When can I fly…

When can I fly? Is this an easy question or a difficult one? The answer is both. If you suspect you are creating a risk by flying then choose your alternative… Don’t fly. The rules state to follow guidelines, but these guidelines are general and although legal, may not be smart.

Personal Minimums should be within legal limits but with your “smart filter” added. What are “Personal Minimums”? Click here

Always note that I am not an instructor. This is my learning journey to becoming a private pilot and you are responsible for having “all the current information”.

Sec. 91.155 — Basic VFR weather minimums.

(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section and §91.157, no person may operate an aircraft under VFR when the flight visibility is less, or at a distance from clouds that is less, than that prescribed for the corresponding altitude and class of airspace in the following table:

Airspace Flight visibility Distance from clouds
Class A Not Applicable Not Applicable.
Class B 3 statute miles Clear of Clouds.
Class C 3 statute miles 500 feet below.
1,000 feet above.
2,000 feet horizontal.
Class D 3 statute miles 500 feet below.
1,000 feet above.
2,000 feet horizontal.
Class E:
Less than 10,000 feet MSL 3 statute miles 500 feet below.
1,000 feet above.
2,000 feet horizontal
At or above 10,000 feet MSL 5 statute miles 1,000 feet below.
1,000 feet above.
1 statute mile horizontal.
Class G:
1,200 feet or less above the surface (regardless of MSL altitude)
Day, except as provided in §91.155(b) 1 statute mile Clear of clouds.
Night, except as provided in §91.155(b) 3 statute miles 500 feet below.
1,000 feet above.
2,000 feet horizontal.
More than 1,200 feet above the surface but less than 10,000 feet MSL
Day 1 statute mile 500 feet below.
1,000 feet above.
2,000 feet horizontal.
Night 3 statute miles 500 feet below.
1,000 feet above.
2,000 feet horizontal.
More than 1,200 feet above the surface and at or above 10,000 feet MSL 5 statute miles 1,000 feet below.
1,000 feet above.
1 statute mile horizontal.

(b) Class G Airspace. Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (a) of this section, the following operations may be conducted in Class G airspace below 1,200 feet above the surface:

(1) Helicopter. A helicopter may be operated clear of clouds if operated at a speed that allows the pilot adequate opportunity to see any air traffic or obstruction in time to avoid a collision.

(2) Airplane, powered parachute, or weight-shift-control aircraft. If the visibility is less than 3 statute miles but not less than 1 statute mile during night hours and you are operating in an airport traffic pattern within1/2mile of the runway, you may operate an airplane, powered parachute, or weight-shift-control aircraft clear of clouds.

(c) Except as provided in §91.157, no person may operate an aircraft beneath the ceiling under VFR within the lateral boundaries of controlled airspace designated to the surface for an airport when the ceiling is less than 1,000 feet.

(d) Except as provided in §91.157 of this part, no person may take off or land an aircraft, or enter the traffic pattern of an airport, under VFR, within the lateral boundaries of the surface areas of Class B, Class C, Class D, or Class E airspace designated for an airport—

(1) Unless ground visibility at that airport is at least 3 statute miles; or

(2) If ground visibility is not reported at that airport, unless flight visibility during landing or takeoff, or while operating in the traffic pattern is at least 3 statute miles.

(e) For the purpose of this section, an aircraft operating at the base altitude of a Class E airspace area is considered to be within the airspace directly below that area.

[Doc. No. 24458, 56 FR 65660, Dec. 17, 1991, as amended by Amdt. 91–235, 58 FR 51968, Oct. 5, 1993; Amdt. 91–282, 69 FR 44880, July 27, 2004]

Happy flying,

K0FEY

K0feyProp

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About K0FEY

I am a member of the Eden Prairie Radio club. This is a Minnesota Ham Radio Enthusiast club and we promote experimentation and learning through the Amateur Radio hobby. Come check into a net on Sunday with us or better yet meet us in person on the 3rd Thursday of the month.
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