When can you descend below minimums on an IAP?

In order to descend below minimums:

  1. You must be able to make a descent to landing using normal maneuvers and a normal descent rate
  2. Flight visibility must meet or exceeded minimums
  3. You must distinctly identify one of the runway visual references

There are two groups of runway visual references

  1. These include approach lighting systems such as MALSR and ALSF-2. These let you descnd to 100’ above the TDZE.

  2. If you can see the red terminating bars of approach lighting and other parts of runway environment such as the threshold, REIL, VASI/PAPI, runway markings/lights, touchdown zone markings/lights, then you can continue to land.

Note: The visual reference restriction may not apply to CAT II or III approaches.


[1] FAR 91.175(c) https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/14/91.175

[2] https://www.boldmethod.com/learn-to-fly/navigation/when-can-you-go-below-mins-instrument-approach/


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