VFR only distance.

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by teethdoc, May 30, 2013.

  1. teethdoc

    teethdoc Pre-takeoff checklist

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    How far from your home base do you go VFR only? I know you can always get stuck somewhere, but just wondering what your limits are.
     
  2. Geico266

    Geico266 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    None.

    I've flown to almost all of the lower 48 states VFR. There are no restrictions. Weather is above mins, go. :dunno:

    I've been stuck for days waiting for the weather to break. I find local RVers and have a good time.

    One time a storm was blocking my path so I put down at an airport in Iowa that rebuilds P-51 Mustangs. The guys gave me the grand tour. :goofy:
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2013
  3. Tarheel Pilot

    Tarheel Pilot Line Up and Wait

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    No restriction for me (aside from weather).
     
  4. JHW

    JHW En-Route

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    we make several VFR trips from home in central IL to see family in north texas, south florida, upstate new york. We only file IFR if weather or airspace demands it. >80% of our flying is squawking 1200.
     
  5. jtheune

    jtheune En-Route

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    Depends on the route. I'll go KANP to OSH VFR becuase I know the airspace well but when I flew down to FLA I went IFR becuase looking at the charts I saw a lot of MOAs and Restricted airspace and IFR makes it easier.
     
  6. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    You just have to be flexible about which days and times you fly. If you encounter IFR conditions, then you have to be willing to wait for better weather.
     
  7. airguy

    airguy Cleared for Takeoff

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    Portland, ME to Midland, TX in a 172 is my longest VFR trip so far - how far qualifies as "far"?

    When going long distances VFR, don't let yourself get locked into a particular enroute fuel-stop destination if weather is a factor. All you really need is a place to get food and fuel, and keep heading "generally that-a-way" until you get close to your final destination. I encountered some weather around Indianapolis coming in from Maine on that trip (3 days total) and ended up 200 miles off my straight-line course - but all I was looking for was food, fuel, and a bed. Guess what? I found it... and the next day I kept heading "generally that-a-way"... :D
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2013
  8. Sac Arrow

    Sac Arrow Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Bro do you even lift
    IFR isn't the end all, cure all. Sure it gives you more flexibility, but if you're planning a cross country flight over the Sierras and Rockies, you are going to have some very long segments where IFR is not an option unless you are equipped for known icing and can make the MEA's over the mountains.
     
  9. numl0ck

    numl0ck Line Up and Wait

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    Planning a trip from CT for FL this fall, all VFR. No personal limits set other than minimums. If it's below my minimums I won't go.
     
  10. bobmrg

    bobmrg En-Route PoA Supporter

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    "Home base" doesn't really apply, but when I was delivering Cherokees from Florida to Seattle, the insurance restriction was VFR, daytime only.

    Bob Gardner
     
  11. Old Geek

    Old Geek Pattern Altitude

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    Got any good stories?
     
  12. Arbiter419

    Arbiter419 Cleared for Takeoff

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    Pennsylvania to Florida for Sun n Fun! All in one shot both ways, we got lucky. Just keep the big watery thing off to your left going down and you can't miss it.
     
  13. somorris

    somorris Pattern Altitude

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    I'm like the other guys here. No specific limit. I prefer VFR if I can go that way.
     
  14. poadeleted20

    poadeleted20 Deleted

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    The day after I got my PPL, I left Ann Arbor MI in a Cessna 150 with a other member of the club (he was a lot more experienced, with 75 hours to my 60) on a trip to Bozeman MT for the NIFA National Air Meet, and then home to A2. We increased our total flying times by 35% by the time we got back, and our experience levels immeasurably. Just be prepared for the trip to take longer than you might have planned, and enjoy the journey.
     
  15. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    Limitations on my pilot cert:

    "IFR PRIVILEGES ONLY" ;)

    I'm one of those rarely flies VFR types. It's not because of any personal limits, but primarily because it doesn't cost me extra to file, it's easy to do, and I like having the extra set of eyes out there to look for other aircraft as well as airspace.

