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scenic flying around London from Biggin Hill?

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scenic flying around London from Biggin Hill?

Old 24th Jul 2013, 12:28
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scenic flying around London from Biggin Hill?

Hi,

I wonder what are best / confirmed / usual scenic flight VFR routes around London, taking off from and landing at Biggin Hill? are there usual go - don't-go areas, other than what's visible on the chart? (e.g. avoid CTRs in the area, including London City). is it impossible to fly through the category D airspace around London City?


Akos
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Old 24th Jul 2013, 14:54
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Take a helicopter.

Zone entry at Banstead, H7 to Barnes with altitude dropping to below 1,000 ft. H4 along the Thames right through the city of London, with fantastic views all around. Past the Olympic site to Isle of Dogs, then vacate the zone due South, skirt around croydon and back to Biggin. 45 Minutes.

http://www.caa.co.uk/docs/7/20100316LondonHeliChart.pdf

Otherwise, close on your doorstep could route overhead Chartwell Visitor information - National Trust (slightly tight for airspace), overhead Hever Castle Hever Castle | Kent | The childhood home of Anne Boleyn and back (15-20 minutes).

Further East, Leeds castle is fantastic from the air Leeds Castle - The Loveliest Castle in the World, Kent, England.

If you go West, you can go overhead Michael Kane's place (edge of Leatherhead), Chelsea's training ground (cobham), then the disused Wisley airfield at Ockham (Wisley Airfield - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) and past the semaphore tower Explore Ockham Common, Chatley Heath and the Semaphore Tower | The Wildlife Trusts and Wisley Gardens (Wisley / RHS Gardening) then head South to Dunsfold (Topgear track) before following the vally back to Biggin. 50 minutes.

Enjoy Surrey and Kent

Last edited by John R81; 24th Jul 2013 at 14:54.
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Old 24th Jul 2013, 14:57
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thanks for the tip - but I'm flying a Diamond DA-40, helicopter not an option
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Old 25th Jul 2013, 09:44
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The Class D airspace for London City is accessible. Now that I've said that, there will follow a series of posts from various contributors giving their opinion whether you should be in there with a SEP or not.

From Biggin, the best scenery is probably along the River Thames and into Kent. You can head North to the QE2 Dartford Bridge (keep the bridge to your left to stay outside of the London City Zone) from where you'll have a good view into the City of London, then follow the Thames East. You can see the port of Tilbury, Henry's fort at Tilbury, Gravesend, the industrial sites of Canvey Island, SS Richard Mongomery (if you can pick it out - it can be done!), the Medway Towns, Southend Pier, Leeds Castle, Dover Harbour and the white cliffs, Hastings, Folkestone, Rye, a bit of the South Coast, then return to Biggin via Bewl Water and Tunbridge Wells.
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Old 25th Jul 2013, 11:41
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Flying through LCYs class D in an SEP isn't a problem, there is plenty of greenery about if needed (as well as LCY). Used to transit Luton to Biggin in a PA-28 quite a lot a few years ago.

Main question is whether their traffic will allow it. Maybe give 'em a ring on the landline and ask nicely what the chances are.
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Old 25th Jul 2013, 11:48
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SEP forbidden between N/S line through City and N/S line through Heathrow within controlled airspace by permanent Notam some years ago. It's also land clear of the built up area, not land on some patch of grass - or even an airfield - within the built up area......
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Old 25th Jul 2013, 11:59
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If SEP banned from a specific area then that's changed in last 10 years or so.

Land clear is an interesting concept as the built up area is almost continuous from Barnet to Biggin. ... my take on land clear is finding a patch of open land big enough; not outside an un-defined boundary line.

Last edited by Dave Gittins; 25th Jul 2013 at 12:00.
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Old 25th Jul 2013, 14:56
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It is absurd to suggest that one should not land at an airfield.
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Old 25th Jul 2013, 15:30
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Neither a suggestion nor my words. I do suggest that I think you'll find the CAA would deem London City definitely within the built up area, and since single engine aircraft are not allowed to land there (along with many multi-engine types), additionally that no pilot should plan to use it to comply with the land clear rule.
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Old 25th Jul 2013, 15:32
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See...

Poor bloke only wanted to know about sightseeing.
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Old 25th Jul 2013, 16:13
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jollyrog, thanks for the detailed suggestions

as for the rules on landing and EGLC - yeah I read in the AIP that single engine use prohibited, but then again it would be veeeery strange if they would prohibit use in case of an emergency

but the EGLC landing is irrelevant to my question, the main question was about sightseeing. thanks for the heads up, indeed I guess it would depend on the traffic and approach direction at EGLC.
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Old 25th Jul 2013, 16:30
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I fly from Biggin and if you need some company or a tour guide, please let me know.
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Old 25th Jul 2013, 17:32
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See...

Poor bloke only wanted to know about sightseeing.
What the original poster wanted is entirely irrelevant to discussions on PPRuNe
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Old 25th Jul 2013, 17:53
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Jollyrog has it - follow that advice
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Old 25th Jul 2013, 21:07
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I agree Jollyrog has a good plan.

Just to add, just past Dover is the BoB memorial, always a good sight from the air, then turn north to Bodiam castle, and on the way have a look at the royal military canel, and then further north over Leeds castle, although watch out for Headcorn.

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Old 25th Jul 2013, 21:22
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The best scenic routes are to the east, since to the west it is a bit restrictive between LHR and Gatwick airspace.

Kent in general is quite nice, if you stay away from Maidstone, that is... you cannot go wrong with a general bimble well south of the Motorway there.

Nice places to go to in a 1 hour flight:
  • e.g., souteasterly Bewl Water - Leeds Castle
  • e.g., east to the River Medway, follow it to the isle of Sheppey [caution, Rochester ATZ], then down to Leeds Castle again
For a longer flight, the absolute best is to go east via Canterbury [nice by day, stunning at night!] to north of Dover, descend to 600ft off the coast [not at night...] and fly along the cliffs [well below clifftop!], climb back inland over Folkestone [but make sure your climb rate is up to it] and return via Ashford [not pretty, but a very interesting looking mall...]
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Old 25th Jul 2013, 21:51
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thanks for the tips, I'm already getting to like the idea of flying around there even better
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Old 25th Jul 2013, 22:14
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one additional question: as the airspace around EGLC is class D, that is, it's a controlled airspace, how specific are you usually when it comes to telling them your planned route within this airspace?
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Old 25th Jul 2013, 23:01
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MrAverage

Unless something has changed the notam only applies to non standard flights - this would not be one.

The land clear is another matter of debate between the caa and pilot.
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Old 25th Jul 2013, 23:03
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Very specific. If you want a VFR clearance, they will want to know your entry and exit points and route inbetween.

London City is closed from 1200L Saturday until 1200L Sunday. They're not so fussy then, although you must still ask for entry.
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