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Gatwick crossing - helicopter VFR

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Gatwick crossing - helicopter VFR

Old 13th Aug 2018, 15:36
  #1 (permalink)  
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Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: UK
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Gatwick crossing - helicopter VFR

I'd appreciate your wisdom and advice. Would this be the correct radio call when requesting to cross Gatwick Aiport in a helicopter VFR? How can this be improved?
(Assuming I take off from a private field in Class G Airspace 20nm south of Gatwick and intend to land at Biggin Hill. Tuned into LARS Farnborough)
Using ADDPAR:
Frequency: 126.825
Helicopter: Gatwick Radar. Helicopter G-ABCD. Request zone transit
Gatwick ATC: Helicopter G-ABCD. Pass Your Message
Helicopter: Helicopter G-ABCD. Type Cabri G2. Departure private site Henfield. Destination Biggin Hill. Position 10 nm South of Gatwick. Squak 7000. 1,500 feet. Request basic service and zone transit to Biggin Hill.
Gatwick ATC: Helicopter G-ABCD Basic service and zone transit approved not above 1,000 feet.
Helicopter: Helicopter G-ABCD not above 1,000 feet.
[Note - also posted in ATC issues in forum]
pilot_tolip is offline  
Old 13th Aug 2018, 16:37
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Join Date: Jul 2002
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Before you do anything else on the day, notify your potential transit here:

https://aup.nats.aero/

Bravo73 is offline  
Old 13th Aug 2018, 19:01
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Join Date: Dec 2017
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Last line should be (imho):
Helicopter: "basic service, zone transit approved, not above 1000ft G-ABCD".
Gatwick most likely will give you a sqk so you also read back the sqk in the last line.
FL020 is offline  
Old 13th Aug 2018, 21:37
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Join Date: Oct 2007
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As Bravo73 says register the flight on the NATS site. Doesn't guarantee they'll speak to you, but it helps.

If you can hear they're stacking inbound aircraft and you get told to standby then start routing round as you're just a burden.

You'll be given entry to a hold (probably southern maintenance hangar) from the south. You'll be under radar control and put on to Gatwick Tower once in sight of the field so have the frequency ready. You'll be given traffic to identify and then a cross at the threshold of the runway in use after that traffic.

I believe the standard exit is via Buckland VRP so ensure they know if you're about to do anything else. And don't infringe Redhill. Simples.
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Old 14th Aug 2018, 00:56
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Below the Glidepath - not correcting
 
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This is a useful reference site: IVAO United Kingdom - Gatwick (EGKK)

Helicopter Operations

For helicopters wishing to transit the field, 2 VRP's have been established for this purpose. They are the Airport North Terminal and the British Airways Maintenance Area. Helicopters should be given a Gatwick squawk, given a VFR clearance to the appropriate VRP and asked to report Gatwick in sight. Once the helicopter reports the field in sight, they should be passed to AIR for crossing. They will then be told to hold at the next VRP and contact INT for further. Helicopters wishing to land at Gatwick should be treated as crossers and will land on the main runway (There is no dedicated helicopter landing area). Departing helicopters will be treated as fixed wing departures.
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Old 14th Aug 2018, 09:55
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I guess @firebird_uk and @Bravo73 must have come from a fixed-wing or IFR world. As a Heli pilot I definitely would NOT recommend filling in any online transit request form. I need both hands on the controls and I need to fly according to live weather conditions. Gatwick are one of the friendliest class D controllers and actually have a genuine reason to be class D. @Two's_in has the correct advice imo and having done it myself, is not a problem.
love flying is offline  
Old 14th Aug 2018, 10:14
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Originally Posted by love flying View Post
I guess @firebird_uk and @Bravo73 must have come from a fixed-wing or IFR world. As a Heli pilot I definitely would NOT recommend filling in any online transit request form. I need both hands on the controls and I need to fly according to live weather conditions. Gatwick are one of the friendliest class D controllers and actually have a genuine reason to be class D. @Two's_in has the correct advice imo and having done it myself, is not a problem.
I couldn't disagree with you more. You file the notification before you set off: when you talk to the controllers, they are aware of your details and it makes obtaining the clearance much more likely and smoother. They certainly never question timing or other details, it's just a pre-notification. Note it's only a trial and only for the London area and it's not mandatory.

I've used it for both Stansted and Luton, there is NOTHING not to like.
206 jock is offline  
Old 14th Aug 2018, 10:18
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Join Date: Jul 2002
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You guess wrong, ‘love flying’. My background is entirely rotary and often involves flying into and out of busy airspace in the SE of the UK.

The current advice from NATS is to definitely notify any planned Class D transits. You won’t necessarily be refused a transit if you haven’t filed a notification but if you have, it increases the likelihood of you being accepted considerably.

Any operators, or flight schools, in the SE of the UK should be briefing their pilots accordingly.
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Old 14th Aug 2018, 11:21
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Thanks for all of the replies. Very useful
pilot_tolip is offline  
Old 14th Aug 2018, 16:16
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This is a useful reference site: IVAO United Kingdom - Gatwick (EGKK)
Be careful using IVAO as a reference for real world flying, it is a flight simulator enthusiasts site.
There is quite a lot of relevant and correct information on it (or so it seems), but it's not meant for real world usage.

I guess @firebird_uk and @Bravo73 must have come from a fixed-wing or IFR world. As a Heli pilot I definitely would NOT recommend filling in any online transit request form.
I don't think are suggesting using it whilst flying, but at the pre-flight planning stage, on the ground, makes the controllers life a bit easier as they know you are coming.
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Old 15th Aug 2018, 06:54
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Don't go to Buckland, you want either to speak to Redhill for an overhead transit for Godstone VRP or go around them to Godstone Railway Station VRP. Gatwick are very helpful......and also very busy, just getting your call in can be fraught, give yourself plenty of time, don't make it at the zone boundary.
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Old 16th Aug 2018, 19:55
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Join Date: Mar 2004
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Both Gatwick and Heathrow are very helpful just make sure you listen to what they say and stick too it, if you have not crossed before suggest you take someone who has to give you advice and guidance, it's better to know what your doing it takes the pressure off you!
timprice is offline  
Old 19th Aug 2018, 09:23
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Thank you for this advice everyone.
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