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Looking for practical advice on trip to Germany

As I wrote elsewhere I am hoping to fly to Germany in about a week and do some flying there. Germany is pretty much a first for me other than a couple of pure IFR trips.

After a lot of research, and help from this forum, have decided that my ideal option is to be based at Koblenz EDRK, and then do some side flying trips from there up and down the Rhine and Moselle valleys etc. Koblenz looks like a wonderful airport: scenic, good facilities, not expensive, close to hotels.

Looking at the issues more closely I am left with a few questions that I can’t find answers to:

  1. although I have now added the DFS charts to my Skydemon account they do not tell me which airports have customs and immigration. Where can I get this info, or do I just call the airports in question? I will be coming from the UK.
  2. If I can’t get customs and immigration at Koblenz can anyone recommend a good place to stop in Germany nearby to do this. From what I have found Hahn EDFH is now v expensive. I understand I can do it at Aachen EDKA, but that is a bit far away
  3. I see that nearly the whole area is under Class E airspace which starts at just 1000 ft AGL. Does this mean that say in the event of overcast conditions down to say 1500 or 2000 ft AGL Langen radar would vector me to the bottom of their Class E airspace, with terrain separation, to somewhere near my destination to allow me to make a cloud break before proceeding VFR to my destination?
  4. If I want to fly along the Rhine etc at just above 1,000 ft AGL, ie inside their class E, Langen Rdr are going to be fine with this provided I am in radio contact?

Danke Schon

Upper Harford, United Kingdom

Admittedly it’s a bit past Koblenz if coming from the UK, but I have used Siegerland / EDGS several times when flying between the UK and central Europe when I still lived in London. Always worked perfectly and it’s a really nice airport. Usually just called them for immigration (which is all you need) just before departure. More info here: https://www.siegerland-airport.de/en/pilot-information/

Edit to add: also used Maastricht a couple of times, but cannot remember if it was expensive or not.

Last Edited by 172driver at 17 Oct 22:36

Koblenz was fine for immigration (requested via website) from the UK at the end of 2018. Nice airport. Be aware of the hills and radio tower close by and (if you fly a faster plane) if there is a lot of german chatter and slow traffic in the pattern I suggest to wait a few minutes with the approach. It looks harmless on sat imagery but it’s quite a unique setting on a hill. In any case I recommend it!

Last Edited by Snoopy at 17 Oct 23:13
Make Aviation Great Again
Europe/Austria

although I have now added the DFS charts to my Skydemon account they do not tell me which airports have customs and immigration. Where can I get this info, or do I just call the airports in question? I will be coming from the UK

Koblenz is fine for immigration, as mentioned. Avoid Hahn.

I see that nearly the whole area is under Class E airspace which starts at just 1000 ft AGL. Does this mean that say in the event of overcast conditions down to say 1500 or 2000 ft AGL Langen radar would vector me to the bottom of their Class E airspace, with terrain separation, to somewhere near my destination to allow me to make a cloud break before proceeding VFR to my destination?

The minimum vectoring altitude in Germany is the base of controllled airspace, plus 500 feet. In such terrain, that works out to rather altitudes. They won‘t let you go below under IFR, except if you are on a published instrument procedure.

Yes, you can request an approach at Hahn to get down below the clouds.

If I want to fly along the Rhine etc at just above 1,000 ft AGL, ie inside their class E, Langen Rdr are going to be fine with this provided I am in radio contact?

IFR, you won’t do that. When VFR, you will not be talking to Radar at all (but FIS, if you wish). And they will not allow or disallow anything.

Last Edited by boscomantico at 18 Oct 03:56
Mainz (EDFZ), Germany

While class E is uncommon for a UK pilot (AFAIK), remember that you can, apart from different minimum distances to clouds than compared to G, otherwise completely disregard class E airspace when VFR. You only need to have your transponder on when above 5000ft or in a TMZ.

If you want to fly along the Rhine just above 1000 ft AGL, you can do so when VFR. As mentioned by boscomantico, you will have to drop your IFR clearance for that, and will not be on Langen Radar but Langen Information (which is optional). Flying NORDO in class E when VFR is perfectly legal (again, unless in an RMZ).

Novice pilot
EDVM Hildesheim, Germany

If you want to fly along the Rhine just above 1000 ft AGL, you can do so when VFR

Just to avoid misunderstandings, this is a hilly area. While the Rhine itself is probably about 200ft AMSL near Koblenz, there are towers and antennas reaching well above 2000ft AMSL very close by. Flying at 1200ft would mean being below them.

As bosco wrote, breaking the clouds by using an instrument approach of a nearby airport is very common in Germany and all controllers will help you with that. But again, it’s hilly between Koblenz and Hahn and there have been accidents. In really bad weather I would consider 172drivers’s idea and go to Siegerland.

Regarding your question about the DFS guide in SD: In the “Airfields” tab click My Flight Guides → DFS German VFR AIP → List of Aerodromes. In this document you have to scroll down a bit to find the info. For each AD you will find something like this for Koblenz.

EDFM (Mannheim), Germany

terbang wrote:

Just to avoid misunderstandings, this is a hilly area.

Note the elevation lines on the sat screenshot I posted above. It’s a bit like a mild aircraft carrier landing.

Make Aviation Great Again
Europe/Austria

If the weather is REALLY bad, Siegerland might be a problem, since it is located in quite high terrain (highest airport in Germany AFAIK). Thus Siegerland is often covered by low clouds/fog, when the weather is very poor. In that case I’d go to Cologne EDDK instead for cloudbraking and if the weather is good enough, hop over to Bonn-Hangelar EDKB.

Last Edited by europaxs at 18 Oct 15:26
EDLE

terbang wrote:

Regarding your question about the DFS guide in SD: In the “Airfields” tab click My Flight Guides → DFS German VFR AIP → List of Aerodromes. In this document you have to scroll down a bit to find the info. For each AD you will find something like this for Koblenz.

@terbang

Strange, in my SD, when I follow the links suggested to EDRK, all that comes up is the two charts “approach” and “aerodrome”, neither of which have this administrative detail.

Upper Harford, United Kingdom

Thank you very much to all. This has been REALLY useful, from the detail on E airspace in Germany to alternate destinations etc

Hoping to head out there next Sunday or Monday.

Will report back.

Upper Harford, United Kingdom
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