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When flying back from the UK to The Netherlands, be sure to do that via controlled airspace... A few weeks ago I flew from Leeds EGNM to NL via some DCT's over the North Sea. I was entering UK Class G airspace and was informed to contact London Information, descent to FL135 and SQK VFR :-) When approaching the Amsterdam Area, it got tricky as my IFR flight was no longer in the system. Amsterdam had to accept me. In my case it went fine, got a new SQK code and could proceed. But they could deny me, meaning a descent to below 1500ft and continue VFR...

A few weeks ago I flew from Leeds EGNM to NL via some DCT's over the North Sea. I was entering UK Class G airspace and was informed to contact London Information, descent to FL135 and SQK VFR

My response would be "negative, I'm on an IFR flight plan". How would they react? Dropping somebody from IFR is outrageous.

And don't forget to file a GAR before you arrive. I use iGAR6 ( search for UK Border Force GAR in iTunes)

EGBE - Coventry, United Kingdom

How solid is that online GAR site?

The PC client uses the Silverlight browser plug-in, IIRC.

I am letting others debug it; currently I just print it to a PDF and email it to the [email protected] address.

Last I heard, one could not save passenger details in it, which is why I continue to use the Word doc, and just pull out a previous one, change it, Save As, etc.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

How solid is that online GAR site?

It's OK, and I have only used it ad-hoc, rather than attempting to register and store my details, but personally I feel it would benefit from maturity and some feedback which would influence some improvements. Right now, its easier and quicker to re-use an old form and send it via email. The web version (cant remember what plug-in it needed, if any) is easier to use than the iPhone app, which uses a lot of those scroll wheel thingies and is slower than typing into a field.

Thanks all for the great tips on how to "fly" in the UK.

We had a great trip where we visited Peter and his wife in Brighton as well as visited amongst other places Shobdon, Oxford and Cambridge.

Met Jude from this forum as well in Shobdon and we even went flying in the Cirrus.

Some pictures of the trip are here:

A few comments: (a) If controlled airspace starts at e.g. 2000 feet (and up), the altitude 2000 feet does not belong to the controlled airspace. Seemingly the controllers in the UK think otherwise. (b) Flying from Oxford to Cambridge IFR but without a flightplan filed, I was able to get 'radar' service from London Control.

EDLE, Netherlands

A few additional suggestions, which may be obvious. You need to seek clearance to fly through an ATZ. You may be speaking to a radar service but that does not mean they will clear the way for you OCAS into an ATZ, you have to be specific in requesting the transit giving route and altitude. This also applies to Class D airspace. You may have established contact but this does not mean they have granted clearance into Class D. Some Class D requires good local knowledge of waypoints, for example a transit through Stansted. Assume they want to observe you orbiting outside the entry point, and have you positively identified before granting a clearance, which typically will include a geographical clearance limit and a handover to tower, and then back to radar.

Oxford (EGTK)

That was not the case I believe. It is the issue that if CAS starts at 2000 feet going up, the 2000 feet altitude by itself does not belong to the CAS. That is ICAO and how it works, but not practiced in the UK. I did plan carefully and had both a current ICAO chart (paper) and SkyDemon running for the VFR part.

EDLE, Netherlands

I recall a discussion of this somewhere, a long time ago.

ICAO says that if you have two airspace classes joined up, the line joining them takes the classification of the less restrictive airspace.

The UK implements this incorrectly. So one normally flies up to the base, minus 100ft, officially. You are allowed an altimeter error of something like 200ft anyway.

I am not sure if the same applies to an ATZ, which is not an "airspace class". It is still Class G. It extends 2000ft above aerodrome elevation, and within that area, if the airport has ATC, they can tell you what to do. Whether the "2000ft" is 2000ft or 1999ft I don't know. I am also not sure the word "clearance" is really right because nobody can give you a clearance for anything in Class G ... it's one of those ambiguities.

Any radar controller who has issued you a discreet squawk ought to be watching you with respect to CAS, and tell you immediately if you are busting. That is after all what they (the LARS units if in Class G) get funding for - their civilian purpose is to keep down CAS busts, but they are also used for some other stuff e.g. some AOC (jet) ops require radar protection when in Class G which is a "deconfliction service" in the UK. They most certainly are not funded to assist GA navigation in general (military navigation assistance, yes).

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom
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