FLIGHT TRAINING PUBLICATION (FLIP) STUDENT GUIDE
Prevailing Visibility (PV) - This is the distance at which known objects can be seen by an
observer, usually from the Tower, over an average of one-half the horizon, and it is reported in
statute miles. PV is always used for circling approaches, and is used for straight-in approaches
in the absence of a Runway Visual Range value (Figure 7-7).
Figure 7-7 RVR for Straight in Approach
Runway Visual Range - This is an instrumentally derived value that represents the horizontal
distance a pilot will see down the runway from the approach end. It is electronically measured in
hundreds of feet and automatically transmitted to the Tower. If available, RVR will be used for
all straight-in approaches (Figure 7-7).
Ceiling - A ceiling is the height above the earth's surface of the lowest layer of clouds or
obscuring phenomena reported as "broken," "overcast," or "obscured" and not classified as "thin"
or "partial". Therefore, by definition, only one ceiling can exist at a time. The required ceiling
for an approach is determined by rounding the HAT or HAA up to the next whole hundred feet.
Ceilings, Prevailing Visibility and/or Runway Visual Range constitute weather minima. These
are used for flight planning purposes and are the requirements for commencing approaches. If
RVR is available, it takes precedence over PV as a requirement for commencing an approach
since it represents visibility down the runway. Single-piloted aircraft cannot commence an
approach at a filed destination or alternate airport unless the ceiling and RVR/PV is at or above
Visual Descent Point (VDP) - A defined point on the final approach course (FAC) of a non-
precision straight-in approach procedure form which normal descent from the MDA to the
runway touchdown point may be commenced, provided the runway environment is clearly
visible to the pilot. If a VDP is established (denoted by a "V" above the Procedure Track) the
aircraft must remain at MDA until reaching the VDP, if the field is not yet in sight, the pilot will
remain at MDA until acquiring the runway or reaching the MAP. The VDP is not applicable to a
precision approach since you are always descending on glideslope, or to a circling approach,
since you must stay at circling MDA until the landing environment for the runway of intended
landing is in sight and the aircraft is in a position to make a safe landing on that runway.