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Is it cool to fly over an ATZ (class G)?


Hann__
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In an effort to expand my flying options there is a route i would like to try but it would mean flying over an air traffic zone which is surface to 2000` Class G.

Would it be considered bad form to fly over the ATZ (probably at 2500` - 3000`) in a PPG or should it be best avoided?

On the subject of airspace what do folk consider a sensible distance to fly from the edge of airspace?

I`ve seen reference that 2NM  horizontally and 200` vertically to be the recommended distance for GA.

The vertical figure is no problem of course but if a PPG were to keep 2NM away from airspace you`re planning on flying around then that would be a huge diversion due to our limited speed and flying duration. I`ve hugged airspace boundaries on occasion on long XC`s which i can do without fear of infringement due to the GPS moving map on my device.

Do folk consider the boundaries as black or white. you`re either within or outside, with no further distance from them required while flying?

?

 

Edited by Hann__
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Well there's no reason to FEAR an ATZ.  If you know youre likely to go over head why not phone the airfield first and tell them. Then if you flameout they will know Who.you are and what your intentions are likely to be...will you land on the field or a mile away?  They might also tell departing and arriving traffic to keep a look out for you.

 

David

 

 

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By the way, airspace boundaries are black and white. If you want proof try edging INTO one.  Seriously, you shouldn't start making  up buffer zones. The closer you get the more the radar controller might ask you whether "you are remaining clear, aren't you??"

This is a very good reason to hold a FRTO licence and an airband radio it seems. 

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For higher classes of airspace I believe there's the 2+2 rule... i.e. don't come within 2 nautical miles (distance) or 200ft (height) of the airspace (may be slightly different). This is really addressing the highly controlled airspaces, but the point remains - to leave a margin.

If I was crossing directly over an ATZ I'd definitely want to call ahead or radio my intention. Remember the aircraft around the ATZ will potentially be distracted with their immediate tasks and not necessarily keeping the best lookout for something as slow/odd as a paramotor.

Also remember that another aircraft may well approach the ATZ at 2000ft+ to make an overhead join before they drop into the circuit. As they are changing height and banking you could just appear! Low vs high wings have different blind spots. If they are pre-warned you're about (they will almost certainly be in contact with the ATZ) then this is far less likely to become a problem.

Sooooo... no not bad form at all, but good form if you are kind enough to communicate your intentions ahead of time.

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The 2+2 rule is NOT a rule. The rule is, don't go Into controlled airspace you aren't allowed or permitted to enter.  In south east England you'd struggle if you started giving yourself arbitrary buffer zones.   I suppose a buffer  might be useful if you could be using a different QNH, which as nonradio, is likely...but that's only for vertical limits. Laterally just use the zone edge. 

 

As an aside, I had a brain burp...my take off field is not WITHIN the MATZ.  That would be some take off field.  But it is UNDER the matz. So a phone call still polite.  

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3 hours ago, DavidG4 said:

If found a very good take off and landing area for if and when I ever mnage to get into ppg but it lies within  Boscombe MATZ so when the MATZ is active I'll have to get permission too.  If they say No, they say no.  

If the MATZ surrounded by Class G airspace you do not need permission to enter as the MATZ assumes the same classification (although it is a very good idea to advise them you'll be transmitting the MATZ). Where you will absolutely need permission is the entry of the ATZ at the centre of the MATZ. 

Personally, I live just a few miles south of the Odiham MATZ and would certainly give them a call if I was entering or transmitting close to the MATZ - partly to ensure we were able to safely share the airspace, but mainly because Chinooks have a ~100mph downdraft and that doesn't mix well with our wings :) 

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Quite correct. My brain burp was worse than I feared. 

 

Interestingly I had forgotten that the MATZ does not MANDATE the penetration service. Interesting. We all become very used to *requesting* penetration don't we. 

I think id still be cautious about "standing on into danger" of I was around the stub 

 

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I regularly fly under the end of the Durham Tees Valley extended area There is a restricted airspace around Hartlepool nuclear power station of grd to 2000 and the airport controlled area starts at 3000 up. So I fly at 2500. I have had large jets go overhead, but they are usually at 4500/5000.

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10 hours ago, DavidG4 said:

By the way, airspace boundaries are black and white. If you want proof try edging INTO one.  Seriously, you shouldn't start making  up buffer zones. The closer you get the more the radar controller might ask you whether "you are remaining clear, aren't you??"

 

My point was more that was it considered OK flying close to the edge of airspace on the *outside* , i know flying *inside* would be a no-no however small the infringement.

On the point of `buffer zones`, if i fly 10 metres from the boundary and a GA aircraft does the same *inside* that would make for a pretty close pass. You can`t just keep adding buffer zones to buffer zones, though, it`d get ridiculous. As long as i`m outside, all is good, then?

To be honest, i`ve had more `close calls` with GA stuff right out in the middle of class G than anywhere near any boundaries, they sometimes don`t mind passing by and giving a little `wave`...

As long as the GA fraternity don`t start tut-tutting at the paramotor pilot skirting the edges of airspace i`ll settle for that......and phone ahead where necessary.

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Hann, your points are good...which is why the ATC only claim to control and deconflict traffic within their zones and/ or of which they are aware.  There comes a point where we have to accept 'big sky' theory!    In the old days of course we didn't really know where the zone edges were, we just joined up VRPs and the like...today it is very tempting to track crawl around the GPS trace.  It keeps us OUT but means we do fly much, much closer to being IN than ever we did before.  Is that wise?  

 

Incidentally, I am with you...when I fly GA I give control boundaries a wide berth if possible (I once had to fly close to bournemouth...boy were they jittery.  Mind you, Bournemouth are, or were, well known for over controlling at their edges).  I also once had to fly close to a danger area...too close as it happened and I got 'the' phone call.  Or at least, my CFI did and as instructor of the flight I had to make the call of shame.  I learnt that shells can ricochet to 16,000 feet!!  Equally I was once buzzed by a Tornado flying below me in the open FIR when he should have been inside his zone...he was lost.  So it happens.  

 

Eyes open, read the chart and keep it safe.  I suspect when I start flying a machine with a 20kt airspeed, poor rates of climb and little manoeuvring capability I too will think 'buffer'.

 

D

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On 10/04/2019 at 13:21, benraven said:

 Chinooks have a ~100mph downdraft and that doesn't mix well with our wings :) 

I had a rotary fly directly underneath me this evening.......

Probably something out of Wallop such as a Lynx. I was at 1600` when i suddenly noticed an odd shadow beneath me then the `copter followed a second later, from where i was it looked like he was flying just above the treetops...Still an odd thing to see...

We often get Chinooks fly by our town on a regular basis, a few times a week - in the airspace i fly in.

Better underneath than above, i suppose.

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1 hour ago, Hann__ said:

Better underneath than above, i suppose.

Surely you mean the opposite? Wake turbulence disperses downwards and sideways from a heli :)

I'd much rather have one pass below, I don't reckon you'd last long with one above you. I was inbound to Membury Airfield the other day on the paramotor and a heli passed in front and above by maybe 300ft, decided to stay out of its flight path for a good few minutes after it had passed just to make sure the air had time to settle. 

I've had a Chinook pass underneath me left to right in a fixed wing which was a pretty cool sight, but not on a paramotor yet. I'm happy not to have a close encounter with a heli but flying right next to Odiham and Lasham, under the Southampton, Farnborough & London airspace does bring its challenges. 

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