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Lesson 8 - Aeronautical Charts and Publications - Ascent Ground School

Last update to our questions: 9/31/16
FAA Private Pilot Question Bank: 09/28/16
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Private Pilot | Lesson 8 - Aeronautical Charts and Other Publications

TABLE OF CONTENTS:
8.1 AERONAUTICAL SECTIONAL CHARTS; IDENTIFYING AIRPORTS AND OBSTRUCTIONS
8.2 AERONAUTICAL SECTIONAL CHARTS; IDENTIFYING AIRSPACE AND ALTITUDES
8.3 AERONAUTICAL SECTIONAL CHARTS; SPECIAL USE AIRSPACE
8.4 AERONAUTICAL SECTIONAL CHARTS; RADIO FREQUENCIES
8.5 AIRPORT/FACILITY DIRECTORY
8.6 ADVISORY CIRCULARS

8.1 Aeronautical Sectional Charts; Identifying Airports and Obstructions

Aeronautical Sectional charts depict geographical areas and the airports, obstacles, navigational facilities, and airspace that can be found in the charted area.

Airport Identification

Sectional charts depict airports and airport information as follows:

  • The name of the airport
  • The elevation of the airport
  • The length of the longest hard-surfaced runway.
    • An L between the airport elevation and the runway length denotes that the airport has lighting.
    • The notation *L denotes that airport lighting limitations exist (e.g., perhaps the airport lighting is only on during a certain period of the night). You should refer to the A/FD for complete information.

The notation NO SVFR above the airport name indicates that special VFR operations are prohibited at that airport.

If the airport has a UNICOM frequency (e.g., 122.8) it is shown after or underneath the runway length.

The notation CT preceding the frequency denotes that the airport has a control tower, and the listed frequency is the control tower's.

A small, star-shaped symbol depicted either at the top of the airport symbol , or near the center of the runway depictions of larger airports indicates that the airport has a rotating beacon, which normally operates from sunset to sunrise.


Airports attended during normal business hours and having fuel service are indicated on airport symbols by the presence of small solid squares at the top and bottom and on both sides (9 o’clock and 3 o’clock) on the airport symbol.

Ascent Quick Quiz
Ascent Quick Quiz - Airport Identification
Question 1: (Refer to figure 21, area 2.) The elevation of the Chesapeake Regional Airport is
Answer

Question 2: (Refer to figure 26.) At which airports is fixed-wing Special VFR not authorized?
Answer

Question 3: (Refer to figure 22.) Which public use airports depicted are indicated as having fuel?
Answer

Obstruction Identification

Obstructions on sectional charts area are depicted with the elevation of obstructions listed near the obstruction by two numbers.

  1. The bold number is the elevation of the top of the obstruction in feet above MSL.
  2. The number in parentheses is the height of the obstruction in feet AGL.

Obstructions are depicted as follows:

A group of obstructions are depicted as follows:

Obstructions with high-intensity lights are depicted as follows:

You must maintain at least 1,000 ft. above obstructions in congested areas and 500 ft. above obstructions in other areas.

Ascent Quick Quiz
Ascent Quick Quiz - Obstruction Identification
Question 1: (Refer to figure 24, area 3.) What is the height of the lighted obstacle approximately 6 nautical miles southwest of Savannah International?
Answer

Question 2: (Refer to figure 24, area 3.) The top of the group obstruction approximately 11 nautical miles from the Savannah VORTAC on the 340° radial is
Answer

Question 3: (Refer to figure 25, area 1.) What minimum altitude is necessary to vertically clear the obstacle on the northeast side of Airpark East Airport by 500 feet?
Answer

Question 4: (Refer to figure 25, area 2.) What minimum altitude is necessary to vertically clear the obstacle on the southeast side of Winnsboro Airport by 500 feet?
Answer

Navigational Facility Identification, and other landmarks

Navigational facilities are depicted on sectional charts with various symbols:

  1. A VOR is depicted as a hexagon with a dot in the center.
  2. A VORTAC is depicted as a hexagon with a dot in the center and a small solid rectangle attached to three of the six sides.
  3. A VOR/DME is depicted as a hexagon within a square.


On aeronautical charts, magenta flags denote prominent landmarks which may be used as visual reporting checkpoints for VFR traffic when contacting ATC.


The word "CAUTION" on aeronautical charts usually has an accompanying explanation of the hazard.

