Visual Flight Rules

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Visual Flight Rules

Visual flight rulea


If you are a true aviation enthusiast then at one or the other point in your life you must have come across the term visual flight rules (VFR). If you have ever got a chance to fly in an aircraft you must have popped out of the window to see that what does the pilot sees? If not I will tell you that it is just awesome to gaze out that window and the huge huge clear blue sky all around. It's not blue all the time though when you get those shaking cabin rides.

For the sake of this discussion, we would assume that the sky outside the aircraft is blue. Being a passenger you would always think that it's so clear outside, the pilot must be in full control of this craft! But is it correct? Flying around 150-200 pure souls is not that easy. Though the sky is damn clear still there are a set of rules which the pilot have to follow while flying the aircraft. These set of rules and regulations are called Visual Flight Rules. VFR may formally be defined as the set of rules that the pilot have to follow while flying the aircraft when the weather conditions under certain minimum control limits set up by the governing body of that airfield.

The minimum control limits of weather conditions are called as Visual Meteorological Conditions. VMC may formally be defined as a set of weather conditions which are clear enough so that the pilot is able to distinguish between the clouds and any obstruction that may lie on the flight path. This VMC vary in various factors such as what type of aircraft are we talking about,? the airfield over which we are flying? whether we are flying in night or day? etc...

Visual meteorological conditions
Visual meteorological conditions

Let us take an example of VMC conditions as laid down by the United Kingdom government.


Now as we have got an insight into what are the visual meteorological conditions lets take our discussion back to visual flight rules. If the VMC are satisfied then the pilot has to follow VFR while flying the aircraft. If the conditions of VMC are satisfied then the pilot need not fly the aircraft as per ATC directions he/she can fly the aircraft according to his decision-making abilities but still, a transponder is required on the aircraft so that ATC can get the exact location of the aircraft at any instance whenever required.

What are Visual Flight Rules?

As in the case of VMC the visual flight rules are also dependent on various aspects such as the type of aircraft being flown, time of flight etc. All these factors are studied by the federal agency of the country over which the respective airfield lies and VFR are decided accordingly.

For example let us consider that an aircraft is flying over XYZ city where the governing body is ABC , the VMC as prescribed by ABC are that in the case of day flying between 800 hours to 1600 hours above 700 ft from ground or sea with a clear visibility of 5 km then these conditions may be taken as the minima for VMC and the pilot has the right to fly as a VFR with the consent of ATC under which he/she has to maintain a distance of at least 600 m from clouds and to take decisions as per the spot and decide policy in which the pilot spots any obstruction and adjust the flight path accordingly.

What are VMC conditions are not fulfilled?

In case of a condition when the VMC is not being fulfilled then IFC can be carried out. IFC is defined as Instrumental flight control for which another weather and meteorological conditions by the name of Instrumental Meteorological conditions are defined.


Thanks for reading!

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