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What is it that prevents private pilots from venturing abroad?

Gentlemen, I suppose I am again very stupidly missing something very basic, but what does EAD stand for? What is its use or advantage? Am I guilty for merrily flying the blue without EAD?

EBZH Kiewit, Belgium

I don’t like to fly local, so when I make a trip Local or international (only vfr) I use Skydemon (good and flexbile back up) – the paper chart (1×1000000) – and jeppesen airport charts.


Cut&paste from EAD:

EAD Basic is EAD’s free Public Access Service application for the general public. The solution allows you to browse the European AIS Database (EAD) for a limited set of aeronautical information via the World Wide Web. EAD Basic is free of charge and can be accessed instantly, anytime and from anywhere.

It contains an aerodrome directory with approach charts for the main airports in each Eurocontrol country. It has the advantage that it exists! The drawback is that it is very incomplete. And no; you are not guitly of anything.

Last Edited by at 15 Mar 18:52

EAD is a very poorly organised AIP database operated by for EASA by a subcontractor called Frequentis Ltd.

It is universally disliked, not least because the URLs contain variable tokens which change every AIRAC cycle, with the sole apparent motive of preventing bookmarking them.

As Aviathor says, it’s USP (unique selling point) is that it exists This being Europe, you don’t have to like it. You merely need to be grateful that it doesn’t cost €1M/year per user, notwithstanding the fact that all of it was originally produced with taxpayer money

Over the years, a number of people have written scripts to grab sections of the database, for local storage. I had such a program in 2008. The total size was about 25GB. It had to contain variable delays, to beat some server code which detected non-human users and blocked it

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Thanks for explaining. Looks like I’ll bravely trod on with my homebrew database of aeronautical info, for now.
And of course I’ll fly merrier than ever, having been found not guilty once more

EBZH Kiewit, Belgium

However, after this slight thread drift, does anybody really think it is the lack of charts which prevents pilots flying outside their home country?

I can well see that most schools aren’t going to tell you where to get foreign VFR charts, but finding out is not hard. Google takes you to a variety of resources, including

I think the main reason is cultural.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

I think the main reason is costs and work.

Planning a large trip (vfr) is a lot more work when you don’t know the area and also, a large trip, means more flying, so the costs are bigger.

In the club, if I rent a plane for a day, I have to pay 2hours flying for that day minimum, but I know a lot of clubs where there is a limitation on availability, and at ebaw for example, if I rent, I have a minimum of 5hour flying a day (because that are heavy used aircrafts)

So costs, availablility (I am Lucky with my club and the plane I fly (mooney) has a lot of availablility), work


Costs are no doubt a factor for many.

For VFR pilots, who are employed, the possibility of not being back to work on Monday can be a big worry factor. Ok for a holiday trip, but you can’t do that too often before your holiday allocation is used up. Those with families might not be able to do a week long trip anyway and still have enough left over for the family holiday.

I see an interesting thing over here. Very few pilots will fly into Northern Ireland, never mind to the UK. They will fly on day trips to places further away in the Republic, but not into Northern Ireland. It would seem that the hassle of figuring out how to pre-notify customs, who to notify, when and the procedure is all too much for a simple day trip.

I often have people asking me how to do it, and I try to help them, and even offer to do it with them, but inevitably, 6 or 12 months later, they’ll ask me the same question having never gone anywhere.

EIWT Weston

I think it’s a mixture of money, fear of the unknown, weather abilities and not knowing procedures. Can’t really fault that on a rational level except say that my whole reason for even flying is being able to do just that. If flying was just a trip to the next field or a hamburger run, I would have quit years ago. For me the juice lies in going to far away places where I don’t know exactly what to expect. The fact that it’s outside my comfort zone is the whole draw for me.

In fact, one of the main reasons I’m going turbine is to fulfill my dream of being able to fly to Europe from the US. But not only that, going to places in Europe or Africa where it’s impossible to take Avgas machines without tons of hassle.

Last Edited by AdamFrisch at 16 Mar 00:45

It seems to me that a major factor is size of the country. While there certainly are people here who barely venture away from the circuit, most I know do fly abroad.

LSZK, Switzerland
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