What is the minimum ceiling and visibility limits in Class E airspace?

  • What is the minimum ceiling and visibility limits in Class E airspace? Magnetoz

    With the intention of landing, taking off, or entering the traffic pattern at an airport in Class E airspace, what is the minimum ceiling and visibility as a VFR pilot in the USA.

  • VFR cloud clearance requirements are listed in 14 CFR 91.155 and for Class E airspace specifies:

    Class E:
    Less than 10,000 feet MSL.
    Flight Visibility: 3 statute miles
    Distance From Clouds: 500 feet below, 1,000 feet above, 2,000 feet horizontal.

    At or above 10,000 feet MSL.
    Flight Visibility: 5 statute miles
    Distance From Clouds: 1,000 feet below, 1,000 feet above, 1 statute mile horizontal.

    There is also a requirement specific to Class E surface areas that says that the ceiling must be at least 1,000 feet in order to operate in the airspace. It is also listed in 91.155:

    (c) Except as provided in Sec. 91.157, no person may operate an aircraft beneath the ceiling under VFR within the lateral boundaries of controlled airspace designated to the surface for an airport when the ceiling is less than 1,000 feet.

    Note that there are exceptions for both of these that refer to 91.157 Special VFR Weather Minimums if you are instrument rated and the aircraft is instrument equipped.

Related questions and answers
  • With the intention of landing, taking off, or entering the traffic pattern at an airport in Class E airspace, what is the minimum ceiling and visibility as a VFR pilot in the USA.

  • Say I have requested a special VFR to enter Class D airspace. Approach acknowledges and clears me into the Class D airspace. After entering the Class D airspace the airport visibility drops < 1 mile. Am I required to exit the airspace or can I continue as normal?

  • How safe is IFR in class E? Philippe Leybaert

    at 10,000 feet in VMC on an IFR flight plan while in class E airspace. I'm pretty sure many pilots will be on autopilot without taking too much notice of what's happening outside but according...In class D and E airspace, there is no separation between IFR and VFR traffic. However, most airspace in the United States below 18,500 feet MSL is class E airspace, which is exactly where non... can't remember ever seeing a report on a midair collision between IFR and VFR aircraft in class E.

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  • I've read that ICAO defines Class F airspace but the FAA has chosen not to use the airspace class in the US. What is the ICAO definition of Class F airspace and how does it differ from other airspace classes? What countries use Class F airspace? Why does the FAA only use A-E and G?

  • This question is somewhat related to this other one. I listened to this exchange between a helicopter and Newark. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHNvXPbZ7WI The helicopter wants to land at Newark. The controller tells the helicopter to remain clear of the Class B. I'm aware that the controllers must give clearance to operate in certain classes of airspace, and the helicopter wasn't granted clearance to do so. Why was the helicopter denied (as far as can be deduced)? What should the pilot have done differently, either to get clearance to land at Newark or to anticipate not being able to?

  • What does ATC do when there is an emergency? This could be a tower or an ARTCC being evacuated or otherwise unusable. How do they decide whether to close the airport/airspace? What do they do with the traffic, whether they do or don't close? On this related question, it turned out that Newark closed because of smoke in the tower. Another user posted an interesting anecdote about another tower being evacuated, so I thought it warranted a question.

  • There are some good sights to see inside of class Bravo airspace. What is the best way to plan and communicate to ATC that my intention is to fly into the airspace to see some specific landmarks?

  • So every once in awhile I see an article talking about the air traffic control strikes in Europe like this one: European air traffic controllers to strike. How does this affect me if I am flying to Europe? Do they just close the doors and all airspace becomes uncontrolled airspace? I'm guessing not, but that's what I envision when I hear that! What happens if they go on strike while I'm over the ocean on my way there?

  • If conditions at a towered airport are not IFR, can pilots request a special VFR clearance? For example, at a Class D airport, ceiling 1300 broken, 10 sm visibility is technically too low to remain in the pattern (assuming a 1000 foot AGL pattern and maintaining at least 500 feet below clouds), yet it is not IFR. With a Special VFR clearance, the pilot would be able to maintain a 1000 foot pattern and remain clear of clouds. If the pilot requests SVFR, will the tower grant it?

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