VFR FLIGHT INTRODUCTION
VFR CROSS COUNTRY
In this final VFR flying document we will use all the skills we have learnt to perform a cross country flight under VFR conditions. The purpose of a cross country flight is to depart from one aerodrome and arrive at another.
For this flight we will be departing Bristol – EGGD and arriving at Stansted – EGSS. Our aircraft will be the default Beechcraft Baron 58.
HANDY EQUIPMENT Free Plan G Software SkyDemon Light Charts
Pen and paper
For this flight we will be routing within close proximity to the London TMA so we need to ensure we are fully briefed and prepared prior to departure. As our flight progresses we will need to make several altitude changes to ensure we don't enter the TMA.
Our flight route for today will be as follows;
EGGD VRP/BATH RACE COURSE EGBP VRP/NORTHLEACH ROUNDABOUT EGTC EGSU VRP/AUDLEY END EGSS
Below is an overview of our flight as plotted in SkyDemon Light;
LEG1 - EGGD - VRP/BATH RACECOURSE
We will depart from runway 09 as the weather dictates for this tutorial and fly to Bath Racecourse VRP. After take-off we will be in the Class D CTR surface to FL105 (10500ft). Thereafter we pass through the Class D CTA 1500ft to FL105 and the second CTA which is Class D 2000ft to FL105 and finally VRP/BATH RACECOURSE. This VRP marks the boundary for the outer CTA Class D 3000ft to FL105, at this stage we should be at 2500ft to leave CAS.
LEG 2 VRP/BATHRACE COURSE - EGBP (Kemble)
After clearing the Bristol CTA, to pass over Kemble with an ATZ of 2433ft we will need to climb to 3000ft.
LEG 3 EGBP - VRP/NORTHLEACH ROUNDABOUT
At VRP/NORTH LEACH ROUNDABOUT we will be entering the Oxford AIAA which is an information area which in real life has a high volume of RAF flights operating in and out of Brize Norton.
LEG 4 VRP/NORTHLEACH ROUNDABOUT - EGTC
For this leg we shall remain at 3000ft. We will also pass some landmarks including RAF Little Rissington, Enstone Airfield and Finmere. As we approach CFD there is restricted airspace above from surface level to 2400ft which applies to helicopters. We also pass over Cranfield which at 3000ft the ATZ isn't an issue.
LEG 5 CFD - EGSU
Maintaining 3000ft we head off to Duxford – EGSU, enroute we will fly overhead the former ATZ for Hatfield which closed in the 1990s along with the Luton Class A CTA (SVFR) active between 3500-4500ft. As are are now approaching Stansted – EGSS, we should start to think about making contact with Radar should they be online.
LEG 6 EGSU - VRP/AUDLEY END RAILWAY STATION.
As mentioned, after leaving EGSU - Duxford we are very close to EGSS Class D CTA between 2500-3500ft. We can now either descend below 2500ft to remain in uncontrolled airspace or contact Essex Radar to main altitude and join controlled airspace. For the purpose of the tutorial, we will be joining controlled airspace.
LEG 7 VRP/AUDLEY - RAILWAY STATION to EGSS
This is our arrival leg and will take us in to land at Stansted. Essex Radar (EGSS_APP)
will give us instructions for our arrival into the ATZ and the tower will give us instructions on the circuit/final approach.
Our preflight briefing is now complete, make sure you go through the charts and make notes of the NDB/VOR frequencies that will be useful for navigation. You can also open Plan G and create your flightplan route. Finally, before you fly check over your navigation frequencies and flightplan route to ensure everything is correct.
As always we will get a radio check from Bristol Tower:
PILOT: Bristol Tower, GABCD request radio check on 133.850
ATC: GABCD, Bristol Tower, readability 5
PILOT: Roger, readability is 5 also
PILOT: Bristol Tower, GABCD is a Beechcraft Baron 58, on the general aviation apron with information Charlie on board QNH 1004, request taxi to leave the zone via Bath Racecourse
ATC: GCD, Taxi holding point JX for runway 27 QNH 1004
PILOT: Taxi holding point JX for runway 27 QNH 1004, GCD
Your VFR clearance will be ready during the taxi or at latest at the holding point. ATC: GCD, I have your clearance when ready to copy
PILOT: Ready to copy GCD
ATC: GABCD, cleared to leave the zone VFR via the Bath Racecourse VRP not above altitude 3000ft QNH 1004 squawk 7011
PILOT: cleared to leave the zone VFR via the Bath Racecourse VRP not above altitude
3000ft QNH 1004 and squawk 7011, GABCD ATC: GCD, readback correct, report ready PILOT: GCD, fully ready
ATC: GABCD surface wind 290 08 knots, right hand turn out runway 27 cleared takeoff
PILOT: Wind copied, cleared takeoff with a right hand turn out GABCD
After take-off remember, we have been give a right hand turn out, also we have been told
''not above altitude 3000ft'' this doesn’t mean we have to fly at 3000ft, just not above it.
