Anonymous asked in Cars & TransportationAircraft · 1 decade ago

difference between IFR and VFR?do airline pilots use vfr?

What is the difference between IFR and VFR?

and do airline pilots(flying jets)use IFR only or whatever they want?

13 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    VFR means visual flight rules. A VFR pilot navigates and flies by looking out the window. He uses the view out the window to keep the aircraft straight and level, and he navigates from place to place by looking at things on the ground (roads, rivers, buildings, etc.). He can also use instruments if he wants, but the law requires that he be able to see and fly visually (flying in clouds or when the ground isn't visible is not allowed, and in some countries flying at night isn't allowed, either). VFR pilots also must keep their eyes open for other airplanes nearby so that they don't hit anyone.

    IFR means instrument flight rules. An IFR pilot navigates using instruments in the cockpit. It is not necessary for him to look out the window, and in fact a pilot flying IFR can fly to his destination even if the windows are covered by cardboard. Everything is done by instruments. Since it's often not possible to see outside when flying IFR, IFR flights work in conjunction with air traffic controllers, who use radar to advise IFR flights of other aircraft in the area, thereby maintaining a safe distance between them.

    IFR is safer than VFR, because it can be carried out in any type of weather, regardless of visibility. However, flying IFR is much more complicated than VFR, and requires much more training and practice.

    Airline pilots flying for commercial airlines are required to fly IFR, for safety reasons. Even in perfectly clear weather, the flight is still conducted under IFR. Of course, the pilots do look out the windows when flying IFR, but the important thing is that they can fly safely even if nothing is visible outside the windows.

    When airline pilots are flying on their own for fun, in a small plane for example, they can fly VFR if they want. But when they are on the job and flying an airliner, IFR is required.

  • 4 years ago

    Ifr Vs Vfr

  • ross
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Vfr Vs Ifr

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    IFR=Instrument flight rules. Short answer, ATC knows where you are, who you are, and where you're going, they keep track of you by voice and on radar and provide navigation services. And yes, jets only use IFR.

    VFR=Visual flight rules. You're on your own, you don't talk to anyone and are responsible for your own navigation.

    Of course, ATC is at your disposal and will help in every way possible whether you are VFR or IFR. Thats their job, thats what they do, a lot of pilots are afraid to call them up when they are VFR. Don't be. They want to help. Their job is to help ALL pilots, not just the ones going IFR. I know probably six people that work in enroute, departure, approach and tower ops for the FAA. Whenever a preventable accident occurs, they are always frustrated when the pilot could have gotten out of a bad situation just by asking, this is a mistake common by VFR pilots. This is a common misconception by a lot of VFR pilots, that they can't talk to center because they aren't IFR.

    Nothing could be further from the truth.


    John R is correct about being able to operate VFR under 18,000 feet, however as John also knows, the 250 knot speed limit below 18,000 feet makes VFR impractical for jets.

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  • Anonymous
    6 years ago

    This Site Might Help You.


    difference between IFR and VFR?do airline pilots use vfr?

    What is the difference between IFR and VFR?

    and do airline pilots(flying jets)use IFR only or whatever they want?

    Source(s): difference ifr vfr airline pilots vfr:
  • John R
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Visual Flight rules can only be used when weather conditions permit visual separation of traffic. Generally the weather minimums for VFR are 3 miles of visibility with the separation requirement from clouds varying on the airspace. In most airspace VFR traffic is required to stay 500' below, or 1000 ' above, or 1 mile horizontally from any cloud.

    Rick's pretty much right, except when he said "jets always use IFR". All planes must be under IFR rules above 18,000 ft, and all commercial air carriers operate under IFR, but privately operated jets can operate under VFR rules, conditions permitting, under 18,000 ft.

  • Rob G
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    Airline pilots never fly under VFR. They don't even take off VFR with the intention of picking up an IFR clearance right after take off.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    FAR 121 requires all passenger carrying flights to be conducted under IFR from takeoff to landing except under certain specific conditions when in the immediate vicinity of a departure or arrival airport.

    This was brought about by the midair collision in the '50s of a United DC7 and TWA Constellation operating VFR doing "sightseeing" diversions around the Grand Canyon.

    And I'm sure Rick knows the 250 kt speed limit is below 10000 MSL not FL 180...

    Source(s): MD80 Captain
  • 1 decade ago

    IFR is instrument flight rules. Being able to fly in bad weather. I.E Low vis and low cloud. and the whole entire flight besides take off and landing is done with sole reference to the instruments.

    VFR is Visual Flight Rules. To fly VFR VMC. Visual Meteorological conditions Must exist. Generally 5000m Vis. and clear of cloud. Below 3000ft. VFR navigation is done by the use of Topographical features. such as Towns, lakes, mountains, roads etc..

  • 1 decade ago

    VFR Visual Flight rules, you must be able to see the ground or where you are going. A point most of the answers miss is IFR regardless of whether you can see or not, you are under control of ATC all the time.

    Speaking of private pilots, you must file IFR in bad weather, but many file IFR in perfectly good weather to insure preferential treatment by ATC in getting where they are going. All commercial passenger carrying flights are IFR regardless of weather conditions.

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