(a) Instrument approaches to civil airports.
Unless otherwise authorized by the Administrator, when an instrument
letdown to a civil airport is necessary, each person operating an
aircraft, except a military aircraft of the United States, shall use a
standard instrument approach procedure prescribed for the airport in part
97 of this chapter.
(b) Authorized DH or MDA. For the purpose of this section, when
the approach procedure being used provides for and requires the use of a
DH or MDA, the authorized DH or MDA is the highest of the following:
(1) The DH or MDA prescribed by the approach procedure.
(2) The DH or MDA prescribed for the pilot in command.
(3) The DH or MDA for which the aircraft is equipped.
(c) Operation below DH or MDA. Where a DH or MDA is applicable,
no pilot may operate an aircraft, except a military aircraft of the United
States, at any airport below the authorized MDA or continue an approach
below the authorized DH unless --
(1) The aircraft is continuously in a position from which a descent to
a landing on the intended runway can be made at a normal rate of descent
using normal maneuvers, and for operations conducted under part 121 or
part 135 unless that descent rate will allow touchdown to occur within the
touchdown zone of the runway of intended landing;
(2) The flight visibility is not less than the visibility prescribed in
the standard instrument approach being used; and
(3) Except for a Category II or Category III approach where any
necessary visual reference requirements are specified by the
Administrator, at least one of the following visual references for the
intended runway is distinctly visible and identifiable to the pilot:
(i) The approach light system, except that the pilot may not descend
below 100 feet above the touchdown zone elevation using the approach
lights as a reference unless the red terminating bars or the red side row
bars are also distinctly visible and identifiable.
(ii) The threshold.
(iii) The threshold markings.
(iv) The threshold lights.
(v) The runway end identifier lights.
(vi) The visual approach slope indicator.
(vii) The touchdown zone or touchdown zone markings.
(viii) The touchdown zone lights.
(ix) The runway or runway markings.
(x) The runway lights.
(d) Landing. No pilot operating an aircraft, except a military
aircraft of the United States, may land that aircraft when the flight
visibility is less than the visibility prescribed in the standard
instrument approach procedure being used.
(e) Missed approach procedures. Each pilot operating an
aircraft, except a military aircraft of the United States, shall
immediately execute an appropriate missed approach procedure when either
of the following conditions exist:
(1) Whenever the requirements of paragraph (c) of this section are not
met at either of the following times:
(i) When the aircraft is being operated below MDA; or
(ii) Upon arrival at the missed approach point, including a DH where a
DH is specified and its use is required, and at any time after that until
(2) Whenever an identifiable part of the airport is not distinctly
visible to the pilot during a circling maneuver at or above MDA, unless
the inability to see an identifiable part of the airport results only from
a normal bank of the aircraft during the circling approach.
(f) Civil airport takeoff minimums. Unless otherwise authorized
by the Administrator, no pilot operating an aircraft under parts 121, 125,
129, or 135 of this chapter may take off from a civil airport under IFR
unless weather conditions are at or above the weather minimum for IFR
takeoff prescribed for that airport under part 97 of this chapter. If
takeoff minimums are not prescribed under part 97 of this chapter for a
particular airport, the following minimums apply to takeoffs under IFR for
aircraft operating under those parts:
(1) For aircraft, other than helicopters, having two engines or less --
1 statute mile visibility.
(2) For aircraft having more than two engines --
1/2 statute mile visibility.
(3) For helicopters --
1/2 statute mile visibility.
(g) Military airports. Unless otherwise prescribed by the
Administrator, each person operating a civil aircraft under IFR into or
out of a military airport shall comply with the instrument approach
procedures and the takeoff and landing minimum prescribed by the military
authority having jurisdiction of that airport.
(h) Comparable values of RVR and ground visibility. (1) Except
for Category II or Category III minimums, if RVR minimums for takeoff or
landing are prescribed in an instrument approach procedure, but RVR is not
reported for the runway of intended operation, the RVR minimum shall be
converted to ground visibility in accordance with the table in paragraph
(h)(2) of this section and shall be the visibility minimum for takeoff or
landing on that runway.