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Don’t mean to be an old fuddy-duddy, but I guess it’s too late. 

There has been a growing number of low pass, often “high speed” fly by’s at my non towered airport. Which is surrounded by dense housing developments (SoCal). A contagious case of monkey see, monkey do. 

Can anybody show me in the regs where this is legal, other than an FAA approved airshow??

-Joe

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20 minutes ago, joepilot said:

Don’t mean to be an old fuddy-duddy, but I guess it’s too late. 

There has been a growing number of low pass, often “high speed” fly by’s at my non towered airport. Which is surrounded by dense housing developments (SoCal). A contagious case of monkey see, monkey do. 

Can anybody show me in the regs where this is legal, other than an FAA approved airshow??

-Joe

A low pass fly by could be considered a go around. Legally all you have to do is stay below the 250 knot limitation. Theres no reg saying its allowed, but theres no reg saying it isnt allowed. Youre allowed to go below 1000ft agl in a densely populated area within i believe it was 5 miles of an airport. Its not the fact of saying that its legal. Its the fact that theres nothing saying its illegal.

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23 minutes ago, joepilot said:

Don’t mean to be an old fuddy-duddy, but I guess it’s too late. 

There has been a growing number of low pass, often “high speed” fly by’s at my non towered airport. Which is surrounded by dense housing developments (SoCal). A contagious case of monkey see, monkey do. 

Can anybody show me in the regs where this is legal, other than an FAA approved airshow??

-Joe

The low passes are at an airport, over the runway?

Show me where it is not approved. Not saying it's smart...

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§91.13   Careless or reckless operation......... Maybe

§91.119 - Safe Altitude.......... Over a runway?

if there is an airport manager they could have a talk with the one making high speed low passes

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The regs exemption from the min 500’/1000’ altitudes is ONLY for the purpose of take off & landing. And when these guys are announcing in the pattern they’re doing a low pass, they don’t have any intention of landing. Also, a normal go around procedure usually doesn’t require you fly down the entire length of the RW at 20’. 

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Many people have been violated for this under 91.119 c).  if its a high speed pass, it clearly not for landing or a go around. Do some fancy maneuver at the end, and they could tag on carless and reckless 91.13

FAR 91.119(c)

Except when necessary for takeoff or landing, no person may operate an aircraft below the following altitudes:

(a) Anywhere. An altitude allowing, if a power unit fails, an emergency landing without undue hazard to persons or property on the surface.

(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 sparsely populated areas. In those cases, the aircraft may not be operated closer than 500 feet to any person, vessel, vehicle, or structure.
 

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⬆️ Exactly. 

Most try to impress themselves with a pull up and/or steep turn at the end. 

Flying down the RW at 20’, but easily WITHIN 500’ (let alone 1000’) of hangars, buildings, other planes, etc) doesn’t seem to qualify for the “other than congested areas” language. Not to mention the houses at either end of the RW. 

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Flying the DC-3 back from an airshow to the museum at KPAE at 2000 feet. Realized we would fly through KRNT’s delta so we gave them a call and requested transit south to north directly over the field at 2000’. Reply came back, “Approved as requested (pause), ah, could we talk you into a low pass?” 

So is it legal if the tower requests it?  And, yes, we accommodated them and added a nice 2g pull up at the end :)

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How about for a gear inspection outside of emergency authority?

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The only way I could see a thing like that passing muster is if the low pass was conducted at a low speed to examine the landing surface. Such examinations don’t work at high speed. A good way to stop it would be to get a good camera with a fast shutter and a telephoto lens and get some photos of the aircraft (including tail numbers) and drop a dime. Someone should do it before someone else on the ground gets hurt.

 

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35 minutes ago, bradp said:

How about for a gear inspection outside of emergency authority?

If a pilot truly believes they need a gear inspection and they do not think they are in an emergency situation, then they should probably revisit what it means (and what it doesn’t mean) to declare an emergency.  But.... to answer your question... you can “defend your behavior” if someone does challenge you by saying you were troubleshooting an emergency (gear malfunction).  You don’t *have* to utter the words to get emergency protection (in hindsite).  But... if you don’t declare, then you go buzzing low with your gear down... and someone reports you, you may have to explain your actions to the FAA.., whereas if you just declare while airborne, they may not choose to even talk to you after the report- they will see that you were troubleshooting an emergency and immediately throw out the case.  But each situation is different.

the only time I wouldn’t declare an emergency in a situation like this would be if I was at an uncontrolled airport far from a controlling agency.  Otherwise, if I suspected a gear problem near a towered runway, I’d definitely declare, so I could focus on the gear problem, rather than traffic in the pattern, airspace, etc.

and for those that are scared of declaring because they think it will result in a visit from the FAA, think again.. declaring emergencies does not auto result in a call/visit from the FAA.

