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TheSonntag
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VFR with Airliners

Tue Jan 05, 2021 10:44 am

I am a PPL student, and all I will ever fly as a hobby is VFR. I saw some documentation that Lufthansa was landing at uncontrolled airports in the netherlands to park some 747. The flight itself was seemingly IFR, but the final stages were VFR.

I would like to know from the "experts":

1. Is it actually very common to fly VFR with airliners? Do you train this in the sim, or is it just IFR only during daily operations?

2. How is a patter flown with large airliners? Obviously, speeds and turing rates are higher, so I suspect it is not possible to fly the same pattern as I do in my C172.

3. During flight planning, do you always know whether you are in Delta or Echo airspace when flying IFR? In Germany, I live close to EDLW and unlike most of the larger areas, it is actually not uncommon that planes fly in Echo when approaching Dortmund.
 
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zeke
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Re: VFR with Airliners

Tue Jan 05, 2021 11:15 am

TheSonntag wrote:
1. Is it actually very common to fly VFR with airliners? Do you train this in the sim, or is it just IFR only during daily operations?


No its not common however does happen. I suspect however that LH was IFR al the way, VRF/IFR are rules which the aircraft is operated, VMC/IMC are the environmental conditions they are flown in. One can fly IFR rules in VMC conditions. You can even fly IFR into an uncontrolled airport.

TheSonntag wrote:
2. How is a patter flown with large airliners? Obviously, speeds and turing rates are higher, so I suspect it is not possible to fly the same pattern as I do in my C172.


The turn radius us a function of angle of bank and speed, a light twin or high performance single flying a 25 degree angle of bank turn at 150 knots has the same turn radius as a 747 at 150 kts with 25 degrees angle of bank.

The pattern is a little more prescriptive, done by the numbers in terms of when flaps are selected, gear selected, pitch attitude to ensure the approach is stable throughout.

TheSonntag wrote:
3. During flight planning, do you always know whether you are in Delta or Echo airspace when flying IFR? In Germany, I live close to EDLW and unlike most of the larger areas, it is actually not uncommon that planes fly in Echo when approaching Dortmund.


Depends on the airport, some airport airliners operate into are even class G. Its more of an issue on departure when leaving an uncontrolled airport knowing how high you can climb or distance from another airport you can go before needing a clearance.
“Don't be a show-off. Never be too proud to turn back. There are old pilots and bold pilots, but no old, bold pilots.” E. Hamilton Lee, 1949
 
TheSonntag
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Re: VFR with Airliners

Tue Jan 05, 2021 12:12 pm

Thank you for your reply. In Germany, we have no IFR operations in G airspace as far as I am aware, but this is a german specific thing.
In the video I saw they did a pure IFR flight until maybe 10 miles from the airport, then cancelled IFR and flew a pattern .

As a passenger, I did fly VFR in a ATR 72 from Quimber Air in Denmark once. This was an Air Show at KRP airbase where they offered sightseeing flights, and those took place VFR in 2000 Feet. Pretty cool sight. The Landing was a "normal approach", no pattern, however, if I remember correctly, that was 15 years ago.

To me as a VFR student, it is interesting to know more about IFR operations, simply to know where airliners usually can be expected. I really do not want to encounter them in Echo as a near miss. By using FIS and the transponder at all times, there is at least some chance to get warned, but I really want to build up awareness about the airspace use in our vincinity (EDDG, EDLP and EDLW all have airliner traffic, and lots of Echo airspace around). Looking out helps but has its own issues with fast moving objects.
 
Woodreau
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Re: VFR with Airliners

Tue Jan 05, 2021 12:28 pm

The issue is when pilots are operating IFR, they’ll use reporting fixes to call their position. But pilots that only operate VFR have no idea where that position is.

When a flight is cleared for an approach to an airport with no control tower, the flight will be cleared for a visual approach or for an instrument approach. And then be approved for a frequency change so that the flight can make position reports on the local traffic frequency.

They say something like, “xxx, at ITAWA landing straight in 15.” A VFR pilot has no idea where ITAWA is.

I make a conscious effort when talking on an nontowered traffic frequency to give distance and time, “nontowered traffic, airliner 123, Airbus 320, 20 miles south, descending thru 8000ft, 5 minutes out to land runway xx...”

20 miles out to a 172 is a long time, but 20 miles out for a 320 is not very long at all. As a 320 doing 250kts is doing roughly 4 miles / minute and a 172 doing 90kts is doing about 1.5 miles/minute.


Try to find the arrival stars in the Germany AIP for the airports you operate at And become familiar with them. I don’t know how strictly ATC keeps them on the arrival routings, In the US ATC radar vectors around routinely for traffic flow. But at the non towered fields, atc will get us to a point, and then let us do what ever. But pilots of jet aircraft will usually set up for at least a 4-5 mile straight in final most of the time without doing a traffic pattern as that is the approximate position of most instrument approachs Final Approach Fix that is on the chart and loaded into the FMS.


Here is the AIP entry for Dortmund EDLW... I assume you’ve already seen it. https://aip.dfs.de/basicIFR/2020DEC31/1 ... ea2d1.html

Look like the FAF is ELVUL for Rwy 24 and KOLOT for Rwy 6. Between elvul and 24 and between kolot and 6 is where I imagine you’ll find most jet traffic.


You can also ask your instructor about this topic.
Last edited by Woodreau on Tue Jan 05, 2021 12:49 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Starlionblue
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Re: VFR with Airliners

Tue Jan 05, 2021 12:29 pm

TheSonntag wrote:
Thank you for your reply. In Germany, we have no IFR operations in G airspace as far as I am aware, but this is a german specific thing.
In the video I saw they did a pure IFR flight until maybe 10 miles from the airport, then cancelled IFR and flew a pattern .

As a passenger, I did fly VFR in a ATR 72 from Quimber Air in Denmark once. This was an Air Show at KRP airbase where they offered sightseeing flights, and those took place VFR in 2000 Feet. Pretty cool sight. The Landing was a "normal approach", no pattern, however, if I remember correctly, that was 15 years ago.

To me as a VFR student, it is interesting to know more about IFR operations, simply to know where airliners usually can be expected. I really do not want to encounter them in Echo as a near miss. By using FIS and the transponder at all times, there is at least some chance to get warned, but I really want to build up awareness about the airspace use in our vincinity (EDDG, EDLP and EDLW all have airliner traffic, and lots of Echo airspace around). Looking out helps but has its own issues with fast moving objects.


Wikipedia isn't the best source, but here goes:
Class G is used below 2,500 ft (760 m) AGL (around airports below 1,000 ft (300 m) AGL, then rises via a step at 1,700 ft (520 m) to 2,500 ft (760 m) AGL). IFR flights in Class G are not allowed in Germany except for arrivals and departures in Radio Mandatory Zones (RMZ) around uncontrolled airfields with IFR procedures.

So it is possible in Germany to do an IFR approach into an airport in Class G.

A link to the video would help.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
mxaxai
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Re: VFR with Airliners

Tue Jan 05, 2021 1:22 pm

Starlionblue wrote:
Wikipedia isn't the best source, but here goes:
Class G is used below 2,500 ft (760 m) AGL (around airports below 1,000 ft (300 m) AGL, then rises via a step at 1,700 ft (520 m) to 2,500 ft (760 m) AGL). IFR flights in Class G are not allowed in Germany except for arrivals and departures in Radio Mandatory Zones (RMZ) around uncontrolled airfields with IFR procedures.

