Section 9, Lesson 1
In Progress

Class A

Class Alpha

This topic covers the operating rules, entry requirements, dimensions, and weather requirements in class A airspace. Take notes and use the airspace handout to commit these items to memory. Airspace is one of those topics where memorization is required because you cannot stop to look something up while you are flying.

Lesson Notes

Class A begins at FL180 (18,000 feet) and ends at FL600 (60,000 feet). It is IFR only, and requires an IFR clearance and flight plan to enter. It is primarily used for jet & turboprop traffic on longer flights, because the high altitude results in a much lower fuel burn, and much faster true airspeed. Light single engine airplanes can legally enter A if they meet all IFR requirements, although many light airplanes are not capable of reaching those altitudes.

Above FL240 airplanes in class A are required to have DME (distance measuring equipment). GPS can often times meet this requirement.

Additional Resources

Flashcard Questions

Where does class A start?

What requirements must be met to enter class A airspace?

When is DME required in class A?

What do pilots do as they enter class A?

You are on an instrument flight plan and instructed to “climb and maintain FL260”. Do you need to hear ATC say “cleared into class A”?