Anonymous asked in Cars & TransportationAircraft · 9 years ago

What happens if a pilot is flying VFR and then conditions get bad while in mid-air?

What happens if a pilot is flying VFR and then conditions get bad while in mid-air?

Do controllers still allow them to land, even if they do not have an IFR rating?

12 Answers

  • 9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Well technically this shouldn't happen, and if it did its more than likely the pilots fault because VFR is supposed to be visual. So the pilot should plan their trips according to weather. If for instance the pilot was flying VFR above the clouds and ran out of gas and there was an airport nearby then the pilot would contact ATC, explain the situation, and ask them for clearance through the clouds. If it was bad all the way to the ground then the pilot better hope they have some IFR knowledge so they can find the runway.

    Source(s): I'm a Private pilot and ATC
  • 9 years ago

    If you are flying VFR and you find yourself in instrument meteorological conditions, you must immediately attempt to return to visual conditions, usually by making a U-turn and trying to flight out of IMC by the same route you went in.

    If you encounter IMC without an instrument rating or in an aircraft that is not equipped for IFR flight, you should declare an emergency. You don't need permission from ATC to land after you've declared an emergency, but unless you find VFR conditions before landing, there's a good chance that you won't survive. Of course, you should coordinate your plans with ATC if you have time.

    VFR flight into IMC is a leading cause of death for both VFR-only pilots and instrument-rated private pilots. VFR pilots quickly become disoriented and panic, killing themselves within a few minutes. Instrument-rated pilots also tend to become disoriented or disorganized if they don't have plenty of practice and experience with real-world flight in IMC, or if they're in aircraft not equipped for IFR, and also tend to kill themselves.

    To fly safely in IMC, you need an aircraft that is equipped for it, an instrument rating, and plenty of practice with flying under instrument flight rules.

  • 9 years ago

    If you VFR only, you need to look around the aircraft, for possible VMC conditions.

    and then obviously fly out of the bad weather.

    If weather is closing in on you, you conduct a precautionary search and landing... And land the aircraft in a suitable field.. If there are no runways available

  • 9 years ago

    Actually what you describe is still the number one killer of VFR rated pilots, "continued flight into IMC conditions". Once you notice clouds, turn around. Very few non-instrument rated pilots will make it to an airport in full IFR conditions!

    See any FAA reports and lots of articles

    and one everyone will know about

    "According to AOPA's Air Safety Foundation's 2004 Nall Report, more than seven out of 10 pilot-induced fatal accidents are attributed to weather. And the worst of these weather-caused fatal accidents, by an overwhelming margin of 87.5 percent, is continued VFR flight into IFR conditions!"


    Just don't do it!

    Yes controllers will ATTEMPT to help! Good luck should it happen.

    Source(s): TL
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  • 9 years ago

    Let ATC know you intend on landing at the nearest airport due to inclement weather. You can make a 180 deg turn and get back out of it and land at the nearest airport, or ATC will help you vector around bad weather and get you back into VFR conditions. I made a 180 and landed at the nearest airport until I got my IFR rating and some added avionics to help in IFR conditions. Remember, ATC is there to help you all they can to get you safely back on the ground!

  • 9 years ago

    In your flight training, you should have had, at least, one SRA session: your instructor puts you goggles, so you can only see your instruments. The ATC then guide you from wherever you are to the landing strip. You obey the instructions to the letter...

    It is a great feeling when, after 50 min blind flying, you remove the goggles and see that you are, spot on finals, 300 feet above and before the piano keys...

    ATC will ALWAYS help you to land at the closest possible runway. Just OBEY!

    (But it should NOT happen: you should have checked the TAFs and METARs before take off...)

  • 9 years ago

    always be prepared to do a 180 turn on instruments.

    check with fss/fise on weather/diversion options.

    land. request special vfr if appropriate.

    plan your flight properly next time.

    later: private pilots in canada must have 5 hours instrument time. this is why. i found the flight test requirement (2 minutes straight and level, 180 degree rate 1 turn, 2 minutes straight and level) so ridiculously easy that my instructor routinely has me do vectored approaches under the hood, and not always on a full panel. i need a couple hours more instrument time; maybe we'll do a simulated ifr flight somewhere. i plan to do an instrument rating.

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    7 years ago

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  • 9 years ago

    during flight planning they always have an alternative airport and make sure they have enough fuel onboard to get to there. But with the pilots getting reliable weather sources that doesn`t happen very often

    Source(s): student pilot
  • 9 years ago

    yes,,controllers always there to assist,,you if the airport you intend to land is not a major airport,,,,you can always request to file a SPECIAL VFR CONDITION and give your position,, read your DME,,,VOR RADIAL READING and squack YOUR TRANSPONDER and request to vector you to the airstrip.Even if you dont have an IFR rating I know you have a basic training on instrumentation if disapprove proceed to your alternate also if the visibility is above 5nautical miles....good flying....

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