Frequent question: What is a VFR flight plan?

A VFR flight plan is a document filed by a commercial or private jet pilot or flight dispatcher before a flight commences. The document must be filed with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) prior to departure to indicate the planned route or flight path of the aircraft.

What is the purpose of a VFR flight plan?

The VFR flight plan serves one purpose: it helps rescue workers find your aircraft if you crash. Yes, that’s the only reason. It’s a tracking tool for search and rescue. Keep that in mind when you fill out your form and open your VFR flight plan.

What does VFR flight mean?

Visual Flight Rules simply means that the aircraft is intended to operate in visual meteorological conditions (VMC, i.e. nice and clear weather). Clouds, heavy precipitation, low visibility, and otherwise adverse weather conditions should be avoided under VFR.

How long does a VFR flight plan stay in the system?

When a VFR flight plan is filed, it will be held by the FSS until 1 hour after the proposed departure time unless: The actual departure time is received. A revised proposed departure time is received.

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Who can close out a VFR flight plan?

For either VFR or IFR flight plans, you must follow certain procedures to be in compliance with the regulations when using a flight plan. For example, be sure to remember that it is the pilot’s responsibility to close the flight plan upon the flight’s completion.

What happens if you forget to close a VFR flight plan?

If arriving at an airport with an operating control tower, the flight plan is automatically closed upon landing. If you fail to cancel your IFR (or VFR) flight plan within 30 minutes of your ETA, search and rescue procedures will be initiated. The sheriff will come looking for you.

When must you file a VFR flight plan?

The most common time to file a flight plan is after receiving your weather briefing. When the briefer is finished talking, simply state that you would like to file a VFR flight plan. The briefer will help you if you are unsure of the format, but it’s a good idea to have a flight planning form handy.

What does squawk 7777 mean?

According to the AIM 4-1-20(e): Under no circumstances should a pilot of a civil aircraft operate the transponder on Code 7777. This code is reserved for military interceptor operations.

Can you fly VFR at night?

Prudent pilots typically set higher weather minimums for night VFR flights. FAR 91.157—In order to get a Special VFR clearance at night, you must have an instrument rating, an instrument-equipped airplane, 1 mile visibility, be able to remain clear of clouds, and a Special VFR clearance from air traffic control.

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How high can a VFR pilot fly?

VFR cruising altitude rules in the US and Canada

On a magnetic course of 0-179 degrees shall fly at an odd thousand ft MSL altitude +500 feet (e.g., 3,500, 5,500, or 7,500 ft); or. On a magnetic course of 180-359 degrees shall fly at an even thousand ft MSL altitude +500 feet (e.g., 4,500, 6,500, or 8,500 ft).

How do I pick up a VFR flight plan?

How to open a VFR flight plan through the Flight Service Station (FSS): Assuming you filed your flight plan, the next step is to open the flight plan by calling the FSS. Pilots can either reach the FSS on the ground or in the air.

Can a VFR pilot file an IFR flight plan?

Yes, instrument-rated pilots do that all the time, but if they aren’t instrument rated, they file a DC SFRA flight plan, not an IFR flight plan, and ATC can tell the difference. Instrument students can file IFR flight plans naming their rated/current CFII as PIC.

Can you file a flight plan with ForeFlight?

ForeFlight supports filing IFR flights to and from the US and within Canada, Caribbean, Bahamas, and Mexico, as well as within and between all EUROCONTROL member states and Greenland using the ICAO flight plan format. To learn more about the countries ForeFlight supports for filing, click here.

How do I cancel my VFR flight?

How to cancel a VFR flight plan on the ground: This is super simple, just call 1-800-WX-BRIEF on the phone, give them your call sign and location, and they will cancel the VFR flight plan. If you choose to cancel on the ground, make sure you remember to make the call. Many pilots walk away from the aircraft and forget.

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How long is a flight plan valid?

Within the U.S. a FPL is accepted up to 23 hours in advance and will remain in the system up until two hours past the filed estimated time of departure (ETD). In Europe a FPL may be filed up to a 120 hours (ICAO standard) prior to ETD and remain in the system for two hours.

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