Questions tagged [visual-flight-rules]

Visual flight rules (VFR) is a set of regulations governing aircraft operations. VFR permits flying and navigating by visual reference outside the aircraft.

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33
votes
9answers
11k views

What happens when a pilot has no Instrument Rating and visibility drops?

Note: I'm not a pilot, so I don't have much basic knowledge of how the pilot licence ratings work If a pilot doesn't have an Instrument Rating, and the weather conditions drop below VMC; what do they ...
29
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4answers
27k views

When can I request flight following?

I'm a student pilot doing all VFR flying and making flight plans for training. I've heard that most people don't file a flight plan for VFR outside of training though, and instead request "flight ...
29
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3answers
5k views

How can I tell how far I am from a cloud?

So the other day as I was flying, I started to wonder: All pilots should be familiar with basic VFR cloud clearance requirements in 14 CFR 91.155 (and if not, then go study now!). When flying piston ...
27
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5answers
7k views

Can large aircraft go VFR?

Is it legal for large, multi-crew, aircraft (such as the A380 or B747) to go VFR? I would guess it's legal just as any other aircraft. Is this ever done, like during training or test-flights? If it ...
26
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3answers
7k views

When flying VFR without GPS, how do pilots know if they are inside controlled airspace or not?

How do VFR pilots know whether or not they are inside controlled airspace if they don't have GPS onboard?
25
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9answers
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How can a private pilot prepare for a long cross country flight in an unfamiliar area?

TL/DR: What are common preparation tips or techniques for low-hour private pilots planning long cross country flights in unfamiliar territory? I got my private pilot's license in November 2016 in ...
25
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3answers
18k views

Can I fly “into” the Grand Canyon?

I haven't looked at the Grand Canyon on a sectional yet, but I know that it is definitely big enough (by far) so that someone could fly a plane under the level of the rim and stil meet all of ...
24
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3answers
3k views

Why fly VFR at all?

Really novice question here: if both the pilot and the aircraft are instrument-rated, why would anyone fly VFR? IFR lets one fly in a wider range of weather conditions and at night while there are no ...
23
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2answers
8k views

May a non-instrument pilot legally file IFR as long as he amends and doesn’t accept an instrument clearance?

Say a pilot plans to make a cross country flight along Victor airways, but under VFR. Depending on workload and communication effectiveness along the way, our hero may provide the planned fairly ...
22
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6answers
4k views

Why does flying IFR require a rating?

It may seem like a silly question, but my analogy is, some countries issue automatic-transmission-only driving licenses. Automatic transmission in this case would be the powerful avionics now ...
20
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2answers
4k views

How can pilots lacking instruments interpret vectors given by ATC?

This video is about European Air Transport flight 2939, a Boeing 737, which "lost all the instruments of the aircraft" shortly after takeoff. BCS2939: We are flying heading now, and we don't have ...
20
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1answer
11k views

Under VFR, can a pilot fly above a layer of clouds?

Image source I often see charts like the one above showing VFR cloud clearance minima. Since the regs list a minimum distance above clouds obviously VFR flights are allowed to fly over clouds. ...
19
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2answers
8k views

How can pilots fly VFR over-the-top in overcast conditions?

It's apparently legal for pilots to fly over the top of clouds and fly VFR. However, I don't understand how it's possible to do so, especially since there is no visual reference to rely on to ensure ...
18
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4answers
2k views

Airplane longitudinal control: pitch or power?

I recently came across some slides from a flight school teaching, for the initial climb after take-off and for the approach, the strategy of controlling/adjusting RoC/RoD with power Speed with ...
18
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4answers
5k views

Why must IFR be cancelled?

Watching flying videos and listening to LiveATC, you will sometimes hear a pilot cancel IFR approach. Why does the ATC care if you are on IFR or VFR? So long as you get on the ground safely, it seems ...
17
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2answers
4k views

How accurate must fuel gauges be for VFR flight?

All Private Pilots should know the acronym TOMATO FLAMES for the Minimum Equipment List (MEL). On that list, F means Fuel Gauges.But what exactly is required of fuel gauges? Yesterday, my rental ...
17
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2answers
3k views

Who to call for flight following?

I was up this past weekend on my first solo cross country and decided to request VFR flight following and was a bit confused at what happened. For this question I will set up the actual situation as ...
15
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2answers
2k views

Which source to use when reporting the current altitude to ATC?

