Instrument Flight Rules (IFR)
IFR stands for Instrument Flight Rules. These rules determine whether a pilot can safely fly with limited visibility. IFR flight plans are required for all commercial flights. And while Part 135 of the Federal Aviation Regulations allows for the use of visual flight rules (VFR) for charter flights, Stratos Jets also requires its operators to follow IFR.
In order to fly on a VFR flight plan, a pilot needs a little cooperation from Mother Nature. In other words, you need clear skies. You’re not able to fly in:
- Thick cloud cover
- Low visibility
- Inclement weather
Using IFR, pilots can fly charter flights using their onboard instruments and radio navigation. In order to obtain an IFR rating, the pilot must first go through extensive training.
Expanding the Margin of Safety
The key advantages of going the IFR route are air charter safety and flight planning flexibility. When pilots follow an IFR flight plan, they have the full resources of air traffic control to assist them along the way. Even with limited visibility, they always know where they’re going and that they’re maintaining adequate separation from other aircraft that might be travelling in the same airway. As a result, the margin of safety is significantly increased.
In terms of flight planning, IFR gives you the ability to rise above cloud cover to fly at higher altitudes (IFR flight plans are required for charter flights above 17,999 feet). This allows for faster, more efficient and more comfortable charter flights.