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Any Commercial/sched Flights That Are Done VFR?  
User currently offlineMozart From Luxembourg, joined Aug 2003, 2169 posts, RR: 13
Posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 3875 times:

I would be interested to know which commercial scheduled routes are flown under VFR rather than IFR, and how common it is in general to have commercial aviation fly VFR rather than IFR.

Thanks

21 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineRoseFlyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9617 posts, RR: 52
Reply 1, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 3868 times:

They can't fly VFR. Commercial flights including all flights into US Class A airspace have to be on an IFR flight plan.

There are certain exceptions like aid flights into disaster areas like MSY earlier in the year, but regular operations are done IFR unless you are talking about puddle jump airlines operating Cessna Caravans or Beech 1900s with 19 or fewer seats.

But regulations can differ in other parts of the world.

[Edited 2005-12-18 15:22:22]


If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
User currently offlineManuCH From Switzerland, joined Jun 2005, 3011 posts, RR: 47
Reply 2, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 3858 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
HEAD MODERATOR

I'm not aware of any commercial, scheduled routes flown VFR. After all, if the weather changes into IMC, a VFR scheduled flight is not scheduled anymore because it gets cancelled  Smile. But this got me curious: do airlines exist that have VFR scheduled operations?

But there are of course commercial, non-scheduled VFR operations. A good example is the ZRH-SMV flight offered by several corporate jet companies. SMV airport doesn't have any IFR equipment, this means that it needs to be flown VFR (at least the last portion of the flight).



Never trust a statistic you didn't fake yourself
User currently offlineLegacy135 From Switzerland, joined May 2005, 1052 posts, RR: 26
Reply 3, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 3857 times:

Basically we do have the rules which make it impossible to operate scheduled under VFR. A normal JAA OM even says that it is not allowed to cancel IFR for a VFR approach, the only the crew can do is a visual approach.

On the other hand we face cases, it's simply not possible to operate certain routes as IFR. The UK has some special cases flying VFR in IMC. If you look at the routes for example to the Scilly Islands, it's all conducted as VFR in IMC as there is no controlled airspace around, Lands End not even has an "official" IFR approach. Sure, those routes are not flown by 777's, the equipment used are BN2 and Twin Otters.

Here in Switzerland I can't remember any VFR scheduled flight after Lugano became IFR in the early 80-ties. I am quite sure it is similar in your country as well.

Cheers
Legacy135 Wink


User currently offlineManuCH From Switzerland, joined Jun 2005, 3011 posts, RR: 47
Reply 4, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 3851 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
HEAD MODERATOR

Quoting Legacy135 (Reply 3):
Here in Switzerland I can't remember any VFR scheduled flight after Lugano became IFR in the early 80-ties

... and now the JAA lawyers are bringing Lugano back to the pre-IFR era, raising the visibility/ceiling minimums  Sad



Never trust a statistic you didn't fake yourself
User currently offlineLegacy135 From Switzerland, joined May 2005, 1052 posts, RR: 26
Reply 5, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 3840 times:

Quoting ManuCH (Reply 4):
... and now the JAA lawyers are bringing Lugano back to the pre-IFR era, raising the visibility/ceiling minimums

Well, this is true or was true.... It is no more that bad, things seem to be on a halfway normal track again, although many people (me included) lost their privileges to operate IFR at Lugano.

But even if they raise the minimas, technically it remains an IFR procedure. But the rules are sometimes strange, you may find in the route manuals procedures who's minimas are higher than VFR...... or look at Bern, the minimas of the ILS are under certain circumstances higher than the ones for a LOC approach under the same circumstances are. But this "Bu.............t" has not much to do with aviation, it was raised by the lawyers.

Cheers
Legacy135 Wink


User currently offlineSean377 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2001, 1225 posts, RR: 40
Reply 6, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 3831 times:

Quoting Legacy135 (Reply 3):
it's simply not possible to operate certain routes as IFR.

Any flight to any place can be IFR, even on the sunniest day, to the smallest of airfields.

Quoting Legacy135 (Reply 3):
it's all conducted as VFR in IMC

How's that work then? Glad you mentioned Scotland though. I have a friend who flies for Loganair. When they had the 'sheds' a few years back, he said they would often go VFR on nice days. However, the flight was always filed as IFR and I'm pretty certain they never really downgraded to VFR for those flights.



Flying is the second greatest thrill known to man... Landing is the first!
User currently offlineRobertS975 From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 941 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 3816 times:
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Remember, a visual approach to an airport is still conducted under an IFR flight plan.

User currently offlineLegacy135 From Switzerland, joined May 2005, 1052 posts, RR: 26
Reply 8, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 3804 times:

Quoting Sean377 (Reply 6):
Any flight to any place can be IFR, even on the sunniest day, to the smallest of airfields

Let me explain: Flying IFR does not mean that you need to be in clouds. Same it doesn't mean you are outside clouds if you fly VFR. Sure, a VFR normally is supposed to be outside clouds but do you really think this is the case?

