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Question about Class G airspace and Marginal VFR conditions

Asked by: 8174 views , ,
Airspace, General Aviation, Student Pilot

I am hoping someone can clear something up for me.

As I understand it, Marginal VFR conditions exist when flight visibility is between 3 and 5 statute miles and/or ceilings are between 1000 and 3000 feet.

However, during the day I can operate in Class G airspace when flight visiblity is 1 statue mile. 

Since marginal VFR conditions exist when visibility is between 3 -5 sm...wouldn't flying with 1 statue mile of flight visiblity in Class G be considered operating BELOW marginal VFR conditions? 

Also, visibility is reported as GROUND visibility, correct?  I guess it's up to the pilot to judge "flight visibility"...

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2 Answers



  1. Gary Moore on Dec 23, 2010

    Weather minimums for VFR depend on the class of airspace you are in….
    In Class G airspace during the day – you must have 1 Statue Mile visability and remain clear of clouds – but that does’nt mean that you SHOULD fly when it’s that crappy.  At night – you must have 3 statue mile visability and avoid clouds by 500 feet below. 1,000 feet above. 2,000 feet horizontal – except as provided in §91.155(b).
    But remember – these are only legal MINIMUMS – certainly not a recommendation

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  2. Kent Shook on Dec 24, 2010

    It should be noted that the terms VFR, Marginal VFR, IFR, and Low IFR don’t really have much to do with what’s legal where – It’s just a way of describing the weather. Also, it should really be named VMC and IMC (Visual and Instrument Meteorological Conditions) as VFR and IFR are simply two different sets of rules that we fly under.
     
    So, to answer your questions – Yes, 1sm visibility is “IFR” using those (somewhat-misleading) descriptors – IMC is a better name for it – but it’s still perfectly legal to fly VFR in class G with your mile and clear of clouds. And yes, reported visibility is ground visibility and it is up to the pilot to determine flight visibility. But, you’d better be prepared to answer the FAA as to how you determined flight visibility was different from ground visibility if something happens or you catch their attention somehow.

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