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Pilot Briefing: Chart Challenge

Radar at your service

Flying under visual flight rules (VFR) through busy airspace can be daunting without the benefit of an extra pair of eyes.

August Briefing

Flying under visual flight rules (VFR) through busy airspace can be daunting without the benefit of an extra pair of eyes. That’s where VFR radar service can bring relief. For example, Terminal Radar Service Areas (TRSA), which surround Class D airports where high traffic volumes benefit from expanded ATC radar services, provide separation between all IFR and participating VFR aircraft. Although VFR participation is voluntary why not contact the associated radar facility and take advantage of that extra eye in the sky? Frequencies and service availability are listed on the sectional chart’s panel. You’ll recognize TRSAs by their solid dark gray lines—with floor and ceiling boundaries indicated in each segment—overlying other airspace (normally Class E), while the Class D portion is charted with a blue segmented line.

Transponder and two-way communication apply to participating aircraft. Rules for Class D airspace within the TRSA apply regardless of TRSA service participation.

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