Filing IFR while on VFR flight

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Hop Harrigan
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Filing IFR while on VFR flight

Unread post by Hop Harrigan » Fri Apr 20, 2018 12:54 pm

HI,
Can anyone tell me what the procedure is under the following theoretical circumstances please? Its quite pertinent to me on an upcoming flight with the current unstable weather in Gauteng.

If on a Local VFR flight (no FPL filed) one runs into IMC conditions:
Is it acceptable to call ATC while remaining VMC, and request they open an IFR flight plan?
How much info are they going to require, considering that one doesn't have a pre-prepared FPL handy?
Or is it mandatory to remain VFR/VMC?
Thanks,
Hop
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Re: Filing IFR while on VFR flight

Unread post by Induna » Fri Apr 20, 2018 2:01 pm

Hi,

I have a question about your question...

would it not be easier to file an IFR flightplan before the flight but not activate it unless needed, thus staying VFR but has the option of activating the IFR plan when necessary?

Alternatively, could you just file an IFR flightplan and activate, and still fly VFR while on an IFR flightplan?
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Re: Filing IFR while on VFR flight

Unread post by Iceberg » Fri Apr 20, 2018 2:56 pm

I always file IFR on long flights whether it is severe clear or crappy weather.
It just makes things a lot easier - plus you get priority when passing through the TMA's.
So when the weather is or becomes IMC, I'm already sorted.
If it is VMC or becoming VMC near the end of the flight, I have the option to cancel IFR if it will expedite my arrival.
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Re: Filing IFR while on VFR flight

Unread post by Multirotordronepilot » Fri Apr 20, 2018 2:56 pm

Induna wrote:Hi,

I have a question about your question...

would it not be easier to file an IFR flightplan before the flight but not activate it unless needed, thus staying VFR but has the option of activating the IFR plan when necessary?

Alternatively, could you just file an IFR flightplan and activate, and still fly VFR while on an IFR flightplan?
Agree with above ie file IFR and activate unless not required but still rather call ATC ( via phone ) to cancel if not needed. But also consider you are able to activate while air born such as in flying from unmanned to manned scenario.
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Re: Filing IFR while on VFR flight

Unread post by Hop Harrigan » Fri Apr 20, 2018 5:25 pm

To clarify...I’m flying 30 mins N of FALA on a ‘local’ flight to an unmanned game lodge. Doesn’t really make sense to file IFR.
However my concern is that with no local Weather report, I might run into IMC with the current unstable weather, either on the way out or the return trip.
So, to return to the original question...will ATC entertain a request to open an IF FPL if it should become necessary?
Thanks for the interest
Hop
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Re: Filing IFR while on VFR flight

Unread post by david1 » Fri Apr 20, 2018 7:25 pm

ATC will not accomodate without an IFR flight plan;you must file before,if you file onroute by phone ,it takes 30 minutes to get into the system.You cannot file a flightplan with ATC.
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Re: Filing IFR while on VFR flight

Unread post by happyskipper » Fri Apr 20, 2018 8:33 pm

AIC 42.1 dated 25 July 2013
Perhaps this will help - there is no difference between filing an IFR or VFR flight plan, according to AIC 42.01
So, yes, you may file in the air, as long as you do so 10 minutes before entering controlled or advisory airspace - and it is under "exceptional circumstances" - such as a VFR flight into imminent IMC.

http://www.caa.co.za/IR%20and%20GR%20ad ... 2042.1.pdf
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Re: Filing IFR while on VFR flight

Unread post by Hop Harrigan » Sat Apr 21, 2018 3:09 pm

So, I was at FALA this am when a gent landed from an unmanned strip up North, to tell me he had wound up VMC on top. ATC set up an IF FPL in the air and he flew the RNAV approach under IFR.
So it seems ATC are quite accommodating to filing IFR in the air although I guess one shouldn’t make a habit of it.
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Re: Filing IFR while on VFR flight

Unread post by happyskipper » Sat Apr 21, 2018 4:34 pm

Hop Harrigan wrote:So, I was at FALA this am when a gent landed from an unmanned strip up North, to tell me he had wound up VMC on top. ATC set up an IF FPL in the air and he flew the RNAV approach under IFR.
So it seems ATC are quite accommodating to filing IFR in the air although I guess one shouldn’t make a habit of it.
Hop
And quite rightly so - if an IF rated pilot on a VFR flight finds himself in a situation where going IFR is the only option, then ATC should accommodate him in filing an IFR F/Plan.
Not to do so could be dangerous, forcing the pilot to attempt to return to VMC, without knowing cloud base etc....
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Re: Filing IFR while on VFR flight

Unread post by Multirotordronepilot » Sat Apr 21, 2018 5:01 pm

Hop Harrigan wrote:So, I was at FALA this am when a gent landed from an unmanned strip up North, to tell me he had wound up VMC on top. ATC set up an IF FPL in the air and he flew the RNAV approach under IFR.
So it seems ATC are quite accommodating to filing IFR in the air although I guess one shouldn’t make a habit of it.
Hop
Which is pretty much what myself and the skipper were trying to explain.

Hope you have a non event full flight.
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Re: Filing IFR while on VFR flight

Unread post by Hop Harrigan » Sat Apr 21, 2018 9:37 pm

Hi Guys,
Thanks for the chat...had a good flight this morning in marginal VMC but knowing that the climb into IMC and filing in the air was an option was very comforting
Cheers
Hop
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Re: Filing IFR while on VFR flight

Unread post by happyskipper » Sat Apr 21, 2018 9:53 pm

Hop Harrigan wrote:Hi Guys,
Thanks for the chat...had a good flight this morning in marginal VMC but knowing that the climb into IMC and filing in the air was an option was very comforting
Cheers
Hop
=D> Great - glad to be of assistance... 8)
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