So it is possible in Germany to do an IFR approach into an airport in Class G.

Here's an example from a VFR map of Saarbrücken EDDR and Zweibrücken EDRZ / ZQW.
Image
https://imgur.com/a/Rdp3BNw
From https://www.dfs.de/dfs_homepage/de/Droh ... der%20DFS/

Note the RMZ around EDRZ. The airport used to be a military airbase, then became a commercial airport. Scheduled passenger services ended in 2014 due to lack of demand, so the Class D airspace was removed and instead an RMZ was introduced. You can still perform IFR approaches / departures there but it's in uncontrolled Class G airspace.
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: VFR with Airliners

Tue Jan 05, 2021 1:37 pm

mxaxai wrote:
Starlionblue wrote:
Wikipedia isn't the best source, but here goes:
Class G is used below 2,500 ft (760 m) AGL (around airports below 1,000 ft (300 m) AGL, then rises via a step at 1,700 ft (520 m) to 2,500 ft (760 m) AGL). IFR flights in Class G are not allowed in Germany except for arrivals and departures in Radio Mandatory Zones (RMZ) around uncontrolled airfields with IFR procedures.

So it is possible in Germany to do an IFR approach into an airport in Class G.

Here's an example from a VFR map of Saarbrücken EDDR and Zweibrücken EDRZ / ZQW.
Image
https://imgur.com/a/Rdp3BNw
From https://www.dfs.de/dfs_homepage/de/Droh ... der%20DFS/

Note the RMZ around EDRZ. The airport used to be a military airbase, then became a commercial airport. Scheduled passenger services ended in 2014 due to lack of demand, so the Class D airspace was removed and instead an RMZ was introduced. You can still perform IFR approaches / departures there but it's in uncontrolled Class G airspace.


Thanks for the map. In such airspace, airliners need to "see and avoid" just like everyone else. However, you could still be IFR.

As Zeke mentioned. there are cases where large airliners perform VFR ops. A few examples would be base training at uncontrolled, or only part-day controlled airports, cargo ops into airports with no regular passenger service and no tower, and retirement flights into boneyards or museum airfields. Of course, only the terminal area bits of those flights would be VFR.
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saab2000
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Re: VFR with Airliners

Tue Jan 05, 2021 2:15 pm

Zeke's explanation is quite accurate. Be sure not to confuse IFR and IMC and VFR and VMC.

I have flown commercially in the US (since 2004 now) but learned how to fly in Europe and flew there for a larger airline. VFR by airliners is generally uncommon and in the US most airlines don't allow flights under Visual Flight Rules except in unusual circumstances. That's not, however, the same as flying into an uncontrolled airport or being cleared by ATC to fly a visual approach. And visual approaches are normally backed up with the instrument approach lateral and vertical guidance anyway.

For years I flew CRJs in and out of airports which were uncontrolled but were not in Class G airspace. These were IFR flights and we were always in contact with ATC services, including cancelling the IFR flight plan as soon as landed.

Airspace classifications aren't quite the same in all parts of the world. In the US we have quite a few airports with charted visual approaches, with visual landmarks to fly over or past, usually for noise abatement but sometimes to avoid prohibited airspace or to avoid entering the airspace of another airport. I'm thinking in particular of KDCA and KLGA, both of which have visual approaches but are operated under IFR. It can get a bit confusing until you're in the airline environment. We even had a few of these charted visual approaches in Switzerland at some of the airports.

I hope this helps the OP a bit. Airliners are flown visually at times. More often than one might imagine. But these flights are usually still operated under IFR flight plans and flight rules. That said, rules of the air still apply so study hard and use your knowledge and common sense at all times!
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zeke
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Re: VFR with Airliners

Tue Jan 05, 2021 2:20 pm

Starlionblue wrote:
As Zeke mentioned. there are cases where large airliners perform VFR ops. A few examples would be base training at uncontrolled, or only part-day controlled airports, cargo ops into airports with no regular passenger service and no tower, and retirement flights into boneyards or museum airfields. Of course, only the terminal area bits of those flights would be VFR.


Reminds me of this. https://youtu.be/baAC49s-Wyw

They lost the the flight plan for a CRJ to fly from JFK to EWR, the pilot makes an off the cuff request “Can we just go VFR ?” And in the end they got it to everyone’s disbelief flying a CRJ VFR through some of the busiest airspace in the world.
“Don't be a show-off. Never be too proud to turn back. There are old pilots and bold pilots, but no old, bold pilots.” E. Hamilton Lee, 1949
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: VFR with Airliners

Tue Jan 05, 2021 3:10 pm

zeke wrote:
Starlionblue wrote:
As Zeke mentioned. there are cases where large airliners perform VFR ops. A few examples would be base training at uncontrolled, or only part-day controlled airports, cargo ops into airports with no regular passenger service and no tower, and retirement flights into boneyards or museum airfields. Of course, only the terminal area bits of those flights would be VFR.


Reminds me of this. https://youtu.be/baAC49s-Wyw

They lost the the flight plan for a CRJ to fly from JFK to EWR, the pilot makes an off the cuff request “Can we just go VFR ?” And in the end they got it to everyone’s disbelief flying a CRJ VFR through some of the busiest airspace in the world.


That was great listening.

They offered a viable, albeit unusual, option to ATC instead of sitting around and waiting whilst blocking a taxiway. The PM would not have made that request so casually unless they knew where everything was, so so speak. ATC knew that they were familiar with area, so they were unlikely to create any challenges. Nice cooperation all around.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
saab2000
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Re: VFR with Airliners

Tue Jan 05, 2021 3:16 pm

zeke wrote:
Starlionblue wrote:
As Zeke mentioned. there are cases where large airliners perform VFR ops. A few examples would be base training at uncontrolled, or only part-day controlled airports, cargo ops into airports with no regular passenger service and no tower, and retirement flights into boneyards or museum airfields. Of course, only the terminal area bits of those flights would be VFR.


Reminds me of this. https://youtu.be/baAC49s-Wyw

They lost the the flight plan for a CRJ to fly from JFK to EWR, the pilot makes an off the cuff request “Can we just go VFR ?” And in the end they got it to everyone’s disbelief flying a CRJ VFR through some of the busiest airspace in the world.


That's not as crazy as one might imagine, though it wouldn't have been allowed at my CRJ airline. Our "Ops Specs" (Operations Specifications) and flight manuals specifically prohibited flights under VFR.

The issue here is that in New York at least if ATC allowed it they would still be in contact with ATC at all times and being given vectors rather than just flying randomly. The pilots would still need to be ultimately responsible for knowing VFR corridors and the like, something which is not likely because nobody carries VFR sectional charts in their flight bags. That said, our current iPads and electronic Jepps include them today. But the pilots would depart under tower instructions, be handed off to departure then to Newark approach and then the tower, at all times under positive ATC control. They would also be given a non-1200 transponder code.

Getting from JFK to EWR would take about 10 minutes and would be a pretty easy flight actually. But I understand the reasons why people would be aghast at the thought. Flying in the US is way more common and less intimidating than in other parts of the world and all pilots in the US learn VFR operations extensively first before going to the airline IFR environment.

I was glad my airline prohibited VFR flights because it removed this temptation to go into what could be a trap if someone makes a mistake. But most US airline pilots are so familiar with the New York area that it really isn't as crazy as it sounds.
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VSMUT
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Re: VFR with Airliners

Tue Jan 05, 2021 3:17 pm

I've only heard of 2 airlines that regularly fly VFR, both ATR operators who had some very short flights. Shortest was 10 nm in a straight line. In this case, it is faster and easier to just fly it VFR.
 
