VFR cloud clearance requirements for rotary wing

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by Fearless Tower, Aug 1, 2011.

  1. Fearless Tower

    Fearless Tower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Are they different for the rotor heads?

    Had a uncomfortable situation the other day making an IFR departure. I had just lifted off and tower informs me of a helo off to my left that has me in sight and will remain clear then hands me off to departure. So, I'm watching this helo come pretty darn close to me as I am climbing out and he is right at my altitude and pretty bloody close as I enter the overcast layer (about 1200 overcast). This is in class D, and his rotor is definitely scraping the blottoms of the clouds.

    Are the cloud clearance requirements different for helos, or was this guy pushing the limits? I wouldn't have called this a near miss, but it was definitely close enough to make me uncomfortable trying to make a single pilot instrument departure.
     
  2. ScottM

    ScottM Taxi to Parking

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    How do you know if the helo was not on an active IFR flight plan?
     
  3. JeffDG

    JeffDG Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Or SVFR
     
  4. Jim Logajan

    Jim Logajan En-Route

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  5. Jaybird180

    Jaybird180 Final Approach

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    The laws of physics do not apply to whirly-birds
     
  6. poadeleted20

    poadeleted20 Deleted

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    Only in one very limited exception:
    Not in D-space.
     
  7. poadeleted20

    poadeleted20 Deleted

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  8. Darsh

    Darsh Pre-Flight

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    ^This guy
     
  9. Mike I

    Mike I Line Up and Wait

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    While this isn't D-space, 91.157 provides exemptions for helicopters for some SVFR requirements:

     
  10. poadeleted20

    poadeleted20 Deleted

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    While that's true, he asked about VFR, not SVFR. In any event, the cloud clearance requirements are the same for everyone under SVFR -- remain clear of them. It's only the visibility requirements which vary under SVFR.
     
  11. Mike I

    Mike I Line Up and Wait

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    Ron, correct, I was just addressing JeffDG's comment that perhaps the helicopter was operating SVFR while the OP was IFR.
     
  12. roncachamp

    roncachamp Final Approach

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    Helicopters have the same VFR requirements as fixed wing aircraft in controlled airspace. Helicopters get a break in Class G airspace and under SVFR.
     
  13. roncachamp

    roncachamp Final Approach

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    There is no fixed limit on simultaneous SVFR operations in a surface area, the requirement is that all IFR and SVFR aircraft are separated.

    The publication you referenced is for FSS, not ATC.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2011