Ascent Quick Quiz
Ascent Quick Quiz - Navigational Facility Identification, and other landmarks
Question 1: (Refer to figure 27, area 3.) When flying over Arrowwood National Wildlife Refuge, a pilot should fly no lower than
Answer

Question 2: Pilots flying over a national wildlife refuge are requested to fly no lower than
Answer

Question 3: (Refer to figure 23, area 2, and Legend 1.) For information about the parachute jumping and glider operations at Silverwood Airport, refer to
Answer

Question 4: (Refer to figure 22.) The terrain elevation of the light tan area between Minot (area 1) and Audubon Lake (area 2) varies from
Answer

Question 5: (Refer to figure 26, area 5.) The navigation facility at Dallas-Ft. Worth International (DFW) is a
Answer

Question 6: (Refer to figure 21, area 2.) The flag symbol at Lake Drummond represents a
Answer

Question 7: (Refer to figure 21, area 5.) The CAUTION box denotes what hazard to aircraft?
Answer

Question 8: (Refer to figure 24.) The flag symbols at Statesboro Bullock County Airport, Claxton-Evans County Airport, and Ridgeland Airport are
Answer


8.2 Aeronautical Sectional Charts; Identifying Airspace and Altitudes

Cloud Clearance and Visibility Required for VFR

Airspace

Flight Visibility

Distance from Clouds

Class A
Not Applicable

Not Applicable

Class B
3 statute miles

Clear of Clouds

Class C
3 statute miles

500 feet below

1,000 feet above

2,000 feet horizontally

Class D 3 statute miles

500 feet below

1,000 feet above

2,000 feet horizontally

Class E

Less than 10,000 ft. MSL 3 statute miles

500 feet below

1,000 feet above

2,000 feet horizontally
More than 10,000 ft. MSL 3 statute miles

500 feet below

1,000 feet above

2,000 feet horizontally
Class G
1,200 ft. or less above the surface.
(regardless of MSL height)
Day, except as provided in 91.155(b)* 1 statute mile

Clear of Clouds

Night, except as provided in 91.155(b)* 3 statute miles

500 feet below

1,000 feet above

2,000 feet horizontally
More than 1,200 ft. above the surface, but
less than 10,000 ft. MSL
Day 1 statute mile

500 feet below

1,000 feet above

2,000 feet horizontally
Night 3 statute miles

500 feet below

1,000 feet above

2,000 feet horizontally
More than 1,200 ft. above the surface, and
at or above 10,000 ft. MSL
5 statute miles

1,000 feet below

1,000 feet above

1 statute mile horizontally
*91.155(b) An airplane may be operated clear of clouds in Class G airspace at night below 1,200 ft. AGL when
the visibility is less than 3 SM but more than 1 SM in an airport traffic pattern and within 1/2 NM of the runway.

Class A Airspace

Class A Airspace is that airspace extending from 18,000 ft. MSL to 60,000 ft. MSL.

Class B Airspace - "Busy"

Class B airspace is that airspace which surrounds large or "Busy" airports. Class B airspace areas are depicted by heavy blue lines on sectional charts.

The minimum equipment needed to operate within Class B airspace is:

  1. A 4096-code transponder
  2. Mode C capability
  3. Two-way radio communication capability

Class C Airspace - "Communications"

Class C airspace areas are depicted by solid magenta lines on sectional charts.

Class C airspace is that airspace which surrounds medium sized airports. Class C airspace carries with it specific "Communication" requirements — You must establish and maintain two-way radio communication with ATC prior to entering Class C airspace. If you are operating from a satellite airport within the Class C airspace, you must contact ATC as soon as practicable after takeoff.

The minimum equipment needed to operate within Class C airspace is:

  1. 4096-code transponder
  2. Mode C (altitude encoding) capability
  3. Two-way radio communication capability

The surface area of Class C airspace, is typically made up of two circles, or "areas":

  • The inner circle, generally has a radius of 5 NM from the primary airport, and vertically, begins at the surface and extends upward to 4,000 ft. AGL.
  • The "shelf airspace" (sometimes called the outer circle), generally has a radius of up to 10 NM from the primary airport, and vertically, begins at about 1,200 ft. AGL and extends upward to 4000 ft. AGL (the same altitude as the inner area).
    • Class C airspace also has an outer area that extends 20 NM from the primary airport. The outer area is not classified as Class C airspace. However, when operating within the outer area, ATC provides the same radar services as provided within the Class C airspace.

On Sectional Charts the vertical limits of each each circle (or circle segment) are expressed in hundreds of feet MSL. The top limit is shown above a straight line and the bottom limit beneath the line.

