Visual Flight Rules, commonly called VFR, are a set of rules that apply to planes flying by visual reference. This is in opposition to IFR (Instrument Flight Rules), flown without visual references.
This set of rules allows a pilot to fly in most airspace without a flight plan, clearance, or ATC communication.
VFR flying requires constant vigilance for other traffic and reliance on oneself for navigation.
When you are flying VFR you must be in VMC.
Of course, while flying VFR you may choose to use air traffic control services to:
- Get help in an emergency
- Get directions
- Get traffic advisories
- Get clearance through airspace or to land