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Hi all,

I've got a few questions about general aviation IFR in the UK, hoping that I might get some help. I've done a lot of VFR but now I want to try and transition to IFR, but still using GA aircraft.

I want to fly from Bristol (EGGD) to Goodwood (EGHR) in a Piper Arrow, IFR, at 4000ft. My route would be EGGD>CPT>MID>EGHR.

In this situation:
1) Would I have to fly a SID or would I be able to just route immediately to CPT after departure from Bristol?

2) Once I was out of Bristol airspace would I expect/request radar, traffic or basic service?

3) I would want to traverse Fanborough control zone, would I have to request permission in an identical manner to VFR?

4) Arriving at Goodwood, there are no STARs, ILS or RNAV and Goodwood provides a Flight Information Service. Therefore, would it just be a case of a visual approach via a standard overhead?

5) Just to throw in a curve ball, if I were going to Gatwick (EGKK) instead, could I have to follow a STAR or would I simply expect radar vectors and the ILS?

Thanks very much!

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1.  Generally speaking if you're flying IFR you would be looked upon as flying a SID.  However, if you're in an Arrow, the likelyhood is if there's other traffic going to be departing around the same time you'll get in the way.  As a regular controller at Bristol/SW England, I'd actually ask you if you want the SID or not then, if not, give you a non-standard clearance to get you out the way of any following traffic.  That may involve flying a particular heading first to get you clear of the departure track rather than DCT.

2.  Once you're north of the Bristol Controlled Airspace, you'd be on one of the UK Flight Information Services.  Which you get will be down to two elements:

- What service are you requesting and
- How busy is the controller

Generally speaking, IFR traffic will be given a Deconfliction Service as standard however depending on traffic levels, the controller may downgrade this to Traffic service or Basic.  If they ask you what you want then they've likely got the capacity for it - if they tell you, then that's all they can give at that time.

3. If there's a Farnborough controller on or a controller covering that airspace top down (LTC_SW_CTR > LTC_CTR > LON_S(C)_CTR), you'll need clearance into their controlled airspace, yes.   If there isn't any of these on, then you can fly through on UNICOM.

4.  You'd follow whatever the local procedures are for Goodwood.  If they allow overhead joins, then yes - and the AIP section AD2.22 confirms that is the case

5.  I'd suggest that you'd be vectored into there given how busy Gatwick can be.   Something doing an Arrow's speed in front of a queue of tubeliners won't end well...  😆

 

As a side note, Bristol is a "training" field in the UK so you'll get a lot of Ground controllers logging on there to boost their hours in order to get onto the Tower mentoring list.  As such, they're new so you may get someone who's completely unsure how to clear you out other than on a SID if there's no top down cover or possibly someone who just won't get that an Arrow wasn't to fly IFR...  

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Trevor Hannant

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Re. 1, bear in mind that regarding SIDs your aircraft's performance comes into play, so your Arrow may not meet the climb requirements of a particular SID. It is your decision which SID to file based on these factors, but ATC has the right to amend it. So you will file a flight plan, but be prepared when copying clearance to modify that!

Re. your intended altitude of 4000ft QNH, note that flying Bristol to Goodwood, which unless I have it completely wrong (not for the first time :) is SE of Bristol, your track would be between 0 and 179, so your altitude should be odd thousands and 4000ft QNH wouldn't work.

Alistair Thomson

===

Definition: a gentleman is a flying instructor in a Piper Cherokee who can change tanks without getting his face slapped.

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I wouldn't have an issue with him at 4,000ft outside of the airways structure as per his plans as he's only likely going to interact with VFR traffic except when transiting a CTA/CTR.   If he was filing airways then I'd ask for 3 or 5,000ft.

Trevor Hannant

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Alistair, always happy to help out those who are looking to, and and are willing to learn and will always give some feedback, hints, tips and advice via a PM while you're flying if you want any...

May not be about so much the next 2-3 weeks due work but if you see me on LON_W_CTR on VATSpy (other tools are available!) then feel free to drop in and ping me any questions that would help with your flight via a PM before you get going.

Trevor Hannant

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