What is IFR?

Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) and VFR (Visual Flight Rules) are the two sets of regulations governing all civil aviation aircraft operations in the United States. Instrument Flight Rules are defined by the FAA as: "Rules and regulations established to govern flight under conditions in which flight by outside visual reference is not safe." IFR flight depends upon flying by reference to instruments in the flight deck, and navigation is accomplished by reference to electronic signals. It is also a term used by pilots and controllers to indicate the type of flight plan an aircraft is flying, such as IFR or VFR flight plan.

Instrument flight rules allow an aircraft to operate in IMC, instrument meteorological conditions. VFR do NOT allow this. IFR is an integral part of flying in Class A airspace, which exists over and near the 48 contiguous United States and Alaska.

For more information in IFR and VFR, please see the products and links below.




  • Book 1

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  • Book 2

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  • Book 3

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For More Information

For more information on IFR, take a look at some of the articles below.

  • Sporty's Releases IFR Communication Course
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  • Sporty's IFR Communicatiosn iPhone/iPad Aviation App
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  • Comm1 IFR CommunicationsTM is toe top-selling IFR radio communications training software for aviation
    Read More
  • IFR Rules and Procedures - General, Langley Flying School
    Read More