7-5-7. GROUND VISIBILITY BELOW ONE MILE

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  • 7-5-7. GROUND VISIBILITY BELOW ONE MILE

    14 CFR Part 91 does not prohibit helicopter SVFR flight when the visibility is less than 1 mile. Treat requests for SVFR fixed wing operations as follows when the ground visibility is officially reported at an airport as less than 1 mile:

    1. Inform departing aircraft that ground visibility is less than 1 mile and that a clearance cannot be issued.
    2. Inform arriving aircraft, operating outside of a Class B, Class C, Class D, or Class E surface area, that ground visibility is less than 1 mile and that, unless an emergency exists, a clearance cannot be issued.
    3. Inform arriving aircraft, operating VFR/SVFR within a Class B, Class C, Class D, or Class E surface area, that ground visibility is less than 1 mile and request the pilot to advise intentions.
      • PHRASEOLOGY
      • (Name of airport) VISIBILITY LESS THAN ONE MILE. ADVISE INTENTIONS.

      NOTE: Clear an aircraft to land at an airport with an operating control tower, traffic permitting, if the pilot reports the airport in sight. The pilot is responsible to continue to the airport or exit the surface area. 14 CFR Section 91.157 prohibits VFR aircraft (other than helicopters) from landing at any airport within a surface area when ground visibility is less than 1 mile. A pilot could inadvertently encounter conditions that are below SVFR minimums after entering a surface area due to rapidly changing weather. The pilot is best suited to determine the action to be taken since pilots operating under SVFR between sunrise and sunset are not required to be instrument rated, and the possibility exists that flight visibility may not be the same as ground visibility. 14 CFR Section 91.3 authorizes a pilot encountering an inflight emergency requiring immediate action to deviate from any rule of 14 CFR Part 91 to the extent required to meet that emergency. Flight into adverse weather conditions may require the pilot to execute the emergency authority granted in 14 CFR Section 91.3 and continue inbound to land.

    4. Authorize scheduled air carrier aircraft in the U.S. to conduct operations if ground visibility is not less than 1/2 statute mile.

      NOTE: 14 CFR Part 121 permits landing or takeoff by domestic scheduled air carriers where a local surface restriction to visibility is not less than 1/2 statute mile, provided all turns after takeoff or before landing and all flights beyond 1 statute mile from the airport boundary can be accomplished above or outside the area so restricted. The pilot is solely responsible for determining if the nature of the visibility restriction will permit compliance with the provisions of 14 CFR Part 121.

    5. Clear an aircraft to fly through the Class B, Class C, Class D, or Class E surface area if the aircraft reports flight visibility is at least 1 statute mile.
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