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Page Title: Appendix D Air Space
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Airfield Operations. Airfield operations are determined by type of airspace surrounding the field, existing weather,
arrival type (IFR or VFR), and whether the field has a tower in operation. Even when operating under positive
control, it is important to know what to expect from uncontrolled traffic.
Class D Airspace. Generally, the airspace from the surface to 2500 feet above the airport elevation
(charted in MSL) surrounding airports with an operational control tower. The configuration of each Class
D airspace area is individually tailored. When instrument procedures are published, the airspace will
normally be designed to contain the procedures. Two-way radio communication must be established with
the ATC facility providing ATC services prior to entry and maintained thereafter while in the Class D
airspace. Arriving pilots should contact the control tower on the publicized frequency and give their
position, altitude, destination, and any request(s). Initiate radio contact far enough from the Class D
airspace boundary to preclude entering the Class D airspace before two-way radio communications are
(1). If the controller responds to a radio call with, "[aircraft callsign] STANDBY," radio communications have
been established and the pilot can enter the Class D airspace.
(2). If workload or traffic conditions prevent immediate entry into Class D airspace, the controller will inform the
pilot to remain outside the Class D airspace until conditions permit entry.
(3). It is important to understand that if the controller responds to the initial radio call without using the aircraft
callsign, radio communications have not been established and the P may not enter the Class D airspace.
(4). At airports where the control tower does not operate 24 hours a day, the operating hours of the tower will be
listed on the appropriate charts and in the airport facility directory (AFD). During the hours the tower is not in
operation, the Class E surface area rules or a combination of Class E rules to 700 feet AGL and Class G rules to the
surface will become applicable. Check the AFD for specifics.
Unless otherwise authorized or required by ATC, no person may operate an aircraft at or below 2500 feet
above the surface within 4 NM of the primary airport of a Class D airspace area at an indicated airspeed of
more than 200 kts (230 mph). Class D airspace areas are depicted on Sectional and Terminal charts with
blue, segmented lines, and on IFR Enroute Lows with a boxed [D].
Uncontrolled Airport Operations. When approaching an uncontrolled field (no tower, or tower not
manned) the landing runway is generally at pilot's discretion. Common terminology often heard is "Winds
favor runway 13," or "Runway 24 in use." No clearance to land will be issued, as there is no controlling
authority. Landing on the runway in use by other traffic is recommended, unless operational restrictions
dictate otherwise. IFR traffic does not have priority over VFR traffic. Obtain wind/weather and traffic
information by calling UNICOM, FSS (callsign "Radio"), monitoring AWOS (Automated Weather
Observing System), etc. Make traffic advisory calls on the CTAF from a minimum of 10 miles out until
landing. If required, the pattern may be over-flown at a higher altitude to visually check the windsock and
pattern direction markers. Normal pattern altitude for operations in VMC conditions is 1500 feet AGL for
large and turbine-powered aircraft, and 1000 feet AGL for other fixed-wing. The T-44 is considered to be
a small turbine-powered aircraft and normal uncontrolled field entry will be made at 1000 feet AGL.
Descent to 800 feet AGL is accomplished after entering downwind. Helicopters generally avoid the flow
of fixed-wing traffic and operate at 500 feet AGL and below. Entry is accomplished as described in
Downwind Entry procedures. Left turns are required unless right is indicated by ground markings or lights,
with turns "squared off" rather than the standard military "racetrack." VFR departures are normally made
by executing a 45 left turn, or straight ahead. Make all departure turns beyond the departure end of the
runway after reaching pattern altitude. See Appendix F and AIM for additional information and voice
reporting ("self announce") procedures.

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