While flying from KSNA to KVCB VFR at night, Norcal Approach asked for my current altitude. I was somewhere between 12.0 and 12.5 depending on which reading I was going to use. ATC had me confirm. ...
15
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4answers
8k views

Where can I find GA VFR maps for Australia?

Are there any sites similar to SkyVector (US-based) for GA aviation maps in Australia? I understand that Air Services Australia has miscellaneous single-purposes maps available, but they seem to be ...
14
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4answers
6k views

Is it required to contact approach when flying VFR into a Class D airfield?

Is it required when under VFR to contact an airfield's approach when approaching to land at a class D? KDLH is my example airfield. They possess independent radar approach and departure (same ...
14
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2answers
5k views

What is required for transatlantic flight in a private plane?

What equipment is required to fly a small plane across the Atlantic via Canada, Greenland, and Iceland? Is any additional training required beyond an ordinary pilot certificate? Can it be done in VFR ...
14
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3answers
525 views

What are effective ways to spot the aircraft ATC specified?

When ATC instructs me something like "There is a Skyhawk on your 2 clock, 7 miles, 6500". I am not able to spot the target at least half of the time after several ATC reports its position until ATC ...
14
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3answers
682 views

Did Pacific Southwest Airlines ever operate flights under VFR?

Does anyone know if Pacific Southwest Airlines (PSA) ever flew certain routes under VFR? I've read this question and I understand that Part 121 does allow for VFR flight, but my question is specific ...
13
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3answers
3k views

“<Callsign>, remain VFR” — may I enter Class C airspace?

During a flight yesterday, the approach frequency for a local Class C was unusually busy. I was heading back to an underlying Class D and the frequency finally quieted down enough for me to poke in a ...
13
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2answers
2k views

Can I do a VFR climb-out on IFR flight plan?

Let’s suppose I wish to fly an IFR flight from KTUS (Tucson International Airport) to KFST (Fort Stockton-Pecos) for example. Given the surrounding terrain there is of course an ODP that reads as ...
12
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3answers
3k views

I've been denied VFR clearance through C airspace, what should I do?

If I'm flying along in my C-152 and I am trying to go in a straight line through the "center" of C airspace (to land at a regional airport under the airspace), but the controller tells me to remain ...
12
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4answers
29k views

On a chart, how can I find the frequency for flight following?

Is there a map I can refer to in order to pick up the correct frequency for VFR flight following while enroute? I know I can request a frequency from ATC as I depart, but what if I want to fly around ...
11
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2answers
1k views

How can I learn about unpublished VFR reporting points?

I often hear "The Creek" used by pilot and ATC in the vicinity of Provo Municipal airport. I've been flying in this area for over 20 years, and I don't know what they are talking about. There are at ...
11
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2answers
6k views

What are the pilot responsibilities for “maintain visual separation” clearances?

ATC will sometimes give pilots the instruction to maintain visual separation from nearby traffic. I have a couple questions about this: There is a related ...
11
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5answers
1k views

How often do people fly SVFR?

I was going over Special Visual Flight Rules (SVFR) with my instructor recently and he told me that he has only requested it a few times, and that it is mainly used if you are flying from ...
11
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2answers
3k views

In a Cessna 172 flying VFR on long final, when do I extend flaps to 10, 20, and 30 degrees?

At the pilot-controlled airfield I use most frequently, we fly a standard rectangular pattern. The normal-landing C172 flap sequence goes Downwind: 10 degrees past the “abeam point” and airspeed in ...
11
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2answers
1k views

Why does a pilot want to hold a Squawk Code when leaving Class B airspace?

I was listening to liveATC today... Controller clears this guy into the class B for a transition and throws him a code. Some time passes and the pilot has now transitioned the bravo and is leaving the ...
11
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1answer
2k views

Flying Considerations during an Eclipse? [duplicate]

August 21, 2017 will see a total eclipse of the sun across large sections of the United States, generally between about 10a.m. and 2p.m. (depending on location and timezone) If one is flying during ...
11
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1answer
2k views

Can I display the route which I have created with skyvector.com on google maps?

I really appreciate skyvector.com as a tool for initial route planning and providing me with a good lookout to the upcoming VFR flight, but honestly I'm not very satisfied with the FAA Sectional ...
11
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1answer
394 views

Is there research suggesting that VFR cruise altitude rules improve safety?

