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"VFR on Top" - not to be confused with "VFR over the Top"

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Carello created the topic: "VFR on Top" - not to be confused with "VFR over the Top"

Is VFR on Top available in Class G airspace?

ENR 1.1 below would suggest no. If that is the case, there must be a good reason why it is not available.



To my limited knowledge, in the states, VFR on Top it is available in all airspaces except class A.

Any input would be appreciated!
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Stuart Tait replied the topic: "VFR on Top" - not to be confused with "VFR over the Top"

G'day Carello

Unless you are in Class G airspace and below 3000ft, there is no legal requirement to have the surface in sight.
You need to respect the VFR rules regarding minimum visibility and distance to the clouds.

The VFRG basically parrots the AIP vfrg.casa.gov.au/general/rules-of-the-air/vfr-navigation/

This is my understanding, I could be wrong have been before :)

Cheers
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Carello replied the topic: "VFR on Top" - not to be confused with "VFR over the Top"

G'day Stuart

Thanks for your input.

In Class E airspace, a "VFR on Top" clearance allows an IFR flight to proceed at a VFR level, if VMC exists. In addition, the IFR separation standards do not apply as the flight is treated as a VFR flight in that respect.

The flight is still IFR, but allowed some of the freedoms of a VFR flight, if VMC exists. A VFR on Top clearance gives the pilot the freedom to choose a cruise level free of ice or turbulence that might exist at an IFR cruise level. The whole idea is to avoid flight in IMC if a VFR level in VMC is possible.

When I was reading about this type of clearance in class E airspace, it occurred to me that it might be possible in class G airspace. That was the question.

"VFR over the Top" is a different animal, available to VFR flights. It can get confusing because they have similar names.

Cheers
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Stuart Tait replied the topic: "VFR on Top" - not to be confused with "VFR over the Top"

My understanding is that it is not available in class G

ATC authorisation for an IFR flight to operate in VMC, at or below FL180, in Class E airspace at any appropriate VFR altitude or flight level (in accordance with ENR 1.2 Section 2, ENR 1.7 Section 5. and as restricted by ATC).

CASA is the lowering of Class E airspace to FL125 will commencing on 20 May 2020 so may become a mute point

Cheers
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Bosi72 replied the topic: "VFR on Top" - not to be confused with "VFR over the Top"

I guess you can cancel IFR in class G and continue VFR, or request/pickup IFR in class G if eg. weather deteriorates ?
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Carello replied the topic: "VFR on Top" - not to be confused with "VFR over the Top"

Thanks for the input guys.

ENR 1.1 clearly states that "VFR on Top" it is only available in class E airspace. I'm just left wondering why only E- space.

"VFR on Top" looks to be a very attractive option to an IFR pilot that wants the best of two worlds (VFR/IFR) in other airspace.

The Americans use the procedure more widely than we do here in Oz.

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Stuart Tait replied the topic: "VFR on Top" - not to be confused with "VFR over the Top"

My only opinion is that they cant guarantee traffic separation that's my two cents worth
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Carello replied the topic: "VFR on Top" - not to be confused with "VFR over the Top"

When the following clearance are given to an IFR flight, the flight is regarded as VFR for separation purposes.

  • VFR Climb/Descent - D/E airspace
  • VFR Departure from D-space into C/D/E/G airspace
  • VFR on Top - E airspace
  • IFR Pick Up - E airspace

VFR on Top may extend into other airspace in the future. I'm sure there is a good reason to limit it to E airspace at the moment.
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