Aircellist
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Re: VFR with Airliners

Tue Jan 05, 2021 7:56 pm

I've not be able to find a source, but I remember reading it from French newspapers when it happened (I was in holidays in France, that summer; probably mid or late '80s))… It was sometime in the last millenium, when Wardair was still flying to CDG. There was the annual occurence of ATC strike in France and that Wardair captain decided to take-off and fly VFR to the English control, where he passed into IFR controlled space. There was not that much risk, since he was quite alone in the skies over France…
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ILUV767
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Re: VFR with Airliners

Tue Jan 05, 2021 9:05 pm

In a previous life, I flew a BE1900 for an operator in the US. While our scheduled flights were always dispatched IFR, there were provisions in our ops spec which allowed us to operate VFR. We would often use VFR as a tool when operationally advantageous. We were all trained in VFR operations and we even carried VFR charts onboard.

Most of the flying we did was essential air service routes, serving small rural communities. Often a lot of these airports had little in the way of ATC services which would often create operational challenges. At non-towered airports, ATC services are provided to IFR traffic one-at-a-time and IFR operations would often tie up the airport.

Although we had to make every attempt to depart with our IFR clearance, we had the ability to depart VFR and pick up our IFR clearance within 50NM of the departure airport. This would work well in places where you were not able to get ATC on the ground via VHF radio. In general, we rarely used this tool as there could be en-route metering delays for our destination. It is better to wait those out on the ground vs. getting stuck in a holding pattern somewhere.

One technique we would use at airports where we couldn't get the enroute center on the ground would be a through clearance, which would tie up the airspace while we were on the ground, but would allow us to arrive and depart IFR. This would speed things up if we knew we were doing a quick turn, sometimes five minutes or less at the gate. Usually we would have an idea from ATC if anyone else was on an IFR flight plan with a time conflict preventing us from doing this.

More commonly we would cancel IFR within ten miles of the destination airport to keep the operation moving. Since un-controlled fields only permit one IFR airplane at a time, instead of waiting in a holding pattern for the airplane ahead of you to land and cancel their IFR, we could just cancel within ten miles of the airport and proceed right in. We would also cancel if we knew someone was coming in behind us too. One of the biggest frustrations with operating at little airports is when pilots wait to cancel their IFR clearance until after they shut down. Some airports are very difficult to get ATC services on the ground so canceling when in the air makes things work better. I say all of this but it is important to remember to do what is safe and allowed by regulations and company policy.

The Beech 1900 only had a level C simulator so we were required to do flight training in the actual airplane. We would flight train in the middle of the night at an outstation when the airplane would have normally been parked for the night. These flights were often done VFR if conditions allowed. I'm sure the air traffic controllers really didn't want to vector a 1900 on their 7th practice ILS for the evening at 2am.

Regarding flying the traffic pattern, turbine airplanes are supposed to fly at 1500AGL for their traffic pattern, unless specified otherwise in the airport facility directory. If we would call the airport insight but wished to remain IFR, we would enter the VFR traffic pattern but at the turbine aircraft altitude and self announce our position and intentions, while following right-of-way rules.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: VFR with Airliners

Tue Jan 05, 2021 9:16 pm

Alaska Airlines has OpsSpecs for the VFR routes in the Southeast of AK. The specs have planned routing for terrain clearance and radio coverage, required weather and other restrictions.
 
eidvm
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Re: VFR with Airliners

Wed Jan 06, 2021 11:28 pm

Important not to confuse a visual approach with flying VFR. You can fly visually while still being IFR, however you can't fly in IMC if you're VFR.

A visual approach is technically an IFR approach, and in EASA land you only need 800m RVR to conduct one, funny as it sounds. Plenty of visual approaches in both Europe and the USA all flown everyday by large jets operating under IFR.
 
ChrisKen
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Re: VFR with Airliners

Wed Jan 06, 2021 11:52 pm

Plenty of UK regional airlines (op Dash 8/S340s or smaller) have flown VFR (or more commonly IFR+VFR) where appropriate over the years.
Essentially it saved(s) quite a few bob in NATS (ATC enroute) charges.
 
BoeingGuy
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Re: VFR with Airliners

Thu Jan 07, 2021 6:07 am

Boeing test flights are done with VFR sometimes. Examples are EGPWS, TCAS, or Radio Altimeter testing at very low altitudes over Banks Lake or the Strait of Juan De Fuca. They'll file VFR for the duration of those test conditions.
 
N1120A
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Re: VFR with Airliners

Thu Jan 07, 2021 9:05 am

In the US, regional carriers seem to be more flexible with their ability to fly VFR for a short portion of a scheduled passenger flight than mainline carriers are. I've heard regionals cancel in the air when going into an airport with a closed tower or pick up in the air after departing VFR before tower opened. I've not heard mainline carriers do that, though I know Alaska flies some VFR stuff up in Alaska.

BoeingGuy wrote:
Boeing test flights are done with VFR sometimes. Examples are EGPWS, TCAS, or Radio Altimeter testing at very low altitudes over Banks Lake or the Strait of Juan De Fuca. They'll file VFR for the duration of those test conditions.


"File VFR" as in file a VFR flight plan for the test? You don't need to "file VFR" in the US.

It isn't surprising to see a test flight done under VFR - it allows the pilots and ATC more flexibility with where and under what conditions the flight is operating. No issue with MVA/MEA/MIA or even certain airspace concerns, though others may exist.
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CRJockey
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Re: VFR with Airliners

Thu Jan 07, 2021 10:06 am

TheSonntag wrote:
I am a PPL student, and all I will ever fly as a hobby is VFR. I saw some documentation that Lufthansa was landing at uncontrolled airports in the netherlands to park some 747. The flight itself was seemingly IFR, but the final stages were VFR.

I would like to know from the "experts":

1. Is it actually very common to fly VFR with airliners? Do you train this in the sim, or is it just IFR only during daily operations?

2. How is a patter flown with large airliners? Obviously, speeds and turing rates are higher, so I suspect it is not possible to fly the same pattern as I do in my C172.

3. During flight planning, do you always know whether you are in Delta or Echo airspace when flying IFR? In Germany, I live close to EDLW and unlike most of the larger areas, it is actually not uncommon that planes fly in Echo when approaching Dortmund.


Good morning,

1. As others have mentioned already, flying VFR is a flight rule, not a procedure. You can fly visually, aka with reference to the terrain, and still be on an IFR flight. At my outfit, VFR is strictly forbidden per Ops Manual, while visual approaches are certainly allowed under certain conditions and are flown on a regular basis, depending on destination and amount of pilot laziness ;-)

2. Principally, the pattern structure is quite the same. But as you correctly mention, speeds and turn radius are larger, depending on type. Consequently, you won't fly the prescriped patters of your typical VFR chart. On the type I am flying, you typically would want to be down to about 160kts, gear down and substantial flaps abeam threshold. You time your downwind from the threshold depending on height above field to get an idea when to turn to base. On base latest you would want to start your final descend and set final flaps if you deem yourself on profile. Pretty fun, the whole thing.

3. I'd say no. Our charts, provided by one of the large chart companies, don't make it obvious in which airspace you fly, as it isn't really important for flight navigation. However, airspace E awareness is crucial as you are now flying see and avoid with VFR traffic. It is a major topic for flight safety departments depending on region, to mitigate airspace E additional risk. Speed limit of 250kts is one of the mitigations as is recommended using of as much automation as possible to keep your eyes outside the plane.
Depending on airport, btw., it is not only common to fly in E, but rather impossible not to.

