March 2001 Issue

Stranger in a Strange Land

Unfamiliar airspace can tax your mind, especially when it’s someplace like Los Angeles

Here’s a fun game you can play in the pilot’s lounge: Throw darts at the Los Angeles Terminal Area Chart, and try not to hit an airport.

There are a dozen underlying the LAX Class Bravo airspace, and 10 more just outside its perimeter. While not as congested as its freeways, L.A.’s sky is extremely busy. In the City of Angels, even cherubs must sport transponders.

The traffic has led the FAA to develop some of the most complex airspace around. Transients and newcomers beware: The FAA is serious about keeping airliners and GA airplanes separate.

“Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is the fourth busiest in the world, behind Atlanta, O’Hare in Chicago, and Dallas,” says Frank Swe...

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