When booking your Wingly flight, we notify you that your flight may be postponed due to weather conditions. But do you know why? This is directly related to VFR (visual flight rules) and IFR (instrument flight rules) flight techniques. Doesn’t sound very familiar? That’s why we’re here to explain the differences between the two techniques.
Visual flight rules or VFR
Visual flight rules (VFR) is the most widely used flying technique in Europe. In fact, this technique is the one learned during training for PPL and LAPL, the most common licences for pilots.
Visual flight rules allows you to fly with only a small number of instruments on board. The majority of the flight is done by the pilot’s visuals on the route he wishes to take. As you can imagine, therefore, this technique can be done only when the weather conditions are mild in order to have optimal visibility. These conditions are called VMC, visual meteorological conditions.
This technique is the first technique to have been used in the world of aeronautics.
Instrument flight or IFR
Instrument flying follows, you got it, instrument flight rules (IFR). This is a flying technique that requires a specific qualification: the IR rating. This rating can be obtained through training provided after obtaining a PPL or LAPL.
This flight technique allows you to fly with mainly the aircraft instruments and air guidance on the ground. It can be performed in IMC (Instrument Meteorological Conditions) conditions, i.e. in thick clouds where there is low visibility or rainy weather for example.
If a pilot holds this rating, they will reschedule their flights less since they will be able to fly in the majority of weather conditions.
However, this rating is not very common in Europe. The majority of pilots stop after their PPL training, and then, between us, it’s still more fun to fly for leisure when the weather conditions are good!
So now you know the major differences between visual flight rules (VFR) and instrument flight rules (IFR). Each flying technique has its own specific regulations. If you would like to know more about these rules, do not hesitate to have a look at our other articles which explain further!