Special VFR (or SVFR) discussion

John Ewing has recently written a long and detailed post on Aviation Mentor concerning the special VFR (or SVFR) procedure which allows “pilots to operate without an instrument flight rules clearance in controlled airspace when the cloud ceiling and/or visibility are below basic visual flight rules minima.” However, John himself stated in his post that he is not a big fan of SVFR and he wrote that asking for this type of clearance should not be the first option to choose if there are other options available. Moreover, John noted that attempting to fly VFR into deteriorating weather conditions and controlled flight into terrain are among the “more popular ways to get into trouble” when flying a small aircraft.

John then proceeded to discuss the requirements for SVFR and this discussion included what airspace you should be in, the pilot requirements for SVFR, SVFR procedures and safety considerations. He also discussed SVFR at the Oakland Airport where it is no longer available and he concluded by saying that the recent changes in rules there is another reason to be “extremely careful when your plans seem to depend on SVFR.” Hence, John’s post is well worth reading by anyone interested in knowing more about SVFR.


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