Personal note, though: if you really want to reduce collision risk between IFR flights and VFR traffic, 250kts is a speed way to high to realistically fly see and avoid. Come down to minimum clean and we are talking...but opinions differ, obviously on the matter.
 
TheSonntag
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Re: VFR with Airliners

Thu Jan 07, 2021 12:41 pm

Thank you all for your replies. Especially when approaching 24 in Dortmund, the approach lies between Arnsberg/Menden airfield and my home airfield EDLH (Hamm) . Since the Möhnesee (even the non germans here in the Forum know it from the dam buster raid) is a quite popular destination for short weekend flights, it is actually quite common to cross the approach path. It certainly makes sense to look out a lot around the Werl/Soest area.

The same applies for departures and approaches towards the north.

While VFR flying is very basic - few rules and basically more or less fly where you want, but stay away from clouds, restricted space and look out all the time - it certainly has other challenges of its own which can make workload quite high. Especially when flying alone as a low hour private pilot. My instructors both have an ATPL and one flies for a big carrier, so they are very helpful and know the area.

I just want to become a safe pilot with a good mindset, trying to avoid critical situations before they occur. The more you know the better.
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: VFR with Airliners

Thu Jan 07, 2021 1:00 pm

TheSonntag wrote:
Thank you all for your replies. Especially when approaching 24 in Dortmund, the approach lies between Arnsberg/Menden airfield and my home airfield EDLH (Hamm) . Since the Möhnesee (even the non germans here in the Forum know it from the dam buster raid) is a quite popular destination for short weekend flights, it is actually quite common to cross the approach path. It certainly makes sense to look out a lot around the Werl/Soest area.

The same applies for departures and approaches towards the north.

While VFR flying is very basic - few rules and basically more or less fly where you want, but stay away from clouds, restricted space and look out all the time - it certainly has other challenges of its own which can make workload quite high. Especially when flying alone as a low hour private pilot. My instructors both have an ATPL and one flies for a big carrier, so they are very helpful and know the area.

I just want to become a safe pilot with a good mindset, trying to avoid critical situations before they occur. The more you know the better.


Don't sell yourself short. VFR may seem "basic", but in some ways, it is more challenging than some IFR operations.

Being risk-averse is a good mindset to get into. Always err on the side of caution, especially as a private pilot. At that point in your career, you don't know what you don't know. I remember getting my instrument rating and thinking, "I can't believe they let me fly solo on a PPL." :D

"If there is doubt, there is no doubt."
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
CRJockey
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Re: VFR with Airliners

Thu Jan 07, 2021 1:24 pm

Starlionblue wrote:
Don't sell yourself short. VFR may seem "basic", but in some ways, it is more challenging than some IFR operations.


Fully agree. The largest surprise going IFR is, how navigation becomes incredibly easy in a normal flight, vs. the constant position checking and double checking flying VFR, especially in constrained environments around busy airspace. And the very fact, that most VFR is SEP, the sheer lack of redundancy and system self test and monitoring capability makes it a vastly more exciting endeavor.
 
TheSonntag
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Re: VFR with Airliners

Thu Jan 07, 2021 2:20 pm

"I remember getting my instrument rating and thinking, "I can't believe they let me fly solo on a PPL." :D"

Honestly, I still ask myself what they were drinking in June when they let my fly alone :D. But the plane survived and I am here to write, so it seems I did something right :D.

I would want an IR too, but the cost is very high and we have just one IFR capable PA28. Also the practical costs are pretty prohibitive. Maybe the new basic IR might be a useful addition. I take one step after the other. It shall be a hobby, but I want to do it as safely as possible.
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: VFR with Airliners

Thu Jan 07, 2021 3:07 pm

TheSonntag wrote:
"I remember getting my instrument rating and thinking, "I can't believe they let me fly solo on a PPL." :D"

Honestly, I still ask myself what they were drinking in June when they let my fly alone :D. But the plane survived and I am here to write, so it seems I did something right :D.

I would want an IR too, but the cost is very high and we have just one IFR capable PA28. Also the practical costs are pretty prohibitive. Maybe the new basic IR might be a useful addition. I take one step after the other. It shall be a hobby, but I want to do it as safely as possible.


I would suggest looking for another place to do your IR. I flew halfway around the world to get my licenses. It was way cheaper even including airfare, accommodation, food, etc...

You can do an instrument rating in two weeks in Florida if you've prepped properly. And doing it "full immersion" saves a lot of time as you don't have to keep revising stuff.

I never converted my FAA IR to EASA, but have heard from others that it was cheaper overall for them to to do so.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
TheSonntag
Topic Author
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Re: VFR with Airliners

Thu Jan 07, 2021 3:52 pm

Yes, the question for is is just - is it worth it. What I have heard and read so far (including the great book "how and why pilots die"), from a pure safety perspective, it is a huge gap forward.

From a pure practical point of view it is totally unnecessary for me. I will only fly club machines or maybe charter planes. Our club has 3 C172s and one PA28. None of those are legal in icing conditions. Chartering a SR22 is cost prohibitive for me. I just want to fly maybe to the german islands, which is 1 hour out, and maybe expand the radios to Germany and the Netherlands. None of those have IFR approaches, so it would only help enroute, and if the weather enroute is not legal VFR, I wouldnt't fly either since then weather generally would be so bad it doesnt really make sense to fly in a SEP.

The costs for IFR including approaches, the limited amount of available airports which support IFR approaches (and their cost structure) - its simply too much if you have to pay yourself.


Maybe I change my mind once i have the Licence. I hope to get finished this year - I got the theory and 22hours, and now overland flying is coming. Currently we are in lockdown, though, and weather is bad. I start to understand why so many carriers train ab initio in Arizona.
 
Woodreau
Posts: 2077
Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2001 6:44 am

Re: VFR with Airliners

Thu Jan 07, 2021 7:23 pm

Is an IR worth it?

I would say yes, it is.

To be honest, having an IR in a piston single still means you will be stuck on the ground when bad weather comes around. Not because you won't be able to fly in IMC under ATC control. but in some parts of the US, (I dont know about Europe and Germany) bad weather can also mean icing, which is beyond the capability of single-engine training aircraft. - flight into known icing is prohibitied.

Where the worth lies is you learn the ability to precisely fly your aircraft. To maintain currency you'll need to practice more often. but the confidence you gain from flying solely with instruments can only help you as a VFR pilot.

I've been an airline pilot for over 15 years now, but it's very rare to fly IMC in airline flying. the bulk of my IMC time came my first two years as an airline pilot flying turboprops into small EAS destinations, where we would fly our entire day in IMC and in icing conditions. After moving onto turbojet regional jets and narrowbodies, it's rare to actually fly in IMC. I don't think I average more than 15-20 IMC instrument approaches a year since I started flying jets.
Bonus animus sit, ab experientia. Quod salvatum fuerit de malis usu venit judicium.
 
N1120A
Posts: 26723
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Re: VFR with Airliners

Fri Jan 08, 2021 12:16 am

Woodreau wrote:
Is an IR worth it?

I would say yes, it is.

To be honest, having an IR in a piston single still means you will be stuck on the ground when bad weather comes around. Not because you won't be able to fly in IMC under ATC control. but in some parts of the US, (I dont know about Europe and Germany) bad weather can also mean icing, which is beyond the capability of single-engine training aircraft. - flight into known icing is prohibitied.


