airtraffic

Author Topic: VFR-On-Top  (Read 7157 times)

Offline BigRoidBoy

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VFR-On-Top
« on: March 19, 2006, 03:30:50 PM »
If a pilot requests, then climbs and reports reaching vfr-on-top and atc tells them to "maintain vfr-on-top" and then later encounter conditions requiring them to receive clearance through clouds will the pilot need to be recleared to their destination/clearance limit and receive an altitude to maintain or will they just receive an altitude to maintain?  In other words, does a vfr on top clearance cancel an aircrafts ifr flightplan or does the flightplan remain open while the pilot maintains vfr conditions?



Offline Jason

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Re: VFR-On-Top
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2006, 03:50:51 PM »
Quote from: BigRoidBoy
If a pilot requests, then climbs and reports reaching vfr-on-top and atc tells them to "maintain vfr-on-top" and then later encounter conditions requiring them to receive clearance through clouds will the pilot need to be recleared to their destination/clearance limit and receive an altitude to maintain or will they just receive an altitude to maintain?  In other words, does a vfr on top clearance cancel an aircrafts ifr flightplan or does the flightplan remain open while the pilot maintains vfr conditions?

Hi there,
To answer your question "Does a vfr-on-top clearance cancel an aircrafts IFR flight plan?":

AIM 4-4-7, sub-para f states:
Quote from: AIM Chapter 4, Section 4-7, sub-para f
It is imperative, however, that pilots understand that clearance to operate "VFR-on-top/VFR conditions" does not imply cancellation of the IFR flight plan.

So as stated by the AIM, no, the IFR flight plan still remains active even after being cleared vfr-on-top or to maintain VFR conditions.

If the pilot later encouters weather less than VFR minima, I would say (not certain about it) that ATC would give a new altitude for the aircraft to maintain, and a route to fly similar to if you picked up IFR in the air.  I haven't found the section in the AIM to confirm this, so I am not 100% positive.  

I wouldn't say a new clearance limit needs to be issued though, per AIM 4-4-3:

Quote from: AIM Chapter 4, Section 4-3, sub-para a
a. Clearance Limit. The traffic clearance issued prior to departure will normally authorize flight to the airport of intended landing. Under certain conditions, at some locations a short-range clearance procedure is utilized whereby a clearance is issued to a fix within or just outside of the terminal area and pilots are advised of the frequency on which they will receive the long-range clearance direct from the center controller.


Hope this helps,
Jason

Offline 6000&Airborne

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VFR-On-Top
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2006, 04:42:41 PM »
A new clearance limit is not necessary.  Just an altitude to maintain.  But one that follows the IFR altitudes... ..  so, while flying VFR on top (OTP for strip-marking) obviously you'd be at say - 7500, 9500, etc..  but a new IFR altitude will probably get ya back to a hard altitude of 7000-8000-9000 etc...