In the United States, 14 CFR 91.159 prescribes cruising altitudes for level flight under VFR: (a) When operating below 18,000 feet MSL and (1) On a magnetic course of zero degrees ...
10
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3answers
1k views

Should I fly if conditions are VFR but the flight briefer says “VFR Flight Not Recommended”?

I contacted a flight briefer this morning in the San Francisco Bay Area in California. At the time, ceilings at my airport (Palo Alto) had just hit 1000 ft, so the field was (barely) VFR. It is a very ...
10
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1answer
257 views

Why are there out-of-date tower frequencies on the VFR sectional chart, without a NOTAM?

I flew today to Salinas, CA and had a little trouble reaching Salinas tower (KSNS). The current VFR sectional shows the tower frequency as 119.4. However, apparently the frequency changed to 119.525 ...
10
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1answer
1k views

Is there a European equivalent of VFR Flight Following?

In the US, Flight Following is a radar service provided to VFR aircraft on a best-effort basis. Controllers provide traffic advisories but they don't issue clearances or instructions and the pilot is ...
10
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2answers
2k views

When are pilots required to have approval to conduct practice approaches?

I would like a clarification about requesting practice approaches. I have seen pilots at uncontrolled airports shoot practice approaches such as VOR, SDF, etc. without needing approval; obviously. ...
9
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3answers
1k views

How would ATC try to establish contact with a VFR craft?

Example: I'm in a 172 tailed N1234A, on a pleasure hop between Hicks Field and Addison, circling around DFW International to the north, flying at 1500ft within DFW's Mode C veil under VFR (so I'm ...
9
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3answers
1k views

Do GA pilots routinely request “flight following” from ATC, and why?

My understanding is that private pilots are able to contact air traffic control and request "flight following", as it may help them with their situational awareness. Beyond that, however, I'm curious: ...
9
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2answers
2k views

Are VFR pilots required to avoid an isolated cumulus cloud like any other cloud?

When flying VFR, pilots are to stay free of clouds, which includes a minimum of 3 miles visibility, and 2,000 feet laterally. Yet, I've seen some youtube videos where it appears the pilot gets too ...
9
votes
1answer
284 views

Do FAA sectional charts show all power/transmission lines?

The FAA's sectional aeronautical charts include some power/transmission lines. How complete is this? I am specifically interested in using something like ForeFlight for aeronautical charts while hot ...
9
votes
1answer
735 views

What punishment will I get from CASA if I fly in a cloud while a student pilot?

I am a student pilot in Australia. Someone said he saw me fly into a cloud at 1700 feet above ground level for five seconds. But I am sure I did not fly in the cloud. I have no instrument rating, nor ...
9
votes
1answer
337 views

What are approach control's expectations regarding weather information for flights to satellite airports?

I have never passed through class-C airspace without intending on landing at the primary airport. If the flight is conducted under VFR, and I am planning on landing at a satellite airport to the ...
8
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4answers
1k views

Which altitudes are safest for VFR? [closed]

As a fairly new pilot who does a fair amount of x-country flying I find myself "feeling" safer going East at 5500 and West at 6500 happily burning extra fuel to get up there. Listening to the on route ...
8
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3answers
3k views

What is the longest distance at which an aircraft can be visually identified?

In the IL-2 flight simulator, when you turn on "markers" for planes you can see a belligerent side, the aircraft belongs to, at a distance up to 6km (3.75 miles) as well as its type with a tail number....
8
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3answers
2k views

How safe is IFR in class E?

In class D and E airspace, there is no separation between IFR and VFR traffic. However, most airspace in the United States below 18,500 feet MSL is class E airspace, which is exactly where non-...
8
votes
1answer
536 views

Can Approach cancel my special VFR clearance if I'm already cleared?

Say I have requested a special VFR to enter Class D airspace. Approach acknowledges and clears me into the Class D airspace. After entering the Class D airspace the airport visibility drops < 1 ...
8
votes
1answer
704 views

Can TCAS be used to confirm “traffic in sight”?

If a pilot is asked to confirm traffic in sight, but they have hard time locating the traffic visually, however, they can see it on the TCAS display. Can they confirm they have the traffic in sight ...