There are small single-engine aircraft that are FIKI certified and "bad weather" is relative. There are plenty of situations where you can fly IFR in challenging conditions in light, single-engine piston aircraft.
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: VFR with Airliners

Fri Jan 08, 2021 1:51 am

TheSonntag wrote:
Yes, the question for is is just - is it worth it. What I have heard and read so far (including the great book "how and why pilots die"), from a pure safety perspective, it is a huge gap forward.

From a pure practical point of view it is totally unnecessary for me. I will only fly club machines or maybe charter planes. Our club has 3 C172s and one PA28. None of those are legal in icing conditions. Chartering a SR22 is cost prohibitive for me. I just want to fly maybe to the german islands, which is 1 hour out, and maybe expand the radios to Germany and the Netherlands. None of those have IFR approaches, so it would only help enroute, and if the weather enroute is not legal VFR, I wouldnt't fly either since then weather generally would be so bad it doesnt really make sense to fly in a SEP.

The costs for IFR including approaches, the limited amount of available airports which support IFR approaches (and their cost structure) - its simply too much if you have to pay yourself.


Maybe I change my mind once i have the Licence. I hope to get finished this year - I got the theory and 22hours, and now overland flying is coming. Currently we are in lockdown, though, and weather is bad. I start to understand why so many carriers train ab initio in Arizona.


Is it worth it? Totally. As you say, just from a safety perspective. It is also very satisfying to be able to fly instrument procedures. The skills you master will improve your VFR flying, and give you added confidence.

Accidental IMC happens, especially with European weather. The basic instrument flying training you get in a PPL might get you out of trouble, or it might not.

You talk about limited approaches, weather, and cost structure. Which is why, as I mentioned, you should go somewhere else. You can practice instrument approaches all day long in Florida and not pay a single landing fee. The per-hour cost will also be much lower.

There's no hurry though. Get your PPL and then maybe do the IR theory. Just that will give you a leg up.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
saab2000
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Re: VFR with Airliners

Fri Jan 08, 2021 1:00 pm

I agree with those who say getting an instrument rating is worth it. The knowledge gained will be useful even if you never plan to fly on days lower than CAVOK/CAVU/SKC, etc. Your instructors will hold you to a higher standard and you will learn more about how the systems on the ground and in your airplane work. This knowledge will make you a better pilot overall. Plus it will give you bragging rights!

As for your airport not having approaches; most runways have some kind of GPS overlay approach now to take over where VOR and NDB approaches used to exist. Knowing how to fly these GPS approaches will be good and you'll gain knowledge on the 3D aspect of flying.

Once you feel comfortable with you VFR flying take it to the next level even if you never plan to fly with a cloud within 50 NM of your field.
smrtrthnu
 
N1120A
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Re: VFR with Airliners

Fri Jan 08, 2021 7:28 pm

Starlionblue wrote:
TheSonntag wrote:
Yes, the question for is is just - is it worth it. What I have heard and read so far (including the great book "how and why pilots die"), from a pure safety perspective, it is a huge gap forward.

From a pure practical point of view it is totally unnecessary for me. I will only fly club machines or maybe charter planes. Our club has 3 C172s and one PA28. None of those are legal in icing conditions. Chartering a SR22 is cost prohibitive for me. I just want to fly maybe to the german islands, which is 1 hour out, and maybe expand the radios to Germany and the Netherlands. None of those have IFR approaches, so it would only help enroute, and if the weather enroute is not legal VFR, I wouldnt't fly either since then weather generally would be so bad it doesnt really make sense to fly in a SEP.

The costs for IFR including approaches, the limited amount of available airports which support IFR approaches (and their cost structure) - its simply too much if you have to pay yourself.


Maybe I change my mind once i have the Licence. I hope to get finished this year - I got the theory and 22hours, and now overland flying is coming. Currently we are in lockdown, though, and weather is bad. I start to understand why so many carriers train ab initio in Arizona.


Is it worth it? Totally. As you say, just from a safety perspective. It is also very satisfying to be able to fly instrument procedures. The skills you master will improve your VFR flying, and give you added confidence.

Accidental IMC happens, especially with European weather. The basic instrument flying training you get in a PPL might get you out of trouble, or it might not.

You talk about limited approaches, weather, and cost structure. Which is why, as I mentioned, you should go somewhere else. You can practice instrument approaches all day long in Florida and not pay a single landing fee. The per-hour cost will also be much lower.

There's no hurry though. Get your PPL and then maybe do the IR theory. Just that will give you a leg up.


If that idiot with the Malibu in the UK had been instrument rated, the footballer he was flying would be alive today.
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
LH707330
Posts: 2460
Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2012 11:27 pm

Re: VFR with Airliners

Fri Jan 08, 2021 10:43 pm

N1120A wrote:
Starlionblue wrote:
TheSonntag wrote:
Yes, the question for is is just - is it worth it. What I have heard and read so far (including the great book "how and why pilots die"), from a pure safety perspective, it is a huge gap forward.

From a pure practical point of view it is totally unnecessary for me. I will only fly club machines or maybe charter planes. Our club has 3 C172s and one PA28. None of those are legal in icing conditions. Chartering a SR22 is cost prohibitive for me. I just want to fly maybe to the german islands, which is 1 hour out, and maybe expand the radios to Germany and the Netherlands. None of those have IFR approaches, so it would only help enroute, and if the weather enroute is not legal VFR, I wouldnt't fly either since then weather generally would be so bad it doesnt really make sense to fly in a SEP.

The costs for IFR including approaches, the limited amount of available airports which support IFR approaches (and their cost structure) - its simply too much if you have to pay yourself.


Maybe I change my mind once i have the Licence. I hope to get finished this year - I got the theory and 22hours, and now overland flying is coming. Currently we are in lockdown, though, and weather is bad. I start to understand why so many carriers train ab initio in Arizona.


Is it worth it? Totally. As you say, just from a safety perspective. It is also very satisfying to be able to fly instrument procedures. The skills you master will improve your VFR flying, and give you added confidence.

Accidental IMC happens, especially with European weather. The basic instrument flying training you get in a PPL might get you out of trouble, or it might not.

You talk about limited approaches, weather, and cost structure. Which is why, as I mentioned, you should go somewhere else. You can practice instrument approaches all day long in Florida and not pay a single landing fee. The per-hour cost will also be much lower.

There's no hurry though. Get your PPL and then maybe do the IR theory. Just that will give you a leg up.


If that idiot with the Malibu in the UK had been instrument rated, the footballer he was flying would be alive today.

Ditto Buddy Holly and a a legion of other victims of VFR into IMC.

I gotta agree on the IR, definitely a good idea. Not sure how it works in Germany, but if you can do most of the ground theory portion and practice procedures in a sim, that should help cut the costs down. If you want to go the Arizona route, I've got a place I can recommend that should be able to get you sorted in 1-2 weeks depending on your proficiency level. Shoot me a PM if you're interested.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:44 am

Re: VFR with Airliners

Sat Jan 09, 2021 12:12 am

LH707330 wrote:
N1120A wrote:
Starlionblue wrote:

Is it worth it? Totally. As you say, just from a safety perspective. It is also very satisfying to be able to fly instrument procedures. The skills you master will improve your VFR flying, and give you added confidence.

