Special VFR allows a pilot to land or take-off (in daylight only) during weather that is considered to be IFR.
This is especially useful if the weather is crappier than forecast at a destination, you can request SVFR into the zone and land.
Several pilots did just that at Buttonville on Monday afternoon. The visibility dropped to as low a 1 mile in snow.
In the clip you will notice that the pilot calls up tower asking to enter the zone. The controller says that weather is below VFR and gives the visibility and cloud heights. CAR 602.117 spells it out for you, but in summary you can request SVFR if:
– Visibility is not less than 1 mile
– You can maintain visual reference to the ground
– You can establish two way radio communication
– You are clear of cloud
The controller will never offer SVFR clearance into the zone. You must ask for it. And that is exactly what this pilot does. The controller asks the pilot to hold, and then clears another aircraft to land (Seneca 129). The clip has been edited to take out the “blank parts”. From the time MKK calls up to when Seneca 129 actually lands is about 10 minutes.
My question (to you controllers out there) is: Can an aircraft only enter a control zone using SVFR if he is the only aircraft in the zone?
As the clip progresses you can hear the pilot make multiple attempts to land the airplane. He eventually gives up and goes for a full IFR approach.
Listen to the clip here.
(UPDATE: Check the comments for answers to my question)
(UPDATE2: I’ve found a copy of the NavCanada ATC MANOPS from 1999.)