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A quick VFR question


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Hi folks,

 

More of a clarification I suppose.

 

If I am flying a VFR flight (say EGSF-->EGBK with a couple NAV points and NDB's along the way just as a NAV exercise for myself) and I happen to cross into the active London (or wherever) Control/Approach coverage; however, NOT penetrating any specific airspace do I:

 

A-Contact the Control/Approach as a courtesy and request Basic service once I have entered the control area?

 

or

 

B-Carry on with UNICOM and await controller contact if they desire to do so?

 

C-???

 

Cheers,

 

Ted

 

p.s. I only ask as I was flying the above routing this afternoon and when I contacted London Control after entering their zone during the flight (confirmed on VATTASTIC) and was informed I was not in the coverage area? Do I have something confused here?

 

p.p.s. I would ask this at the VATSIM-UK forum; however, the forum is down at the moment and I will be spending a fair bit of time flying through the London area over the next week or so. I'd like to get it right

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How are you determining where the controllers area is? A mistake I did when I started was to presume that the area showed in vatspy was equal to the controllers area, something that especially for approach units is not true.

 

For example, the london directors cover areas depending on the runway in use at their airport (called RMAs, I won't go into more detail for now but ask if you're intrested). This means it may not be that easy as a VFR pilot to understand where their airspace is. To make it simple we can pretend that for Heathrow it's the area in between LAM, BIG, OCK and BNN. For Gatwick it's the control area (CTA) and then streatches southbound to the fixes WILLO and TIMBA.

 

I would recomend having a look at the London TMA chart, it can be found here:

http://www.ead.eurocontrol.int/pamslight/pdf/4e415453/EG/C/EN/Charts/ENR/EG_ENR_6_2_1_11_en

And you can find all charts in the UK AIP here: http://www.nats-uk.ead-it.com/public/index.php%3Foption=com_content&task=blogcategory&id=165&Itemid=3.html

 

 

To answer your question:

As long as you're outside of controlled air space (CAS) you have no obligation to monitor any frequency. How ever you need a clearance prior(!) to entering any airspace of cl[Mod - Happy Thoughts] D or above when flying VFR.

 

If you are close to an active radar unit you can always call them and ask for an Air Traffic Service Outside Controlled Airspace (ATSOCAS), how ever if work load is high they may deny the request (not that likely on a normal vatsim day though).

Edited by Guest

Johan Grauers

Event Coordinator - vACC Scandinavia

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Hello Ted

 

Firstly, thanks for asking! UK airspace is structured perhaps rather strangely compared to other countries that are well represented on VATSIM; it is very complex for such a small area. There are blocks of airspace where belox a certain altitude you will be outside of controlled airspace, but if you are above it then you will be inside of controlled airspace and will have to contact the relevant controller. I'd recommend not relying too heavily on what VATTASTIC says in terms of airspace boundaries - they should in UK airspace to be taken more as a guide than as gospel.

 

To view the structure of controlled airspace within the UK below FL195, please have a look through this chart: http://www.ead.eurocontrol.int/eadbasic/pamslight-7FE55F4F2E51708BD160778E5EF08685/7FE5QZZF3FXUS/EN/Charts/ENR/AIRAC/EG_ENR_6_1_4_1_en_2011-06-30.pdf

 

If you are unsure of who to contact, the controller will contact you if necessary. The other alternative, (which I recommend) is if you see a CTR or APP position near to the geographic area you are flying, call up requesting a "basic service" or "traffic service" should you be outside of controlled airspace (in reference to the chart above). The controller will then be able to help you contact the right ATC unit as your flight progresses.

 

I hope this answers your question.

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Actually as a member of two UK-based VA's you may rest [Mod - Happy Thoughts]ured I do have all the relevant charts!

 

When I called London Control I knew I was within a couple minutes of the actual control zone (both on map and a heads up from the GPS); however, I mistook "top-down" coverage in this instance to include any aircraft within that zone and forgot about the altitude bit.....being at 2500' and my rough VFR plan skirting actual marked control zones.

 

I just figured better to call .

 

Now over the next week some of my flights are taking me (unavoidably really) through definite control zones into smaller aerodromes around London. Would I be correct that I should contact the relevant controller as soon as I am airborne as some of the flights begin and terminate within specific control zones.

 

Cheers

 

Ted

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Now over the next week some of my flights are taking me (unavoidably really) through definite control zones into smaller aerodromes around London. Would I be correct that I should contact the relevant controller as soon as I am airborne as some of the flights begin and terminate within specific control zones.

 

Cheers

 

Ted

 

Are you talking about the aerodromes inside the Heathrow CTR?

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Callum,

Link not working for me:

 

Ted, welcome to UK and VFR !

 

NATS:CAS below FL195

http://www.nats-uk.ead-it.com/public/index.php%3Foption=com_content&task=blogcategory&id=4&Itemid=11.html

ENR 6.1 - Chart of United Kingdom ATS Airspace Cl[Mod - Happy Thoughts]ifications - SFC-FL195

(Edit: Cheers Scott )

 

For top-down CTR coverage:

NB: You are always in someones AOR (Area of Responsibility) on Vatsim in the UK as per diagram and "top-down" control, as has been said, workload is the determining factor as to whether you get a service or not when VFR outside CAS.

 

In other words, if you are flying in any of the shaded areas below, and LON_CTR is online (covers all four main sectors), you may request a VFR service when if outside controlled airspace (see link above for CAS).

 

londonfirdiagram.png

Edited by Guest

David James

VATSIM Screenshot Contest Coordinator

Intel Core 2 Quad CPU Q6600 2.4gig, RAM 3.25gig, ATI Radeon HD4800, XP Pro SP3, FS9.1 FSnav FSinn VRC

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The reason these chart links are broken so often is they aren't stored on the AIS site itself, but rather on the main EuroControl AIS Database. If you copy the link in this format, http://www.ead.eurocontrol.int/pamslight/pdf/4e415453/EG/C/EN/Charts/ENR/EG_ENR_6_1_4_1_en which is the link from the NATS AIS page, and not the PDF itself, the link will continue to work and won't time out a day or two later.

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