Why do VFR aviation weather minima vary by airspace?


This is one of the better US aviation airspace depictions I’ve seen… I like the way it relates airspace definitions to what we see on the Sectional chart.AirspaceCardYou may wonder why all those magenta airspace areas exist on aviation Sectional charts, and why we must learn different VFR weather minima for them. Well here’s the practical answer:

Where Class E drops to 700 feet AGL (magenta shading) or to the surface (magenta dashed line), instrument approach procedures are authorized, which is why the VFR weather mins are higher there, and why we must be extra vigilant when flying VFR into airports falling within magenta areas.

Now look at your Sectional chart again, and for the first time all that magenta makes sense: those are airports with instrument approaches. Better keep your eyes open when flying there!

©2015 Greg Brown

(graphic from ravepad.com / gliderbooks.com )

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