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Old 5th Jan 2016, 13:28
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Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Dublin
Posts: 2,547
How cloudy it is, is irrelevant so long as you mee the VFR conditions for distance from cloud for the appropriate altitude, airspace class and speed that you are flying.

You can fly over a solid overcast under VFR in UK (and everywhere else in the EU that I know of) if you wish, so long as you maintain the proper cloud seperation. Always could.

Old UK CAA/JAA licences had a restriction that you must remain in sight of the surface. So there was a restrictio on UK licence holders, but not the airspace. So eg a British licence hold might not have been able to fly over an overcast, but a foreign licence holder could fly over an overcast in the UK.

But EASA replacement licences has no such restriction, so that difference is no longer there for EASA licence holders. I've no idea if there is such a restriction on NPPLs or microlight licence holders.

Having said that, I'd suggest that it's not such a good idea unless you either have at fool proof way of getting back down safely (this probably means being able to see a least one area of the sky that is clear at all times), or you are capable of switching to IFR if needed.

I've often used it where I flew, on track, over an overcast, over land near the coast, where I could see that out to see there was no cloud coverage at all. If I really needed to (and I have on occasion) I've turned out to sea and desended in clear skies, before continuing on route.
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