    If I lived and flew through parts of the country with minimal airspace concerns then I might VFR it more often. I'd also consider changing my ways if fees for IFR flights popped up and VFR was free. Going between here and Omaha we don't always file.
     
  16. Mike5250

    Mike5250 Line Up and Wait

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    I usually go with flight following for the 2nd set of eyes and a little help around MOA's. It is nice to sit back and fly without talking on the radio from time to time. If I had active traffic I probably would use flight following for flights into busy airspace.
     
  17. rbridges

    rbridges En-Route

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    I don't have the luxury of waiting out weather. Now that I'm instrument rated, I have a little more flexibility, but high winds or storms are still no-gos for me. The longest VFR flight I've done is ~450nm, and I've only done it twice.
     
  18. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Longest trip I've taken, KAPA to KCOE, 714 nm straight-line, was VFR.
     
  19. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Nope no distance limitation. Took the Velocity from GA to CA last year VFR. Had one leg from RIV to ABI of 900 miles. Did that leg nonstop and still had an hour of fuel left. :)
     
  20. Jaybird180

    Jaybird180 Final Approach

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    How does that work?
     
  21. MickYoumans

    MickYoumans Cleared for Takeoff

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    I really don't think in terms of a distance limitation due to VFR. While I'm not too fond of being herded into a cattle ship, there is a 600+ mile trade off where flying commercial is faster and more cost efficient. Doing something fun like flying to Oshkosh, I want to go in my plane even though I might be able to fly commercial cheeper.
     
  22. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    It was a joke, because I almost never fly VFR.
     
  23. Jaybird180

    Jaybird180 Final Approach

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    Okay, got it.
     
  24. bobmrg

    bobmrg En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Yep. Once upon a time I was approaching Altus, Oklahoma when the sky began to look unfriendly. Altus Approach aimed me at the airport, I got the plane on the ground and into a hangar, and headed for a motel...by the time I reached the motel, maybe five minutes later, its parking lot was full of water up to the top of the curbs/parking dividers. I'm sure that the brand-new plane would have had hail damage if I hadn't gotten it into the hangar.

    That's it for scary stories.

    Bob
     
  25. LDJones

    LDJones Touchdown! Greaser!

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    In 2002 a friend and I did a 4,300 mile, 11 state, 32 hour circumnavigation of the western U.S. in my Mooney to celebrate him getting his license. We were VFR for 95% of that trip, only filing to get through the marine layer in Santa Barbara, CA and to get out of Ukiah, CA. Otherwise we were VFR the whole trip.
     
  26. PilotAlan

    PilotAlan Pattern Altitude

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    This.

    I'm VFR only, and have flown Colorado to Virginia and back, Colorado to Florida and back, Colorado to Texas and back several times, Colorado to Oshkosh and back several times.

    Only gotten stuck a couple of times. Minden, NE under IFR for a day, Arkansas under IFR for a day. Had to re-route a few states over a few times to avoid fronts, or go around behind them.
     
  27. N801BH

    N801BH Touchdown! Greaser! Gone West

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    +1....:thumbsup::yes::)
     
  28. Doggtyred

    Doggtyred En-Route

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    I think I am up to 1200 miles or so.. who knows... Its essentially unlimited for me.
     
  29. DaleB

    DaleB En-Route

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    One 800+ mile trip I do a few times a year is certainly cheaper by aluminum mailing tube, but might not be faster if you include the time in terminals, change planes in Chicago, etc. I figured the 172 would get me there about the same time as United. The RV would beat them by a good while, once it's done.

    Now, if I get the chance to actually FLY That trip I'll find out how badly flight planning and flight reality differ! So far it hasn't worked out, but I'm hopeful for later this year. It would be my longest X/C by far.
     
  30. comanchepilot

    comanchepilot En-Route

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    We routinely did IJD-ARW VFR when we could - 696nm.

    Out west here its VFR almost all the time - and when its not you don't want to fly unless its Marine layer. You could fly from Portland, OR to Houston today and not seea cloud - thats a pretty decent distance - and if you wanted to avoid the rocks its even further.
     
