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SVFR: Special Visual Flight Rules

Onto some aviation legislation. Special VFR allows non-instrument rated pilots the opportunity to make their way home in reduced visual and meteorological conditions. Civil Aviation Legislation define pilot restrictions. Such as specific meteorological minima. 

A VFR pilot must at all times steer clear of cloud by 2000' horizontally and 500' vertically while maintaining visual contact with the ground. A minimum visibility of 5km applies in all cases.

(Maintaining 2000' or 500' Clearance is slightly archaic. The idea is to stay clear of cloud). 

But what happens when the weather changes? As much as we try predict it, Mother Nature can still turn on a dime. Thankfully, the authorities have made certain exceptions for weather and the accompanying rules. Provided you are:

1. In controlled airspace, 

2. Have a serviceable radio,

3. Maintain visual contact with the ground as well as separation with other traffic, 

4. It is the controllers discretion whether to grant the pilot clearance through controlled airspace or not.

Alternatively, you would need to divert to another airfield where better conditions prevail. Although terribly inconvenient, it is all in the interest of safety and is planned well ahead of your initial departure.

A few bad weather experiences will prove encouraging enough to upgrade. Completing the necessary training enables operations in IFR (Instrument Flight Rules).

Apart from the improved convenience and flexibility where weather is concerned, the additional training will significantly improve your knowledge and decision making.

Picture Above - Cleared at best speeds down the ILS into FALE. Upon visual contact with the tower (a feat in itself), instructed to break South and proceed along the coast as per SVFR and report FAVG in sight.

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