EXAMPLE:

Look at figure 24, at the bottom right (area 3) is the Savannah Class C airspace.

a) in the inner circle means Class C airspace extends from the surface (SFC) to 4,100 ft. MSL.

b) in the "shelf airspace" means Class C airspace extends from 1,300 ft. MSL to 4,100 ft. MSL.

Class D Airspace

Class D airspace is depicted by a segmented (dashed) blue line on sectional charts.

Class D airspace is an area of controlled airspace surrounding an airport with an operating control tower, not associated with Class B or Class C airspace areas.

The height of the Class D airspace is shown in a broken box and is expressed in hundreds of feet MSL. The lateral dimensions of the Class D airspace are based on the instrument procedures associated with the primary airport, and for which the controlled airspace was established. Hence, Class D airspaces don't always represent perfect circles centered over the primary airport.

The Class D airspace is only in effect when the associated control tower is in operation, regardless of weather conditions. (So, airports with part-time control towers have part-time Class D airspace.) Occasionally, primary Class D airspace airports have a Flight Service Station (FSS) co-located at the airport. The FSS may operate an Airport Advisory Area when the primary control tower is closed. Prior to entering an Airport Advisory Area, a pilot should contact the local FSS for airport and traffic advisories.

EXAMPLE:

[29] means the height of the Class D airspace is 2,900 ft. MSL.

Class E Airspace

The lower limits of Class E airspace extend to:

  • The earth's surface around airports marked by segmented (dashed) magenta (red) lines

  • 700 ft. AGL in areas marked by magenta shading

  • 1,200 ft. AGL for areas designated as federal airways and other areas marked by blue shading
    • However, in much of the contiguous U.S., the floor of Class E airspace is no higher than 1,200 ft. AGL anywhere.
      • Therefore, the blue shading is not shown.
      • In these areas, unless the floor of Class E airspace is indicated by chart symbols to be below 1,200 ft. AGL, it is understood that the floor of the Class E airspace is at 1,200 ft. AGL.

Airways are also Class E airspace, and are depicted as light blue lines between VOR facilities and are labeled with the letter "V" followed by numbers, for example, V-120.
Airways extend up to 17,999 ft. MSL and are 8 NM wide (4 NM on either side of the airway centerline).
If none of the above apply, the floor of Class E airspace begins at 14,500 ft. MSL.

Class G Airspace

Class G airspace is all navigable airspace that is not classified as Class A, Class B, Class C, Class D, or Class E airspace.

When overlapping airspace designations apply to the same airspace, the more restrictive designation applies. Remember that Class A airspace is the most restrictive, and Class G is the least restrictive.

EXAMPLE:
The primary airport of a Class D airspace area underlies Class B airspace. The ceiling of the Class D airspace is 3,100 ft. MSL, and the floor of the Class B airspace is 3,000 ft. MSL. Since Class B is more restrictive than Class D, the overlapping airspace between 3,000 ft. and 3,100 ft. MSL is considered to be Class B airspace.

Ascent Quick Quiz
Ascent Quick Quiz - 8.2 Aeronautical Sectional Charts; Identifying Airspace and Altitudes
Question 1: (Refer to figure 27, area 6.) The airspace overlying and within 5 miles of Barnes County Airport is
Answer

Question 2: (Refer to figure 27, area 1.) Identify the airspace over Lowe Airport.
Answer

Question 3: (Refer to figure 27, area 2.) The visibility and cloud clearance requirements to operate VFR during daylight hours over the town of Cooperstown between 1,200 feet AGL and 10,000 feet MSL are
Answer

Question 4: (Refer to figure 21, area 1.) What minimum radio equipment is required to land and take off at Norfolk International?
Answer

Question 5: (Refer to figure 23, area 1.) The visibility and cloud clearance requirements to operate VFR during daylight hours over Sandpoint Airport at 1,200 feet AGL are
Answer

Question 6: (Refer to figure 23, area 3.) The vertical limits of that portion of Class E airspace designated as a Federal Airway over Magee Airport are
Answer

Question 7: (Refer to figure 24, area 3.) What is the floor of the Savannah Class C airspace at the shelf area (outer circle)?
Answer

Question 8: (Refer to figure 26, area 7.) The airspace overlying Mc Kinney (TKI) is controlled from the surface to
Answer

Question 9: (Refer to figure 26, area 4.) The airspace directly overlying Fort Worth Meacham is
Answer

Question 10: (Refer to figure 26, area 2.) The floor of Class B airspace at Addison Airport is
Answer

