By Jamie Devine 1365561
#507472 Hi,

What is the procedure when flying a low level (3000ft-5000ft) IFR flight in a light aircraft? So far, I have only flown airliners, getting the routing from rfinder.asalink.net or something similar. How do I go about planning an IFR flight in a Cessna 172 for example? How does it differ?

Can I just submit a plan that is basically VOR to VOR? I'm guessing there are a few more restrictions to work around - for example if I have filed for 4000ft and I need to cross over London where jets are flying into Heathrow at about the same altitude, how does that work?

I'm looking at charts for Biggin Hill (EGKB) and they only have 2 STARs which start at FL100. Does this rule it out as an IFR destination for a plane not capable of FL100?

Is there anywhere I can read up on this? Thanks!
By Phillip Speer 854824
#507475 Hello Jamie

The main difference is depending where you are flying is that you may or may not be inside controlled airspace (Class G vs Class A or D). If flying outside controlled airspace then services provided will be limited to UK Flight Information Services (http://www.caa.co.uk/cap774). If flying in and around the busy terminal areas then you will likely be inside class D airspace (though some TMA class A does exist as low as 2500ft in some areas) and this will be very similar to flying airliners.
Most airways in the UK are still currently Non-RNAV so can be flown with standard VOR/NDB/DME equipment found in most standard GA aircraft so can be flown (although non airways flights are possible) and SIDs/STARs are generally only used if joining/leaving the airways system. At low levels you will likely be below the holding fixes which end each STAR so unlkely to be relevant.

Your best bet is to look into the guides at https://www.vatsim-uk.co.uk/pilots/ which cover the basics and I'd also look into contacting the pilot training department who can give you UK specific training.

There is a lot of information around based on RW flying and you would need to be aware of the class fo airspace you will be flying in.

Phillip