  31. TriGear28

    TriGear28 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Longest taken for me, around 600 nm vfr. But I've always taken a VFR Flight Following on long vfr x/c's. No restrictions... Just wx, and it helps to have another set of eyes looking out for you in regard to traffic or in case something goes wrong. I view ATC as my friend, not a 'recorder.' My favorite kind of flying! I'm a single-eng pilot though, so some obvious self-imposed restrictions are in place in regard to gliding dist. over water, etc. It's about personal risk balance.
     
  32. jmp470

    jmp470 Line Up and Wait

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    My longest was 1100 nm. KFAY to KSATish. We did it every other month while I lived in NC. Now I'm back in TX and not flying right now :-( Man do I miss it....
     
  33. stratobee

    stratobee Cleared for Takeoff

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    Been all over the US in my old twin VFR. Only got stuck one and a half time in over 10000 miles of touring. One time it was just 20nm from home, after having flown successfully for over 3000 miles LA-New Orleans-LA. That was a bummer. The other time was in Wyoming on my way to Chicago. Stayed the night and the day after was marginally better, so got through.
     
  34. azure

    azure Final Approach

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    It all depends on your patience and how long a delay you can tolerate. I can't tolerate much of a delay (not days, anyway), and it shows on my map. My longest trip to date is KIKW-KELM.

    If you're willing to wait out the weather, you can go anywhere. There's nowhere in the country (at least the lower 48) that's IFR 24/7/365.
     
  35. Anymouse

    Anymouse En-Route

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    Total Stud Bush Pilot
    I flew my Tango from Florida, all the way across the bottom of the country to California, where I made a right turn, then north to the top of Oregon. Later, I flew it direct, with a single RON from Oregon back to Florida. All VFR.
     
  36. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I did a 5800nm, 64-hour journey 5 years ago, and of that I was IFR for I think 0.3. I think the longest trip I did prior to getting my instrument rating was slightly under 1000 nm. But, I certainly wouldn't have let it stop me on the longer one either.

    The biggest thing is just to be flexible on both route and time. The farther you're going, the more off-route you can go with very little impact on total distance traveled - For example, if you're going 1000nm, and you deviate by 100nm off course in the middle, you've only added a mere 18nm or so to your trip distance. Also, being willing to stop and explore some random small town in the middle of nowhere while you wait for wx to clear and/or rent a car and drive the rest of the way is what will keep you alive. If you aren't good at deviating from an original plan, cross-country flying is not for you even if you are instrument rated. (And, BTW, the best adventures are the unplanned ones!)
     
  37. CT4ME

    CT4ME Cleared for Takeoff

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    No limits, except time. 'Done Phoenix-Seattle, Phoenix-Loreto,MX... Looking forward to a whole bunch more VFR adventures.
     
  38. kyleb

    kyleb Final Approach

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    I've done Atlanta->Minneapolis and Atlanta->San Antonio and return more than once.

    I've also cancelled similar trips because I recognized a weather system in my way that was insurmountable on my schedule.

    I'm not only VFR limited, but I'm also limited by the wood/composite prop on my RV. That means light rain at the most or the prop suffers damage. The good thing about the RV is that it has the performance to detour around or over a fair amount of weather.
     
  39. Captain

    Captain Final Approach

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    I do have a distance limitation, but its not from my 'home field' as I don't really have one of those.

    For me, if the trip is over around 200 miles then it makes way more sense to go into the Flight Levels so I file. I don't really care about airspace. I've flown VFR from BOS to TEB and that about as much 'airspace' as you can get.

    To file that same city pair you end up going out over ALB and I go nuts watching my destination out the side window going by over 100 miles away. So, on clear days I'll just launch VFR and BeeLine it.

    If anyone is curious, I NEVER file a VFR flight plan, but I do inform my dispatch when I go VFR for S&R reasons. Plus, its in our GOM to do that.
     
  40. Silvaire

    Silvaire En-Route

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    Longest was KTCY to Z41 and back again. Seven days going north, three days for the return trip south.