Intro to IFR Question #11 - What's the difference between VFR, MVFR, IFR, and LIFR?

Difference between VFR, MVFR, IFR, LIFR


What is the difference between VFR, MVFR, IFR, and LIFR?  

These four categories of flight classify four separate weather conditions. Each is defined by varying ceilings and visibility. They stand for Visual Flight Rules, Marginal Flight Rules, Instrument Flight Rules, and Low Instrument Flight Rules. 

  • VFR = Ceilings greater than 3,000’ AGL and visibility greater than 5 miles
  • MVFR = Ceilings between 1,000’ and 3,000’ AGL and/or visibility between 3 to 5 miles.
  • IFR = Ceilings between 500’ and 999’ AGL and/or visibility between 1 and 3 miles.
  • LIFR = Ceilings below 500’ and/or visibility less than 1 mile. 

Sporty's Instrument Rating Course


Sporty's Instrument Rating Course




Chris caught the aviation bug at the age of seven when he was able to sit in the cockpit of a 737 between flights, thanks to his aunt working at a large airline. Countless balsa wood flyers and multi-stage rockets later, he enrolled in the Aviation Technology Program at the University of Cincinnati and successfully turned a fascination into a career. “One of my most memorable flights was flying my dad to a local airport with a restaurant just off the ramp known for their generously portioned ribs. I’ll never forget that day with passenger #1.” As the Director of Search Marketing at Sporty’s, Chris is tasked with managing online advertising and search engine optimization but he still loves to search for new products.

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