Question 11: (Refer to figure 26, area 4.) The floor of Class B airspace overlying Hicks Airport (T67) north-northwest of Fort Worth Meacham Field is
Answer

Question 12: What minimum radio equipment is required for operation within Class C airspace?
Answer

Question 13: What minimum radio equipment is required for VFR operation within Class B airspace?
Answer

Question 14: (Refer to figure 26, area 8.) What minimum altitude is required to fly over the Cedar Hill TV towers in the congested area south of NAS Dallas?
Answer

Question 15: Which initial action should a pilot take prior to entering Class C airspace?
Answer

Question 16: Under what condition may an aircraft operate from a satellite airport within Class C airspace?
Answer

Question 17: All operations within Class C airspace must be in
Answer

Question 18: The normal radius of the outer area of Class C airspace is
Answer

Question 19: The vertical limit of Class C airspace above the primary airport is normally
Answer

Question 20: A blue segmented circle on a Sectional Chart depicts which class airspace?
Answer

Question 21: The lateral dimensions of Class D airspace are based on
Answer

Question 22: Airspace at an airport with a part-time control tower is classified as Class D airspace only
Answer

Question 23: Prior to entering an Airport Advisory Area, a pilot should
Answer


8.3 Aeronautical Sectional Charts; Special Use Airspace

Special use airspace includes prohibited, restricted, warning, military operations, military training routes, parachute jumping areas, and national wildlife refuge areas.

Restricted areas denote the existence of unusual, often invisible hazards to aircraft such as military firing, aerial gunnery, or guided missiles.

Warning areas contain activity that may be hazardous to nonparticipating aircraft, e.g., aerial gunnery, guided missiles, etc.

Military operations areas (MOAs) denote areas of military training activities. When operating in an MOA, exercise extreme caution when military activity is being conducted.

Military training routes (MTR) are established below 10,000 ft. MSL for operations at speeds in excess of 250 kt.

  • IR means the routes are made in accordance with Instrument Flight Rules.
  • VR means the routes are made in accordance with Visual Flight Rules.

Parachute jumping areas are depicted on sectional charts by a parachute symbol, further information about the parachute jumping areas is contained in the Airport/Facility Directory (A/FD).

Over national wildlife refuges, pilots are requested to maintain a minimum altitude of 2,000 ft. AGL.

Ascent Quick Quiz
Ascent Quick Quiz - 8.3 Aeronautical Sectional Charts; Special Use Airspace
Question 1: (Refer to figure 27.) What hazards to aircraft may exist in areas such as Devils Lake East MOA?
Answer

Question 2: What action should a pilot take when operating under VFR in a Military Operations Area (MOA)?
Answer

Question 3: (Refer to figure 21.) What hazards to aircraft may exist in restricted areas such as R-5302B?
Answer

Question 4: (Refer to figure 22, area 3.) What type military flight operations should a pilot expect along IR 644?
Answer


8.4 Aeronautical Sectional Charts; Radio Frequencies

At airports without operating control towers, you should use the Common Traffic Advisory Frequency (CTAF), marked with a letter C in the airport data on the sectional chart.

The control tower (CT) frequency is usually used for CTAF when the control tower is closed.

At airports without control towers but with FSS at the airport, the FSS airport advisory frequency is usually the CTAF.

At airports without a tower or FSS, the UNICOM frequency is the CTAF.

At airports without a tower, FSS, or UNICOM, the CTAF is MULTICOM, i.e., 122.9.

Inbound and outbound traffic should communicate position and monitor CTAF within a 10-NM radius of the airport and give position reports when in the traffic pattern.

At airports with operating control towers the UNICOM frequency listed on the sectional chart and A/FD can be used to request services such as fuel, phone calls, and catering.

Flight Watch is the common term for En Route Flight Advisory Service (EFAS). It specifically provides en route aircraft with current weather along their route of flight.

Flight Watch is available throughout the country on 122.0 between 5,000 ft. MSL and 18,000 ft. MSL.

The name of the nearest Flight Watch facility is sometimes indicated in communications boxes.

Hazardous Inflight Weather Advisory Service (HIWAS) is available from navigation facilities that have a small square inside the lower right corner of the navigation aid identifier box.