Accidental IMC happens, especially with European weather. The basic instrument flying training you get in a PPL might get you out of trouble, or it might not.

You talk about limited approaches, weather, and cost structure. Which is why, as I mentioned, you should go somewhere else. You can practice instrument approaches all day long in Florida and not pay a single landing fee. The per-hour cost will also be much lower.

There's no hurry though. Get your PPL and then maybe do the IR theory. Just that will give you a leg up.


If that idiot with the Malibu in the UK had been instrument rated, the footballer he was flying would be alive today.

Ditto Buddy Holly and a a legion of other victims of VFR into IMC.

I gotta agree on the IR, definitely a good idea. Not sure how it works in Germany, but if you can do most of the ground theory portion and practice procedures in a sim, that should help cut the costs down. If you want to go the Arizona route, I've got a place I can recommend that should be able to get you sorted in 1-2 weeks depending on your proficiency level. Shoot me a PM if you're interested.


Maybe, maybe not. The record of instrument pilots continuing VFR into IMC isn’t inspiring. You’re down near the ground, trying to remain in VMC, perhaps unwilling to confess, not sure how to proceed, maybe not in touch with ATC. The ground and cloud merge and Earth smites thee a mighty blow. The answer is admit defeat, climb like your life depends on it (it does) and work out a clearance. Yes, bootleg IFR time. You can’t put yourself there in congested airspace, but out in North Dakota or Maine, you’ll live to tell the tale. In Frankfurt or NYC, you’ll likely live to have a tense meeting without coffee. I’ve done the former many times, never the latter.
 
N1120A
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Re: VFR with Airliners

Sat Jan 09, 2021 12:52 am

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
LH707330 wrote:
N1120A wrote:

If that idiot with the Malibu in the UK had been instrument rated, the footballer he was flying would be alive today.

Ditto Buddy Holly and a a legion of other victims of VFR into IMC.

I gotta agree on the IR, definitely a good idea. Not sure how it works in Germany, but if you can do most of the ground theory portion and practice procedures in a sim, that should help cut the costs down. If you want to go the Arizona route, I've got a place I can recommend that should be able to get you sorted in 1-2 weeks depending on your proficiency level. Shoot me a PM if you're interested.


Maybe, maybe not. The record of instrument pilots continuing VFR into IMC isn’t inspiring. You’re down near the ground, trying to remain in VMC, perhaps unwilling to confess, not sure how to proceed, maybe not in touch with ATC. The ground and cloud merge and Earth smites thee a mighty blow. The answer is admit defeat, climb like your life depends on it (it does) and work out a clearance. Yes, bootleg IFR time. You can’t put yourself there in congested airspace, but out in North Dakota or Maine, you’ll live to tell the tale. In Frankfurt or NYC, you’ll likely live to have a tense meeting without coffee. I’ve done the former many times, never the latter.


Except no one in their right mind would have flown VFR in those conditions if they had an instrument ticket - especially in an airplane as capable as a Malibu. I'm dumbfounded as to why he didn't just turn the autopilot on and keep going.
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
Aircellist
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Re: VFR with Airliners

Sat Jan 09, 2021 1:20 am

Glenn Miller, anyone?
"When I find out I was wrong, I change my mind. What do you do?" -attributed to John Maynard Keynes
 
TTailedTiger
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Re: VFR with Airliners

Sat Jan 09, 2021 8:42 am

saab2000 wrote:
Zeke's explanation is quite accurate. Be sure not to confuse IFR and IMC and VFR and VMC.

I have flown commercially in the US (since 2004 now) but learned how to fly in Europe and flew there for a larger airline. VFR by airliners is generally uncommon and in the US most airlines don't allow flights under Visual Flight Rules except in unusual circumstances. That's not, however, the same as flying into an uncontrolled airport or being cleared by ATC to fly a visual approach. And visual approaches are normally backed up with the instrument approach lateral and vertical guidance anyway.

For years I flew CRJs in and out of airports which were uncontrolled but were not in Class G airspace. These were IFR flights and we were always in contact with ATC services, including cancelling the IFR flight plan as soon as landed.

Airspace classifications aren't quite the same in all parts of the world. In the US we have quite a few airports with charted visual approaches, with visual landmarks to fly over or past, usually for noise abatement but sometimes to avoid prohibited airspace or to avoid entering the airspace of another airport. I'm thinking in particular of KDCA and KLGA, both of which have visual approaches but are operated under IFR. It can get a bit confusing until you're in the airline environment. We even had a few of these charted visual approaches in Switzerland at some of the airports.

I hope this helps the OP a bit. Airliners are flown visually at times. More often than one might imagine. But these flights are usually still operated under IFR flight plans and flight rules. That said, rules of the air still apply so study hard and use your knowledge and common sense at all times!


They allow airline flights into uncontrolled airfields? Yikes. After my training was finished I refused to ever utilize an uncontrolled field. That's just asking for trouble. Too many awful (often elderly) pilots set in their ways and thinking they own the air and refuse to make radio calls or position reports. Uncontrolled airports should not be permitted.
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: VFR with Airliners

Sat Jan 09, 2021 9:04 am

TTailedTiger wrote:
saab2000 wrote:
Zeke's explanation is quite accurate. Be sure not to confuse IFR and IMC and VFR and VMC.

I have flown commercially in the US (since 2004 now) but learned how to fly in Europe and flew there for a larger airline. VFR by airliners is generally uncommon and in the US most airlines don't allow flights under Visual Flight Rules except in unusual circumstances. That's not, however, the same as flying into an uncontrolled airport or being cleared by ATC to fly a visual approach. And visual approaches are normally backed up with the instrument approach lateral and vertical guidance anyway.

For years I flew CRJs in and out of airports which were uncontrolled but were not in Class G airspace. These were IFR flights and we were always in contact with ATC services, including cancelling the IFR flight plan as soon as landed.

Airspace classifications aren't quite the same in all parts of the world. In the US we have quite a few airports with charted visual approaches, with visual landmarks to fly over or past, usually for noise abatement but sometimes to avoid prohibited airspace or to avoid entering the airspace of another airport. I'm thinking in particular of KDCA and KLGA, both of which have visual approaches but are operated under IFR. It can get a bit confusing until you're in the airline environment. We even had a few of these charted visual approaches in Switzerland at some of the airports.

I hope this helps the OP a bit. Airliners are flown visually at times. More often than one might imagine. But these flights are usually still operated under IFR flight plans and flight rules. That said, rules of the air still apply so study hard and use your knowledge and common sense at all times!


They allow airline flights into uncontrolled airfields? Yikes. After my training was finished I refused to ever utilize an uncontrolled field. That's just asking for trouble. Too many awful (often elderly) pilots set in their ways and thinking they own the air and refuse to make radio calls or position reports. Uncontrolled airports should not be permitted.


Airliner flights into uncontrolled airports happen daily, and quite safely. Especially commuter operators fly into uncontrolled fields all the time.

There are additional threats. But threats exist everywhere. Mitigation of threats at uncontrolled fields would involve lower speeds, a good lookout, restrictive weather minima...

Case in point, here's a CX 747-8 at tiny, uncontrolled, Toowoomba Wellcamp Airport (WTB) in Queensland. The airport is also served by Qantas, AirNorth and Regional Express.

Image
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
Woodreau
Posts: 2077
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Re: VFR with Airliners

Sat Jan 09, 2021 2:43 pm

TTailedTiger wrote:
They allow airline flights into uncontrolled airfields? Yikes. Uncontrolled airports should not be permitted.


