If I am understanding correctly, you're not really supposed to use VFRs if the weather is not clear enough that you can ensure you're not going to run into things. Usually you do this by looking at the weather reports around your route and going "nice and sunny, VFR should be fine". Then picking an altitude that meets your other needs, but keeps you out the clouds (if there are clouds).

Then, because you are flying VFR, when you're outside of certain air spaces, you're "on your own". No ATC, or things like that. Maybe some flight following, where the ATC guys goes "Ummm, you see that big mountain right? you're not going to hit that are you?" But also no guarantee of that either (because you're supposed to be using your eye balls to see that you don't smack into the mountain).

But what happens when conditions change, either because the flight is taking longer than expected, or because they just do, and stuff happens? You seem to be in a rough spot. You should not continue your flight using VFR, but you can't land. So what do you do, specially if not rated for IFR flight?

Specifically, conditions are no longer acceptable for VFR flight, and you're not really near your destination, and the smaller airports around you are not currently staffed.


1 Answer 1


You wrote:

"you should not continue your flight using VFR, but you can't land"
"and the smaller airports around you are not currently staffed."

Why can't you land? If you can't land, you should not be flying!
Why do you need an airport to be staffed to land there? Pilots land at unstaffed airports all the time following CTAF (Common Traffic Advisory Frequency) procedures.

If weather conditions are deteriorating below VFR minimums, then landing at an airport is 100% an appropriate course of action.

  • $\begingroup$ I think I may have over though it a bit. I was meaning like "all of the sudden you can't see the airport". But now, trying to express that, it's not like fog suddenly appears out of no where and you get no warning. It would be a very strange (but I guess not impossible) occurrence to go from nice and well above VFR minimums to "wow I can't see the ground" that quickly. $\endgroup$
    – coteyr
    Commented Apr 20, 2017 at 21:55
  • $\begingroup$ Unless you are along the coast, where water & land temperature differences can create fog very quickly. $\endgroup$
    – CrossRoads
    Commented Jun 29, 2018 at 18:49

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