IFR clearance VFR-on-top

An IFR (instrument flight rules) flight plan operating in VFR (visual flight rules) weather conditions may request VFR-on-top in lieu of an assigned altitude. This clearance permits the pilot to select an altitude or flight level of his or her choice but subject to any ATC restrictions. A clearance for VFR-on-top does not imply cancellation of an IFR flight. It also does not restrict pilots to operating only above an obscuring meteorological formation. Instead, it permits operation above, below, or between layers or in areas where there is no meteorological obscuration.

Aviation dictionary. 2014.

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