Thu Oct 12, 2000 7:59 am

hi everybody!

I had a fwe questions about the difference between VFR and IFR, hoping for answers 

1.)Can a VFR pilot use ILS for landing?
2.)Can a IFR pilot fly as a VFR pilot?
3.)Is a VFR plane different from a IFR plane(like instruments.........)



Thu Oct 12, 2000 8:05 am

1.) Yes. VFR aircraft can use the ILS.
2.) In certain conditions, yes. It is called "VFR-on-top" and I am sure a pilot here can explain it better than I ever could.
3.) There is no difference (usually) between a VFR and IFR (though, obviously, a United 777 is going to be IFR) plane except that the flight plan is filed differently by the pilot.
Posts: 1066
Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2007 1:29 pm


Thu Oct 12, 2000 8:33 am

Hi Endofdays/Macro:

As you're probably aware, VFR & IFR stand for Visual Flight Rules and Instrument Flight Rules. The primary difference between the two is that they have different Rules.

To answer your second question first, a VFR only rated pilot may not fly IFR, i.e. file an IFR flight plan or fly in IMC (Instrument Meteorological Conditions), or accept an IFR clearance. However an IFR rated pilot may go down to the flying club and rent a light airplane and fly it VFR.

While the IFR pilot is flying his IFR airplane in VMC (Visual Meteorological Conditions), he/she is responsible for maintaining separation from other VFR aircraft - that sounds confusing, but the role of Air Traffic Control is to maintain separation between IFR airplanes only.

First question: Yes. But it is the pilot's responsibility to be looking outside when he/she's doing it. Usually, if a VFR only rated pilot wants to practice flying the ILS, he/she will bring along a second pilot to use as a "safety pilot" or a second set of eyes to ensure separation from other airplanes.

Last question: Yes, an IFR rated aircraft has more instruments than a VFR only aircraft is required to have. You can look up the detailed differences in required equipment in your AIM. The AIM can be purchased at any large bookstore, or from your local flight school.

Hope that answers your questions.

Best Regards,

Posts: 3140
Joined: Fri Jan 21, 2000 11:51 am


Thu Oct 12, 2000 8:42 am

1.)Can a VFR pilot use ILS for landing?

Yes, as additional aide for visual landing.

2.)Can a IFR pilot fly as a VFR pilot?

Yes. My ATP certificate permits flight under either Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) or Visual Flight Rules (VFR). Just not both at the same time.  

FWIW, it is not uncommon to operate a single flight using both sets of rules (IFR and VFR) multiple times during the same flight. The last Dutchess flight I took my family on started out VFR in Nevada, changed to IFR north of LAX area, changed to VFR near SNA, finished IFR approach/landing in San Diego. Flight plan was a VFR flight plan based upon forecast wx.

3.)Is a VFR plane different from a IFR plane(like instruments.........)

If you define "VFR plane" to mean "VFR only plane", then yes they are different. A "VFR only plane" lacks some or all instruments required to be certified as an "IFR plane."

*NO CARRIER* -- A Naval Aviator's worst nightmare!

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