An IFR flight needs controlled airspace and air traffic control (ATC). If you have no ATC or no controlled airspace, there is simply no IFR even not on the most foggy day. On the other hand I am pretty sure, you won't find any VFR at LHR not even on a day you have no single cloud on the sky.

The big difference is, in VFR the pilots are separating traffic and keep clear of obstacles. For IFR flights ATC is responsible for separation between traffic, in a way also for obstacle clearance but not fully.

If you ask me, how the UK can conduct VFR flights in IMC, I have to give the question back. Those are British rules and they are a little different as so many things on the other side of the channel. ICAO has 7 classes of airspace, going from A (strictest separations IFR only) down to class G which is VFR only. The UK is the only country I know that allows VFR traffic in class A, although ICAO clearly states that A is IFR only. The whole airspace around the channel Islands is class A and there is lots of VFR traffic in....

I guess to explain this VFR in IMC phenomena we need a British ATC controller to pop in the thread. By the way British VFR pilots can also obtain an "IMC rating" which is not an IFR. So you see, it's not only that you guys drive on the other side Big grin

Cheers
Legacy135 Wink


User currently offlineDoug_Or From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 3404 posts, RR: 3
Reply 9, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 3784 times:

I thought AS had a waiver or something to operate the Wrangell-Petersberg route VFR. Its 17 miles and allegedly the only place an engine has ingested fish (salmon dropped by eagle scared $%^less)


When in doubt, one B pump off
User currently offlineSan2snow76 From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 21 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 3780 times:

I know Frontier Flying Service in Fairbanks, AK has a few VFR routes out of Galena to some of the villages down river. They received a waiver from the FAA to operate these as they are part 121 flights.

User currently offlineSean377 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2001, 1225 posts, RR: 40
Reply 11, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 3756 times:

Quoting Legacy135 (Reply 8):
An IFR flight needs controlled airspace and air traffic control (ATC). If you have no ATC or no controlled airspace, there is simply no IFR even not on the most foggy day.

That's not how it works in the UK. I could take off from a farmers field in the middle of nowhere on the lovliest of summer days and choose to fly IFR (not that I would).

Also, there is no VFR flying in IMC. Sure, it may happen unintentionly, but it is definately not legal. Unless you are referring to VFR 'on top', which is allowed, but you can't go in them clouds.

You can fly IFR in class G airspace and without ATC.

VFR flights are not allowed into LHR



Flying is the second greatest thrill known to man... Landing is the first!
User currently offlineLegacy135 From Switzerland, joined May 2005, 1052 posts, RR: 26
Reply 12, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 3745 times:

Quoting Sean377 (Reply 11):
That's not how it works in the UK. I could take off from a farmers field in the middle of nowhere on the lovliest of summer days and choose to fly IFR (not that I would).

Also, there is no VFR flying in IMC. Sure, it may happen unintentionally, but it is definitely not legal. Unless you are referring to VFR 'on top', which is allowed, but you can't go in them clouds.

You can fly IFR in class G airspace and without ATC.

I am very sorry, but all those statements do not comply with actual rules. I recommend you to sort out the ATC manual and read that up. Or do you like to tell me that my past 20 years in aviation have been nothing than a dream  Wink and that all I act as a JAA examiner is nothing than bullshit?

Quoting Sean377 (Reply 11):
VFR flights are not allowed into LHR

This is correct.

Cheers
Legacy135 Wink


User currently offlineManuCH From Switzerland, joined Jun 2005, 3011 posts, RR: 47
Reply 13, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 3724 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
HEAD MODERATOR

Quoting Legacy135 (Reply 5):
Well, this is true or was true.... It is no more that bad, things seem to be on a halfway normal track again

I know... I'm actually the guy who originally created the www.lugano-qualification.ch web sites, for the pilots who want to fly IFR to LUG. My point was only that they're making IFR in Lugano harder that what it used to be  Smile

-Manuel



Never trust a statistic you didn't fake yourself
User currently offlineLegacy135 From Switzerland, joined May 2005, 1052 posts, RR: 26
Reply 14, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 3714 times:

Quoting ManuCH (Reply 13):
I know... I'm actually the guy who originally created the www.lugano-qualification.ch web sites, for the pilots who want to fly IFR to LUG. My point was only that they're making IFR in Lugano harder that what it used to be

Oh great, I did not even know this page. It looks good and very useful. I will study it in depth, although for the moment I will go and enjoy LUG visually as "my bird" is not even certified for anything steeper than 5,5°.

Do you see any chance that mabe one day they may come up with new rules at LUG that could allow everybody to fly the approach but to a much higher minimum than the pilots holding the qualification? I think in Sion the experience doing so is quite positive as those "we need to do it VFR for any price" situations are not happening any more.

