What is the Special VFR?

With Special VFR, can I leave from an aerodrome to another ?

When? How?

6 Answers

  • RickH
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Special VFR will allow an aircraft to depart or arrive at an airdrome that is technically IFR (below 1000 and 3), down to 1 mile visibility, in the day time.

    As a professional pilot who has been doing this for 40 years, I recommend that you don't use this very often. Flying around in 1 mile of vis is really not wise. Say the reported vis is 2.5 miles in fog, you are instrument rated, and you just want to get out of town. This would be OK. Why instrument rated? Because the 2.5 miles in fog, can, with a small temperature or wind shift, become something way less than a mile, and without an instrument rating you are going to have to declare an emergency, and try to get down with your fanny intact. I know it was forecast to become CAVU, but you are no less dead.

    To get it you simply call the controlling agency, usually the control tower. Example, "XXX Tower, Cessna 3347G 10 miles South, with information Whiskey, requesting Special VFR for landing."

    The specific regulation that covers this is:

    § 91.157 Special VFR weather minimums.

    (a) Except as provided in appendix D, section 3, of this part, special VFR operations may be conducted under the weather minimums and requirements of this section, instead of those contained in §91.155, below 10,000 feet MSL within the airspace contained by the upward extension of the lateral boundaries of the controlled airspace designated to the surface for an airport.

    (b) Special VFR operations may only be conducted—

    (1) With an ATC clearance;

    (2) Clear of clouds;

    (3) Except for helicopters, when flight visibility is at least 1 statute mile; and

    (4) Except for helicopters, between sunrise and sunset (or in Alaska, when the sun is 6 degrees or more below the horizon) unless—

    (i) The person being granted the ATC clearance meets the applicable requirements for instrument flight under part 61 of this chapter; and

    (ii) The aircraft is equipped as required in §91.205(d).

    (c) No person may take off or land an aircraft (other than a helicopter) under special VFR—

    (1) Unless ground visibility is at least 1 statute mile; or

    (2) If ground visibility is not reported, unless flight visibility is at least 1 statute mile. For the purposes of this paragraph, the term flight visibility includes the visibility from the cockpit of an aircraft in takeoff position if:

    (i) The flight is conducted under this part 91; and

    (ii) The airport at which the aircraft is located is a satellite airport that does not have weather reporting capabilities.

    (d) The determination of visibility by a pilot in accordance with paragraph (c)(2) of this section is not an official weather report or an official ground visibility report.

  • levell
    Lv 4
    3 years ago

    Special Vfr

  • 1 decade ago

    Basically when VMC doesn't exist. You can elect to fly special VFR. Say you cannot maintain suitable separation from cloud in controlled airspace. You would request special VFR. Also in very low vis less than VMC you may also elect to fly special VFR. However I will not recommend flying special VFR if you are in experienced. Flying VFR with the absolute minimums is hard enough as it is.

    I have never flown Special VFR. I have about 500 hours. and don't have an instrument rating. But if things ever turn bad. Then I guess I would be.

  • Anonymous
    4 years ago


    What is the Special VFR?

    With Special VFR, can I leave from an aerodrome to another ?

    When? How?

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  • 1 decade ago

    Special VFR can be requested in the surface area airspace of any airport with an operational control tower. This allows you to fly in this airspace with reduced VFR minimums of 1 statue mile of visibility and clear of clouds.

    This does not apply outside of the surface area airspace of the airport.

    However, during the night you must be instrument rated and flying an instrument equipped aircraft.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    its flying *VFR* in conditions below vfr minima WITHIN CTR. typically in visibilites from 0,8 kilometers to 5 kilometers for helicopters, respective 1,5 kilometers to 5 kilometers OUT OF clouds, with visual contact with surface.

    the special VFR is provided with separations as IFR traffic is, and only ONE plane at a time is allowed to fly special VFR within given CTR.

    flying in above stated visibilites out of the CTR is NOT CONSIDERED special VFR.

    Source(s): Rick H> people who confuse IFR with IMC suck. if they are "40+ years of flying", that's truly tragic. AIP CZ, HEMS operations in CZ. i doubt the definition of IFR, VFR, IMC, VMC is significantly different under FAA when compared to JAA
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