preventing VFR into IMC

Preventing VFR into IMC

Article supplied by CASAWe’ve compiled some useful resources to help visual flight rules (VFR) pilots avoid instrument meteorological conditions (IMC).

A wet airport taxiway under a cloudy sky

Flying VFR into IMC is one of the top causes of aviation accidents around the world. Australia is no exception. The often fatal outcomes of these accidents are even more tragic because they are avoidable.

The key to prevention is thorough pre-flight planning and a personal minimums checklist. This minimises poor or incorrect decision-making caused by the stress of flying into marginal weather.

Common factors

Most inadvertent VFR flights into IMC have common factors:

  • > rushed and incomplete pre-flight planning
  • > misinterpreting/underestimating of threats associated with weather forecasts
  • > overconfidence in adverse conditions
  • > overestimating cloud heights and visibility
  • > using phrases like “scud running”, “she’ll be right, I’ve done this in worse conditions” and “we’re close to our destination”.
  • > pressure from passengers to go
  • > pressure from yourself to go.

All the resources listed below are available on the website. You can also visit the weather and forecasting page of the Pilot safety hub.





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