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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations
Visual Flight Rules
§91.151 Fuel requirements for flight in VFR conditions.
(a) No person may begin a flight in an airplane under VFR conditions unless (considering wind and forecast weather conditions) there is enough fuel to fly to the first point of intended landing and, assuming normal cruising speed—
(1) During the day, to fly after that for at least 30 minutes; or
(2) At night, to fly after that for at least 45 minutes.
(b) No person may begin a flight in a rotorcraft under VFR conditions unless (considering wind and forecast weather conditions) there is enough fuel to fly to the first point of intended landing and, assuming normal cruising speed, to fly after that for at least 20 minutes.
§91.153 VFR flight plan: Information required.
(a) Information required. Unless otherwise authorized by ATC, each person filing a VFR flight plan shall include in it the following information:
(1) The aircraft identification number and, if necessary, its radio call sign.
(2) The type of the aircraft or, in the case of a formation flight, the type of each aircraft and the number of aircraft in the formation.
(3) The full name and address of the pilot in command or, in the case of a formation flight, the formation commander.
(4) The point and proposed time of departure.
(5) The proposed route, cruising altitude (or flight level), and true airspeed at that altitude.
(6) The point of first intended landing and the estimated elapsed time until over that point.
(7) The amount of fuel on board (in hours).
(8) The number of persons in the aircraft, except where that information is otherwise readily available to the FAA.
(9) Any other information the pilot in command or ATC believes is necessary for ATC purposes.
(b) Cancellation. When a flight plan has been activated, the pilot in command, upon canceling or completing the flight under the flight plan, shall notify an FAA Flight Service Station or ATC facility.
§91.155 Basic VFR weather minimums.
(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section and §91.157, no person may operate an aircraft under VFR when the flight visibility is less, or at a distance from clouds that is less, than that prescribed for the corresponding altitude and class of airspace in the following table:
(b) Class G Airspace. Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (a) of this section, the following operations may be conducted in Class G airspace below 1,200 feet above the surface:
(1) Helicopter. A helicopter may be operated clear of clouds if operated at a speed that allows the pilot adequate opportunity to see any air traffic or obstruction in time to avoid a collision.
(2) Airplane, powered parachute, or weight-shift-control aircraft. If the visibility is less than 3 statute miles but not less than 1 statute mile during night hours and you are operating in an airport traffic pattern within 1⁄2 mile of the runway, you may operate an airplane, powered parachute, or weight-shift-control aircraft clear of clouds.
(c) Except as provided in §91.157, no person may operate an aircraft beneath the ceiling under VFR within the lateral boundaries of controlled airspace designated to the surface for an airport when the ceiling is less than 1,000 feet.
(d) Except as provided in §91.157 of this part, no person may take off or land an aircraft, or enter the traffic pattern of an airport, under VFR, within the lateral boundaries of the surface areas of Class B, Class C, Class D, or Class E airspace designated for an airport—
(1) Unless ground visibility at that airport is at least 3 statute miles; or
(2) If ground visibility is not reported at that airport, unless flight visibility during landing or takeoff, or while operating in the traffic pattern is at least 3 statute miles.
(e) For the purpose of this section, an aircraft operating at the base altitude of a Class E airspace area is considered to be within the airspace directly below that area.
[Doc. No. 24458, 56 FR 65660, Dec. 17, 1991, as amended by Amdt. 91-235, 58 FR 51968, Oct. 5, 1993; Amdt. 91-282, 69 FR 44880, July 27, 2004]
§91.157 Special VFR weather minimums.
(a) Except as provided in appendix D, section 3, of this part, special VFR operations may be conducted under the weather minimums and requirements of this section, instead of those contained in §91.155, below 10,000 feet MSL within the airspace contained by the upward extension of the lateral boundaries of the controlled airspace designated to the surface for an airport.
