Except when necessary for takeoff or landing, no person may operate an aircraft
below the following altitudes:
§ 91.119 Minimum safe altitudes: General.
(a) Anywhere. An altitude allowing, if a power unit fails, an emergency
(b) Over congested areas. Over any congested area of a city, town, or
settlement, or over any open air assembly of persons, an altitude of 1,000
feet above the highest obstacle within a horizontal radius of 2.000 feet of the aircraft.
(c) Over other than congested areas. An altitude of 500 feet above the
surface, except over open water or over sparsely populated areas. In that
case, the aircraft may not be operated closer than 500 feet to any person,
vessel, vehicle, or structure.
(d) Helicopters. Helicopters may be operated at less than the minimums
prescribed in paragraph (b) or (c) of this section if the operation is conducted
without hazard to persons or property on the surface. In addition, each person
operating a helicopter shall comply with routes or altitudes specifically
prescribed for helicopters by the Administrator.
or (c) of this section, provided each person operating the helicopter complies with any
routes or altitudes specifically prescribed for helicopters by the FAA; and
(2) A powered parachute or weight-shift-control aircraft may be operated at less than the
minimums prescribed in paragraph (c) of this section.
[Docket No. 18334, 54 FR 34294, Aug. 18, 1989, as amended by Amdt. 91–311, 75
FR 5223, Feb. 1, 2010]
OPERATIONS AND RULES GOVERNING PERSONS ON BOARD SUCH AIRCRAFT.
Sec. 135.203 Visual Flight Rules (VFR): Minimum altitudes.
Except when necessary for takeoff and landing, no person may operate under VFR—
horizontally from any obstacle; or
(2) At night, at an altitude less than 1,000 feet above the highest obstacle
within a horizontal distance of 5 miles from the course intended to be
flown or, in designated mountainous terrain, less than 2,000 feet above
the highest obstacle within a horizontal distance of 5 miles from the course
intended to be flown; or
(a) Aircraft operations for the purpose of air navigation. No person may operate an
aircraft in a careless or reckless manner so as to endanger the life or property of
The FAA considering establishing Class D and E airspace and amending existing
Class E airspace at East Hampton, NY, to accommodate the new air traffic control
tower at East Hampton Airport.
authorized or required by the ATC facility having jurisdiction over the Class E
airspace area, each person operating an aircraft on or in the vicinity of an airport
in a Class E airspace area must comply with the requirements of Sec. 91.126.
(b) Departures. Each pilot of an aircraft must comply with any traffic patterns
established for that airport in part 93 of this chapter.
(c) Communications with control towers. Unless otherwise authorized or required
by ATC, no person may operate an aircraft to, from, through, or on an airport
having an operational control tower unless two-way radio communications are
maintained between that aircraft and the control tower. Communications must be
established prior to 4 nautical miles from the airport, up to and including 2,500 f
eet AGL. However, if the aircraft radio fails in flight, the pilot in command may
operate that aircraft and land if weather conditions are at or above basic VFR
weather minimums, visual contact with the tower is maintained, and a clearance
to land is received. If the aircraft radio fails while in flight under IFR, the pilot must
comply with Sec. 91.185.
jurisdiction over the Class D airspace area, each person operating an aircraft in
Class D airspace must comply with the applicable provisions of this section. In
addition, each person must comply with Secs. 91.126 and 91.127. For the
purpose of this section, the primary airport is the airport for which the Class D
airspace area is designated. A satellite airport is any other airport within the
Class D airspace area.
(b) Deviations. An operator may deviate from any provision of this section under
the provisions of an ATC authorization issued by the ATC facility having
jurisdiction over the airspace concerned. ATC may authorize a deviation on a
continuing basis or for an individual flight, as appropriate.
(c) Communications. Each person operating an aircraft in Class D airspace
must meet the following two-way radio communications requirements:
communications with the
ATC facility (including foreign ATC in the case of foreign airspace
designated in the United States) providing air traffic services prior to
entering that airspace and thereafter maintain those
communications while within that airspace.
(2) Departing flight. Each person—
control tower must establish and maintain two-way radio
communications with the control tower, and thereafter as instructed
by ATC while operating in the Class D airspace area; or
(ii) From a satellite airport without an operating control tower, must
establish and maintain two-way radio communications with the ATC
facility having jurisdiction over the Class D airspace area as soon
as practicable after departing.
Class D airspace area must maintain two-way radio communications with the
ATC facility having jurisdiction over that area.
with Sec. 91.185 of the part.
(2) If the aircraft radio fails in flight under VFR, the pilot in command may
operate that aircraft and land if—
(ii) Visual contact with the tower is maintained; and
(iii) A clearance to land is received.
pilot operating a large or turbine-powered airplane must enter the traffic
pattern at an altitude of at least 1,500 feet above the elevation of the
airport and maintain at least 1,500 feet until further descent is required for
a safe landing.
(2) Each pilot operating a large or turbine-powered airplane approaching
to land on a runway served by an instrument approach procedure with
vertical guidance, if the airplane is so equipped, must:
between the published final approach fix and the decision altitude
(DA), or decision height (DH), as applicable; or
(ii) If compliance with the applicable distance-from-cloud criteria
requires glide path interception closer in, operate that airplane at or
above the glide path, between the point of interception of glide path
and the DA or the DH.
(3) Each pilot operating an airplane approaching to land on a runway
served by a visual approach slope indicator must maintain an altitude at
or above the glide path until a lower altitude is necessary for a safe landing.
(4) Paragraphs (e)(2) and (e)(3) of this section do not prohibit normal
bracketing maneuvers above or below the glide path that are conducted
or the purpose of remaining on the glide path.
this chapter or unless otherwise required by ATC, each pilot must—
(2) Avoid the flow of fixed-wing aircraft, if operating a helicopter.
(g) Departures. No person may operate an aircraft departing from an airport
except in compliance with the following:
that airport by the FAA.
(2) Unless otherwise required by the prescribed departure procedure for
that airport or the applicable distance from clouds criteria, each pilot of a
turbine-powered airplane and each pilot of a large airplane must climb to
an altitude of 1,500 feet above the surface as rapidly as practicable.
(h) Noise abatement. Where a formal runway use program has been established
by the FAA, each pilot of a large or turbine-powered airplane assigned a noise
abatement runway by ATC must use that runway. However, consistent with the
final authority of the pilot in command concerning the safe operation of the
aircraft as prescribed in Sec. 91.3(a), ATC may assign a different runway if
requested by the pilot in the interest of safety.
operating control tower, operate an aircraft on a runway or taxiway, or take
off or land an aircraft, unless an appropriate clearance is received from
ATC. A clearance to "taxi to" the takeoff runway assigned to the aircraft is
not a clearance to cross that assigned takeoff runway, or to taxi on that
runway at any point, but is a clearance to cross other runways that intersect
the taxi route to that assigned takeoff runway. A clearance to "taxi to" any
point other than an assigned takeoff runway is clearance to cross all
runways that intersect the taxi route to that point.
QUIET SKIES COALITION PO Box 956 Wainscott, NY 11975