30th Aug 2004, 20:38
Planning to use Jep VFR+GPS charts for flight from southern UK to Nth Germany via France, Belgium, Netherlands.
Seems Class C is very popular: Anybody suggest where to find our more about their airspace rules (eg 2-way contact with ATC good enough or explicit permission needed, viz and cloud requirements, any other gotchas for a UK pilot?)
30th Aug 2004, 20:58
give us a clue as to your route and final destination and the info will probaly start flooding your way
31st Aug 2004, 05:55
a few infos from N. Germany.
Most of the Airspace is Class E, however vis 8km+ required.
Airspace G below 2500ft, 1700ft and 1000ft GND, depending on the area. Unless transiting through Airspaces C and D (around EDDW and EDDH) no radio contact required - however suggest to contact RAFIS 119.82 south of N53° or 125.10 MHz north of N53°.
Above Alt 5000ft XPDR A/C 0022 required, below Alt 5000ft XPDR A/C 0021 strongly recommended unless instructed otherwise.
As Radar stated, give us more details and info will be on its way.
31st Aug 2004, 05:58
The best source is probably the AIPs of the countries concerned, e.g. from the EAD. PM me if you need help obtaining.
To answer the specific points that you pose:
Class C should be treated like you would class D in the UK, the only difference being that ATC will separate you (formally) from IFR flights. You need a clearance, not just 2-way. This is standard ICAO class C. The US version is non-standard.
ICAO vis and cloud for C/D/E are 5 km and 1500 m H or 1000 ft V. Note that there is no "clear of clouds in sight of surface" exemption for < 140KIAS. Germany waives the distance from clouds requirement in class D control zones, but not in class E. In Germany and the Netherlands, class E requires 8 km not 5 km, though I've yet to find someone who could honestly tell the difference for in-flight vis.
Note that Germany is class E (not G) by default from 2500 agl up, and most of the eastern Netherlands is also class E from 1500 ft up. Neither require a clearance from ATC, but they do have the higher vis and cloud sep requirements than class G.
Finally you ask about other gotchas. One that springs to mind is that VFR arrivals make initial contact with the tower for zone entry or transit, not approach as in the UK.
If you are in Cambridge and would like to talk about it more, I'd be happy to spend some time spilling beer on your charts...
1st Sep 2004, 20:09
Many thanks to all for their helpful advice/offers.
After routing via DVR, my destination is EDDG Munster/Osnabruck in case that triggers any other comments on the best routing.
Any suggestions for a stop half way? (Ostend?)
...and what about circuit joining procedures in Belgium, Neth, Ger?
I have heard that the Dutch do a variant of that US 45-to-the-downwind caper. Call me narrow-minded, but I never did understand the merits of that compared to UK joining options.
2nd Sep 2004, 06:27
Muenster's a good airport which I know well. The landing fees are reasonable, though expect a bill from the DFS for nav charges (about EUR14) some time after your trip.
The Germans make it difficult to get hold of VFR arrival and departure procedures, as they don't put that part of their AIP on the EAD.
may help a little, or you may want to get AIS Heathrow to fax you the relevant plates. Or there's Bottlang.
For routing, up the coast (careful of the TRA close to Calais!) into the Netherlands and then a direct track to EDDG. You can talk to Dutch Mil the whole way across the Netherlands, and request crossing clearances for the various military CTRs from them.
Ostend or Antwerp for a stop. http://www.zeeland-airport.nl/ also seems popular if it's suitable for your aircraft and within range.
At controlled airports your join will be directed by ATC, usually asking you to join downwind. Otherwise something like the US 45-to-downwind join will suffice (BTW "You're narrow minded" ;)).