 

edit:  here’s a decent article on the subject from Flying Magazine.

https://www.flyingmag.com/technique/proficiency/emergency-demystified/

Edited by M016576

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1 hour ago, PT20J said:

Flying the DC-3 back from an airshow to the museum at KPAE at 2000 feet. Realized we would fly through KRNT’s delta so we gave them a call and requested transit south to north directly over the field at 2000’. Reply came back, “Approved as requested (pause), ah, could we talk you into a low pass?” 

So is it legal if the tower requests it?  And, yes, we accommodated them and added a nice 2g pull up at the end :)

Skip

And sometimes at work ATC asks us to maintain something faster than 200 KIAS while under Class B. Doesn’t mean it’s legal, just means they don’t know the regs. 

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22 minutes ago, joepilot said:

And sometimes at work ATC asks us to maintain something faster than 200 KIAS while under Class B. Doesn’t mean it’s legal, just means they don’t know the regs. 

I dont think the right mentality torwards that.

I'm sure a couple boeing 787s and 777s fly faster than 250 kias under 10'000 ft. What a bunch of dumbass captains and first officers that dont know the regs.

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9 hours ago, joepilot said:

And sometimes at work ATC asks us to maintain something faster than 200 KIAS while under Class B. Doesn’t mean it’s legal, just means they don’t know the regs. 

It really depends on what you call it and what happens. If nothing gets bent or broken or irritated the likelihood of enforcement action slim to zero.  No one at my drome calls them low passes. Folks will request a “low approach”, particularly when terminating a practice instrument approach.  I can tell you that the definition of low varies from pilot to pilot.  Our tower doesn’t seem to mind in the least if someone wants to fly the length of the runway at 50’AGL. I’ve seen it done by just about every make you could imagine. Nanchangs, L39s, Barons, even a Citation mustang. I don’t get too worked up about it but then our Class Delta airport is surrounded by dairy farms. I’ve made several low passes over a friend’s private strip. As to the risk, I’d guess it pales in comparison to flying the Fisk into Oshkosh during prime time.

Edited by Shadrach
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19 minutes ago, Niko182 said:

I dont think the right mentality torwards that.

I'm sure a couple boeing 787s and 777s fly faster than 250 kias under 10'000 ft. What a bunch of dumbass captains and first officers that dont know the regs.

No. Not the 250 below 10 rule. The 200 KIAS (or clean maneuvering) flying in airspace underlying the Class B. 

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Anyway, so far I’m hearing lots of excuses of why you guys THINK you can do a fly by (and violate the 500’/1000’ limitation) but no facts or regs that allow it. Legally. 

My airport’s RW is not isolated. It’s closely surrounded by hangars, structures, planes, houses...

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1 hour ago, joepilot said:

And sometimes at work ATC asks us to maintain something faster than 200 KIAS while under Class B. Doesn’t mean it’s legal, just means they don’t know the regs. 

Except there is no reg that prevents it. So it’s a lousy analogy.

From the FAR/AIM

4-3-12. Low Approach

a. A low approach (sometimes referred to as a low pass) is the go-around maneuver following an approach. Instead of landing or making a touch-and-go, a pilot may wish to go around (low approach) in order to expedite a particular operation (a series of practice instrument approaches is an example of such an operation). Unless otherwise authorized by ATC, the low approach should be made straight ahead, with no turns or climb made until the pilot has made a thorough visual check for other aircraft in the area. 

b. When operating within a Class B, Class C, and Class D surface area, a pilot intending to make a low approach should contact the tower for approval. This request should be made prior to starting the final approach. 

c. When operating to an airport, not within a Class B, Class C, and Class D surface area, a pilot intending to make a low approach should, prior to leaving the final approach fix inbound (nonprecision approach) or the outer marker or fix used in lieu of the outer marker inbound (precision approach), so advise the FSS, UNICOM, or make a broadcast as appropriate.

Edited by Shadrach
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8 minutes ago, joepilot said:

Anyway, so far I’m hearing lots of excuses of why you guys THINK you can do a fly by (and violate the 500’/1000’ limitation) but no facts or regs that allow it. Legally. 

My airport’s RW is not isolated. It’s closely surrounded by hangars, structures, planes, houses...

