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ryanbatcund

I'd like to start flying Europe

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But I'm a complete newcomer to EU airspace etc.

 

I'm quite familiar with USA routing structure, VFR/IFR altitudes, MEA's, MSA's etc etc.

 

I'd prefer to do this on vatsim or something but I can start offline.  I primarily want to start with general aviation, VFR would be a great place to start, but IFR is fine too.

 

With the new Skyvector world enroute charts I feel I could do a better job than previous years... 

 

My primary questions:

 

1) For IFR is the routing structure similar to USA?  (DP or SID, Enroute fixes, STAR)

2) On Skyvector will it tell me who I would contact (in real life) while flying along (mostly a VFR scenario) and if so what are traffic advisories and flight following called?

3) At small airports with a tower do I have to call for engine startup?

4) Can GA acft traverse all airspaces in EU or are there restricted/prohibited airspaces like in the US?  Are there any guides to the airspace system?  IE classes of airspace?  How high can I fly without contacting a controller?

5) What's the best site to get charts (mainly terminal as in arrival, departure, airport diagrams)?

 

p.s.  I'll be using FSX because my XP10 copy is north america only...  I don't have a lot of scenery, just default really for EU.

 

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Hi Barry,

about your questions.

1.IFR plan is the same like a fp for USA airspace.If you will fly at VATSIM,a controller can change your fp or the departure procedures.

2.For the EU airspaces you will follow skyvectors too.

3.In a small airport must call for engines startup(and in real life).

4.I don't have an answer.Every country has their own restrictions.

Depence of the controller  that you have into the airport (gnd,app,ctl,etc) you will call or not.If you have a Eurocontrol,is up to 20.000-24.000 ft.

Don't forget that for a VFR flight must be to FL +500 ft.

5.I use the maps from the Jeppensen.Here is the link. https://ww1.jeppesen.com

 

When you are  flying in the Russian air space or on the formers USSR republics,your FL it will be in meters and not on the feets.

 

P.S.  Sorry for  my english but it'not my native language.

Antonis

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3.In a small airport must call for engines startup(and in real life).

Actually when I fly IRL from my towered home airport in Finland you are never requested to ask for engine startup. You simply start them at your own discretion and then contact the tower. As for the clearance, I sometimes also get it when taxiing and once I even got it during the climb out which was kinda odd. 

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One difference is that transition altitudes are not at 18,000'

For each airport, it's given on the charts.

For EIDW (Dublin,Ireland) for example, transition altitude is 6000'

http://airh5.x10.mx/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/eidw_charts.pdf

 

and for EHAM (Amsterdam) it's 3000'

http://www2.vlieghinder.nl/knipsels_pmach/pdfs/EHAM.pdf

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Welcome to Europe!

I am flying sim and real world here in the moment only in Germany.

Concerning Airport and IFR Charts another quicker place to find the charts is here:
http://www.ifrchartseurope.com/Default.aspx

Free for two airports a day. More Airports are of course free on Eurocontrol, it takes only a bit longer to find them.

VFR Charts for Germany: there are no free ones, except VFR Traffic patterns charts that are a bit outdated are here:
http://www.airports.de/component/option,com_mtree/task,listcats/cat_id,8/Itemid,72/lang,de/

Scenery free:
http://www.freewarescenery.com/fsx/germany.html

There was a free photoscenery for FS9 on the net, don't know, if it is still on, some copyright issues made the files disappear from avsim pretty quick.

I use a payware photoscenery, it is not the best, but okay and only summerdaytime. But it has autogen to it and with higher autogen (6000 for houses and trees) in fsx.cfg I get an outside view pretty much like when flying for real.

Spain and the Netherlands have freeware photoscenery much better than my payware one for Germany.

France, Belgium (was free for some time), England, Ireland have very good payware sceneries for the landscape. The trend is to add autogen (England, France) so that is becoming a photoreal Europe more and more.

Airports and Airfields are concerning Germany pretty much only partly usable in DirectX10. I don't care much about that, during night I switch of autogen and photoscenery and get with DirectX9 pretty much the same frames like in DX10 with everything maxed out and superhigh autogen during day time flying.

I would very much recommend to buy FSAltitude Europe. From above 3000feet and higher you get a good enough photoreal view out of the cockpit and depending on level of detail radius a bigger or smaller cone under the plane, with the other installed scenery being there, be it default, some improvement or a high resolution photoscenery. This mixture is also very good for higher FPS. The covered area is from the Atlantic to Russia.

I never had to ask for an engine start up in GA when flying real world in Europe, meaning Austria, Switzerland, Germany, France, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Danmark and Sweden. Never heard that on ATC vor VFR either.

On uncontrolled airports the pilot is responsible for everything by himself. Airfields in Germany have an Informationfrequency. You get information, but the pilot has to decide everything. So you get the wind and the runway in use, the info answers any questions, but the pilot decides when to take off, to land and so on.

What in Germany is in real world a pretty big deal meanwhile is to follow the official traffic pattern on uncontrolled airports very exact. You are not allowed to be off the line 150 Meters to the left and to the right. Sitting in Traffic Pattern Altitude in the cockpit, you wouldn't be in the position to see this allowed path below you, so you have to have the pattern programmed into the GPS. Some airports are very good checked out on that, like Bonn Hangelar. Laser on the ground checks out the flight path from time to time. On the other hand there is a discussion about if this checking out is really legally.

