Welcome Guest. Sign in or Signup

4 Answers

IFR flight in VMC by a non-instrument pilot

Asked by: 9393 views FAA Regulations

Can a non instrument rated pilot file an IFR flight plan in VMC?  Situation:  Flying through dense airspace in an aircraft equipted for instrument flight, might it not be safer to file and fly as though in IMC even though the actual conditions are VMC?  And by a non instrument rated pilot?

Ace Any FAA Written Test!
Actual FAA Questions / Free Lifetime Updates
The best explanations in the business
Fast, efficient study.
Pass Your Checkride With Confidence!
FAA Practical Test prep that reflects actual checkrides.
Any checkride: Airplane, Helicopter, Glider, etc.
Written and maintained by actual pilot examiners and master CFIs.
The World's Most Trusted eLogbook
Be Organized, Current, Professional, and Safe.
Highly customizable - for student pilots through pros.
Free Transition Service for users of other eLogs.
Our sincere thanks to pilots such as yourself who support AskACFI while helping themselves by using the awesome PC, Mac, iPhone/iPad, and Android aviation apps of our sponsors.

4 Answers



  1. Kent Shook on Nov 30, 2010

    Simple answer: No.
     
    FAR 61.3(e) states:
    <blockquote>(e) Instrument rating. No person may act as pilot in command of a civil aircraft under IFR or in weather conditions less than the minimums prescribed for VFR flight unless that person holds:

    (1) The appropriate aircraft category, class, type (if required), and instrument rating on that person’s pilot certificate for any airplane, helicopter, or powered-lift being flown;</blockquote>
     
    Also, in dense, busy airspace it’s generally easier to fly VFR. If you’re IFR, they may vector you all over creation to keep you out of the way. If you’re VFR, both you and ATC have more options.
     
    One hint: It’s much more important to sound good on the radio than it is to fly IFR. If you make an initial call that sounds like “uh, Big City Approach, um, this is Bugsmasher 1234A, can we, uh, get a clearance, uh, over to, um, Podunk Field?” they’re likely to tell you to remain clear of the Bravo, if they even answer you at all.
     
    On the other hand, if you call up and say “Big City Approach, Bugsmasher 1234A over Suburban Municipal at 3,500, request Bravo clearance to Podunk Field” you’re likely to hear “Bugsmasher 34A, Big City Approach, Squawk 4321” and then “Bugsmasher 34A, radar contact, fly heading 270, cleared into class Bravo at 3,500 feet.” Most ATC facilities provide excellent service and will happily let you into their airspace *IF* you sound like you won’t be using up their valuable frequency time.

    0 Votes Thumb up 0 Votes Thumb down 0 Votes



  2. Koehn on Nov 30, 2010

    I agree with Kent’s answer about being vectored all over the place in busy airspace. Also, remember that if you are flying IFR in VMC you are constrained to the IFR tolerances for altitude etc., and you’re still required to maintain visual separation from VFR aircraft.
    You’re probably better served by flying with VFR separation services (i.e., flight following) if they’re available.

    0 Votes Thumb up 0 Votes Thumb down 0 Votes



  3. Matthew Waugh on Dec 02, 2010

    Actually the answer to your questions are:
    1. Yes
    2. No
    3. Whats the question?
    You asked if you can file the flight plan – and you can – you just can’t accept a clearance – a subtle and fairly pointless distinction.
    IFR in VMC you’re separated from other IFR traffic, but you’re not separated from VFR traffic, and hitting a VFR aircraft hurts just as much no matter what kind of flight plan you’re on.

    +2 Votes Thumb up 2 Votes Thumb down 0 Votes



  4. Jonathan Yo on May 31, 2013

    Where is it written that an aircraft on an ifr flight plain with radar contact is still responsible to not hit vfr aircraft? I have spent hours online searching for this. ATC here always says something about looking out for such and such aircraft near me when i’m ifr. I thought the whole idea of being on an ifr flight plain meant that you were expecting obstacle clearance 100% of the time while under positive radar contact.

    0 Votes Thumb up 1 Votes Thumb down 1 Votes


Answer Question

Our sincere thanks to all who contribute constructively to this forum in answering flight training questions. If you are a flight instructor or represent a flight school / FBO offering flight instruction, you are welcome to include links to your site and related contact information as it pertains to offering local flight instruction in a specific geographic area. Additionally, direct links to FAA and related official government sources of information are welcome. However we thank you for your understanding that links to other sites or text that may be construed as explicit or implicit advertising of other business, sites, or goods/services are not permitted even if such links nominally are relevant to the question asked.