Menu Sign In Contact FAQ
Banner
Welcome to our forums

Flight Plan to FL220 and Return?

The reason one would not get FL220 in the south east of the UK is not due to “airways” but due to Heathrow and Gatwick traffic.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

When I did my experiment I flew right inbound to London at FL250 and was allowed to auto-descent using the Emergency Descent Mode in the Garmin Perspective. That is the feature I wanted to try out. I was with London Radar, it was quite busy and on a Saturday night. I told them I would not be allowed to touch any button on the Perspective Avionics screen for the duration of the test (except the radio button to talk) and that I would auto descent if I would not touch anything and auto descent in steps straight inbound London City and just before turn and fly back to Rotterdam. All was fine. It really helps if you have a route or validated route as that is what they are expecting.

EDLE, Netherlands

boscomantico wrote:

Sorry, but why are you suggesting that one would be denied access to the airways for an A to A flight? The airways are there for this reason. Nowhere does it say that airways are reserved for flying from A to B…

Sure but if you want to get into upper airspace above 195 they won’t typically let you do it on a round robin flight in a slow aircraft. Bosco, I agree it is theoretically possible but in practice you won’t be allowed.

Peter wrote:

The reason one would not get FL220 in the south east of the UK is not due to “airways” but due to Heathrow and Gatwick traffic.

It is CAT joining high altitude routes, overflying traffic, and the general coordination problems it presents. You can always ask and sometimes might get it particularly if more to the North of London. I got FL320 on Oxford to Doncaster for some bleed air system checks but they were quiet and I was talking to Scottish by then. East or West of Heathrow it is highly unlikely other than in spots like TRA2 which is controlled by the military and often very quiet.

EGTK Oxford

It is true what JasonC is saying about slow(er) aircrafts often not being "allowed) in the higher airspace. Flying with a Piper Archer, they would prefer me outside controlled airspace way below FL70 if they get their way. However, with the Cirrus SR22T I never had any issue getting FL180 or higher over London or out of airports around London. Then if you fly inbound Le Touquet for example, if they don’t let you, the just wait until you are passed over to the French and ask them again. I have been flying at FL200-FL250 above France quite a lot and never had it denied. The Bonanza is not a Jet but also not the slowest aircraft flying around and maybe performance-wise could be compared to the SR22T? If you would file GWT IFR Y8 WAFFU M189 LYD into LFAT with as alternate your departure aerodrome, you could file this at FL220 and maybe it works. :-) Or you file for a test slot at some designated area.

EDLE, Netherlands

boscomantico wrote:

That is all OTT. After all, what you want to do is check out the altitude performance of the engine and little more. So even while we might call it a “test flight”, from an ATC perspective it is just another flight from A to A. No need to pre-notify such a flight, etc.

At least in France, controllers seem to view it differently. I once witnessed an exchange between a biz jet pilot and a controller northwest of Paris, where the pilot wanted a climb to test the pressurization after some maintenance. The controller told him off in no uncertain terms, stating that this was a test flight which would have had to be requested one day in advance according to the designated procedure. He then had to return without having tested the pressurization.

I think calling the respective controllers in advance to discuss this is a good idea to avoid situations like these.

The easiest way is to ring the London Mil supervisor for whichever section of uncontrolled airspace is nearest to you and explain what you need to achieve. Filing a flight plan is difficult.

I do this a lot in order to teach the emergency descent from FL280. As JasonC mentions Boscombe is the nearest space to EGTF.

Jonathan
EGMD

Rwy20 wrote:

I once witnessed an exchange between a biz jet pilot and a controller northwest of Paris, where the pilot wanted a climb to test the pressurization after some maintenance. The controller told him off in no uncertain terms, stating that this was a test flight which would have had to be requested one day in advance according to the designated procedure.

I recall a case where an airliner was tested after an inspection before being returned to the owner (was on lease) and when they told the French controller they are on a test flight he denied their request (I think it was a 360) and send them packing (he wasn’t notified). How I know about it? They decided to do the tests they could and crashed.

Thanks to all of you for your help, and especially JasonC for pointing me in the direction of TRA2.

I flew the A36 with its turbo-normalised upgrade yesterday in TRA2 talking to Boscombe, having completed the form as described by JasonC and calling the supervisor. Boscombe made it all very easy, we flew racetracks up and down the TRA achieving FL215 before knocking it off. My back-up plan was IFR from EGTF to EGNT.

FWIW, setting 16 USG/hr lean of peak (83%) gave me:
5,000 ft: 168 KTAS
10,000 ft: 178 KTAS
15,000 ft: 188 KTAS
20,000 ft: 200 KTAS

So FL180/16 gph/190 KTAS looks reasonable for planning purposes.

Last Edited by chrisparker at 19 Apr 14:07
Spending too long online
EGTF Fairoaks, EGLL Heathrow, United Kingdom

Interesting how close these numbers are to the SR22TN (same engine basically).

The SR22T is a tad thirstier AFAIK (lower compression ratio).

Mainz (EDFZ), Germany

Your SR22 is probably 310 hp, my IO-520 is 285 hp but I’m guessing I’m running at a higher power setting.

Spending too long online
EGTF Fairoaks, EGLL Heathrow, United Kingdom
Sign in to add your message

Back to Top