VFR on top

VFR on top

[‚vē‚ef′är ȯn ′täp]
(aerospace engineering)
A flight condition wherein an aircraft is operated under modified visual flight rules while in flight above a layer of clouds or an obscuring phenomenon sufficient to constitute a ceiling.
References in periodicals archive ?
Compared with flying in actual instrument meteorological conditions (IMC), VFR on top can be much easier and safer.
We spiraled up through a hole in the clouds to establish ourselves VFR on top in the vicinity of Pauma Valley, about 20 miles to the east of MCAS Camp Pendleton.
Many IFR pilots might look at a severe-clear day and consider obtaining a VFR on top clearance.
While a VFR on top clearance can be useful on many days--when there's a cloud deck with good VFR below it and above it, for instance--today's CAVU isn't necessarily one of them.
VFR on Top is just another altitude assignment while on an IFR flight plan.
I've usually been denied VFR on Top while trying to escape what I thought were onerous restrictions in busy airspace.
My guess is that in these areas, particularly working traffic like me that cruise in the flight levels, the controllers have a fixed way of doing it and VFR on Top just doesn't fit into the mold.
In this case, the type of IFR clearance you might want to consider is the climb "to VFR on top.
Of course, unless you're in Class B, you can't report reaching VFR on top until you're 1000 feet above the cloud layer comprising the ceiling.