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Trip from Sweden (ESME) to Croatia (LDSB)

Dear forumites!

In connection to this summer’s meet-up in Dresden I have decided to fly a little further south in order to build some time, gain new experiences, and enjoy the Adriatic sea. The reason I write here is to summon your wisdom in parts where I lack it. The furthest I have flown so far is Prague, Czechia and Fyresdal, Norway. However, nothing of this magnitude. My machine for the trip will be a C172N with Mode-S, however it is lacking 8.33 kHz radio, thus I have to avoid Czechia.

I have some questions:

  • Does my itinerary look reasonable? Would you recommend any other destinations / alternates?
  • Is it possible to overfly Czechia without 8.33? I have looked at the Information and Control frequencies and they all sadly seem to be 8.33.
  • I have looked at the AIP pages of my destinations / alternates and they all seem to have 100LL and no PPR. Of the top your head, do you see any that don’t have 100LL / require PPR?
  • How do I enter Adriatic VFR routes into the ICAO FPL? I see that for Slovenia, SkyDemon enters the VFR route name, e.g. VFR1, in the FPL. However, it doesn’t do the same for the Croatian VFR routes, e.g. ADRIA1.
  • Some VFR routes cross restricted areas, TMAs, CTRs, etc. I assume I still have to ask for clearances / permissions and it is not possible to be cleared on a complete VFR route.
  • Do I need to notify Brač (LDSB) or Portorož (LJPZ) about my arrival so that they can have immigration ready, since Croatia is not part of Schengen? My understanding from their AIP pages is that I don’t have request anything special for immigration as long as the airports are open.
  • Is it worth getting Rogers plates for Austria? Their AIP has pretty good approach plates and airport diagrams. I have already purchased printed DFS charts for the complete route.

My itinerary looks as following:

  • Day 1: Eslöv (ESME) – Dresden (EDDC) (2h 45m), Alternates: EDAY (ENR), EDAB.
  • Day 2: Dresden (EDDC) – Wiener Neustadt East (LOAN) (3h 10m), Alternates: EDMS (ENR), LOWL.
    Wiener Neustadt East (LOAN) – Portorož (LJPZ) (2h 5m), Alternates: LOWG (ENR), LJMB.
  • Day 3: Portorož (LJPZ) – Brač (LDSB) (2h 5m), Alternates: LDZD (ENR), LDSP.
  • Day 4: Chillin n killin!
  • Day 5: Brač (LDSB) – Portorož (LJPZ) (2h 5m), Alternates: LDZD (ENR), LDRI, LDPL.
    Portorož (LJPZ) – Wiener Neustadt East (LOAN) (2h 5m), Alternates: LJMB (ENR), LOWG.
  • Day 6: Wiener Neustadt East (LOAN) – Leipzig Halle (EDDP) (3h 0m), Alternates: EDMS (ENR), EDDC.
  • Day 7: Leipzig Halle (EDDP) – Eslöv (ESME) (2h 5m), Alternates: EDBH (ENR), ESMS.

Trip to Croatia:

Return to Sweden:

You might have noticed the zig-zagging around Czechia / Austria. The reason is to avoid the Alps and the lack of 8.33.

PS: I would be more than happy to meet any of you guys at any of those destinations.

Last Edited by Dimme at 30 Jul 21:45
^ESM[ES]$, Sweden

Looks like a very nice trip planned! If I were you, I would fly over Bosnia – Hungary (LHSM as a suggested stop with full time border control) – Slovakia – Poland at least one way.

Dimme wrote:

Do I need to notify Brač (LDSB) or Portorož (LJPZ) about my arrival so that they can have immigration ready, since Croatia is not part of Schengen? My understanding from their AIP pages is that I don’t have request anything special for immigration as long as the airports are open.

Both airports have permanent immigration presence.

Last Edited by JnsV at 30 Jul 21:52
Hajdúszoboszló LHHO

JnsV wrote:

Looks like a very nice trip planned! If I were you, I would fly over Bosnia – Hungary (LHSM as a suggested stop with full time border control) – Slovakia – Poland at least one way.

Although I would like to go at least one way through the route you mentioned, I don’t have printed charts for the area, and I have already invested a lot of money in charts for the time being. Maybe I will take a more eastern route down to Greece next year if they sort out the Fraport situation.

Maybe I can change my return trip to be Croatia – Bosnia – Croatia – Hungary – Austria, it would be definitely shorter but closer to mountains.

