Intercepted by an F-15

One day, many years ago, I was flying a civilian, general aviation aircraft northwest of Atlanta under VFR. To my surprise, a U.S. Air Force F-15 Eagle swooped down, and leveled off at my altitude, about a 1/4 mile off my left wingtip. True story. I was flying only 130 knots indicated, so I was surprised to see the fighter jet could slow down to hold position with me.

The pilot of the jet gently banked towards me and moved within a couple of hundred feet of my aircraft. He was so close that I could see the pilot waving hello. Then, just as quickly, the pilot lit his afterburner and shot out of there like, well, like an F-15 in full blower. It was over so quickly, it was almost like a UFO encounter, but as I said, true story.

In today’s show, we’ll talk about what it means when a fighter jet falls into formation with your airplane. The circumstances will probably be quite different than my encounter. You’ll see what I mean when you listen to the show.

When you enter Class C airspace, you are messing with radar control by ATC. It pays to know what’s coming; and to know what to say to the air traffic controller. We’ll have at it in today’s show.

Question of the Week:

You are flying towards an airport with a control tower that is contained by Class D airspace. However, the Class D airspace that defines the control tower’s area of control is coverlapped by Class C airspace.

A good example of this is the New Smyrna Airport on the east coast of Central Florida. The north, east, and west side of the New Smyrna’s Class D airspace is overlapped by the Class C airspace surrounding Daytona Beach International Airport. So here’s today’s question, and if you are currently enrolled at, or have graduated from Embry-Riddle University at Daytona Beach International, don’t shout the answer out loud and ruin it for everybody else.

When your intended destination airport is in Class D airspace, which is overlapped by Class C airspace, will ATC provide you with Class C radar service, that is sequencing, traffic advisories, and safety alerts, when your airplane is inside of the secondary airport’s Class D airspace?

When you think you know the answer to that question, go to for the correct answer, as well as a complete explanation.

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