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Ifr Question

desert pilot

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CAN AN INSTRUMENT RATED PILOT WITH AN INSTRUMENT PLANE PUNCH A CLOUD IN CLASS G LEGALLY WITHOUT A CLEARANCE
 

A Squared

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Yes of course. There's no such thing as a clearence for IFR flight in Class G, and Yes, it is legal to fly IFR in Class G airspace. You must operate in accordance with the Instrument Flight Rules (91.167-91.193) though.
 

Shag_McNasty

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Am I missing something? If you're not on an IFR flightplan in class G airspace, doesn't that make you VFR? If you're VFR in class G airspace, doesn't that mean "clear of clouds"? I know my FAR/AIM is dusty but they couldn't have changed that rule, did they? Maybe a scenario for the question will straighten me out.
 

flx757

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FAR 91.173 ATC clearance and flight plan required.

No person may operate an aircraft in controlled airspace under IFR unless that person has--
(a) Filed an IFR flight plan, and
(b) Received and appropriate ATC clearance.


Notice it says "in controlled airspace". By definition, controlled airspace means airspace of defined dimensions within which air traffic control service is provided to IFR flights and to VFR flights in accordance with the airspace classification. (NOTE--Controlled airspace is a generic term that covers Class A, Class B, Class C, Class D and Class E airspace.)

When you depart IFR from an airport in Class G airspace, your clearance will read something to the effect of "enter controlled airspace on a heading of XXX, climb to and maintain XXX........" The IFR flight plan and clearance commence at that point which you enter controlled airspace. As A Squared pointed out, there is no such thing as an IFR clearance in uncontrolled (Class G) airspace. Hence the term "uncontrolled".

However, if you are going to operate IFR in uncontrolled airspace, you must still follow the applicable FARs governing Instrument Flight Rules.
 

A Squared

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>>>>>If you're not on an IFR flightplan in class G airspace, doesn't that make you VFR?

Nope. There are Visual Flight Rules, and Instrument Flight Rules, you may choose one or the other. Only in Class A airspace are you not allowed to choose.

91.151 through 91.159 are the Visual Flight Rules. If you choose to fly by these rules, you are VFR.
91.167 through 91.193 are the Instrumant Flight Rules. If you choose to fly by those rules, you are IFR.

The Instrumant Flight Rules recognize IFR flight in Class G airspace. 91.179 (b) specifies cruising altitudes for IFR flight in uncontrolled airspace (class G)

There is no requirement for an IFR flightplan or an IFR clearence in Class G airspace, only in controlled airspace.

Scenario:

Koyuk, Alaska and Buckland, Alaska are both in Class G airspace. The airspace between them is class G below 14,500 ft MSL. They both have published approaches and departure procedures. It is entirely legal to depart Koyuk, fly the departure procedure, proceed to Buckland, and execute an instrument approach. All in the clouds. You don't need a flight plan, and you don't need a clearance. As FLX757 pointed out, you do have to comply with the requirements of the Instrumant Flight Rules regarding equipment, currency, cruising altitudes, and such, but as long as you comply with these, it's legal.

regards

addendum:

Having said all this, if you're bopping along, scudrunning in the more typical 1200 foot layer of Class G airspace and you fly through a cloud, you are probably in violation of 91.179 (b), cruising altitude for IFR flight, even though you meet all of he other requirements for IFR flight
 
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spike

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Give me a break

I hope you all with 3000+ hours are kidding. Give me a break and do a little IFR refresher. That is the basic question for an instrument rating.

"When do you need an clearance to fly in IMC and when don't you need one to fly IMC?"

In most of the mid-west you can fly around in IMC legally without ever talking to anyone, but I guess if you have been flying for a carrier you never get to venture into UNCONTROLLED airspace.

Here is another question. When you are on an IFR flight plan does ATC have any responsibility to seperate you from VFR traffic?
 

Vik

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Nope. ATC will only separate you from other IFR traffic. Obviously you will be in VFR conditions (because VFR traffic should not be in IFR conditions) and so you are responsible, even under an IFR flight plan, to look out and maintain visual separation from VFR traffic. It says so in the regs ... too lazy to look it up. =)

Now if the VFR traffic is playing in the clouds, yer both SOL.
 

cherokee

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quote- "In most of the mid-west you can fly around in IMC legally without ever talking to anyone, but I guess if you have been flying for a carrier you never get to venture into UNCONTROLLED airspace. "


I don't know what part of the midwest you're talking about..maybe Midwest Alaska. I live in the midwest and in my entire state there is no place where uncontrolled airspace is above 1200' agl, well below the MEAs.
 