There are no official traffic patterns on controlled airports, only official VFR reporting points and routes for entering and leaving the CTR and official holding patterns.

You report to ATC and say your intentions at least five minutes before reaching CTR and the you would normaly get clearances into the CTR by one of these entering points and then you get new reporting positions and which part of the traffic pattern you have to enter, depending on the traffic and the angle to the runway you are on. No new clearance for the next part, no flying along, therefore circling and reporting to ATC is mandatory. So workload is high on approaching VFR a CTR. You have to know where you are every moment, not vectoring normally. If you are lost, you can ask ATC for Vectors of course or get a bearing (QDM). Expected is a strict following along the published routings and maintaing of the advised altitudes. IFR is easier.

Anyway, transition altitude and standard QNH is 5000 feet most over Germany. Transition Level when descending normaly 1000 feet higher.

You can fly up to 10.000 feet VFR, some areas lower. To find about that, you need a VFR Chart, there are no free ones for Germany. Jeppesen Charts are better and cheaper, concerning the area they cover compared to ICAO Charts.

Above 10.000 feet you have to fly IFR or CVFR, controlled VFR, which is meanwhile part of the normal private pilot license.

Nightflying is different. You need for every flight leaving the airport pattern or extended pattern, meaning cross country, a flight plan. Airspace structure is different then, everything is handled by Radar.

Cross country is normally 2000 feet AGL or higher. You can because of traffic situation, weather or other safety reasons fly lower down to 500 feet above ground level. But you need a good reason for that, in case radar or more likely people in their garden have reported your flight and your call sign being to low or outside a traffic pattern, when on approach.

Restricted Airspaces like C or D are only allowed to fly through on VFR by getting a clearance from FIS (flight information service). If such an airspace is above your own controlled airport you can already get the clearance and the frequency to report on from the tower. You would ask for that when first calling ground. Normally there are only two frequencies to call, Ground and Tower.

Ramp and Clearance Delivery are seldom, to be found on the airport charts of course.

IFR is flown like in the US, using SID and STARS, sometime direct routings and vectoring is also possible. VFR Night the other day we did a direct departure from EDDG to HMM VOR and from the VOR on vectors by radar for the ILS in EDLW, low approach in Dortmund and then with a clearance from Dortmund direct HMM VOR and from there radar vectors from Langen Radar back to the ILS in EDDG.

VFR Cross Country in Europe is tricky, you need of course a flight plan and let's say from Germany via Netherlands, Belgium and France to Britain means five different AIPs to read. IFR is much easier. Flightplan with routing and off you go. One set of rules only.

Transponder VFR code is 7000 and must be on above 5000 feet, very much recommended below. In real world a lot of pilots keep it off not to be tracked by radar in fear of entering without knowing an restricted airspace. So on TCAS very often the planes are not reported. There are not that much days with very good visibility here in Germany because of the humid air from the Atlantic. Flying above 5000 feet VFR is therefore better for safety, consuming less fuel and more gliding distance in case of engine trouble.

Airspacestructure of Germany:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/d5/Luftraumstruktur_Deutschland.svg/450px-Luftraumstruktur_Deutschland.svg.png


That is my answer concerning my flying here in Germany. Hope it helps a bit.

Manfred Michelka

 

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@ Ryan,

 

You'd do well to read @@galfed 's excellent post a couple of times (or even print it) as there's so much good accurate info there, for flying in Europe.

 

I agree with Jude that if you stand back and look at it macro style, the biggest thing that a US pilot needs to remember when flying in Europe is the Transition levels and altitudes; In the US you have your 18,000, but in Europe the levels vary by country / airspace / and sometimes airfield. Check your charts, and if the TA / TL is not given, the Controller will advise it. As far as I can see, European transitions vary between 3,000 and 10,000, with between 4-6,000 being the most commonly used levels.

 

SIDS and STARs are pretty much comparable in their use.

 

VFR flying through zones and airspace; you'd have any hard restrictions (eg. military) on your charts. In terms of airspace C & D, you'd need clearance. In my experience (as a GA passenger, I don't fly myself due to med issues), C & D clearance is almost never 'refused' as such, but if activity is high, you may get told to go the long way around!

 

On-line flying; VATSIM activity is pretty big for the UK, but for mainland Europe I'd recommend IVAO as being better for coverage.

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@@galfed

Thank you for the freeware scenery link. I'm gonna check that openVFR stuff.

 

 

Sent from my U8815

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@@galfed

Thank you for the freeware scenery link. I'm gonna check that openVFR stuff.

 

 

Sent from my U8815

just one edit: the fs9 freeware list is also an option, a lot of sceneries work pretty good in FSX too. And even if there are some textures not showing up the right way, I can live with that compared to the default sceneries.

http://www.freewarescenery.com/fs2004/germany.html

 

Of course you find more than only germany in that list - it is about the whole world for fs 8,9 and 10:

http://www.freewarescenery.com/

 

MM

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...

 

On-line flying; VATSIM activity is pretty big for the UK, but for mainland Europe I'd recommend IVAO as being better for coverage.

Scandinavia generally has pretty good coverage as well

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I find europe has pretty good Vatsim coverage across the continent.

 

Lee

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Scandinavia generally has pretty good coverage as well

 

Ja, det er sant !

 

Yes, that is very true :smile:

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