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Thread: EFR rating: When VFR rating is not anough and IFR rating is too much.

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  1. #1

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    EFR rating: When VFR rating is not anough and IFR rating is too much.

    Sometimes, often, lower than Visual Meteorological Conditions (VMC) shows up between your departure and your destination. Sometimes this is forecasted and sometimes this is not. Then, VFR pilots will turn back, continue, deviate, fly illegally in the clouds or worse hit mother Earth. After 1 or 2 years of fying around, too many VFR pilots will stop flying and many will not even start flying. Taking the IFR rating is a solution but this is a big step (training, cost, time, recurrencies, etc). What if an EFR (Enroute Flight Rules) rating could be obtain? Then, you could take-off in VMC conditions, fly in the clouds and land in VMC conditions. This type of rating exists in Europe and in Australia. This rating wuold increase Safety and Utility of GA aircraft. Any takers?

  2. #2
    Auburntsts's Avatar
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    Personally I don't like the concept although I'm aware that there are those that do. IMO flying IFR is a binary activity--either you can or you can't. I don't cotton to concepts like lite IFR, etc. I do agree that one should establish personal minimums that one is comfortable with, but no shortcuts on the ability to perform all the necessary IFR tasks. Weather is frequently different than forecast and emergencies don't know whether you have some intermediate kind of rating. The safest thing if you are launching into IMC is to be prepared to use all the tools in the tool kit. YMMV......
    Todd Stovall
    PP ASEL - IA
    RV-10 N728TT - Flying
    My builder's log (which is woefully out of date): www.mykitlog.com/auburntsts
    WAR DAMN EAGLE!

  3. #3

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    I'm with the Tiger on this one.

    If you're flying IFR at any time, it's an IFR flight and one should be both skilled and rated.

    Loads of folks start out VFR, go IFR when things get bad, and then close it out and go VFR when the conditions improve.

    Frank "RTR" Giger
    The opinions and statements of this poster are largely based on facts and portray a possible version of the actual events.

  4. #4

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    Pilots fly VFR and they follow the VFR rules, pilots fly IFR and they follow the IFR rules, pilots fly VFR OTT and they follow the VFR OTT rules. In Europe and Australia, pilots fly EFR and they folllow the EFR rules. This increase SAFETY and UTILITY for GA pilots. Getting the IFR rating is something lots of private pilots should have but is too demanding (approaches at 200 ft!) for weekend pilots. This is why they go EFR.

  5. #5
    Auburntsts's Avatar
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    Attitude flying is attitude flying. Skill wise flying a precision approach to a 200ft DA is no more difficult or demanding to fly than a non-precision approach to an 800ft MDA. Sure mentally there’s potentially a difference and I know plenty of IFR pilots that set personal minimums higher than 200 and 1 and will not launch if the weather is forecast below whatever their mins are. However they are prepared to go to mins or divert if required if things are worse than forecast once they are in the air. You have to be prepared for the worst case scenario every time you launch into IMC.

    Oh, in the US, there's no such thing as VFR over the top rules— you are simply VFR, and potentially risky VFR at that.
    Last edited by Auburntsts; 03-26-2018 at 01:15 PM.
    Todd Stovall
    PP ASEL - IA
    RV-10 N728TT - Flying
    My builder's log (which is woefully out of date): www.mykitlog.com/auburntsts
    WAR DAMN EAGLE!

  6. #6

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    DA (Decision Altitude) on precision approaches (ILS) are usually 200 ft AGL. The other approaches (non precision) have a MDA (Minimum Descent Altitude) usually higher than 200 ft. Every IFR approach is designed with protected area around the ideal final course. The closer you get to the runway the smaller is the protected area. This means that you need to fly with more precison to keep the needle inside the box the closer you are from the runway. I agree with you that flying VFR above the clouds is a risky business specially if you didn't practice instruments scanning since a while. This is another reason why the EFR rating (with proper training) could save lives.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andre Durocher View Post
    Pilots fly VFR and they follow the VFR rules, pilots fly IFR and they follow the IFR rules, pilots fly VFR OTT and they follow the VFR OTT rules.

    In the US, there are no VFR over-the-top rules. The FAA would prefer VFR only pilots not fly VFR OTT but it's not illegal. The US does have VFR on top which is done on an IFR clearance.

  8. #8

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    Hello Frank,

    What you wrote: start out VFR, go IFR and land VFR describe exactly what is the EFR rating. You can do that very safely without learning everything related to the approach and landing phases of the IFR rules.

  9. #9
    Auburntsts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andre Durocher View Post
    Hello Frank,

    What you wrote: start out VFR, go IFR and land VFR describe exactly what is the EFR rating. You can do that very safely without learning everything related to the approach and landing phases of the IFR rules.
    The difference in Frank’s example is if things go bad, the instrument rated pilot has the option of retaining the IFR clearance and concluding the flight safely IFR and without having to resort to trying to descend through a sucker hole or scud run.
    Todd Stovall
    PP ASEL - IA
    RV-10 N728TT - Flying
    My builder's log (which is woefully out of date): www.mykitlog.com/auburntsts
    WAR DAMN EAGLE!

  10. #10

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    You are right, getting an IFR rating is the best a pilot can go for and I wish one for every pilot.

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