Happens many times every day.

The first two years at my first airline wouldn’t be possible if commercial flights weren’t allowed at nontowered fields

Out of the 9 legs we flew every day only 2 were at towered fields, the other 7 were at non towered fields. We talked on CTAF and deconflicted ourselves even cancelled IFR weather permitting so that we didn’t tie up the airport so that we could all expeditiously land pick up our pax or boxes and even used each other as relays with ATC so that we didn’t have to make phone calls on the pay phone booth in the terminal on the ground trying to get an ATC clearance or cancel clearance to let the next guy in.
Bonus animus sit, ab experientia. Quod salvatum fuerit de malis usu venit judicium.
 
hitower3
Posts: 214
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Re: VFR with Airliners

Sat Jan 09, 2021 5:30 pm

I remember reading about an Air Berlin A320 that performed a commercial flight within Germany (Munich-Hamburg or similar) during the grounding due to the Icelandic volcano Eyafjoll.
As the upper airspace was closed, the crew flew VFR below a rather low cloud base around 4000ft, which was widely criticized.
 
 
CATIIIevery5yrs
Posts: 206
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2016 4:40 am

Re: VFR with Airliners

Sat Jan 09, 2021 6:42 pm

Woodreau wrote:
The issue is when pilots are operating IFR, they’ll use reporting fixes to call their position. But pilots that only operate VFR have no idea where that position is.

When a flight is cleared for an approach to an airport with no control tower, the flight will be cleared for a visual approach or for an instrument approach. And then be approved for a frequency change so that the flight can make position reports on the local traffic frequency.

They say something like, “xxx, at ITAWA landing straight in 15.” A VFR pilot has no idea where ITAWA is.

I make a conscious effort when talking on an nontowered traffic frequency to give distance and time, “nontowered traffic, airliner 123, Airbus 320, 20 miles south, descending thru 8000ft, 5 minutes out to land runway xx...”

20 miles out to a 172 is a long time, but 20 miles out for a 320 is not very long at all. As a 320 doing 250kts is doing roughly 4 miles / minute and a 172 doing 90kts is doing about 1.5 miles/minute.


Try to find the arrival stars in the Germany AIP for the airports you operate at And become familiar with them. I don’t know how strictly ATC keeps them on the arrival routings, In the US ATC radar vectors around routinely for traffic flow. But at the non towered fields, atc will get us to a point, and then let us do what ever. But pilots of jet aircraft will usually set up for at least a 4-5 mile straight in final most of the time without doing a traffic pattern as that is the approximate position of most instrument approachs Final Approach Fix that is on the chart and loaded into the FMS.


Here is the AIP entry for Dortmund EDLW... I assume you’ve already seen it. https://aip.dfs.de/basicIFR/2020DEC31/1 ... ea2d1.html

Look like the FAF is ELVUL for Rwy 24 and KOLOT for Rwy 6. Between elvul and 24 and between kolot and 6 is where I imagine you’ll find most jet traffic.


You can also ask your instructor about this topic.


20 miles out in a 320 is def going to make the pilots complain. You know, rocking that energy management approach.
 
GalaxyFlyer
Posts: 7772
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:44 am

Re: VFR with Airliners

Sat Jan 09, 2021 7:23 pm

TTailedTiger wrote:
saab2000 wrote:
Zeke's explanation is quite accurate. Be sure not to confuse IFR and IMC and VFR and VMC.

I have flown commercially in the US (since 2004 now) but learned how to fly in Europe and flew there for a larger airline. VFR by airliners is generally uncommon and in the US most airlines don't allow flights under Visual Flight Rules except in unusual circumstances. That's not, however, the same as flying into an uncontrolled airport or being cleared by ATC to fly a visual approach. And visual approaches are normally backed up with the instrument approach lateral and vertical guidance anyway.

For years I flew CRJs in and out of airports which were uncontrolled but were not in Class G airspace. These were IFR flights and we were always in contact with ATC services, including cancelling the IFR flight plan as soon as landed.

Airspace classifications aren't quite the same in all parts of the world. In the US we have quite a few airports with charted visual approaches, with visual landmarks to fly over or past, usually for noise abatement but sometimes to avoid prohibited airspace or to avoid entering the airspace of another airport. I'm thinking in particular of KDCA and KLGA, both of which have visual approaches but are operated under IFR. It can get a bit confusing until you're in the airline environment. We even had a few of these charted visual approaches in Switzerland at some of the airports.

I hope this helps the OP a bit. Airliners are flown visually at times. More often than one might imagine. But these flights are usually still operated under IFR flight plans and flight rules. That said, rules of the air still apply so study hard and use your knowledge and common sense at all times!


They allow airline flights into uncontrolled airfields? Yikes. After my training was finished I refused to ever utilize an uncontrolled field. That's just asking for trouble. Too many awful (often elderly) pilots set in their ways and thinking they own the air and refuse to make radio calls or position reports. Uncontrolled airports should not be permitted.


You do know that ATC at controlled airports does not separate traffic (see FAAO 7110.65); they sequence traffic, provide advisories, confirm the runway is clear for landing. It’s still a VFR see and avoid operation. Plenty of mid-airs under local control. Plus, 95% of US airports are uncontrolled.
 
GalaxyFlyer
Posts: 7772
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:44 am

Re: VFR with Airliners

Sat Jan 09, 2021 7:33 pm

N1120A wrote:
GalaxyFlyer wrote:
LH707330 wrote:
Ditto Buddy Holly and a a legion of other victims of VFR into IMC.

I gotta agree on the IR, definitely a good idea. Not sure how it works in Germany, but if you can do most of the ground theory portion and practice procedures in a sim, that should help cut the costs down. If you want to go the Arizona route, I've got a place I can recommend that should be able to get you sorted in 1-2 weeks depending on your proficiency level. Shoot me a PM if you're interested.


Maybe, maybe not. The record of instrument pilots continuing VFR into IMC isn’t inspiring. You’re down near the ground, trying to remain in VMC, perhaps unwilling to confess, not sure how to proceed, maybe not in touch with ATC. The ground and cloud merge and Earth smites thee a mighty blow. The answer is admit defeat, climb like your life depends on it (it does) and work out a clearance. Yes, bootleg IFR time. You can’t put yourself there in congested airspace, but out in North Dakota or Maine, you’ll live to tell the tale. In Frankfurt or NYC, you’ll likely live to have a tense meeting without coffee. I’ve done the former many times, never the latter.


Except no one in their right mind would have flown VFR in those conditions if they had an instrument ticket - especially in an airplane as capable as a Malibu. I'm dumbfounded as to why he didn't just turn the autopilot on and keep going.


You might read thru this Purdue Dept of aviation article. In the years studied 1/3rd of the VFR into IMC accidents were flown by Instrument Rated or ATP pilots.

https://docs.lib.purdue.edu/cgi/viewcon ... ntext=jate

Second, if the pilot is not instrument rated, just turning on the autopilot and pressing on isn’t the answer.
 
TTailedTiger
Posts: 2953
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2018 5:19 am

Re: VFR with Airliners

Sat Jan 09, 2021 7:50 pm

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
TTailedTiger wrote:
saab2000 wrote:
Zeke's explanation is quite accurate. Be sure not to confuse IFR and IMC and VFR and VMC.

