Talk:Instrument flight rules

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I deleted - "In some airspaces, usually busy ones controlled by ATC, flights must be flown according to IFR whatever weather conditions exist." This is certainly not true in the United States and I don't believe it's true anyplace else. The only airspace that for IFR only is class A, and class A does not exist in "busy airspaces" but at high altitudes.

Class B, C, and D airspaces do exist in "busy airspaces" but you may fly VFR in all of them. A requirement to remain in contact with ATC or even to obtain explicit clearances is *not* the same as flying IFR. VFR pilots may fly in the busiest airpspaces, though not above 14,000 feet MSL (except over mountainous terrain).

It gets complicated, but the statement I deleted was misleading.

Thanks for making that change. BTW, in the U.S. you can be VFR anywhere below 18,000 msl, not 14,000. Perhaps you were thinking of the fact that Class E airspace starts at 14,500, in addition to what's charted.

Class A airspace only appearing above 18,000' is specific to the US, it's not a property of the airspace classification itself. There are areas in Europe where class A airspace appears at low altitudes (for instance, around Amsterdam Schiphol airport, class A starts as low as 1500' MSL). Rpvdk 08:02, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
Heathrow airport is class A from the ground up. SVFR is an option, of course. Kjw (talk) 00:38, 22 March 2009 (UTC)

new rewrite[edit]

thanks for the rewrite, it's much better. but, a minor quibble: Pilots do not depend 100% on ATC for separation as you've defined it. That is, if I lose all contact with ATC while enroute I can still safely maintain terrain separation by using charted airways and terminal procedures. ATC is really only responsible for terrain separation when you're off-airway (being vectored).

That's a good clarification, though it's worth noting that you can maintain your own terrain separation off airway as well, and ATC can use its MVA when you're on an airway as well as off. David 12:33, 2005 May 4 (UTC)


I think navaids should be mentioned, if not a whole section on them. i.e. vor's, vor airways / intersections, dme, gps, any old-ass rnav like loran, etc. "headings" and "altitudes" are a bit vague. --Kvuo 02:18, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

SEIFR (Single-Engine IFR)[edit]

Would be useful to add a reference to the N America/Europe differences here. As I understand it (and I'm not 100% certain so am not editing the article to include this), public-transport IFR operations with a single-engine aircraft (e.g. Cessna Caravan) are legal and common in North America, but remain prohibited (despite much industry lobbying) in Europe. If someone can confirm this, could this be added to the article? Thanks. Ecozeppelin 16:22, 26 April 2006 (UTC)


I removed the "sources" tag because I think the reliable sources for most of the information in this article are readily identifiable in the Federal Aviation Regulations, and other documents published by the FAA. I think it would be more helpful to mark individual statements with the "fact" tag, if necessary. --Norandav (talk) 00:08, 13 March 2009 (UTC)

I'm not sure where to put this, or if you even want it mentioned, but when I was an Air Force flyer, we referred to IFR as "I Follow Roads". Gibby78 — Preceding unsigned comment added by Gibby78 (talkcontribs) 15:54, 6 June 2012 (UTC)


This article is terrible! It's inaccurate, poorly written, and often just plain wrong! For example, when flying IFR you don't refer to the instrument panel, you refer to instruments! Why not simply refer to or regurgitate FAA regulations on this topic? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Cashkate (talkcontribs) 02:26, 2 February 2010 (UTC)


The discussion of confusing IMC with IFR overstates reality as should be obvious from the term MVFR being used rather than MVMC. (talk) 05:32, 8 April 2013 (UTC)

Reminder - Aviation and Wikipedia are international not just USA based.[edit]

Contributors from the U.S. should remember that use of statute miles and reference to Class A Airspace altitudes as well as quoting the FAA as "the" authority is not necessarily relevant to the rest of the World. ICAO produce the most widely accepted definitions and rules and almost all counties use Metres or Kilometers for measuring horizontal visibility, Nautical miles for distance, Hectopascals/millibars for pressure etc. Many major airports outside the U.S. designate control zones as Class A - no VFR aircraft allowed. Use of the term MVFR is not recognised internationally. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:53, 26 December 2013 (UTC)

RfC: This really should be expanded to demonstrate the differences between countries[edit]

Since 2012 this has been tagged with regard to "The examples and perspective in this article deal primarily with USA and do not represent a worldwide view of the subject. (July 2012)" and I have to agree. Perhaps we can get a few other pilots together that have dealt with variations in international aviation and airspace. I for one have never flown outside the US, but this will be a good learning experience so perhaps @Ahunt:, @BilCat: and @CorinneSD:, perhaps you might consider assisting in this rewrite? I can engage some top level professionals to assist on my end. Thanks all! talk→ WPPilot  18:52, 8 April 2015 (UTC)

I don't normally watch or work on this article, but I can say that IFR procedures between the USA and Canada are very similar for obvious reasons. - Ahunt (talk) 20:58, 8 April 2015 (UTC)

typo in picture box[edit]

Please help, there is a strange typo in the picture box. I don't know what it is trying to say, but "over SLI into on the VOR approach" cannot be right. Rainbow-five (talk) 22:48, 15 June 2015 (UTC)

It is right, but completely obscure. Fixed - Ahunt (talk) 19:20, 16 June 2015 (UTC)
The caption for the picture box is bizarre. It says it is "IFR", but the picture is not demonstrative of IFR. It would likely fall under IMC, but not even necessarily. It also references a 172 (which I believe it is, since it is owned by the editor), but there is nothing in the picture that is demonstrative of that either. All in all, if there's going to be a picture, I suggest an approach plate, or an IFR chart, or a wide shot of a true IMC flight that shows the instruments. Ron Schnell 19:57, 28 September 2015 (UTC)
I think the photo is fine, it is showing a 172 in what is likely IFR flight, in between layers. Keep in mind IFR can be flown on clear days. If you want to propose a better photo then please do! - Ahunt (talk) 22:12, 28 September 2015 (UTC)
I believe I did propose the subject of another photo. I'm not disputing that it was likely an IFR flight. I'm saying that it's not demonstrative of an IFR flight. What is the point of a picture in the picture box that is not demonstrative? Ron Schnell 01:03, 29 September 2015 (UTC)
Which one would be better then? You can insert them here in this page for debate if you like. - Ahunt (talk) 01:12, 29 September 2015 (UTC)
Something like would be good (Copyrighted, unfortunately, but easily reproducible). A caption could say something like, "A student, learning to fly IFR, using a 'hood' to allow flight solely by reference to instruments." Ron Schnell 01:33, 29 September 2015 (UTC)
We need an image from commons that we can actually use. I prefer not to use a VMC training image in the lead, although this could go further down in the article. Of course a windshield view "in the soup" isn't that good either, so in many ways the existing image is fairly good. - Ahunt (talk) 11:47, 29 September 2015 (UTC)

wrong picture in Autopilot section[edit]

The picture of a Primary Flight Display (PFD) is shown as Autopilot Panel. PFD is not the same as autopilot. There are many autopilot panels, some old, some modern - not sure which is more typical. S-Tec ST55x or Avidyne DFC90 are good examples of modern AP for GA aircraft. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Mnossik (talkcontribs) 18:31, 29 September 2015 (UTC)

Thanks clearly wrong so I have removed it. MilborneOne (talk) 18:34, 29 September 2015 (UTC)