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05 August 2009


I have republished this article due to the original misunderstanding over the rules regarding 'VFR on top'.

As with many of the issues we have looked into in the compilation of this blog, the answers tend to raise more questions.

Certainly the 'French Air Traffic Rules' document (accessible from the link on the sidebar of this blog) makes no distinctions with respect to the issuing authority of a JAR licence though we know that there are specific restrictions (usually day, VFR, only) for non-JAR licences issued outside of France.

Also, the advice issued over many years by various publications such as Pooley's and the Delage Guide have mentioned the ability to fly VFR 'on top' without qualification, even in the pre-JAR days.

Finally, all of our 'rules and regulations' articles are checked by 'friendly' French Flying Instructors, Examiners, Air Traffic Controllers or other suitably-qualified people.

It would be nice to get a specific 'official' assurance from DGAC and the UK CAA on the various issues but this is not always possible.

The beauty of a blog is that anybody who thinks otherwise can let us know.


Les King
Site Administrator

I asked this of Irv Lee ironically in april 08 and he replied:

Since the ANO was re-ordered and quite massively reworded in the area of IMC privileges, Schedule 8 still says JAR or CAA PPLs can fly out of sight of surface if they have an IMC rating (like it always did), BUT the IMC rating definition in the ANO is NO LONGER 'ordered' in such a way as to limit this to the UK.

Probably a mistake - cant imagine them meaning to do this, BUT it is correct to say that the ANO no longer is worded to limit the privilege of JAR licences with IMC ratings flying out of sight of surface anywhere, yet the ANO still specifies "UK only" for CAA licences with IMC rating!

So It would seem it can be used for vfr on top as long as it isnt an old school CAA Licence

Hi David

Thanks for your contribution.

Your conclusion is not my reading of Mike Grierson's amendments to my originally-worded update and I am happy to acknowledge him as an expert on the matter.

Legal gobbledegook is a curse to us all.

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