VFR Over the Top Rating

A VFR Over The Top (VFR OTT) Rating allows you to fly VFR above a layer of cloud.

The beauty of soaring above the clouds is surreal to experience, yet this rating has real practical benefits too. By allowing you to fly over bad weather – rather than through it – VFR OTT can make some flights possible on days where flying below an overcast layer could be extremely dangerous. This becomes particularly useful when bottlenecks like the Fraser Canyon or Hope-Princeton highway are clogged with cloud, but the areas beyond are enjoying clear conditions.

A VFR Over The Top rating is a great addition to a Private Pilot License and requires a total of 15 hours of instrument training time. A maximum of 5 hours of the required 15 may be instrument ground time (simulator) and most candidates with a PPL will have 5 hours of instrument time that may be credited towards the total requirement.

The course focuses on improving core instrument flying skills first, using the simulator to build upon previous instrument experience to become safer and more efficient at instrument flying. In the air, a thorough review of instrument maneuvers is done before focusing on the use of NavAids for navigation purposes.

The reduction in outside visual references at night provides more realistic conditions for instrument practice, hence students are encouraged to fly at night for this type of training.

Transport Canada Minimum Requirements

  • 15 hours instrument time, of which 5 hours may be instrument ground time
  • Reach the level of knowledge and skill specified in the Flight Instructor Guide – VFR Over The Top