Also, doesn’t Slovakia have some 8.33 issues as well? I don’t recall where but I remember reading about it somewhere.

Last Edited by Dimme at 31 Jul 09:31
^ESM[ES]$, Sweden

Dimme wrote:

Maybe I can change my return trip to be Croatia – Bosnia – Croatia – Hungary – Austria, it would be definitely shorter but closer to mountains.

Which mountains do you mean? Those is Bosnia? Anyhow, if you choose this routing, LHSM is the only airport in Western Hungary that accepts extra-Schengen arrivals. They are quite GA friendly and fees are reasonable. No extra PPR for immigration/customs.

Also, doesn’t Slovakia have some 8.33 issues as well? I don’t recall where but I remember reading about it somewhere.

You will most likely only use Bratislava Information and they are definitely on 124.300 (e.g. 25 kHz) at the moment. Actually, I’d be surprised if you could not overfly the Czech Republic without using 8.33 frequencies. They have changed over lots of airports, but Praha Information is still at its original frequencies as far as I can see.

Last Edited by JnsV at 31 Jul 10:01
Hajdúszoboszló LHHO

JnsV wrote:

Which mountains do you mean? Those is Bosnia?

Yes, those in Bosnia.

JnsV wrote:

LHSM is the only airport in Western Hungary that accepts extra-Schengen arrivals.

Thanks, I will keep that in mind.

JnsV wrote:

Actually, I’d be surprised if you could not overfly the Czech Republic without using 8.33 frequencies. They have changed over lots of airports, but Praha Information is still at its original frequencies as far as I can see.

I need to investigate that further. I will email Czech AIS and see what the response is.

Last Edited by Dimme at 31 Jul 12:26
^ESM[ES]$, Sweden

Positive feedback from Czech AIS:

Dear Mr. Xxxxx

It is possible to overfly the Czech Republic with 25 kHz radio, but you shall avoid CTR and TMA where 8.33 kHz is required. TMA Karlovy Vary, Brno and Ostrava still have published 25 kHz FREQ. For entering TMA Praha 8.33 kHz radio is required.

Best regards

Xxxxx Xxxxx
Air Navigation Services of the Czech Republic
Aeronautical Information Service
Department of Aeronautical Publications
Last Edited by Dimme at 31 Jul 13:00
^ESM[ES]$, Sweden

I wouldn’t rule out crossing the Alps. In the eastern part of Austria, they are pretty low anyway (something like 6k) and going, say from LOWG to LOWL is quite a nice flight. Saves you navigating the LOWW area around Vienna. You can always decide on the day, if the wx is nice cross, if not, go around to the east. Also, it’s always better to fly in the mornings (that also goes for the LOWW area, btw), as you often have thunderstorms developing during the afternoon.

What I always did when flying VFR from southern Germany to Croatia in my Piper Warrior was to climb to the highes practical altitude of 12.000 ft when flying towards the Alps. If the clouds were scattered or broken and if the tops were lower than 12.000 I would proceed on a direct course south. If that was not possible I’d fly towards the east or southeast until I managed to cross. But I also crossed them VFR on top in 12-13.000 feet twice over a solid undercast. Of course this is not without risk and you better have no engine failure over the highest part. I do not recommend that. But on many days when the clouds are only scattered the crossing is a piece of cake.

What I never did – but I know is possible – is to fly low and through the valleys. Obviously this is only possible once you have crossed the main ridge, but then you could fly the “Udine corridor” … which means you fly through a pretty narrow and winding valley from Villach in Austria to Udine in Italy. I would only do that with a slow airplane and obly if the ceiling was at least 1000 feet or more. There was even a chart for that route in the “Bottlang” VFR manual (today Jeppesen VFR charts). But i don’t know if they still publish that.

Last Edited by at 31 Jul 18:43

Alexis wrote:

What I never did – but I know is possible – is to fly low and throgh the valleys. Obviously this is only possible once you have crossed the main ridge,

There actually is a low-level route that crosses the entire mountain range going from LOWL via the Pyhrn pass and the Schober pass and then the Mur valley to LOWG. I have flown this once, but would absolutely NOT recommend it to anyone not very familiar with the area, as the chances of turning into the wrong valley – and then getting stuck – are simply way too high.

Let me know if you need anything on possible stop or route through Bosnia. :)

LQVI,LJMB
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