Enroute Altitude for Overflying a Non-Towered Airport?

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by Bulldog573, Aug 12, 2018 at 9:59 AM.

  1. Bulldog573

    Bulldog573 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I’m doing more cross-countries now, working on my instrument training pre-reqs. There are a ton of non-towered airports around my home field, and I normally monitor their CTAF freqs while steering clear of their charted Class E transition space. I’ve heard other pilots make position calls when over-flying these fields at various altitudes.

    My question is, if I want to fly a direct route over a non-towered airport, is there a designated minimum altitude to do that without a position call?

    Not coming up with the answer from AIM. Thanks for any advice.
     
  2. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Final Approach

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    There's no specific guidance I l know of on this. If I am within 1,000' of pattern altitude I will give a call. But I'm rarely than low.
     
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  3. John221us

    John221us En-Route

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    I would be at least 500’ over TPA (preferably more). Mid field is probably safest, so you don’t interfere with approaching and departing traffic. I do 500’ over TPA, when joining the pattern, but enroute, I usually climb a bit to give myself more options, in case something were to happen.
     
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  4. frfly172

    frfly172 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I usually overfly at 2,000.
     
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  5. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner En-Route

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    Keep in mind that "500 feet above TPA" is generally TPA for turbine airplanes.

    I usually go around airports below TPA.
     
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  6. tawood

    tawood Pattern Altitude

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    If working towards IFR, I'd get in the habit of flying at the OROCA or higher (Off Route Obstruction Clearance Altitude...the light brown numbers in each section of the IFR low altitude charts). Most of the time, the OROCA is well above pattern altitudes, and overflying non-towered airports isn't an issue.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2018 at 11:53 AM
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  7. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser!

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    If you are in the pattern at BFE, do you care if someone is overflying the field 1000 feet above you?
     
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  8. luvflyin

    luvflyin Final Approach

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    That can be pretty excessive out West. Look around KVIS
     
  9. tawood

    tawood Pattern Altitude

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    I forgot about that! I fly in the flat mid-west!
     
  10. luvflyin

    luvflyin Final Approach

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    Looking at the tops of typical Class D’s I’d say gives good guidance on what you may want to use as a rule of thumb
     
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  11. Bulldog573

    Bulldog573 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Thanks guys, I appreciate all the input.
     
  12. Lndwarrior

    Lndwarrior Pre-takeoff checklist

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    and dont forget to check for parachute operations if you are overflying a field. we have this at our airport and its amazing to me to see pilots flying right through the drop zone when people are jumping.
     
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  13. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Under the traffic pattern?

     
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  14. Bulldog573

    Bulldog573 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    They got under the Echo...
     
  15. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Turbine aircraft aren't usually flying patterns at airports. Keep an eye out for people descending on the straight ins/instrument approaches.
    Watch out for airports that have parachute operations. Meat bombs falling from anywhere from 6000-12000 feet.
     
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  16. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner En-Route

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    I may be the exception, but I fly what's most convenient/quickest, which is very seldom an instrument approach (the weather's usually better than that) or straight-in (seems like I'm never coming from the right direction). 1500 feet for a crosswind or downwind leg seems to be far more common.