controlled airspace.
Well, no, class E airspace is controlled airspace, with the weather minima or controlled airspace, as you might expect!
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TheStig
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Re: Whats the deal with Class E control zones?

Post by TheStig »

PilotY wrote: Sun Sep 13, 2020 6:36 pm Alrighty, makes sense. So in the case of an airport where an FSS has an RCO (In this case a London FISE). I should contact the FISE for an advisory service, and then switch over to the MF frequency for traffic reporting?

Edit: Ah wait. Im getting it now. The FISE is just enroute info. So I could make a decision about runways, etc based on that, and then contact the MF 5 minutes out. Some RCOs have an RAAS, which is an advisory service. I think Im getting there.

You'll address your intentions to Radio, "London Radio, Cessna 172 Golf Alpha Bravo Charlie, 15 miles west, 3500' inbound for landing in 5 minutes."

They'll provide you with the latest weather and known traffic.

"London Radio, Alpha Bravo Charlie will be joining the left downwind for (runway) XX in 5 minutes."



5 Calls on the way in, 4 on the way out.

MF Reporting Procedures on Departure

602.100 The pilot-in-command of a VFR or IFR aircraft that is departing from an uncontrolled aerodrome that lies within an MF area shall

(a) before moving onto the take-off surface, report the pilot-in-command’s departure procedure intentions;

(b) before take-off, ascertain by radiocommunication and by visual observation that there is no likelihood of collision with another aircraft or a vehicle during take-off; and

(c) after take-off, report departing from the aerodrome traffic circuit.

MF Reporting Procedures on Arrival

602.101 The pilot-in-command of a VFR aircraft arriving at an uncontrolled aerodrome that lies within an MF area shall report

(a) before entering the MF area and, where circumstances permit, shall do so at least five minutes before entering the area, giving the aircraft’s position, altitude and estimated time of landing and the pilot-in-command’s arrival procedure intentions;

(b) when joining the aerodrome traffic circuit, giving the aircraft’s position in the circuit;

(c) when on the downwind leg, if applicable;

(d) when on final approach; and

(e) when clear of the surface on which the aircraft has landed.
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rxl
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Re: Whats the deal with Class E control zones?

Post by rxl »

photofly wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 8:11 pm
lhalliday wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:39 pm Class E is uncontrolled airspace with the weather minima of controlled airspace.
Well, no, class E airspace is controlled airspace, with the weather minima or controlled airspace, as you might expect!
From TC AIM RAC-
“2.8.5 Class E Airspace
Class E airspace is designated where an operational need exists
for controlled airspace but does not meet the requirements for
Class A, B, C, or D.
Operations may be conducted under IFR or VFR. ATC separation
is provided only to aircraft operating under IFR. There are no
special requirements for VFR.
Aircraft are required to be equipped with a transponder and
automatic pressure altitude equipment to operate in Class E
airspace that is specified as transponder airspace.
Low-level airways, control area extensions, transition areas, or
control zones established without an operating control tower
may be classified as Class E airspace.”

Take note of “Control Zones established WITHOUT an operating control tower” in the last sentence above. I think this is where some of the confusion over Class E airspace comes from.
Also, don’t confuse Controlled Airspace with a Controlled Airport.

Flights operating under IFR in IMC require a clearance to enter Class E airspace. Flights operating under VFR do not. There is one qualification to this for VFR ... when the weather reported in a designated Control Zone within Class E airspace is below VFR limits. In this situation, Special VFR Authorization from the ATC unit responsible for that airspace is required to enter the zone. This is what really keeps VFR “out of the way” of IFR flights under these conditions. lhalliday’s homebase of YKA is a good example of this ... an Uncontrolled Airport within a Class E Control Zone.

Don’t forget the subtle but important difference between VFR weather minima in Control Zones as opposed to Other Controlled Airspace ... that being the requirement to remain 500‘ above ground within Control Zones.
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Last edited by rxl on Fri Sep 18, 2020 5:54 am, edited 13 times in total.
NotDirty!
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Re: Whats the deal with Class E control zones?

