May 31, 2013
Question: I was flying in Class E airspace and receiving radar service from air traffic control. The controller then instructed me to change my heading. The new heading was going to take me off of my intended course and I was in airspace that did not require me to be in contact with ATC. Did I need to comply with their instructions?
Answer: Yes. According to 14 CFR Part 91.123, pilots may not operate an aircraft contrary to ATC instructions in an area in which air traffic control is exercised. Pilots are not required to communicate with ATC in Class E airspace, but if a pilot chooses to be in contact with ATC, then the pilot must comply with the instructions that are given. A recent interpretation from the FAA Office of the Chief Counsel has brought clarity to this situation. As always, the pilot in command is the final authority as to the operation of the aircraft.
FAA Information and Services,
Changes to departure and arrival procedures in Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport airspace will take effect Sept. 18, and AOPA is cautioning pilots to plan ahead for the new procedures.
When examining details for VFR operations in and around major terminal areas, a must-have resource is the current local terminal area chart.
The Santa Paula, California, airport evokes an old-time airfield, complete with antique airplanes dating back almost a century. Consider visiting the field when you attend the AOPA Fly-In at Chino, California, on Sept. 20.
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