You can count any of your previous instrument time toward your VFR Over the Top rating. Upon earning a commercial pilot licence you are automatically given this rating as you need 20 hours of dual instrument time for your CPL.
What can you do with a VFR OTT rating?
With this rating you are allow to fly above BKN or OVC cloud provided you can get above it in VMC. However, there are other rules:
- You must be 1000 feet vertically from cloud.
- Only allowed during day VFR and only during the cruise portion of your flight.
- If cloud layers exist, there must be 5000 feet between them.
- You must have 5NM visibility.
When planning your flight and utilizing your VFR OTT rating you must consider the forecast conditions. You can use a TAF or the GFA.
The rules for each forecast are the same, however, when using the GFA legal conditions must be forecast to exist for 3 hours after your planned ETA whereas legal conditions must only be forecast to exist 2 hours after your planned ETA when using the aerodrome TAF.
Filing VFR OTT Conditions
- cloud must be SCT or better at destination.
- ground visibility must be 5 SM or better at destination.
- No forecast for rain, t-storms, fog, snow, or blowing snow at destination.