Kind regards to the Ticion,

Cheers
Legacy135 Wink


User currently offlineFinnWings From Finland, joined Oct 2003, 640 posts, RR: 2
Reply 15, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 3707 times:

Quoting Sean377 (Reply 11):
Also, there is no VFR flying in IMC. Sure, it may happen unintentionly, but it is definately not legal. Unless you are referring to VFR 'on top', which is allowed, but you can't go in them clouds.

Well, actually you can fly VFR in IMC and it is called Special VFR (SVFR). However, I have understod that this isn't allowed in UK, right? In many other JAA countries this is allowed and at least here minimums are 1500m visibility, clear of clouds and 500ft above AGL in controlled airspace. However, you can't commence take-off if visibility is below 3km.

SVFR flights are operated like VFR flights but ATC will usually provide separation to other IFR or SVFR traffic depending of airspace classification.

Best Regards,
FinnWings


User currently offlineSean377 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2001, 1225 posts, RR: 40
Reply 16, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 3706 times:

Hi again Legacy135.

I'm going to have to disagree with you again my friend.

Take a look at the CAA Chart of UK Airspace Classifications (388Kb). Down the left hand side is a quick guide to the rules and services available in all UK classes of airspace for both VFR and IFR. As far as I can see, the only type of flight not allowed in the UK is VFR in class A airspace (you've already touched on this. You can fly Special VFR in certain areas of UK class A airspace).

So where do I fall foul of the rules? Perhaps things are different where you are.

Regards

Sean



Flying is the second greatest thrill known to man... Landing is the first!
User currently offlineLegacy135 From Switzerland, joined May 2005, 1052 posts, RR: 26
Reply 17, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 3691 times:

Quoting Sean377 (Reply 16):
Hi again Legacy135.

I'm going to have to disagree with you again my friend.

Take a look at the CAA Chart of UK Airspace Classifications (388Kb). Down the left hand side is a quick guide to the rules and services available in all UK classes of airspace for both VFR and IFR. As far as I can see, the only type of flight not allowed in the UK is VFR in class A airspace (you've already touched on this. You can fly Special VFR in certain areas of UK class A airspace).

So where do I fall foul of the rules? Perhaps things are different where you are.

Regards

Sean

Thanks very much for your kind hint. Things in my place are pretty much ICAO. I suggest you now to go to the Scilly Islands. If you haven't been, it's a most wonderful place and it is always worth a trip. Then please, try to file an IFR flight plan there. This will confirm some of my satements.

On the way back you could fly VFR to Guernsey or Jersey. Please note what kind of airspace you will enter. Just to mention, a Special VFR flight is a VFR flight.....

Finally if you are interested you may go to your flying school and book a course for an IMC rating. Years ago I was member of the Stapleford Flying Club. I have nothing than good memories and they will be happy to offer you such a training. Please check out the web link http://www.flysfc.com/courses/tellme_private.htm
Please scroll down this page to the IMC rating. This may tell you that this is

1. A rating that allows you to fly in the clouds without having sight to the ground
2. Is a VFR rating
3. Is only valid in the UK

What they thought you in your PPL course wasn't wrong at all, but it was the basic, without all the exemptions the UK has. Please consult your local flight school, they will be happy to give you more information.

Enjoy flying, have Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year,

Cheers
Legacy135 

P.S. What you mention about the UK chart index, is the exact ICAO regulation. For all the British exemptions you need to go to the UK's AIP.

[Edited 2005-12-18 17:54:04]

User currently offlineSean377 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2001, 1225 posts, RR: 40
Reply 18, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 3657 times:

Ouch! That hurt!

Ok, I have to respond, as you are wrong in some of your facts:

Quoting Legacy135 (Reply 17):
Then please, try to file an IFR flight plan there.

1. A flightplan is not required for IFR flight in UK class F or G airspace, nor is ATC clearance. This does not prevent one from doing so via the fax or phone if you want to file one and there is no facility.

2. Whether you file a flightplan or not, you can choose to fly following the instrument flight rules (i.e. IFR) anywhere, even in the Scilly Isles.

3. Although I've not been there, I'd be very surprised if there wasn't a facility to file a flight plan, whether VFR or IFR, as the CAA recommend a flightplan be filed for all flights over water. I personally would not fly to or from the Scilly Isles without filing one. Whether it's a VFR or IFR one is just the difference between the letter V or I in the appropriate box.

Quoting Legacy135 (Reply 17):
Just to mention, a Special VFR flight is a VFR flight.....

Yep, I know that. I never suggested it wasn't.

Quoting Legacy135 (Reply 17):
Finally if you are interested you may go to your flying school and book a course for an IMC rating.

