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Rules for Flying Around Small, Non-Control Tower Airports or Grass Strips?

Discussion in 'Pro/Adv Discussion' started by FlyBoyNC, Dec 21, 2015.

  1. FlyBoyNC

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    Location:
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    Does the no fly rules apply to small, non-control tower local airports or grass strips? I have one near me, about 3 miles away that is very rarely even used. It's not even a class D airport. I understand the rules that apply to Class C and B airports and that makes sense. My question concerns small airports and grass strips runways that are scattered about the country side.

    Do the same rules apply to these "airports" as do the big JFK, LAX and ATL?

    I found this listed in another thread. Do anyone know if it is accurate?

    5 nautical miles (NM) from an airport having an operational control tower; or
    3 NM from an airport with a published instrument flight procedure, but not an operational tower; or
    2 NM from an airport without a published instrument flight procedure or an operational tower; or
    2 NM from a heliport with a published instrument flight procedure
     
  2. StumbleBee

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    Because private grass strips seem to be popular in my state I looked into this and also found nothing definitive. I have been through a lot of FAA material and never saw the quote you reference. Not to say it isn't there, only that I never saw it. I would also be interested in knowing the facts.
    One of the problems is going to be that not all private strips seem to be listed on maps... If you didn't know that they were there you wouldn't know they were there. I don't know what regulations apply to private grass strip airports for aircraft owned by the strip owner.
     
  3. gravity

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    What no fly rule are you referring to? I was under the impression that flying near airports was fine if you contact the airport or control tower when flying within 5 miles. Or are you talking about something different?
     
  4. barefootbeachcombing

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    The OP is saying that there is no control tower to contact.
     
  5. gravity

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    Gotcha. Thanks.
     
  6. alokbhargava

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    Rules are made basically for the safety of big aircrafts. Even if we don't see written rules, it's our responsibility to see that we are far away from a landing or taking off aircraft.
     
    CactusJackSlade likes this.
  7. MrMcfly

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    A guy that cuts a landing strip in his field doesn't qualify as an "airport", but we're still obliged to steer clear of all other
    aircraft, so I'd give it a 1 mile perimeter, just so you're not in airspace that a plane would use to takeoff/land.

    Controlled airports, or regional airports with regular traffic are the major concerns.

    I look here: Don't Fly Drones Here This pretty much shows airports that require
    contacting prior to flying in their airspace.
     
  8. Chief Joe

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    This is actually from the FAA website. I live and fly in a rural setting. We have some crop dusters and they are localized on dirt/grass fields. Speaking to a couple of the operators, they think the 2 NM Restriction is a "No Fly" area for drones/UAS - that is around their strip. They don't want to run into a UAS when crop dusting, but expect us (UAS POs) to look out for them. I don't disagree. However, they don't have an answer as to who, when or how to know who to call or find out info on where THEY are flying. I have contacted farmers in my area and they say "...go ahead and fly over their property, but watch for "Dusters" in the area." I do use a spotter with field glasses. You just have to stay vigilant.
     
    Mike Mauk likes this.
  9. Chief Joe

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    I use AirMap to check before flight and that does give phone numbers to call for manned towers and strips. For the unmanned strips and "private" strips you see the Restricted Zone but no phone number. Stay alert.
     
  10. ResevorDG

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    I recently did a flight at a privately owned airport that was more than 5 miles from the nearest airport.
    My 333 and coa don't mention much about private non controlled strips.
    I did get a NOTAM just in case but I had to reference a nearby airport as private airstrips are not in the registry for filling NOTAMs.
    I also got permission from one of the airport owners.
    I also kept two way come via hand held, though this place was a ghost town and no one else was flying.
    Here is that photo.
    Aerial

    TLDNR: Yes. You should be fine to fly there. Use common sense and have a hand held air band just incase.
     
  11. StumbleBee

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    Wow, I like that photo! People live and have homes alongside marinas, ski resorts and golf courses. Who knew there were airports with houses? Can you refer me to a list of airport/control tower frequencies that I could scan, or are they all the same? Thanks.
     
  12. ResevorDG

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    I would recommend that no-one should fly around an airport like this unless they are licensed to fly. Flying around airports without both proper knowledge and proper pre flight planning is life threatening. There is real risk when flying at an airport.
    To mitigate that risk I created something called a "Notice to Airmen" that publishes operations 24-48 hours prior to flight, I had two way com with air traffic, I had approval form an airport manager. By operating this way I was in compliance with FAA rules and regs.

    I think you are not allowed to operate on Air Band radio without a license to do so.

    Before you fly make sure you discuss your plans with the airport manager.
     
    jack1144 likes this.
  13. hblink93

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    Here's a head scratcher...

    I use the app "Hover" and the website "Don't Fly Drones Here" to ensure the places I like to fly are far enough away from airports or aren't in TFR areas. I found a sweet little spot that is safely nestled between the no-fly areas of the nearby naval air station and the airport--greater than 5 miles from each. I recently downloaded the B4UFLY app and tried it out only to find my favorite flying space is covered by a no-fly zone not present in the other app/website. Further research reveals that the no-fly zone reported by the B4UFLY app is centered on a local hospital, which I presume operates a lifeflight helicopter landing area.

    Really? I don't think I've EVER seen a helicopter flying to this hospital. If one flies a quad in the vicinity, are they really causing a safety hazard? It seems excessive to give the helicopter landing pad the same restrictions as the international airport and the naval air station (which have a lot of traffic).

    Aggravating!
     
  14. MrMcfly

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    Don't feel bad, someone supposedly has a heli pad in a planned community a 1/2 mile away, yet when I went
    to the specified coordinates, there's a retention pond there, in the middle of a golf course. No big old "H" anywhere.
    FORTUNATELY, there is no contact number, so it is not considered restricted, as I can not contact the operator.
    The FAA app is hysterical, because according to it, there's no safe place to fly in Central Florida with access to a road.
    You need a swamp buggy or an airboat to get to 'safe airspace'.

    My local R/C club is surrounded by 6 fictional helipads. Seems you just have to call the FAA, and you can make your backyard a helipad.

    This is exactly why the FAA wanted control, so it could thump its chest over all of its eminent domain, and stop the hobby's growth.
     
    impilot51 likes this.