I would like to suggest a forum fly-in for lunch at Calais.
Tentatively I was thinking of Sunday March 24th. Plan would be simple. Fly there. Have lunch, meet each other, fly back.
-) what's the status of the LFAC restaurant now? will lunch be available? there's been some turbulence there, over the last couple of years
-) what's the alternate? IF LFAC is closed, LFAT is little likely to be any better. Perhaps LFQN Saint Omer, much more inland? But that's a purely VFR destination with no kind of landing aid or IFR approach.
-) the date has been marked, anyway!
Restaurant is great. I think people make their own decision based on weather and whether IFR/VFR. If it doesn't work we just don't go. And if the weather is truly terrible, we will cancel in advance.
OK, but this is just lunch. Looks like the other one is too. OK not trying to upset anyone. What is the date of the EuroGA one?
Sounds like a good plan
Flying machine now booked plus 2 fellow group members
Mmmm, potentially... Was just looking at a possible route from EDTY, VFR... but getting annoyed with Belgian airspace, it seems full of red bits on the map and many without easy to understand operating times...
Does anyone have any advice/experience they are willing to share about crossing Belgium on a routing from Germany overhead Luxembourg and possibly crossing the German/Belgian FIR north of Luxembourg...
Specifically what I am after is any advice for deciphering the Belgian airspace restrictions and working out if I can VFR it more-or-less straight through somehow, and then I will be able to work out if I am in or out of this one.
The vast majority of restrictions are associated with military flying, and generally not activated in the weekend.
But can't you fly in controlled airspace, which starts at 4500'? Makes it a lot easier, and though I have no personal experience, I heard nothing but good about the controllers.
Even if you do have to stay out of controlled airspace (perhaps, like myself, flying a microlight?) Brussels Information will be available and helpful. They may be very busy, though, on those first good flying weekends.
Do be careful about glider activity around Saint Hubert, there's some class G up to great altitudes for glider's convenience.
Flying in a straight line from EDTY to LFAC, below 4500', you would cross the controlled airspace of both civilian EBCI Charleroi (a busy Ryanair base) and military EBFS Florennes, where F16's are sometimes on standby for scrambling. Not impossible, but you'd have some work on the radio.
If you really wish to avoid controlled airspace, I'd recommend flying mostly over France.
Alternatively, you could cross the D/BE border near EDKV, make for Verviers EBTX airfield, then the narrow corridor between Liege and Maastricht CTR's, but it requires careful altitude control. After, one could steer north of Antwerp, avoiding all controlled airspace. But it's quite a detour and I can't see the need.
Hi Jan, Thanks for the info. I have no issues about crossing controlled airspace. I need to stay clear of Class A, and can't fly IFR outside of UK... so it does limit me. I've been playing around this morning with Sky Demon and it keeps throwing up airspace alerts and it's frustrating to clear them all down; I might be being very stupid, but it does not seem straight forward which areas/zones are flyable/closed. But to be very fair this is airspace that I have never really looked at until this morning; so I am still very much learning as I go.
I have no experience with Belgian controllers, but your comment about them being good does make me feel better about relying on clearances (my MO is to plan for 100% OCAS and then ask for shortcuts etc en-route).
I'll have another look based on your recommendations.
Oh and P.S. I'm not scared of F-16's - I'll rig my PA28 to out gun them - hahaha! :D