Keeping Your Distance

VFR for private pilots means being able to see the ground and keeping away from other objects including clouds. In a nutshell, here are the VFR weather minimums for sport pilots:

  • Visibility of at least 3 statute miles
  • Stay at least 500 feet below, 1,000 feet above, or 2,000 feet to the side of any cloud
Chart of VFR Minimums
Chart of VFR Minimums
Number of Take-Offs Equals Number of Landings (Hopefully)
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Remember, these are FAR minimums for private pilots. Your personal minimum, because you are a new and inexperienced pilot, should be greater. You could decide that if you don’t have a ceiling (bottom of the clouds) of at least 3,000 feet and visibility of at least 10 miles, you’re not going anywhere. Besides running out of fuel, the most common cause of pilot accidents is flying in conditions beyond their abilities.

"Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore."
-- Andre Gide

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