Maintain VFR

pilotbry

Well-Known Member
Hopefully there is not an obvious answer to this question that has simply eluded me through 6 years of flying but...

During VFR flights I always get flight following. I am repeatedly told by ATC to "Maintain VFR". Why is it necessary to tell me that? I'm obviously not on an IFR plan, of course I'm going to maintain VFR. Or does this mean something different than what I think it means?

Also - I was working photo missions in Los Angeles airspace recently and would hear ATC frequently say to other aircraft "Confirm you are VFR" after they seemed to be checking in after a hand-off. I fly missions all over the USA and had never heard that before.

thx
 

chrisatc

New Member
Hopefully there is not an obvious answer to this question that has simply eluded me through 6 years of flying but...

During VFR flights I always get flight following. I am repeatedly told by ATC to "Maintain VFR". Why is it necessary to tell me that? I'm obviously not on an IFR plan, of course I'm going to maintain VFR. Or does this mean something different than what I think it means? You would be surprised how many pilots will blindly follow ATC instructions into IMC without question. Telling a pilot to maintain VFR is just a reminder to him of his first priority.

Also - I was working photo missions in Los Angeles airspace recently and would hear ATC frequently say to other aircraft "Confirm you are VFR" after they seemed to be checking in after a hand-off. I fly missions all over the USA and had never heard that before. Sometimes the data tag may not indicate the aircraft is VFR while his altitude indicates he is. The question is asked to make sure the controller provides appropriate separation if/as needed.

thx
 

LarryinTN

Well-Known Member
As with many (most?) ATC procedures, this is the result of past accidents. It is to make sure that there's no misunderstanding on the part of the pilot regarding whether or not he's being provided with IFR separation and services.
 

cfii2007

New Member
I've gotten told that while performing VFR practice approaches....something like "squak 1234, practice approach approved, maintain VFR."
 

pilotbry

Well-Known Member
OK I understand now - but it just seems like such a "goes without saying" elementary rule that if it is that big of a problem, there must be a lot of pilots out there that shouldn't be flying. It's like a controller clearing a pilot to land and then having to add a reminder not to do a 180 on the runway after rollout.
 

3enginejock

Well-Known Member
The rule is there so VFR pilots dont fly into IMC. For instance if your on flight following and for some reason ATC gives you a heading to fly, he will add maintain VFR at the end.

This is so the pilot doesnt follow that heading into IMC. Youd be surprised how many pilots would do this. People dont know how dangerous IMC without training is until they have actually flown in it.
 

Prino

Well-Known Member
Youd be surprised how many pilots would do this. People dont know how dangerous IMC without training is until they have actually flown in it.
or IMO, when flying in VMC above clouds at night....that thank God i had my CFI with me.
 

HiDef

New Member
I've gotten told that while performing VFR practice approaches....something like "squak 1234, practice approach approved, maintain VFR."
Thats straight out of the .65 and is required for us controllers to say if you're going to do a vfr practice approach and we won't be providing separation services. No way around that one.

HD
 

Sidious

Well-Known Member
I've gotten told that while performing VFR practice approaches....something like "squak 1234, practice approach approved, maintain VFR."

Yep, everytime we do practice approaches and pretty much anything else with Center or Approach its always "maintain VFR"
 

pericynthion

Well-Known Member
The wording is "Maintain VFR" not "Maintain VMC". So as well as staying within visual weather conditions it is a reminder that you are responsible for traffic separation and terrain clearance.

Right?
 

Alpha Lima

New Member
That one is actually "Maintain VFR, practice approach approved, no separation services provided"
To make sure that the pilot dosent think since they are doing an instrument approach in VFR that they would get separation services.

The wording is "Maintain VFR" not "Maintain VMC". So as well as staying within visual weather conditions it is a reminder that you are responsible for traffic separation and terrain clearance.

Right?
yes
 

Elfmaze

New Member
7110.65 4-8-11. On innitial call we need to tell you to maintain VFR as opposed to the IFR handling approach may have been giving you. Even on a VFR plan.


I didn't accually look it up, but we were having a discussion on it as i passed the thread
 

Kmaceri

Well-Known Member
The wording is "Maintain VFR" not "Maintain VMC". So as well as staying within visual weather conditions it is a reminder that you are responsible for traffic separation and terrain clearance.

Right?
Yeah its maintain VFR no VMC because in VFR you have to be certain distances away from clouds in different airspaces. Now like class G its clear of clouds.
 

skidz

Well-Known Member
I think the purpose of that is to cover the controller in case pilot goes into IMC and as a reminder to pilots that they can deviate from their flight path if necessary to stay VFR.
 

FrankieFlyCRQ

Well-Known Member
I am repeatedly told by ATC to "Maintain VFR". Why is it necessary to tell me that? I'm obviously not on an IFR plan


I was working photo missions in Los Angeles airspace recently and would hear ATC frequently say to other aircraft "Confirm you are VFR" after they seemed to be checking in after a hand-off. I fly missions all over the USA and had never heard that before.
thx

Which is why they do tell you that, they want to make it very clear to VFR pilots that you are NOT on a IFR flight plan just because they give you a squawk. Plus as mentioned, you still need to stay out of the clouds.


Welcome to socal class Bravo airspace! :)
 
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