Special VFR

Special VFR

Here is additional information regarding Special VFR. New Zealand Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) Rules Part 91 (2008 1) states:

91.303 Special VFR weather minima

A pilot-in-command of an aircraft may perform a VFR operation within controlled airspace in meteorological conditions below those prescribed in 91.301 if:

  • (1) the ceiling and flight visibility is:
    • (i) at least 600 feet and at least 1500 m respectively; or
    • (ii) for helicopters, less than 600 feet and less than 1500 m respectively if the helicopter is operated at a speed that

will give adequate opportunity to observe other traffic or any obstructions in order to avoid collisions; and

  • (2) the aircraft is equipped with two-way radio capable of communicating with ATC on the appropriate frequency; and
  • (3) the operation is conducted:
    • (i) in compliance with an ATC clearance and any ATC instructions; and
    • (ii) only during the day; and
    • (iii) clear of clouds.

Therefore a pilot- in- command of an aircraft can only perform a special VFR operation when all of the above five conditions are met. These are when the ceiling and flight visibility is at least 600 feet and at least 1500 m respectively, the aircraft is equipped with two-way radio communication, the pilot- in- command conducts the operation in compliance with Air Traffic Control (ATC) clearance and instructions, clearance is by day only, and to be clear of clouds. However, remember that Special VFR should only be used whenever NECESSARY, not as a tool for getting away from flying in unfavourable weather conditions!

References
1. NZ CAA Part 91 (2008). Part 91: General Operating and Flight Rules. Retrieved from http://www.caa.govt.nz/rules/Part_091_Brief.htm on 26 January 2009.

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