I can do that at my local flying school. It's a useful rating to have here in the UK where the weather can be described as 'changeable'. However, I've never felt the need, nor got round to doing it. I'm not too fond of clouds!  Smile

Quoting Legacy135 (Reply 17):
1. A rating that allows you to fly in the clouds without having sight to the ground

Agreed, although to stay legal, you'd better be flying IFR!

Quoting Legacy135 (Reply 17):
2. Is a VFR rating

No it's not. It's an IMC rating and I can legally fly an Instrument Appraoch to any UK airport (other than Heathrow).

Quoting Legacy135 (Reply 17):
3. Is only valid in the UK

At last! We agree on something!

Quoting Legacy135 (Reply 17):
What they thought you in your PPL course wasn't wrong at all, but it was the basic, without all the exemptions the UK has. Please consult your local flight school, they will be happy to give you more information.

Thank you  Yeah sure for that. However I've been happily blundering around the UK skies for the past 12 years or so without incident, so am happy to retain the status quo.

On a seperate note, I was lucky enough to visit Chamonix this year. Standing on top (literally) of the Aigue du Midi, watching all those sight-seeing planes and gliders was fantastic. You done that yet?

Merry Christmas to you too.

Sean



Flying is the second greatest thrill known to man... Landing is the first!
User currently offlineManuCH From Switzerland, joined Jun 2005, 3011 posts, RR: 47
Reply 19, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 3653 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
HEAD MODERATOR

Quoting Legacy135 (Reply 14):
"my bird" is not even certified for anything steeper than 5,5°.

Ohh you have your own bird? Which is?

Quoting Legacy135 (Reply 14):
Do you see any chance that mabe one day they may come up with new rules at LUG that could allow everybody to fly the approach but to a much higher minimum than the pilots holding the qualification?

Seeing at how things are evolving right now, and by talking to those who are more or less in charge of this stuff, it looks like the "qualification" system will remain, but we're all hoping for a new "offset IGS approach" (Kai Tak-like) which would allow non-steep-approach certified planes to officially land IFR in LUG (as opposed to what happens right now, where those without steep-approach certified planes just act as if they were landing VFR but are actually illegally flying the ILS). It sounds funny to hear "runway in sight, cancelling IFR" on a day with 2km visibility and the plane still 15nm out there somewhere... anyway, with the offset I think the workload for single-pilot IFR will get substantially higher.

Edit: there already is a 2-level qualification system in Lugano - one for those who only take the theory test online, and another for those who take the practical test. The difference is in the minima you are allowed to land in.

[Edited 2005-12-18 18:55:55]


Never trust a statistic you didn't fake yourself
User currently offlineSean377 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2001, 1225 posts, RR: 40
Reply 20, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 3641 times:

Quoting Legacy135 (Reply 17):
P.S. What you mention about the UK chart index, is the exact ICAO regulation. For all the British exemptions you need to go to the UK's AIP.

Ooh, that was a crafty edit. I've just noted it.

Take a look top left of that chart. It's is taken straight from the UK AIP En-Route Section, page ENR 6-1-4-1.

You too can download it from here. You will need to register (free) first.

I don't recall seeing any differences to that chart explained anywhere else in the AIP. See page 7 of this document for the UK differences relating to VFR & IFR flight.

Best Regards

Sean



Flying is the second greatest thrill known to man... Landing is the first!
User currently offlineLegacy135 From Switzerland, joined May 2005, 1052 posts, RR: 26
Reply 21, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 3621 times:

Quoting ManuCH (Reply 19):
Quoting Legacy135 (Reply 14):
"my bird" is not even certified for anything steeper than 5,5°.

Ohh you have your own bird? Which is?

Well, there are two of them: One is my bosses one, the one I earn the money I spend on the other one, which is mine Big grin You can have a look at them by looking up my profile, they are in the album. My bosses one is actually quite a popular visitor on the a.net as many people put pictures in. Just go to the search engine with "HB-JED"

Quoting ManuCH (Reply 19):
Quoting Legacy135 (Reply 14):
Do you see any chance that mabe one day they may come up with new rules at LUG that could allow everybody to fly the approach but to a much higher minimum than the pilots holding the qualification?

Seeing at how things are evolving right now, and by talking to those who are more or less in charge of this stuff, it looks like the "qualification" system will remain, but we're all hoping for a new "offset IGS approach" (Kai Tak-like) which would allow non-steep-approach certified planes to officially land IFR in LUG (as opposed to what happens right now, where those without steep-approach certified planes just act as if they were landing VFR but are actually illegally flying the ILS). It sounds funny to hear "runway in sight, cancelling IFR" on a day with 2km visibility and the plane still 15nm out there somewhere... anyway, with the offset I think the workload for single-pilot IFR will get substantially higher.

This sound good. I am already looking forward to fly again IFR into LUG. Offset is specially nice, I love them as it is very often challenging.

Cheers
Legacy135 Wink


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