This article is applicable only for VFR pilots on a controlled airfield and for air traffic controllers handling VFR departures from a controlled airfield.
The first task for a pilot is to fly safely. Before flying, he needs charts and shall prepare his flight.
The first task for an air/ground traffic controller is to have VFR charts when controlling and read them all in order to catch all local restrictions and recommendations.
Inside controlled zones or airfields, VFR pilots have to receive an initial clearance. Usually, the VFR pilot will start his aircraft prior to contacting the controller. And he is ready to taxi.
Be aware that some specific airfields do not allow this; please consult your charts. Specific rules have to be taken from the local procedures.
The controller gives the initial VFR clearance to the pilot. This clearance can include:
As a minimum, an initial clearance shall include taxi clearance with a transponder code or wait clearance on apron.
Of course, there is no specific rule to follow whether to give particular information or not . It is the controller's ability and efficiency that drives the clearance flow.
The night VFR flight -- called NVFR sometimes -- is a VFR flight which is partly performed during the aeronautic night.
A NVFR clearance has to contain the route, how to leave the airport.
This is either done using:
In some countries or airfields, night VFR clearances are not allowed. Please consult your national and local regulation.
In a controlled aerodrome, the air traffic controller can issue a special VFR clearance to an aircraft, which is below the VMC minima in his controlled zone, in order to let him reach a new zone where the weather conditions follow the VMC rules.
Flight visibilities reduced to not less than 1500m (clear of clouds) is permitted for special VFR flights at speeds that give adequate opportunity to observe other traffic or any obstacles in time to avoid collision.
Special VFR clearance use depends on your local regulation (ATS authority). This type of clearance can be forbidden in some countries or on some airfields.
As a pilot performing a VFR flight and departing from a controlled airfield, you must contact the ATC before taxi in order to have the initial VFR clearance.
You will obtain this clearance from a ground or tower controller. In other airports, you may ask the approach controller to obtain your clearance.
In IVAO, it is mandatory that every user connected as a pilot fills a flight plan even for a VFR flight. The route is not mandatory for VFR, but it can be useful for air traffic controllers.
There is no pushback clearance for light aircraft. In real life, you use human power to push the aircraft to a free position on the apron. For bigger aircraft, you can position it on the apron in a place allowing enough space for taxi without the need of pushback.
The following tasks shall have been done before initial contact:
After your first contact with ATC, you will have the following possibilities:
When managing VFR flights on ground, you need to know that VFR pilots want a quick departure and they are ready to go when calling the controller for the first time. VFR pilots usually already started their engines when contacting the controller.
There is no pushback need for a VFR flight (except for largest aircraft).
The mobility of a light aircraft is enough to avoid the pushback clearance. Then, you can give the taxi clearance during the first contact.
Before giving the taxi clearance, you must verify that:
With an airspace class F or a non-controlled airfield (auto information airfield written on charts), as the active controller, you have to give traffic information only without any taxi instructions or even take-off or landing clearances.
The controller can manage VFR traffic selecting different taxiways, holding points or runways for VFR or light aircraft for any of the following reasons:
A special VFR flight shall not be considered as a normal VFR flight. Please consult your national regulations in order to know which are the separation and requirements for this type of flight.
When requesting to perform an aerodrome circuit pattern, the pilot must have in mind all aerodrome circuit parameters (altitude, hand, restriction...).
These parameters can be:
A pilot shall perform the aerodrome circuit using the parameters published on the charts except when the air traffic controller gives the pilot specific parameters. The pilot shall perform the aerodrome circuit accordingly.
In IVAO, it is mandatory that every user connected as a pilot fills a flight plan even for an aerodrome circuit flight. In that case, the route must be left blank because a traffic pattern is not a route, it shall not be inserted in the route field of the flight plan.
If you do not have the charts and do not know the pattern parameters, as a pilot, just obtain the parameters from the controller.
The tower controller (or the controller who manages this position) is the responsible of the aerodrome circuit. In function of traffic (speed, type of aircraft ...), the controller can set different parameters for one or several aircraft performing an aerodrome circuit. That is the controller's responsibility.
When giving an initial VFR clearance for an aerodrome circuit, you can give the circuit parameters inside the initial clearance as a reminder for the pilot. It is sometimes useful especially for new IVAO pilots as there are few of them that have the required charts.
When giving an aerodrome circuit clearance, as a controller, you must be sure that the aircraft will not wait more than 5 minutes at the holding point.
Example without circuit description:
If there is no circuit description, the pilot shall follow the circuit published on charts.
Example with circuit description: