There is a significant number of airspace restrictions around Tipton airport. This page is designed to be a reminder or perhaps an introduction to some of them. It is not intended to be a pilot's sole reference. Please study the appropriate primary source of this information.

Exit and Entry Procedures Deale Intersection Camp David
Easton Class D Other Restricted Airspace


Navigating U.S. Airspace - Presented by Bob Carpenter
SFRA gates and frequencies
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Special Flight Rules Area (SFRA)

Tipton Airport is located inside the Washington, DC SFRA. This means you are required to complete an SFRA flight plan with either the FSS, DUAT or DUATS. Your flight plan destination will be to one of the gates shown below and you will receive your transponder code by calling Potomac approach via telephone BEFORE you takeoff from Tipton. You must repeat these steps to re-enter the SFRA once you have left.

Never use a transponder setting of 1200 while inside the SFRA.

There are several other rules and details not covered here. It is highly recommended you take the online course "Navigating the DC Special Flight Rules Area (SFRA)". This material is also covered in detail in a briefing by our Chief Flight Instructor, Bob Carpenter.

Telephone Numbers for Potomac TRACON and FSS:

Both toll free and local selected POTOMAC Sector as well as FSS toll free numbers are given:
(Shenandoah Sector) [IAD] POTOMAC TRACON 866-709-4993 540-349-4097
(Mt Vernon Sector) [DCA and ADW] POTOMAC TRACON 866-599-3874 540-349-0493
(James River Sector) [RIC and CHO] POTOMAC TRACON 866-640-4124 540-349-9697
(Chesapeake Sector) [BWI-FME-ANP-W18] POTOMAC TRACON 866-429-5882 540-349-8478

(Washington Hub Dedicated to SFRA Opns) FSS 866-225-7410
[Wash Hub has pre-stored flight plans for all FMFA aircraft. When calling just give them the tail number and "changes" (time off, exit/entrance pt, time enroute, pilot name, SOB, fuel onboard)]
(Nation-Wide) FSS 800-WX-BRIEF (800-992-7433)
(Transcribed Weather) FSS 877 484 2799
(General FSS Info)

Flight Restricted Zone (FRZ)
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Flight Restricted Zone (FRZ)

Inside the Washington, DC SFRA there is an even more sensitive area call the Flight Restricted Zone (FRZ). In general, this should be considered a "No-Fly Zone". However, if you would like to be able to fly to any of the Maryland 3 (aka DC-3) airports, College Park, Potomac, or Hyde Field, you can fill out an application at one of those airports. You will be required to watch a TSA training video, be signed off by the FSDO and be fingerprinted at National Airport. Once this process is completed you will receive a password that can be used when filing a FRZ flight plan to one of the above referenced airports.

Note: The same password will work for all three airports.

For more information please see:

Potomac Class B Airspace
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Potomac Class B Airspace

So you've filed your SFRA flight plan, you've called Potomac and you have entered the transponder code they have given you. Once you have taken off be sure to fly away from the FRZ and keep an eye on your altitude. Tipton Airport is located underneath the Class B airspace for BWI. When taking off under VFR from Tipton you must remain below 1500 feet MSL. Give yourself 100 foot margin, by flying at 1400 feet MSL.

When heading southeast toward Annapolis, watch out for the WETA Maryland Public Television tower it reaches up to 1049 feet MSL. Use Maryland route 50 as a landmark to know when you can climb up to just below the next shelf of the class B airspace which is 2500 feet MSL. The next shelf starts just outside of Lee Annapolis (ANP) airport where you can climb up to under 3500 feet MSL.

When heading northwest of Tipton be very careful flying near Catonsville as there are quite a few towers that extend near and into the overlying Class B airspace allowing no room for aircraft to fly between the two. It is best practice to avoid this area and fly toward Randallstown, where you can climb up another 1000 feet without entering the Class B airspace.

VFR Egress/Access Routes
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Exit and Entry Procedures for Tipton

The close proximity of BWI and the Washington FRZ means when flying VFR you'll be exiting and entering Tipton to either the Southeast or the Northwest.

