Today’s Testing Tuesday will be beneficial to both primary students and instrument students, as it discusses that strangest of clearances: VFR on Top.
What is the required flight visibility and distance from clouds if you are operating in in Class E airspace at 9,500 feet MSL with a VFR-On-Top clearance during daylight hours?
- 3 SM, 1,000 feet above, 500 feet below, and 2,000 feet horizontal
- 5 SM, 500 feet above, 1,000 feet below, and 2,000 feet horizontal
- 3 SM, 500 feet above, 1,000 feet below, and 2,000 feet horizontal
The correct answer is a) 3 SM, 1,000 feet above, 500 feet below, and 2,000 feet horizontal
In this case, you can determine the answer based simply on the fact that there is no cloud clearance requirement that requires 500 feet above the clouds – it is always 1,000 feet above or simply clear of clouds. So since answers b & c both have 500 feet above, they can be eliminated, leaving only a as an option.
That said, knowing your visibility and cloud clearance requirements is so basic a thing, that you really should just know these by rote, and be able to recite them like the pilot’s Lord’s Prayer:
Andrew Hartley is a certificated flight instructor and commercial pilot in Columbus, Ohio.