7-5-8. FLIGHT VISIBILITY BELOW ONE MILE

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  • 7-5-8. FLIGHT VISIBILITY BELOW ONE MILE

    Treat requests for SVFR fixed-wing operations as follows when weather conditions are not reported at an airport and the pilot advises the flight visibility is less than 1 mile:

    NOTE: 14 CFR Part 91 prescribes the visibility for basic VFR and SVFR operations as the official reported ground visibility at airports where provided and landing or takeoff “flight visibility” where there is no official reported ground visibility.

    1. Inform departing aircraft 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 a clearance cannot be issued unless an emergency exists.
    3. Request the intentions of an arriving aircraft operating within a Class B, Class C, Class D, or Class E surface area.

    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 flight 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.

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