Both rallyes, this one and the Rallye Toulouse Saint Louis, are flown VFR. (We participated in the Rallye Toulouse Saint Louis last year).
(edited after looking at the sectional) Based on the flight radar screenshot above, they were in class G. They were probably planning to fly low below the G, right on the edge of the Alicante class D. We flew exactly that route last year although I can’t recall if Alicante explicitly rejected the D transit or not (we were asked many times during the trip to stay outside of controlled airspace but I’m not sure if it was the case for Alicante).
There is no way to go on that shortcut without getting into Class A that starts from the surface some points,
Huh ?? I’ve flown several times in that area, and there isn’t any CAS around. If there’s a low ceiling you can easily scud run along the coast. The wx also seemed perfectly CAVOK, see here
I was referring to direct Castellon-Muchamiel will get you into Valencia TMA class A at some point, MSA along that route is in 6000ft but you can always follow the coast…I am not sure about those specific airports metars but I think cloudbase was 5000-6000ft with serious localized storms around (CAVOK is only 6000ft ceiling)
RIP vers sad to read that.
We also participated to Rallye Toulouse Saint Louis RTSL last year. The weather wasn’t good either, we flew the corresponding leg LELL-LEAX at 9000 ft over the land in the sun instead of coast line under the clouds as filed (FPL were filed by the organisation for all planes). It’s quite a challenge to fly 30 small planes from point A to B, VFR, to reach the next point (and booked hotels). It can put a lot of get-thereitis pressure on organisers and crews.
The pictures on the above link show the airplane completely disintegrated, exploded. According to FR24 they were at 600 ft and 180 kt GS. It’s really hard to believe they would taken this shortcut at that altitude. Something must have gone wrong (medical issue ?)
Very sad. Dont know exact time and location, so I chose 14 UTC. Bad weather between Valencia and Alicante.
The link in the first post gives the crash time as 15:47L, so 14:47Z. Your sat image shows the area around the cape Cap de la Nau perfectly clear with clouds only over the land. So – why would you fly through the wx at 180kts if you can fly along the (actually quite pretty) coastline ?? Beats me.
Photos show CAPS deployed
Weather was really bad in that mountainous area, according to pilots that were flying nearby that day. Very low ceilings and tops of the mountains inside clouds. It seems strange to everybody that they decided to take that route instead of just following the coastline.
Photos show CAPS deployed
The photos also show a level of destruction that make it likely the CAPS went off on crash, or was deployed so late as to not make any difference to the sad outcome.
That particular week was a completely mess around here in the SE, just happened to be in Red Alert for 2 days straight, even the schools were closed and up to this day we still encounter some flooding South of where I live.
Sunday was Yellow calling for strong winds and thunderstorms. I know the area well (I did my training here) and the ceiling was pretty close that morning that didn’t open until late in the evening, it was like a dense fog plus the mountains at some points are quite high and happened to be very close near the coast line.
I’m so sorry for them, RIP.