FAA and how to precisely measure the 5 mile radius

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#1
I'm 107 certified and currently working on a situation where I have a client needing work. On the FAA B4UFLY app it clearly shows that I am just outside the 5 mile radius controlled class C airspace.

The property owner (apparently not looking at the FAA charts or the B4UFLY app) is saying that I am inside the 5 mile radius. I think they are just going onto Google earth and measuring from the end of the local runway toward the area I need to fly.

We applied for a waiver months ago, but still nothing yet. That would solve our problems, but given how behind they are I am coming down to the wire and need a plan B. I have been on the phone with the FAA about the waiver, but they say there is nothing they can do.

I am sure I had read that the 5 mile radius was from the center of the main/longest runway.

Can anyone point me to a statement that says such, or gives the location where the 5 mile radius measurement is taken?

I am really splitting hairs on this project and a few hundred feet makes all the difference between being able to fly without authorization (my plan B) and needing a waiver in Class C airspace.

Any links to an FAA statement showing how to measure the 5 mile radius? I've looked, I can't find it??!

Thanks :)
 
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#2
Just my initial reaction...check your sectional charts and your lat/long for the area you will be operating in. That should be your final determination for the class you are in. No one can fault you for reading the chart correctly. You are the certified pilot not the client. The radius around a airport is not always a perfect 5mile ring. There are many airports with “cutouts” in the ring. I routinely operate within 5miles of a controlled airport but that class c has a “cutout” so I need no authorization.
 
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#3
B4UFly is a FAA app. If you are outside what the FAA says 5 miles is, then I don't see an issue I would show the app to the client.
 
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#4
B4UFly is a FAA app. If you are outside what the FAA says 5 miles is, then I don't see an issue I would show the app to the client.
Yes I did just that.... but they are not even looking at what I am sending them.. apparently misinformation at the county level.... I hate red tape.... Thanks for the reply :)
 
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#5
The 5-Mile rule only applies if flying recreationally, not while flying commercially. Part 107 operators simply must adhere to sectional chart airspace categories and the regs pertaining to them. You will find no mention of the airport 5-mile rule in the Part 107 regulations. To see exactly where the airspace delineations are, you can import a sectional chart .kml file into Google Earth so you have better surface detail to be able to see exactly where you will be flying. Just add a marker pin to Google Earth to designate your flying location then turn on the Sectional Charts or Terminal Area Charts layer.

To import the chartbundle_aero.kml file, choose "Open with Google Earth".

You can download a PDF summary of the Part 107 Regulations here.
 
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#7
B4UFly is not designed for Part 107 operations.

The OP should use the sectional charts as indicated above.

OP, use the AirMap app instead of B4UFly.
I'm using both, in conjunction with the FAA charts. One problem is I'm talking about only a few hundred feet and the resolution on the FAA charts is no where good enough.

Both Airmap and B4UFLY shows me in the clear... sectional charts won't show enough detail... thanks though.
 
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#8
The 5-Mile rule only applies if flying recreationally, not while flying commercially. Part 107 operators simply must adhere to sectional chart airspace categories and the regs pertaining to them. You will find no mention of the airport 5-mile rule in the Part 107 regulations. To see exactly where the airspace delineations are, you can import a sectional chart .kml file into Google Earth so you have better surface detail to be able to see exactly where you will be flying. Just add a marker pin to Google Earth to designate your flying location then turn on the Sectional Charts or Terminal Area Charts layer.

To import the chartbundle_aero.kml file, choose "Open with Google Earth".

You can download a PDF summary of the Part 107 Regulations here.
I guess I should have clarified, the class C airspace is out to the 5 mile mark... and the local authorities are hung up on the 5 mile radius (county officials). For 107 I need an airspace waiver, but only inside the class C airspace. My dispute is where the County thinks this class C airspace ends. B4UFLY and AirMaps both show me in the clear, the County disagrees, but they have yet to show me where they got that information :-(
 
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#9
I guess I should have clarified, the class C airspace is out to the 5 mile mark... and the local authorities are hung up on the 5 mile radius (county officials). For 107 I need an airspace waiver, but only inside the class C airspace. My dispute is where the County thinks this class C airspace ends. B4UFLY and AirMaps both show me in the clear, the County disagrees, but they have yet to show me where they got that information :-(
Unless your client is the County, the FAA and not the County controls the NAS, and you should be good to go! :cool: Why would you need the County's approval? :confused:
 
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#10
If you are concerned with this degree of precision you should be using a standard aviation tool such as ForeFlight. As was mentioned, you can also go out to the spot, capture the lat/longs on your phone, then plug them into Skyvector. That will let you see exactly where you are in relation to the Class C surface area.
 
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#11
If it's really that "close" I'd go ahead and request my Class C Airspace Authorization (sort of a CYB situation) and then you're covered completely without question. Once approved you'll have it on file to show whoever comes asking.

If you're lucky your local airport is already on the LAANC system and you can utilize that very easily and quickly.

Don't use B4UFLY. It's a toy of an app and built for hobby operations.
 
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#12
I agree that the limiting factor is the class of airspace and not necessarily the distance from the airport.

The FAA Airport Facility Directory lists the latitude/longatude of the center point of the airport. Using this to determine the boundaries of the airspace would be a good starting point. Also, remember lateral distances are measured in nautical miles, which are longer than more commonly used statute miles.
 
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#13
If it's really that "close" I'd go ahead and request my Class C Airspace Authorization (sort of a CYB situation) and then you're covered completely without question. Once approved you'll have it on file to show whoever comes asking.

If you're lucky your local airport is already on the LAANC system and you can utilize that very easily and quickly.

Don't use B4UFLY. It's a toy of an app and built for hobby operations.
I did just that, but it has not come through yet.
 
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#14
Have you looked at any of the newer software where you can file a flight plan and have it approved instantly. There are several vendors of such software (I believe AirMap is one) but, the roll out of locations covered by the apps will happen over the next 12 months.
 
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#15
Have you looked at any of the newer software where you can file a flight plan and have it approved instantly. There are several vendors of such software (I believe AirMap is one) but, the roll out of locations covered by the apps will happen over the next 12 months.
What is LAANC?
LAANC is the Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability.

When is LAANC coming to me?
On April 30, 2018, FAA will begin to roll out the capability regionally as part of a National Beta Test.

South Central USA — April 30, 2018
Western North USA — May 24, 2018
Western South USA — June 21, 2018
Eastern South USA — July 19, 2018
Eastern North USA — August 16, 2018
Central North USA — September 13, 2018

If you want to fly in controlled airspace near airports not offering LAANC, you can either use the manual process to apply for an authorization, or wait until the LAANC is available.

FAA UAS Data Exchange
 
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#16
Have you looked at any of the newer software where you can file a flight plan and have it approved instantly. There are several vendors of such software (I believe AirMap is one) but, the roll out of locations covered by the apps will happen over the next 12 months.
Yes, waiting with baited breath!... unfortunately I did not get my waiver (no one did at this event this year) so I had to forego my gig... really sucks because in a couple months this area will go live on AirMaps....