(b) Special VFR operations may only be conducted—
(1) With an ATC clearance;
(2) Clear of clouds;
(3) Except for helicopters, when flight visibility is at least 1 statute mile; and
(4) Except for helicopters, between sunrise and sunset (or in Alaska, when the sun is 6 degrees or more below the horizon) unless—
(i) The person being granted the ATC clearance meets the applicable requirements for instrument flight under part 61 of this chapter; and
(ii) The aircraft is equipped as required in §91.205(d).
(c) No person may take off or land an aircraft (other than a helicopter) under special VFR—
(1) Unless ground visibility is at least 1 statute mile; or
(2) If ground visibility is not reported, unless flight visibility is at least 1 statute mile. For the purposes of this paragraph, the term flight visibility includes the visibility from the cockpit of an aircraft in takeoff position if:
(i) The flight is conducted under this part 91; and
(ii) The airport at which the aircraft is located is a satellite airport that does not have weather reporting capabilities.
(d) The determination of visibility by a pilot in accordance with paragraph (c)(2) of this section is not an official weather report or an official ground visibility report.
[Amdt. 91-235, 58 FR 51968, Oct. 5, 1993, as amended by Amdt. 91-247, 60 FR 66874, Dec. 27, 1995; Amdt. 91-262, 65 FR 16116, Mar. 24, 2000]
§91.159 VFR cruising altitude or flight level.
Except while holding in a holding pattern of 2 minutes or less, or while turning, each person operating an aircraft under VFR in level cruising flight more than 3,000 feet above the surface shall maintain the appropriate altitude or flight level prescribed below, unless otherwise authorized by ATC:
(a) When operating below 18,000 feet MSL and—
(1) On a magnetic course of zero degrees through 179 degrees, any odd thousand foot MSL altitude +500 feet (such as 3,500, 5,500, or 7,500); or
(2) On a magnetic course of 180 degrees through 359 degrees, any even thousand foot MSL altitude +500 feet (such as 4,500, 6,500, or 8,500).
(b) When operating above 18,000 feet MSL, maintain the altitude or flight level assigned by ATC.
[Doc. No. 18334, 54 FR 34294, Aug. 18, 1989, as amended by Amdt. 91-276, 68 FR 61321, Oct. 27, 2003; 68 FR 70133, Dec. 17, 2003]
§91.161 Special awareness training required for pilots flying under visual flight rules within a 60-nautical mile radius of the Washington, DC VOR/DME.
(a) Operations within a 60-nautical mile radius of the Washington, DC VOR/DME under visual flight rules (VFR). Except as provided under paragraph (e) of this section, no person may serve as a pilot in command or as second in command of an aircraft while flying within a 60-nautical mile radius of the DCA VOR/DME, under VFR, unless that pilot has completed Special Awareness Training and holds a certificate of training completion.
(b) Special Awareness Training. The Special Awareness Training consists of information to educate pilots about the procedures for flying in the Washington, DC area and, more generally, in other types of special use airspace. This free training is available on the FAA's Web site. Upon completion of the training, each person will need to print out a copy of the certificate of training completion.
(c) Inspection of certificate of training completion. Each person who holds a certificate for completing the Special Awareness Training must present it for inspection upon request from:
(1) An authorized representative of the FAA;
(2) An authorized representative of the National Transportation Safety Board;
(3) Any Federal, State, or local law enforcement officer; or
(4) An authorized representative of the Transportation Security Administration.
(d) Emergency declared. The failure to complete the Special Awareness Training course on flying in and around the Washington, DC Metropolitan Area is not a violation of this section if an emergency is declared by the pilot, as described under §91.3(b), or there was a failure of two-way radio communications when operating under IFR as described under §91.185.
(e) Exceptions. The requirements of this section do not apply if the flight is being performed in an aircraft of an air ambulance operator certificated to conduct part 135 operations under this chapter, the U.S. Armed Forces, or a law enforcement agency.
[Doc. No. FAA-2006-25250, 73 FR 46803, Aug. 12, 2008]