Friday, August 21, 2015

Weather minimums versus airport transition areas... Part 135.609 (formerly AO-21)

Image courtesy boldmethod

You are checking weather for a flight to a distant receiving hospital. Your route requires you to fly through several areas near airports with magenta shaded rings as depicted in the picture above. You know that the 135-609 weather minimums allow you to fly with ceilings as low as 800 feet during the day, or at night in your local area while flying with night vision goggles. In uncontrolled airspace...

Question: What effect do the transition areas (magenta shaded) that you will fly through have on your weather requirements?

Note: In transition areas, controlled airspace drops from the "standard" floor of 1200 feet above-ground-level (agl) down to 700 feet agl. This allows for instrument approaches in controlled airspace by pilots/aircraft flying on instrument flight plans. At least down to 700 feet agl. The minimum descent altitude for many non-precision (no glide slope) approaches is 600 feet agl. The floor of the transition (controlled airspace) area is 700 feet. There is a 100 foot thick "gray area." An aircraft could be on approach, in the clouds, and in uncontrolled airspace in the transition area.

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