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Hot News

Outlook on Temporary Restrictions of Flying

Pre-Warning of Restrictions due to planned ‘Events’
The latest known restrictions are listed here: Outlook from early April 2014
Reminder – the Mauve AICs cover fast jet displays and other restrictions of flying known for specific events. You can see what will be restricted weeks in advance – but remember, the final safety net on the day, after Notam checking, is the freephone 0500-354802 (+44 (0)20 8750 3939) which gives temporary restrictions and airspace upgrades for a given day, available from sometime the evening before. To go directly to the AIS Index of all ‘Mauve’ AICs (which cover planned Restrictions of Flying) click here

Commonwealth Games (Glasgow) Restrictions and Briefing

This summer’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow will be subject to airspace security restrictions, there is a major briefing session for the pilots likely to be affected. The event, which is taking place at the Universities of Glasgow & Strathclyde Air Squadron, 12 Park Circus, Glasgow, on the evening of 23 April 2104, will feature personnel from the CAA and Police Scotland, explaining in detail the scope of the restrictions and the procedures to be followed during the period of the Games.
More details to follow shortly….

More Local Initiatives (and an Award)

City Airport (Barton) and Mainair Flying School have been awarded a NATS Infringement Prevention Award – they are situated very close to Manchester airspace and the Low Level Route. One of the things they have done, relevant to anyone flying anywhere near Controlled Airspace is a video about a not-uncommon event – following the wrong line feature. See Barton Infringement Award and Video
Tayside Aviation Following the local poster initiative from Sleap, Tayside Aviation have produced softcloth ipad/GPS screen wipes for their pilots which detail local airspace on one side and tips from FlyOnTrack on the other. See Screenwipes from Tayside Aviation
Please let us know any similar initiatives

‘Listening Squawks’ (Monitoring Codes)

Latest Version (late 2013) : Here is a useful Graphic PDF for UK ‘Listening Squawks’ to print, cut and keep on your kneeboard – courtesy Flyer Magazine. Instructions on Listening Squawk use are on page 2. The current list of listening squawks around the UK is:

  • 0010 Birmingham 118.050 MHz
  • 0011 Solent / Bournemouth 120.225 MHz / 119.475 MHz respectively
  • 0012 Thames Radar/Gatwick 132.7 MHz / 126.825 MHz respectively
  • 0013 Luton / Stansted 129.550 MHz / 120.625 MHz respectively
  • 2677 Leeds Radar, 133.125 MHz
  • 4572 East Midlands Approach 134.175 MHz
  • 4572 Farnborough Radar (West) 125.250 MHz
  • 6170 Doncaster Approach 126.225 MHz
  • 7045 Aldergrove Approach 128.5 MHz
  • 7366 Manchester 118.575 MHz

(Yes, 4572 is used for two different units.) Remember usual rules apply, you are not in receipt of a service and you must stay in Class G airspace, you cannot enter the CTA or CTR. Go back to another suitable squawk (eg: 7000-C) when you move away from the area or stop monitoring.

Clued Up Magazine now online

The CAA’s Clued Up magazine, including article on preflight planning, licensing advice and many safety topics for the private pilot are available online, but they are large downloads if that matters to you: Summer 2013 or Autumn/Winter 2013-14.

2014 Farnbrough LARS Guide (incl. Stansted TMZ advice)

Farnborough have a new LARS guide for 2014, well worth reading  – remember that their LARS a massive area all round London, North beyond Duxford, almost to Lashenden in the East, Beachy Head in the South, and nearly to Membury in the West.  It also covers advice for the Stansted TMZ. It will be on the links page when it drops from Hot News. See 2014 LARS from Farnbrough Guide – Remember if passing through the Farnborough West region (See guide), Farnborough West’s trial with a monitoring code or ‘listening squawk’ (4572 / 125.250 MHz) was successful, and the arrangement is now permanent.

Farnborough occasionally has short period (usually one hour duration) of temporary controlled airspace (CAS(T)) announced by NOTAM and on the restrictions/upgrades freephone number 0500-354802.  CTR dimensions, shape, and the airway route and base levels changed fairly dramatically in 2011 – see AIC Yellow 99 of 2011 – they were Class A, they are now Class D, so VFR clearances can be negotiated with the controller. Here’s a link to the AIC ‘home page’, choose yellow AICs, then number 99 of 2011 (no permanent direct link exists)

Channel Islands CTR changes from Class A to D in March 2014

Note there will be a reclassification of Channel Islands Airspace which means the Class A CTR will become Class D at lower levels in early March 2014.  See this Information Notice.