In the above picture we have taken off and are now routing direct to the Bath Racecourse
VRP. The Tower controller will shortly hand us off to Bristol Radar.
ATC: GCD, contact Bristol Radar on 136.075
PILOT: Roger, Bristol radar on 136.075 GCD
PILOT: Bristol Radar GABCD
ATC: GABCD Bristol Radar, pass your message
PILOT: GCD is a Beechcraft Baron 58, 3 miles north east of Bristol altitude 2500ft QNH
1004 leaving the zone via the Bath Racecourse VRP
ATC: GCD thankyou, report overhead Bath Racecourse VRP PILOT: Report overhead Bath Racecourse VRP, GABCD
Approaching the Bath Racecourse VRP
PILOT: Overhead Bath Racecourse, GCD
ATC: GCD roger, you are leaving controlled airspace, its a basic service
PILOT: Basic service, GCD
So we are now leaving controlled airspace until we reach Stansted. We must still be careful to avoid any other controlled airspace, in particular the airspace that is directly above us.
After an estimated 10 minutes flying time we can expect our basic service to end.
ATC: GCD service terminates, monitor Unicom 122.800
PILOT: Roger, monitor Unicom 122.800 GCD
Currently we have no ATC service as London Control is offline and we are also too far from Stansted to request a service from Essex, subsequently our intentions must be clearly stated on Unicom.
Make the most of this quiet period and refer to your charts, all the while making sure you don't mistakenly fly into any controlled airspace.
Below you can can see that we are passing north of Luton - EGGW and EGSS airspace, this all belongs to Essex radar.
Now we need to make contact with the active ATC unit;
PILOT: Essex Radar, GABCD
ATC: GABCD Essex Radar, pass your message
PILOT: Essex Radar, GCD is a Beechcraft Baron 58, 15 miles north of Luton VFR altitude
2500ft en route Stansted via Duxford and the Audley End railway station VRP requesting a basic service
ATC: GCD roger, its a basic service remaining outside of controlled airspace
PILOT: Roger basic service, GCD
To ensure we remain clear of the controlled airspace, we shall now descend to 2000ft until we reach Audley End VRP.
Approaching Duxford - EGSU is a sensible time to request to enter controlled airspace as we are estimating to cross Audley End VRP in 5 minutes.
PILOT: Essex Radar, GCD
ATC: GCD, pass your message
PILOT: GCD, approaching Duxford, VFR request to enter controlled airspace via the
Audley end VRP estimating time 13.
ATC: GABCD, you are cleared to enter controlled airspace VFR via Audley End VRP, not above altitude 2000ft QNH 1002 squawk 7006
PILOT: Cleared to enter controlled airspace VFR via Audley End VRP, not above altitude
2000ft QNH 1002 squawk 7006, GABCD ATC: GCD, report overhead Audley End VRP PILOT: Report Audley End VRP, GCD
Overhead Audley End
PILOT: GCD, reporting Audley End VRP
ATC: GCD roger, route direct the field and report in sight
PILOT: Route direct and wilco, GCD
PILOT: Field in sight, GCD
ATC: GCD roger, contact Stansted Tower on 123.800
PILOT: Roger, Stansted Tower on 123.800
PILOT: Stansted Tower, GABCD is a Beechcraft Baron 58, 7 miles north of the field, request pattern joining instructions
ATC: GABCD Stansted tower, join right base with intentions for runway 22 not above height 1000ft, VFR, QFE 990
PILOT: Join right downwind for runway 22 not above height 1000ft, VFR, QFE 990 GABCD We have been cleared for the left hand turn to join the right hand downwind for the visual
When you have positioned yourself on the downwind leg make sure you inform ATC.
PILOT: Downind to land, GCD
ATC: GCD, number one report on final
PILOT: Report final, GCD
After reporting final we will be cleared to land. After landing, we will then taxi to parking as cleared.
In this flight we have just performed a cross country flight leaving one airfield for another. We have contacted 4 different ATC units and learnt how to establish a service.
Our flight took us cross country from Bristol – Stansted. During the flight we contacted 4 controllers and made us of a basic service.
WHEN NO ATC IS ONLINE
As was demonstrated during the flight, when you have no ATC online ensure you are declaring your intentions as and when they are required. Failure to do so could result in conflicts with other traffic.
The 3 VFR documents in this series have been a brief introduction to VFR flying and are
by no means a complete manual or replacement of the Pilot Training Manuals on the IVAO UK site. If you are interested in learning more about VFR flying please visit the pilot
training section or contact the training team for further information.