When exiting Tipton to the Southeast look for a drag strip at about 140 degree heading from the airport and stay to the North of the drag strip. When returning from the Southeast fly just south of the drag strip and if winds favor runway 28 or are calm report to Tipton traffic that you are over the drag strip and will follow the power lines to make a 45 entry for downwind, runway 28. Otherwise, head directly for the airport and report that you are on the 45 entry for runway 10.

When exiting Tipton to the Northwest look for the Laurel horse racetrack. Exit Tipton to the north of the racetrack. When arriving at Tipton from the Northwest stay south of the racetrack.

Ratta and Deale Intersection
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DEALE Intersection Practice Area

A significant amount of student airwork is practiced in the area near the DEALE intersection. This allows practice to be done at a high enough altitude to recover from stalls and other manuevers outside of Class B airspace. However, the missed approach holding point for the Andrews Airforce Base RNAV approach is the RATTA intersection which is very close to DEALE intersection. This holding pattern takes aircraft outside of Class B airspace at 2,600 feet MSL.

In addition aircraft headed for BWI from the south often go right to the bottom of Class B airspace in this area. Extra vigilance must be used by both instructor and students during airwork do to the amount of traffic in this area.

Camp David (P-40)
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Camp David (P-40)

The Camp David airspace (aka P-40) north of Frederick Airport and East of Hagerstown is always prohibited airspace, however, when the President is there it is expanded to a much larger area as shown on the Washington sectional chart. Be sure to check NOTAMS to find out about any pop-up TFRs and double check for "expanded P-40" when flying to the Northwest of Tipton.

Easton Class D
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Easton Airport Class D

Easton Airport recently got a tower and a standard 4NM, 2500 ft AGL class D airspace. Be careful if you are used to flying around the area of Easton without contacting anyone as the Easton tower has reported a lot of airspace violations since the Class D airspace became active.

Please read Easton Airport - Pilot's Guide to Operating and Communicating with "Easton Tower".

Nearby Restricted Airspace

There are numerous other restricted airspaces to avoid in the Washington, DC area. Make sure you are familar with the boundaries and altitudes of these areas as they do further restrict access to and from Tipton Airport.

Patuxent River NAS
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Patuxent River NAS

The most popular cross-country flight for student pilots is to Salisbury (KSBY). If the pilot is not careful with chosing an altitude, the route between Tipton and Salisbury will take the pilot into one of Patuxent River NAS restricted airspaces, R-4006. However, if the pilot stays below 3500 feet MSL she will stay below, and thus clear of, R-4006. See the legend on the Washington section for these details. Other restricted airspaces associated with Patuxent River include R-4002 (Bloodsworth Island), R-4005, R-4007 and R-6609.

Aberdeen Proving Grounds, R-4001A/B
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Aberdeen Proving Ground
If you fly Northeast from Tipton toward Philadelphia, New York or Boston you need to beware of Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Phillips AAF (R-4001A/B). The usual procedure is just to remain south of the area until you are clear to the East, however, you can also either go west of Baltimore before heading back east or request flight over either BWI and/or Martin State airspace. Phillips AAF only controls the airspace during the day. At night Potomac Approach controls the airspace and you can contact them to request permission to fly over.

For instrument approaches into Martin State you will need to enter R-4001B. Be sure to obtain permission.

Dahlgren NSWC, R-6611A, R-6612, R-6613A
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Dahlgren NSWC

If you are heading down south through the WHINO SFRA gate you have to squeeze between Patuxent River, R-4007 and Dahlgren NSWC (R-6611A, R-6612, R-6613A). Use either the V20-33 or keep a careful eye on the GPS to remain clear of these restricted areas.

Quantico MCAF, R-6608
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Quantico MCAF is on the far side of the FRZ and thus the least likely restricted airspace you will encounter. However, if you find yourself heading to Manassas area or south of there be sure to double check your route on the Washington terminal area chart is clear of R-6608.