I have flown commercially in the US (since 2004 now) but learned how to fly in Europe and flew there for a larger airline. VFR by airliners is generally uncommon and in the US most airlines don't allow flights under Visual Flight Rules except in unusual circumstances. That's not, however, the same as flying into an uncontrolled airport or being cleared by ATC to fly a visual approach. And visual approaches are normally backed up with the instrument approach lateral and vertical guidance anyway.

For years I flew CRJs in and out of airports which were uncontrolled but were not in Class G airspace. These were IFR flights and we were always in contact with ATC services, including cancelling the IFR flight plan as soon as landed.

Airspace classifications aren't quite the same in all parts of the world. In the US we have quite a few airports with charted visual approaches, with visual landmarks to fly over or past, usually for noise abatement but sometimes to avoid prohibited airspace or to avoid entering the airspace of another airport. I'm thinking in particular of KDCA and KLGA, both of which have visual approaches but are operated under IFR. It can get a bit confusing until you're in the airline environment. We even had a few of these charted visual approaches in Switzerland at some of the airports.

I hope this helps the OP a bit. Airliners are flown visually at times. More often than one might imagine. But these flights are usually still operated under IFR flight plans and flight rules. That said, rules of the air still apply so study hard and use your knowledge and common sense at all times!


They allow airline flights into uncontrolled airfields? Yikes. After my training was finished I refused to ever utilize an uncontrolled field. That's just asking for trouble. Too many awful (often elderly) pilots set in their ways and thinking they own the air and refuse to make radio calls or position reports. Uncontrolled airports should not be permitted.


You do know that ATC at controlled airports does not separate traffic (see FAAO 7110.65); they sequence traffic, provide advisories, confirm the runway is clear for landing. It’s still a VFR see and avoid operation. Plenty of mid-airs under local control. Plus, 95% of US airports are uncontrolled.


From the very first flight I trained in Bravo airpsace. I believe it to have been invaluable. I had much better ATC skills than most of my peers. Lots of YouTube videos showing close calls at uncontrolled fields with idiots with transponders turned off. That should be illegal too.
 
GalaxyFlyer
Posts: 7772
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:44 am

Re: VFR with Airliners

Sat Jan 09, 2021 8:03 pm

Yes, You Tube being a authoritative aviation source. What does the transponder do in a VFR traffic pattern? You’re supposed be looking OUTSIDE.
 
JayinKitsap
Posts: 2505
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2005 9:55 am

Re: VFR with Airliners

Sat Jan 09, 2021 11:50 pm

From a non-pilot speaking, so might be off by a bit.

There are lots of rotor and fixed wing small aircraft out using VFR every day, with a tragic number of VFR into IMC accidents. A recent example with rotorcraft was the Kobe Bryant crash, if the pilot had kept situational awareness for just 10 more seconds he would have broken above the clouds. That pilot was an instrument instructor, but that didn't help here.

Advances in technology have rotorcraft drones flying which keep stable flight. It is quite tricky as the direction gravity is overwhelmed by the accelerations of banking etc. The controller needs to create an artificial horizon that is non optical and non acceleration based. Positioning by GPS satellite using the signal direction to create the 'horizon'. The technology is only now getting where a small relatively light box that can fit in the craft's instrument panel at a not crazy price, only now to get it certified.

The FAA really needs to establish a new rating between VFR and IFR to better control traffic safely and have procedures and systems for it. It needs to be compatible with the coming autonomous traffic in the near future. Possibly a system where the autopilot links into an automated traffic control system.
 
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Starlionblue
Posts: 20692
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2004 9:54 pm

Re: VFR with Airliners

Sun Jan 10, 2021 1:37 am

JayinKitsap wrote:
From a non-pilot speaking, so might be off by a bit.

There are lots of rotor and fixed wing small aircraft out using VFR every day, with a tragic number of VFR into IMC accidents. A recent example with rotorcraft was the Kobe Bryant crash, if the pilot had kept situational awareness for just 10 more seconds he would have broken above the clouds. That pilot was an instrument instructor, but that didn't help here.

Advances in technology have rotorcraft drones flying which keep stable flight. It is quite tricky as the direction gravity is overwhelmed by the accelerations of banking etc. The controller needs to create an artificial horizon that is non optical and non acceleration based. Positioning by GPS satellite using the signal direction to create the 'horizon'. The technology is only now getting where a small relatively light box that can fit in the craft's instrument panel at a not crazy price, only now to get it certified.

The FAA really needs to establish a new rating between VFR and IFR to better control traffic safely and have procedures and systems for it. It needs to be compatible with the coming autonomous traffic in the near future. Possibly a system where the autopilot links into an automated traffic control system.


I don't see why you need GPS to create an attitude indication. Attitude indicators are non-optical and non-acceleration based and always have been. All you need is gyroscopes. Mechanical attitude indicators have been around for over a hundred years and are, as these things go, both inexpensive and compact.

Losing situational awareness in IMC can happen to instrument rated pilots in aircraft equipped for IFR. You have to really trust the instruments, and understand the signs of instrument failure.

Expanding the use of HUDs and synthetic vision would help. Being able to "see through" clouds and darkness can greatly enhance situational awareness. But given the cost of those systems currently, it will be quite a while before we see them in widespread use.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
GalaxyFlyer
Posts: 7772
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:44 am

Re: VFR with Airliners

Sun Jan 10, 2021 3:05 am

TTailedTiger wrote:
GalaxyFlyer wrote:
TTailedTiger wrote:

They allow airline flights into uncontrolled airfields? Yikes. After my training was finished I refused to ever utilize an uncontrolled field. That's just asking for trouble. Too many awful (often elderly) pilots set in their ways and thinking they own the air and refuse to make radio calls or position reports. Uncontrolled airports should not be permitted.


You do know that ATC at controlled airports does not separate traffic (see FAAO 7110.65); they sequence traffic, provide advisories, confirm the runway is clear for landing. It’s still a VFR see and avoid operation. Plenty of mid-airs under local control. Plus, 95% of US airports are uncontrolled.


From the very first flight I trained in Bravo airpsace. I believe it to have been invaluable. I had much better ATC skills than most of my peers. Lots of YouTube videos showing close calls at uncontrolled fields with idiots with transponders turned off. That should be illegal too.


ATC skills do not a pilot make. It’s AVIATE, NAVIGATE, COMMUNICATE, in that order for a reason.
 
TTailedTiger
Posts: 2953
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2018 5:19 am

Re: VFR with Airliners

Sun Jan 10, 2021 3:11 am

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
TTailedTiger wrote:
GalaxyFlyer wrote:

You do know that ATC at controlled airports does not separate traffic (see FAAO 7110.65); they sequence traffic, provide advisories, confirm the runway is clear for landing. It’s still a VFR see and avoid operation. Plenty of mid-airs under local control. Plus, 95% of US airports are uncontrolled.


From the very first flight I trained in Bravo airpsace. I believe it to have been invaluable. I had much better ATC skills than most of my peers. Lots of YouTube videos showing close calls at uncontrolled fields with idiots with transponders turned off. That should be illegal too.


ATC skills do not a pilot make. It’s AVIATE, NAVIGATE, COMMUNICATE, in that order for a reason.


I don't take a combative attitude with ATC like some pilots. You cannot just ignore their instructions without a valid reason. They have never tried to kill me.
 
GalaxyFlyer
Posts: 7772
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:44 am

Re: VFR with Airliners

Sun Jan 10, 2021 4:21 am

Not combative and I’m not recommending that. It’s a matter flying the plane comes first, not being the master of the radio. Being a better pilot isn’t judged by ATC skills, whatever they are, never heard the term.

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