What Does Ceiling Mean in Aviation?

The ceiling is the height measured from the ground to the base of the clouds that are lowest in the sky. For the ceiling to be accurately measured, the clouds in question must cover more than half of the sky. If the clouds are located very high in the sky, or if there are few clouds, the ceiling can be described as unlimited because the clouds would not impede the pilot’s visibility. In describing cloud cover, the terms broken ceiling, overcast, or obscured ceiling are usually used, with a minus sign to indicate that the cloud cover is thinner.

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