Ask an Explainer


How do pilots see where they're going in bad weather?


Two sets of rules govern the operation of aircraft. Pilots operating under visual flight rules (VFR) fly solely by reference to outside visual cues. VFR allows a pilot to operate an aircraft in weather conditions clear enough to see where the aircraft is going. Instrument flight rules (IFR) requires pilots to operate using instruments to navigate. IFR is necessary when weather conditions are poor and the pilot cannot see outside the cockpit windows.

Ask an Explainer