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9 Reasons Why You Should Never Fly VFR Into IMC

What's the most dangerous thing a pilot can do? The Nall Report on General Aviation accidents reveals some eye-opening statistics: VFR flight into clouds is one of the most deadly things a pilot can do. Here's why...

1) According to the Nall Report, only 4% of general aviation accidents are weather related, but they account for over 25% of all fatalities.

mararie


2) The chances a weather related accident will be fatal is nearly 63%.

Fernando X. Sanchez


3) Half of the weather related accidents in the report involved pilots attempting fly under Visual Flight Rules (VFR) into Instrument Meteorological Conditions (IMC).

egmboeingpilot


4) Over 72% of VFR into IMC accidents are fatal.

Whateverthing


5) Private pilots account for 38% of pilots, but they are involved in 49% of accidents.

_Night Flier_


6) Student pilots are statistically safer than private pilots. Students make up 15% of all pilots, but they only account for 6% of all accidents.

twinxamot


7) In the majority of VFR into IMC accidents, the pilot received a weather briefing. And, a majority of the weather briefings included "VFR not recommended" from the weather briefer.

AviatorDave


8) As pilot certification level increased, the accident rate decreased. However, high-time private pilots were involved in more accidents than low-time private pilots.

bmadson


9) Increased confidence of high-time, non-instrument rated pilots may be the single biggest contributing factor for VFR into IMC accidents.

WireLizard

If you're VFR, never fly into the clouds - the odds are stacked against you. And if you do want to fly in the clouds, now's the perfect time to start your instrument rating.

Colin Cutler

Colin is a Boldmethod co-founder, pilot and graphic artist. He's been a flight instructor at the University of North Dakota, an airline pilot on the CRJ-200, and has directed development of numerous commercial and military training systems. You can reach him at colin@boldmethod.com.

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