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Aviation Glossary :: MSA  Aviation Glossary :: MSA FAA Written Test Preparation
Aviation Glossary Welcome to the Dauntless Aviation Glossary!

At Dauntless, our editorial staff maintains the web's largest unified glossary of aviation terms. This glossary is built from a combination of official, quasi-official, and proprietary sources (including original material that we develop oursselves). Uniquely, we often provide multiple definitions of a given term so that you can find that which best applies to you. In order to maximize your learning efficiency, this glossary (and similar ones for our international users) is incresingly fully integrated into our aviation learning apps, including our FAA written test prep and FAA practical test prep software and apps. If you like this glossary, you'll love them with their polished learning environments and world's best and clearest content (please do give them a try.).

MSA
MSA
Measurement Systems Analysis is a method for ensuring product test measurements are reliable, robust, and of good statistical merit.
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source: Electrical Engineering Glossary

MSAs are published for emergency use on IAP charts. For conventional navigation systems, the MSA is normally based on the primary omnidirectional facility on which the IAP is predicated. For RNAV approaches, the MSA is based on the runway waypoint (RWY WP) for straight-in approaches, or the airport waypoint (APT WP) for circling approaches. For GPS approaches, the MSA center is the Missed Approach Waypoint (MAWP).
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source: FAA Instrument Procedures Handbook (FAA-H-8083-16)

  1. The minimum altitude specified in 14 CFR Part 91 for various aircraft operations.
  2. Altitudes depicted on approach charts which provide at least 1,000 feet of obstacle clearance for emergency use within a specified distance from the navigation facility upon which a procedure is predicated. These altitudes will be identified as Minimum Sector Altitudes or Emergency Safe Altitudes and are established as follows:
  3. Minimum Sector Altitudes. Altitudes depicted on approach charts which provide at least 1,000 feet of obstacle clearance within a 25-mile radius of the navigation facility upon which the procedure is predicated. Sectors depicted on approach charts must be at least 90 degrees in scope. These altitudes are for emergency use only and do not necessarily assure acceptable navigational signal coverage. (See ICAO term Minimum Sector Altitude.)
  4. Emergency Safe Altitudes. Altitudes depicted on approach charts which provide at least 1,000 feet of obstacle clearance in nonmountainous areas and 2,000 feet of obstacle clearance in designated mountainous areas within a 100-mile radius of the navigation facility upon which the procedure is predicated and normally used only in military procedures. These altitudes are identified on published procedures as "Emergency Safe Altitudes."
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source: FAA Pilot/Controller Glossary

Minimum Safe Altitude (MSA): The minimum altitude depicted on approach charts which provides at least 1,000 feet of obstacle clearance for emergency use within a specified distance from the listed navigation facility.
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source: FAA Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge (FAA-H-8083-25A)

Minimum Safe Altitude: altitude in the terminal area below which aircraft should not descend except on approach
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source: ICAO English Pro Aviation Glossary


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Disclaimer: While this glossary in most cases is likely to be highly accurate and useful, sometimes, for any number of editorial, transcription, technical, and other reasons, it might not be. Additionally, as somtimes you may have found yourself brought to this page through an automated term matching system, you may find definitions here that do not match the cotext or application in which you saw the original term. Please use your good judgement when using this resource.


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