What is the difference, and how would an outsider discern, whether a flight was conducted under Visual Flight Rules or Instrument Flight Rules in class G airspace? (United States, FAA jurisdiction, although I’d be interested in EASA or other answers)
To be clear, I am not asking about receiving an instrument approach clearance to transit and land at an airport within class G airspace, or picking up an IFR clearance before take off and flight into controlled portions of the National Airspace System. I am talking about flying an entire flight under IFR within uncontrolled airspace, without radar services, and without talking to ATC.
Presume that the aircraft is certified for IFR flight, and the pilot is instrument rated and current. The do-nothing default would be VFR, so:
- What is the actual trigger for enabling the pilot to make the flight under IFR if no clearance is issued?
- I.e. what specific action must be taken to be considered operating under IFR, and not VFR?
And here’s the kicker to this scenario… the weather is clear and a million. That’s right - VMC, not IMC!
Yes, the pilot could make the flight under VFR, and without radar and ATC service there is no compelling reason not to, he/she just wants to prove to Aviation SE readers that it can be done. You can file and fly IFR under VMC in controlled airspace so you should be able to do the same in class G, right?
Is this what would make the flight IFR then, the filing of an IFR flight plan? What would be the response of ATC in such a situation if they are not required to issue a clearance, and cannot “control” the flight?