Until then:

the trial of a class D triangle around Jersey allowing VFR towards the French coast (up to 2000′, but not reaching Guernsey or Alderney) that was tried out in Summer 2012 has been retained.. See www.cicz.co.uk/. The triangle of CTA known as CI-CTA-2 (the comaratively small one due north of Cap de La Hague just below 50N, which used to have a base of 3000′ with Class G below now has a base of 3500′. The transition altitude in the CTA and the CTRs is raised to 5000′.

Infringements Can Be Costly

It’s very rare that a prosecution for an infringement is reported in the press, but here is a link to an infringement of the Stansted Class D, TMZ, and Luton Class D. This fortunately did not result in a collision, but still attracted a large fine due to the risk and disruption. The learning point is simple – pilots are encouraged to call D&D on 121.5 MHz (or tell the ATC service provider they are using, if any), as soon as they safely can if they are ‘temporarily unsure of position’ in an area of a route known to have Controlled Airspace, TMZs, Danger Areas, etc. nearby. Why prolong the worry and stress for yourself when someone is paid to help locate you.

The CAA list of successful prosecutions 2012 is now published here confirming that very few infringements reach court, the authorities are very open to agreeing  solutions (eg: some Nav retraining) before it reaches that stage, if the case merits it.

VFR Chart Frequency Card now as a download

Frequency Reference Cards are available to pilots exclusively as a digital download here. The downloadable cards have replaced the traditional hard copy versions which came with aircharts.

Analysis of Pilot Surveys Following Infringements

Why do pilots infringe? A lot of work has been going on with analysis of data provided by pilots who have infringed NATS controlled airspace over the past couple of years. The first public release of the analysis is now available on Analysis of Pilots Surveys Release 1. (Also available on the ‘Statistics’ tag of this site.)

2013 Bristol and Cardiff Airspace Guides (post Filton/Lyneham))

Two updated airspace guides released in 2013:

With the sad demise of Filton (and earlier, Lyneham), Bristol have released an updated guide to their airspace and how it integrates and interfaces with the Class G and Cardiff airspace, different VRPs etc. See Bristol Airspace Guide April 2013 version (available also in the LINKS section when this drops off ‘News’).

There is a change this summer: a frequency has been approved for use at Filton by CAA-DAP mainly for resident and visiting helicopters of 131.625mhz (callsign Filton Operations) but this will change on 5/07/2013 to 131.7MHz.The frequency will not always be monitored and the helicopter site is still strictly PPR.

Cardiff have released a couple of useful PDFs for pilots around the South Wales/Bristol Channel area.

  1. Two page safety advice sheet - Cardiff Safety Bulletin May 2013
  2. Pictorial Guide – what you want to know about flying in and around Cardiff airspace, including pictures to illustrate locations – Cardiff VFR Guide May 2013

New Stansted TMZ ‘info sheet’ plus Farnborough LARS Map

Since 2009, Stansted has had a TMZ (Transponder Mandatory Zone) in the Class G airspace under the stubs of the CTA. A new info sheet has been produced for flying in the Stansted Transponder Mandatory Zone – see Transponder Mandatory Zone for Stansted

A map of Farnborough LARS coverage is now available here as a pdf: Map of Farmborough LARS area

These will remain available on the LINKS page after the news item is removed.

Video Clip Help for Flying Under the LTMA

Video Clip help from NATS for visual flying around London, plus the pictorial airspace guides around the UK. There’s a new resource from NATS for anyone flying visually in the London area (link updated 18/1/2013): vfr.airspacesafety.com

Just pick the leg or legs encircling London and up between Stansted and Luton which interest you, and you get a short video brief and see the flight itself and specific landmarks on the way. So if you were thinking of flying (say) Oxfordshire to Kent, you could link legs from Thame through to Sevenoaks via Henley and Guildford. Also, you can click on specific airspace areas around the UK and view picture pdf guides written by local controllers who are usually pilots themselves. And don’t forget the NATS endorsement of an airspace warning device – moving map CAA chart, free airspace data downloads, warnings of airspace, and ‘locator’ information, all for around £150. See www.airspaceaware.com/
The Airspace & Safety Initiative

GASCo is a charitable body whose object is to foster the development of General Aviation in the UK along safe lines. Visit the GASCo site.