Ascent Quick Quiz
Ascent Quick Quiz - 8.4 Aeronautical Sectional Charts; Radio Frequencies
Question 1: (Refer to figure 27, area 4.) The CTAF/UNICOM frequency at Jamestown Airport is
Answer

Question 2: (Refer to figure 27, area 2.) What is the recommended communication procedure when inbound to land at Cooperstown Airport?
Answer

Question 3: (Refer to figure 27, area 6.) What is the CTAF/UNICOM frequency at Barnes County Airport?
Answer

Question 4: (Refer to figure 21, area 3.) What is the recommended communications procedure for a landing at Currituck County Airport?
Answer

Question 5: (Refer to figure 22.) On what frequency can a pilot receive Hazardous Inflight Weather Advisory Service (HIWAS) in the vicinity of area 1?
Answer

Question 6: (Refer to figure 22, area 2.) The CTAF/MULTICOM frequency for Garrison Airport is
Answer

Question 7: (Refer to figure 23, area 2 and figure 32.) What is the correct UNICOM frequency to be used at Coeur D'Alene to request fuel?
Answer

Question 8: (Refer to figure 23, area 2 and figure 32.) At Coeur D'Alene, which frequency should be used as a Common Traffic Advisory Frequency (CTAF) to monitor airport traffic?
Answer

Question 9: (Refer to figure 23, area 2 and figure 32.) At Coeur D'Alene, which frequency should be used as a Common Traffic Advisory Frequency (CTAF) to self-announce position and intentions?
Answer

Question 10: (Refer to figure 26, area 3.) If Redbird Tower is not in operation, which frequency should be used as a Common Traffic Advisory Frequency (CTAF) to monitor airport traffic?
Answer

Question XX: (Refer to figure 26, area 2.) The control tower frequency for Addison Airport is
Answer


8.5 Airport/Facility Directory

Airport/Facility Directories (A/FDs) provide detailed information on airports within a specific area of coverage. The AF/D lists details such as the services available, runways, and any special conditions at the airport, as well as specifics on airport communications, navigational aids, etc. A/FDs are published every 56 days by the U.S. Department of Commerce for each of seven geographical coverage areas within the United States.

The airport name comes first.

The third item on the first line is the number of miles and direction of the airport from the city.

EXAMPLE:
4 NW means 4 NM northwest of the city.

Right-turn traffic is indicated by "Rgt tfc" following a runway number.

When a control tower is not in operation, the CTAF frequency (found in the section titled Communications) should be used for traffic advisories.

Initial communication should be with Approach Control if available where you are landing. The frequency is listed following "APP/DEP CON."

It may be different for approaches from different headings.

It may be operational only for certain hours of the day.

In Class C airspace, VFR aircraft are provided the following radar services:

  • Sequencing to the primary Class C airport
  • Approved separation between IFR and VFR aircraft
  • Basic radar services, including safety alerts, limited vectoring, and traffic advisories

A sample A/FD page:

afd_page

Ascent Quick Quiz
Ascent Quick Quiz - 8.5 Airport/Facility Directory
Question 1: (Refer to figure 53.) When approaching Lincoln Municipal from the west at noon for the purpose of landing, initial communications should be with
Answer

Question 2: (Refer to figure 53.) Which type radar service is provided to VFR aircraft at Lincoln Municipal?
Answer

Question 3: (Refer to figure 53.) Traffic patterns in effect at Lincoln Municipal are
Answer

Question 4: (Refer to figure 53.) Where is Loup City Municipal located with relation to the city?
Answer

Question 5: (Refer to figure 53.) What is the recommended communications procedure for landing at Lincoln Municipal during the hours when the tower is not in operation?
Answer


8.6 Advisory Circulars

Advisory Circulars (ACs) provide a structured and systematic means for the FAA to issue non-regulatory information to the aviation public. (Here's a link to the FAA's Advisory Circular web site.)

ACs are issued using a numbering system that links the subject of the AC to the applicable FAR, e.g., ACs numbered in the 60's series pertain to Airmen - just a FAR Parts in the 60's series pertain to airmen, ACs numbered in the 90's series pertain to General Operating and Flight Rules - as does FAR Part 91.

Ascent Quick Quiz
Ascent Quick Quiz - 8.6 Advisory Circulars
Question 1: FAA advisory circulars (some free, others at cost) are available to all pilots and are obtained by
Answer

Question 2: FAA advisory circulars containing subject matter specifically related to Air Traffic Control and General Operations are issued under which subject number?
Answer

Question 3: FAA advisory circulars containing subject matter specifically related to Airmen are issued under which subject number?
Answer

Question 4: FAA advisory circulars containing subject matter specifically related to Airspace are issued under which subject number?
Answer


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