Flight Operations Department

Visual Flight Rules (VFR)

As per the definition of the acronym, VFR stands for flights that are conducted without the support of instruments. The pilot navigates according to visual references like terrestrial navigation, or according basic navigation instruments, like NDB's or VOR's. The flight must be conducted under visual meteorological conditions, which allow a safe flight. 

Basic Knowledge Requirements

VFR represents the basics of how to fly an aircraft. However, as per a normal car driving licence, there is a required minimum knowledge in order to be allowed to lift the gear off the runway.

  • Basic of air law
  • Chart reading & VFR procedures
  • Navigation
  • Meteorology
  • Airspace classes
  • Flight instruments and aircraft knowledge
  • Phraseology
  • Ground movement
  • Take off technique
  • VFR departure
  • VFR arrival
  • Traffic pattern
  • Missed approach & touch and go
  • Full stop landing

A major difference between real life and the virtual sky of IVAO is that in real life a VFR, in some specific conditions, does not have to file a Flight Plan. In IVAO, a Flight Plan is always mandatory.


Weather Constraints

Visibility constraints to VFR is related into which airspace the flight is conducted.

In Switzerland, the airspaces C, D, E and G are used, here you will find a more detailed explanation.

The below information can be found in extended version in the VFR-Guide of Skyguide under RAC 1-1.

At or above FL100

  • Distance to clouds:
    1,500 metres horizontally
    1,000ft vertically 
  • Visibility 8 kilometers or more

Below FL100

  • Distance to clouds:
    1,500 metres horizontally
    1,000ft vertically 
  • Visibility 5 kilometers or more 

In airspace G when flying a low altitude (Below 3'500 ft AMSL or 1'000 ft AGL, whichever is higher):

  • Visibility 5 kilometers
  • Clear of clouds and with ground in sight.

 Regulations for Switzerland 

  •  If the speed allows a reversal turn at any time within the line of sight and other aircrafts or obstructions can be recognized in time, the minimum visibility can be reduced to 1.5 kilometers.
  • A reduced visibility is not allowed if the indicated airspeed is higher than 140 kts IAS.

Special Regulations for helicopters

Helicopters can be operated in visibility of 800 Meters if it is operated at a speed where other aircraft or obstructions might be recognized in time to prevent collisions. In special conditions, like medical flights, search and rescue or for fire fighting, the minima of 800 Meters can be reduced further.