A Squared

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Bigflyr,

You are about as completely wrong on this issue as it is possible to be.

It is not an "interpretation", it is not an inadvertant "loophole" in the regulations.

IFR in Class G airspace is completely legal, as long as the Instrument FLight Rules are complied with. To say otherwise is just ignorance.

If it is a "loophole", please tell me why 91.179(b) explicitly specifies IFR cruising altitudes for uncontrolled airspace?

If it is an "INTERPRETATION OF THE REGS for the benefit of not complying", then why do the Operations Specifications for my Part 121 carrier have specific authorization and procedures to follow while operating IFR in Class G airspace?

You need to think about these questions and what they mean, then back off a little on your statements. You have been very badly misinformed somewhere along the way.


regards
 

avbug

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A Squared is 100% correct in each of his postings on this subject. Class G airspace is uncontrolled airspace, and IFR flight in Class G is legal.

There are areas in which an entire flight may be under IFR in Class G, with no possibility of radar coverage or even radio communication.

If this shocks you, you just haven't been there yet. That doesn't mean it isn't true, or even common in some areas.
 

A Squared

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Bigflyr,

Another question for you to ponder:

The two places I named in a previous post are not fictional. They are real places. They really are in Class G airspace that extends to 14,500 ft MSL, and they really do have FAA established IAPs and Obstacle departure procedures. If IFR in Class G is a "loophole" or an "interpretation", then why would the FAA establish IAPs and Obstacle departures for a couple of airports that you can't possibly get to without flying through a bunch of Class G airspace?

regards
 

spike

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Give me a break

Thanks A squared.

I DIDN'T say it was SAFE or that I ADVOCATE it. the question was whether or not it was legal by the regs.

YOU can legally take off and fly IFR in class G anywhere you want without talking to ATC ever. FACT I can't believe BigFlyr would brag about not knowing something so basic.

Whew scary

this board is great and i learn a lot here. please keep up the good posts and discussions, then we all learn, relearn and have our curiosity peaked.
 

spike

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correction

Sorry I missed typed.

In a previous post is said "In most of the midwest"

what I meant was the areas (and there are quite a few) where class G extends up to 14500.
 

Focker

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A Squared's got it

A Squared's answer is right on. It's also correct to the original question.

Whether or not a company lets you do this or not is another queston.

Is it safe or smart, open for argument.

No it's not common in the contiguous U.S., I did the Alaska thing as well where it's somewhat common.

As far as the FAR's, A squared has it right.
 

AWACoff

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Spike,
I can't believe that you would post such a degrading remark against Bigflyr when you in fact are in the wrong. I happen to live in the Midwest so I have a good idea of what states are part of it. Perhaps you are thinking of the Midwest being out in the Dakotas and Colorado? The Midwest contains states such as Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, etc. That being said, the only Class G up to 14,500 I could find in the ENTIRE Midwest was in the Upper Pennisula of Michigan. You can check my statement yourself by looking at L charts 31, 32, 33, 34, 27, 28, 19, 20, 35, 36, 33, 34, 25, 26. There are certainly NOT "quite a few". :rolleyes:
 

BigFlyr

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Thanks, AWA...

I would like to empasize that there seems to be confusion between "operating under IFR" and "operating in IMC". Furthermore, just because there may not be an FAR that prevents you from doing something unsafe, it doesn't mean that its legal. Remember... "the PIC is responsible for the safe operation of the aircraft"...
 
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Regarding the IFR flights in class G without ever talking to ATC and operating IMC, doesn't sound very safe if there are more than one aircraft in the area. Do you transmit your position on a comman frequency?
 

Speedtree

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i was wondering the same thing. I also believe it is legal to fly in Class G airspace without a clearance or flight plan. Whether I would want to, or recommend, flying such a flight as the example in Alaska, I doubt it.

I assume they have local procedures for the case when two guys want to fly the same route and the slower guy takes off before the faster guy and both decide on the same altitude. What then.

Just curious, in Alaska, could you, if you wanted to, coordinate the flight with ATC and talk to them on the example flight or is there no radio communication with ATC possible in this remote area at the altitudes normally flown?

