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Mountain flying and minimum distance to surface...

For VFR you need to be at least 500ft above the ground. There’s also a rule that you need to keep at least 600 meters horizontal separation with objects.
How does that work for mountain flying, where pilots fly close to mountains?

in short, it doesn’t.

Where does this 600 m come from? Anyway, I’m with Shorrick.

For VFR you need to be at least 500ft above the ground. There’s also a rule that you need to keep at least 600 meters horizontal separation with objects.

Not generally true.

The US and the UK have no strict minimum altitudes for VFR.

In the Alps, the 500 feet minimum is widely disregarded. But as long as you don’t hit anything and don’t repeatedly fly over someone, nothing will happen.

The only thing to watch out for is natural park areas, which are very common in France, Austria and Italy. These often require much higher altitudes, sometimes up to 1000 metres AGL. Forest rangers might spot you with their binoculars and cause you trouble.

Last Edited by boscomantico at 11 Jun 08:46
Frankfurt (EDFZ, EDFE), Germany

LeSving wrote:

Where does this 600 m come from?

I guess a confusion with the minimum altitude rule for congested areas (1000 ft above the highest obstacle within 600 m).

The lateral distance outside congested areas should be 150 m (500 ft above the highest obstacle within 150 m).

ESKC (Uppsala/Sundbro), Sweden

boscomantico wrote:

The US and the UK have no strict minimum altitudes for VFR.

In the UK they must have due to SERA.

ESKC (Uppsala/Sundbro), Sweden

Obviously wind may want you to consider a completely different safety (altitude and distance) margin around mountains…

LSGL (currently) KMMU ESMS ESSB

In the UK they must have due to SERA.

Negative. They filed a deviation on that.

Last Edited by boscomantico at 11 Jun 09:39
Frankfurt (EDFZ, EDFE), Germany

In the UK they must have due to SERA.

Unfortunately SERA is far too restrictive but fortunately the UK has been able to deviate from it. If SERA were implemented as it stands, the UK would lose about 3/4 of its VFR flying days.

Andreas IOM

Exemption from SERA’s blanket 500 ft rule:
http://www.caa.co.uk/default.aspx?catid=2884&pagetype=90&pageid=16723

Minimum Heights By Day
Although SERA changes the minimum height to a blanket 500 ft above the surface, the CAA has used the flexibility provided in SERA to allow aircraft in the UK to fly below 500 ft provided they are 500 ft away from persons, vessels, vehicles and structures – in other words no change from the UK’s former ‘500ft Rule’ that people flying in the UK are used to applying. The CAA has also granted generic permissions to allow for all the long-standing exceptions to the old rule 5 that were contained in rule 6 – i.e. gliders hill-soaring, aircraft picking-up and dropping articles at aerodromes, practising forced landings and flying displays/air races/contests, to continue unaffected. Otherwise 1000 ft is the minimum height over cities, towns or settlements or over an open-air assembly of persons above the highest obstacle within a radius of 600 m from the aircraft.

Last Edited by alioth at 11 Jun 10:14
Andreas IOM
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