Post by NotDirty! »

TheStig wrote: Thu Sep 17, 2020 6:09 am
PilotY wrote: Sun Sep 13, 2020 6:36 pm Alrighty, makes sense. So in the case of an airport where an FSS has an RCO (In this case a London FISE). I should contact the FISE for an advisory service, and then switch over to the MF frequency for traffic reporting?

Edit: Ah wait. Im getting it now. The FISE is just enroute info. So I could make a decision about runways, etc based on that, and then contact the MF 5 minutes out. Some RCOs have an RAAS, which is an advisory service. I think Im getting there.

You'll address your intentions to Radio, "London Radio, Cessna 172 Golf Alpha Bravo Charlie, 15 miles west, 3500' inbound for landing in 5 minutes."

They'll provide you with the latest weather and known traffic.

"London Radio, Alpha Bravo Charlie will be joining the left downwind for (runway) XX in 5 minutes."
That would be appropriate if the FSS was a RAAS, but as the OP indicated it was a FISE type of FSS, this is not appropriate. There will be a traffic frequency that you make your calls on, that is not the same as the FISE frequency. The FISE is there to open or close flight plans, read weather, and all the other services that you can get by phone. They are not aware of the traffic at the airport, as an (R)AAS would be. An Aerodrome Advisory Service May be on site (as in Timmins, Sudbury, North Bay, Kingston, Sioux Lookout, Kenora, etc.), or Remote (as in Muskoka, Moosonee, Dryden, Red Lake, Pickle Lake, etc.). Many sites with RAAS have a FISE frequency as well, look at YMO: they have the RAAS frequency for Timmins Radio (the MF), as well as a FISE frequency for London Radio - London is not the MF, and is not able to give airport advisories, but if you need to file a flight plan, they are the ones to call, not Timmins!

There are other airports with a class E control zone, and a FISE frequency, but no advisory service. You are required to broadcast your intentions and monitor for other traffic, but there is no control service. YYU, YGQ, YXR, YZR, etc fall in this category. Please use the MF frequency as listed, feel free to use the FISE frequency for whatever flight services you need, but there is no requirement to talk to them.
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rxl
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Re: Whats the deal with Class E control zones?

Post by rxl »

NotDirty! wrote: Thu Sep 17, 2020 7:45 am
That would be appropriate if the FSS was a RAAS, but as the OP indicated it was a FISE type of FSS, this is not appropriate. There will be a traffic frequency that you make your calls on, that is not the same as the FISE frequency. The FISE is there to open or close flight plans, read weather, and all the other services that you can get by phone. They are not aware of the traffic at the airport, as an (R)AAS would be. An Aerodrome Advisory Service May be on site (as in Timmins, Sudbury, North Bay, Kingston, Sioux Lookout, Kenora, etc.), or Remote (as in Muskoka, Moosonee, Dryden, Red Lake, Pickle Lake, etc.). Many sites with RAAS have a FISE frequency as well, look at YMO: they have the RAAS frequency for Timmins Radio (the MF), as well as a FISE frequency for London Radio - London is not the MF, and is not able to give airport advisories, but if you need to file a flight plan, they are the ones to call, not Timmins!

There are other airports with a class E control zone, and a FISE frequency, but no advisory service. You are required to broadcast your intentions and monitor for other traffic, but there is no control service. YYU, YGQ, YXR, YZR, etc fall in this category. Please use the MF frequency as listed, feel free to use the FISE frequency for whatever flight services you need, but there is no requirement to talk to them.
[/quote]


Well said.
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TheStig
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Re: Whats the deal with Class E control zones?

Post by TheStig »

Thanks, I should have pulled the charts out before posting.
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thenoflyzone
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Re: Whats the deal with Class E control zones?