If you're not comfortable doing something because you think it's unsafe, you are better off not trying it just because it might be legal. As my former instructor used to say, "you may be legal but you may be legally dead"
 

A Squared

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Bigflyr,

How many people need to tell you you’re wrong before you are willing to consider that you might be wrong? The folks that are telling you that IFR is legal in Class G airspace have been there and done that. We’ve operated under IFR, in IMC, in Class G airspace under Part 91, Part 135, Part 121, and Part 125., all with the approval and blessing of the FAA. You, apparently, have not. Who is more likely to understand the regulations regarding an operation? Someone who conducts such operation, or someone who does not? Your posts are so full of misconceptions and inaccuracies, I’m not sure where to begin.

>>>>I'm not going to argue about the regs

Ummm, that is exactly what the discussion is about, the regs, specifically the regs regarding flying through clouds in Class G airspace.

>>>>>I am fully aware that an IFR flight plan may take you through or be contained entirely within class G airspace for lack of radar coverage.

No, you apparently misunderstand the various airspace classifications. Uncontrolled airspace does not exist because of lack of radar coverage. Uncontrolled airspace exists because the FAA has chosen not to accept the responsibility for separating IFR traffic in that area. In fact there are plenty of areas of controlled airspace which lack Radar coverage. My airline operates in these areas every day. There are some areas, on the airways, which are in Class E (controlled) airspace where there is no radar coverage for over an hour of flight. ATC provides separation by traditional Non-radar methods, the same way IFR traffic was separated all over the US before radar became common.


>>>>the original question here was whether or not you can "punch a cloud"(enter IMC) in uncontrolled (class G) airspace. I say you cannot, period.

Well, you are wrong, period.

You may fly through the clouds in Class G airspace, period.


>>>> I would like to empasize that there seems to be confusion between "operating under IFR" and "operating in IMC"

Yes, I agree, it appears that you are very confused on the concepts. It appears that you may believe that it is legal fly IFR through Class G airspace, but must remain clear of the clouds. Is this the case? If this is so, you need a review of the basics: There are Visual Flight Rules (VFR), and there are Instrument Flight Rules (IFR). If you are operating VFR, you must remain clear of the clouds, exactly how far depends on your altitude and what airspace you are in. This is all specified in 91.155

If you are operating under IFR, you may enter the clouds. There is no such thing as "IFR, but you can’t fly in the clouds" Ok, actually there is; operating "VFR on top" and Visual Approaches, but these are specific ATC clearances. In Class G airspace you are not on an ATC clearance.

You may fly IFR in Class G airspace, and you may enter the clouds.

>>>>If you guys can come up with an FAR... not an Ops. spec. may have an exception, that states otherwise, please let me know and I'll agree with you.

There is no FAR authorizing IFR flight in Class G airspace. Our legal system doesn’t work that way. If there is no law or regulation prohibiting something, it is legal. The FARs do not authorize operations. There is no FAR which permits us to fly airplanes. We may fly airplanes because there is no FAR which prohibits it. Likewise, we do not need a FAR permitting us to fly in the clouds in Class G airspace. It is not prohibited, so it is legal.
Certificated carriers and operators, of course are an exception. A certificate holder must have a specific authorization for each operation conducted. These are the operations specifications. If your carrier does not have an operations specification authorizing IFR operations in Class G airspace, you may not operate IFR in Class G airspace. Mine does have the authorization, and we do.

You seem certain that it is not legal to fly in the clouds in Class G airspace, but you cannot support this with a regulation.

In an earlier post I posed a series of questions which, if you had considered them, would show the fallacy of your thinking. You apparently have not considered them. Perhaps you didn’t understand what I was getting at. I will put them to you in a different way:

Consider the following.


1) The FAA authorizes part 121 carriers (the most restricted of all certificated operators) for terminal and enroute IFR operations in uncontrolled airspace.

2) The FAA establishes Instrument Approach Procedures and Instrument Departures at airports which can only be reached by flight through Class G airspace.

3) The FAA specifies enroute IFR altitudes for IFR flight in uncontrolled airspace.

Yet, you believe that it is illegal to fly in the clouds in Class G airspace. Something doesn’t add up. What good is an instrument approach in Class G Airspace, if you can’t fly in the clouds? Why authorize IFR operations, if you can’t fly in the clouds? Why specify IFR altitudes, if you can’t fly in the clouds.

If you think about it, 1,2, and 3 just don’t make sense if it’s illegal to fly in the clouds in Class G airspace.

So, which is wrong? 1, 2, and 3 ? ( I assure you, they are not) or your belief that IFR in Class G is illegal?

regards
 
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