Airspace & Transponders

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R4N Airspace

R4N Airspace

(Last updated: September 20, 2019)

All pilots are cautioned to refer to the most current data and information from the FAA in all cases prior to flight.  A few selected items are outlined below.

The R4N contest area contains a number of airspace restrictions that will require the competitor to be constantly aware of his location with respect to FAA controlled airspace.  In addition, the Mid-Atlantic Soaring Center (W73) is just over eight miles from the center of prohibited airspace P-40 at Camp David, normally a 3nm radius.  When the President is in residence, a 10nm Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) is placed around P-40.  M-ASA has an FAA waiver to fly when the TFR is “hot” requiring specific procedures and communications to be followed with four Federal agencies and one Military agency.  M-ASA has successfully flown during TFRs since 2003, even during R4N contests.  Therefore it’s important to our soaring club that our record and relationship with the federal authorities be maintained.  Please read the P-40 TFR information on this web site for further details and pilot requirements.

The contest area is constrained by the following FAA airspace.  The wise pilot will understand their locations and dimensions.

P-40 Prohibited area (3nm radius)

P-40 TFR when NOTAM’d (10nm radius)

R-4009 Restricted area (3nm, overlies P-40)

Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Class B airspace

Washington DC Metropolitan SFRA and FRZ

Hagerstown Class D airspace

Martinsburg Class D airspace

Harrisburg TRSA and Class D airspace

University Park Class D airspace

Frederick Municipal Airport Class D airspace

R-5803 and R-5801 restricted airspace near the Letterkenney Army Depot

Class A airspace

The official set of Region 4 North Contest airspace files are located at John Liebacher’s World Wide Soaring Turnpoint Exchange web site at one of the following locations.  The latest release is dated September 11, 2019. The changes were mostly a cleanup exercise and removed the airport attributes from Cumberland Valley, Captain’s Folly and Ziggy’s.

Please read the warnings and caveats that accompany these data files.


Transponders at R4N

(Updated:  August 4, 2016)

The Mid-Atlantic Soaring Association encourages the installation and use of transponders in gliders.  M-ASA has a Letter of Agreement (LOA) with the Potomac Consolidated TRACON (PCT) for the use of glider and tow plane transponders in the mid-Atlantic region.  The agreement is extended to all participants of M-ASA sponsored glider events held at W73 and FDK.  The LOA summarizes the importance of transponders in the national airspace system:

The use of transponders enhances safety by assisting air traffic controllers in the issuance of traffic advisories and enabling detection by Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance Systems (TCAS) and Portable Collision Avoidance Systems (PCAS).  Since significant commercial, general aviation, and glider activity occurs in the vicinity of the Frederick Municipal Airport, the use of transponders by all aircraft operating in this area is highly recommended.  The use of pre-assigned transponder codes simplifys the process of pilots obtaining a discrete code, reduces controller workload, and allows FAA automation systems to present additional data to air traffic controllers.

The LOA stipulates the use of specific Mode 3/A codes at Fairfield as follows:

Gliders:  1202 (The national glider code)

Tow Planes:  0130

At the Potomac TRACON the automation software displays gliders with transponders as “GLDR” and tow planes as “TOW”.  An indication of “TOW” serves as a flag to controllers that many more gliders without transponders may be airborne in airspace shared by powered traffic.  In general, transponders in the contest area can be detected by TRACON secondary radars above approximately 2000 feet MSL.

During a P-40 TFR, gliders will squawk 1202.  Tow planes should squawk 0130 or may be assigned a discrete transponder code by ATC.