Post by thenoflyzone »

Cessna 180 wrote: Sun Sep 13, 2020 6:04 pm
It's uncontrolled, even if there is an FSS.
lhalliday wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:39 pm Class E is uncontrolled airspace with the weather minima of controlled airspace.

My home base (Kamloops CYKA) is such an airport. Keeps us VFR kiddies out of the way of Air Canada, WestJet and CMA doing grownup IFR stuff.

The fact that Kamloops has an MF is secondary to the airspace being Class E.

...laura
Both of you need to be careful in using the term "uncontrolled". It might seem that way for a VFR aircraft, but as has been said above, class E airspace is very much controlled airspace. VFR's in a class E CZ will get traffic information, workload permitting, and the right to fly SVFR, if approved.

And a class E airspace doesn't really keep VFR aircraft "out of the way" of IFR's. Yes the weather minimums are a bit more strict for VFRs in class E, but apart from that, VFR's can do pretty much what they want in class E airspace, including knowingly or unknowingly fly right in front of an IFR aircraft on departure/approach, with no transponder and no radio, as an example. This is why people mistake it for uncontrolled airspace. This is also why busier Class E control zones or TCA's have a transponder requirement, as an added layer of safety.

Class B and C airspaces is where VFR's are out of the way of IFR's, by the means of positive control (conflict resolution or full on separation). In class D, it's workload permitting, but is given 99% of the time, at least at the Class D units I used to work at.
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rookiepilot
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Re: Whats the deal with Class E control zones?

Post by rookiepilot »

lhalliday wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:39 pm Class E is uncontrolled airspace with the weather minima of controlled airspace.

My home base (Kamloops CYKA) is such an airport. Keeps us VFR kiddies out of the way of Air Canada, WestJet and CMA doing grownup IFR stuff.

The fact that Kamloops has an MF is secondary to the airspace being Class E.

...laura
Are you an instructor?
Aviation is precise, for a reason.
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Last edited by rookiepilot on Sun Sep 20, 2020 6:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
kevenv
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Re: Whats the deal with Class E control zones?

Post by kevenv »

Perhaps this will help....

1.jpg
1.jpg (254.44 KiB) Viewed 334 times
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lhalliday
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Re: Whats the deal with Class E control zones?

Post by lhalliday »

Sure, an IFR pilot will see things differently. But to a VFR pilot Class E is essentially uncontrolled airspace with controlled airspace weather minima. This is how it was taught to me as a PPL student.

Kamloops Radio routinely help sort out traffic, VFR-VFR and VFR-IFR. They don't have to but they do. One slightly scary flight a few weeks ago was coming in from the east (from Vernon) with a Pitts behind me. I couldn't see him. He couldn't see me. But the landmarks we were reporting to Kamloops Radio said we were awfully close to each other. I stayed high. He stayed low, which fit why we couldn't see each other. Once the valley was wide enough he peeled off and crossed mid-field to join downwind while I flew a straight-in approach. No clearances or anything. FSS provided the information. We made our own decisions. I also had a great view of his approach and landing while waiting to cross the runway.

All the Class E/MF airports I've flown in to work much the same way. Most recently, Penticton. "WHG report your position?" "WHG crossing mid-field, number two for the field, landing traffic in sight..."

...laura
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photofly
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Re: Whats the deal with Class E control zones?

Post by photofly »

You (or your instructor) invented your own meaning for “controlled airspace” and decided that class E airspace isn’t it.

That’s your right, but it creates problems when you enter a discussion with other people who (correctly) use the definition of controlled airspace that is in the regulations and the AIM.

It’s kind of silly to debate whether Class E airspace is like, or isn’t like, or is, or isn’t controlled airspace. Imagining or pretending it’s other than what it is does a disfavour to anyone trying to learn the rules of the air for the first time, and propagates all sorts of confusion that will have to be sorted out later.

In respect of your example, Kamloops Radio isn’t an ATC unit, so it’s hard to see how it fits in to this thread.
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