Channel Island Airspace
One of the great joys of living in the south of England is the possibility of flying to the Channel islands – a truly memorable experience. Two recent publications (IN-2013/053 and AIC Y025/2013 if you want to look at the originals!) draw attention to the change in the Transition Altitude (TA) from the standard 3000ft to 5000ft. I don’t think this will have great impact on the usual VFR/SVFR arrival or departure but does have implication for Instrument rated pilots using the low level airway Q41.
Any intending flyer who doesn’t understand Special VFR (SVFR) rules should button-hole the nearest Flight Instructor. Failing that and proposing a jaunt to Jersey, Alderney or Guernsey, be sure to look at the excellent Guide to VFR Channel Island Flights on www.cicz.co.uk. I wasn’t aware of the extra temporary Class D airspace in the southern section of the Class A airspace, which has implications for both PPLs and IMC rated pilots.
And who thought all that Air Law study for th e ground exams. was a waste of time!!
Incidentally, no cross Channel flights in School aircraft will be permitted without the carriage of a life raft and life jackets (to be worn). I’d strongly recommend an initial flight with an FI.
Flights to France
I hope to add a cautionary tale of what happens if you fall foul of French police. But to satisfy UK legislation you will need to fill in a GAR (General Aviation Report). Several sites are available to do this electronically (which then permits sending it by email). AOPA have just produced a nice one on their website so give it a go.
If you feel concerned about the paper work (and you should be!) view this www.aopa.co.uk and search “Flying Abroad” and click to top link.
In summary they are shown on the following matrix:
Farnborough frequency monitoring code.
In principle, especially if you’re not very confident on the radio, I’d recommend asking for a Basic Service from the very helpful Farnborough west controllers (125.25). But there are occasions, especially summer weekends when the service is so busy it’s difficult to get a word in edgeways!
In this circumstance listen out on 125.25 and set the transponder on 4572 if you are within 8 NM of Farnborough. Similarly use 0011 when within 7nm of Solent airspace. But don’t be intimidated – they are all thoroughly nice people who want to help you. And quite a few of them are pilots with one or two having reached the elevated rank of Flight Instructor!
Keep these numbers on your knee pad!!
Geoff Prout, CFI