I’m not defending it and I generally don’t like showoffs but I’m also a firm believer in our rights/privileges as pilots...  it’s kind of like the Navy regulations, if it doesn’t say you can’t do it, you’re probably not gonna get in trouble for it.  Unfortunately I was in the USAF and we inverted that rule to our own detriment.

More clearly - nothing specifically say you can’t do it.  You can try to apply “reckless” or other regulations but none are Specific to a low pass.

Edited by Ragsf15e
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1 hour ago, joepilot said:

Anyway, so far I’m hearing lots of excuses of why you guys THINK you can do a fly by (and violate the 500’/1000’ limitation) but no facts or regs that allow it. Legally. 

My airport’s RW is not isolated. It’s closely surrounded by hangars, structures, planes, houses...

Confident, sanctimonious and wrong all in the same post. Nice trifecta! 

 You may not like the activity and I may not  like the activity. However the activity is not illegal. Perhaps you should call the local FSDO and persuade them to render an opinion.  On the way home be sure to to tell the neighborhood kids to get off your lawn .

Edited by Shadrach
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9 minutes ago, joepilot said:

No. Not the 250 below 10 rule. The 200 KIAS (or clean maneuvering) flying in airspace underlying the Class B. 

Exactly, Because ATC allows them to increase above 250 knots, just like atc allows aircraft to be above 250knots when below a class bravo airspace.

5 minutes ago, joepilot said:

Anyway, so far I’m hearing lots of excuses of why you guys THINK you can do a fly by (and violate the 500’/1000’ limitation) but no facts or regs that allow it. Legally. 

My airport’s RW is not isolated. It’s closely surrounded by hangars, structures, planes, houses...

And i'm hearing excuses why YOU THINK you can't do a fly by. No where does it say that doing a fly by is reckless. I also don't understand what the problem with fly bys are? what harm do they do. if your talking on CTAF, and they're being careful, whats the deal?

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All I’m saying is it’s almost becoming an epidemic at my airport. Some guys do it in formation. They do it it a loud T-6. There’s already noise issues with neighbors, like most SoCal airports, and not that I’m a noise sympathizer, but these PITA complainers have power & have shut down more than one airport in the past. It just creates extra noise & traffic for no reason. 

 

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28 minutes ago, joepilot said:

All I’m saying is it’s almost becoming an epidemic at my airport. Some guys do it in formation. They do it it a loud T-6. There’s already noise issues with neighbors, like most SoCal airports, and not that I’m a noise sympathizer, but these PITA complainers have power & have shut down more than one airport in the past. It just creates extra noise & traffic for no reason. 

 

We can agree that certain type of behavior attract the wrong kind of attention from the non flying public. You’ll likely find some other pilots sympathetic to your view if you approach it the right way. And by the right way I mean on the practical reasons for your position as opposed to insinuating that violations are taking place when they likely are not.

Edited by Shadrach

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2 hours ago, joepilot said:

And sometimes at work ATC asks us to maintain something faster than 200 KIAS while under Class B. Doesn’t mean it’s legal, just means they don’t know the regs. 

Oh, they know the regs. But, controllers have authority to deviate from them when separating traffic in airspace they own. They issue altitude clearances contrary to the hemispheric altitude rule all the time in busy terminal areas, for instance. The authority is in 91.123 

(b) Except in an emergency, no person may operate an aircraft contrary to an ATC instruction in an area in which air traffic control is exercised.

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6 minutes ago, PT20J said:

Oh, they know the regs. But, controllers have authority to deviate from them when separating traffic in airspace they own. They issue altitude clearances contrary to the hemispheric altitude rule all the time in busy terminal areas, for instance. The authority is in 91.123 

(b) Except in an emergency, no person may operate an aircraft contrary to an ATC instruction in an area in which air traffic control is exercised.

Skip

No, they can’t clear you to violate a regulation:

2. "Maintain maximum (or best) forward speed" means the maximum or best forward legal speed. ATC does not have the authority to lift the 250 kias below 10,000 feet speed restriction [91.117(a)]. You cannot be cleared to violate a regulation, and you cannot accept such a clearance.

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6 minutes ago, Ragsf15e said:

No, they can’t clear you to violate a regulation:

2. "Maintain maximum (or best) forward speed" means the maximum or best forward legal speed. ATC does not have the authority to lift the 250 kias below 10,000 feet speed restriction [91.117(a)]. You cannot be cleared to violate a regulation, and you cannot accept such a clearance.

Yeah they do. I heard them tell a tripple 7 a couple weeks ago when i was flying over lax.

 

 

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