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  1. #1
    Captain Roger Mole's Avatar
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    Planning my next France - UK - France flight

    Doesn't time whizz by. Now we're back into another, hopefully short, rainy period I thought I'd best spend my time planning for my next UK trip. When I checked the calendar I realised that there are 4 public holidays in France in May (1, 8, 10, 21) and as I initially targeted end May/early June for the flight, the last one would be ideal as it would give a 3 day window (19, 20, 21) at just the right time when there would be no need to bother with things like low-level military corridor activity, stuff like that. But that it's only in 3 weeks time!!

    This time around Abbeville isn't available in either direction as it's no longer a customs airfield and the route now has to be via Calais. And they were even going to close that to save money until people got up in arms, but at least it'll be another airfield in the log book. Subject to winds my spreadsheet indicates refuelling at Blois and just a few litres at Calais if required for safety before the crossing. Then a quick landing al Headcorn to close the FP and 'clear' UK customs before a short hop into a private field not much further on in Kent with diversion possible at Rochester, which I know well.

    Ignoring wind, which obviously I can't put into the spreadsheet yet, total flying time is 5 hrs 18 minutes at around 15 litres an hour, so compare that to doing the trip by road. The FP is dead easy from Calais - just a straight line from Calais to Folkestone, much simpler than the zig-zag route from Abbeville. No need to plan for any dog leg from Calais down to Cap Gris Nez as the distance and time savings for the crossing are minimal at 150 kmh in the Savannah.

    I'm obviously looking forward to the flight, but far from it being a chore, I love this planning bit and sorting out the timings and logistics, things like that. In France fuel is often only available with a Total or BP card, which I don't have, so I need to land where I can pay by Bank Card, And not only that, even quite large airfields stop their service at strange hours eg at Calais fuel is only available 0700-1030 and 1130-1530. Arive at 1531 and you'll be out of luck. I also tried phoning airfield management at around 1700 hrs earlier on - no luck, they close at 1600, and that's the main customs airfield on the northern France coast for crossing to the UK.

    All good fun eh....


  2. #2
    Co-Pilot jetlag's Avatar
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    Good on you Roger ... forever upwards and onwards ... jealous of your planning and the eventual adventures and will follow your steps.
    F-JRIB
    Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.

    Phil.


  3. #3
    Co-Pilot damienair's Avatar
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    Planning is also a part I enjoy a lot. My dream is to take a week and fly from Ireland, down through the UK and into France so as to fly down along the beaches of Normandy. I have always wanted to fly over the invasion beaches and tour the area. Closest I have got is the Isle of Wight. Not been touring for a few years, really looking forward to getting back into long distance flying again. Realistically it will be another couple of years away. I'll upgrade from my lovely Quantum to a GT450 and belt off sometime in the future. Never flown in France and don't speak any French, so will need loads of advice from both of you when the time comes.

    Enjoy your trip to the UK Roger and enjoy the planning.

    Damien.
    Pilots are just Plane people with a special Air about them.

    G-BZJO Quantum 503 Flexwing only Jockey now.


  4. #4
    Co-Pilot Wexfordair's Avatar
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    Count me in Damien!
    Hard to get the weather right though, especially over the last few years. Even if I had to trailer it over I'd love to fly in France


  5. #5
    Captain Roger Mole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by damienair View Post
    My dream is to take a week and fly from Ireland, down through the UK and into France so as to fly down along the beaches of Normandy. I have always wanted to fly over the invasion beaches and tour the area. Closest I have got is the Isle of Wight. .

    Damien.
    Ah, well here you are Damien. From the latest France 2018 weekend chart



    Le Havre and Cherbourg are unfortunately both inside radio manadatory zones (French only) but can both be avoided. Deauville and Caen are both inside Class D airspace (dashed areas) which can only be accessed with a transponder and although Caen can be avoided. The Deauville area extends into the sea but fortunately just to the east of Sword Beach (UK), the easternmost of the D-Day beaches, so can again be avoided and still leave all of the D-Day beaches flyable.

    There are a few exclusion zones shown but none would interfere with a D-Day beach fly-over.

    There's even an ULM airfield LF1456 right in the middle called Omaha Beach .. see link below.

    https://basulm.ffplum.fr/PDF/LF1456.pdf

    Private but you'd get access with PPR.

    You know the saying ... Just Do It! As I now know so well, life's too short.


  6. #6
    thebarb
    Guest thebarb's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Mole View Post

    I'm obviously looking forward to the flight, but far from it being a chore, I love this planning bit and sorting out the timings and logistics, things like that. In France fuel is often only available with a Total or BP card, which I don't have, so I need to land where I can pay by Bank Card, And not only that, even quite large airfields stop their service at strange hours eg at Calais fuel is only available 0700-1030 and 1130-1530. Arive at 1531 and you'll be out of luck. I also tried phoning airfield management at around 1700 hrs earlier on - no luck, they close at 1600, and that's the main customs airfield on the northern France coast for crossing to the UK.

    All good fun eh....
    I am sure there is someone who has an Air BP fuel card that you know? If you were stuck I am sure he would let you stick out of hours fuel on it ( the fuel is also cheaper when purchased that way )
    air bp cards.jpg
    Last edited by thebarb; 02-05-18 at 21:50 PM.


  7. #7
    Captain Gentreau's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Mole View Post
    ......... In France fuel is often only available with a Total or BP card, which I don't have, so I need to land where I can pay by Bank Card, ....
    So why not get a Total Card Roger, it's free !

    http://www.airtotal.com/general-avia...ench-card.html
    The three most useless things in aviation:
    • The air above you.
    • The runway behind you.
    • The fuel in the bowser.

    Semper specto in clara parte vitae.

    .


  8. #8
    Co-Pilot damienair's Avatar
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    Thank you Roger for the information. Definitely will do it, it's on my 3 year plan. I have dreamed of doing that flight for years. I will be back looking for info and advice from you when the time comes. I have a savings account and little investment running in the back ground for my next upgrade. I just have to make sure that the next upgrade, hopefully a nice second hand GT450 is Yellow. My wife knows I have a yellow Microlight. But would not know the difference between a Quantum 503 and a GT450 912. Once it's yellow all will be good. If she finds out it will be put into a Kitchen upgrade, what a waste of money that would be.
    Pilots are just Plane people with a special Air about them.

    G-BZJO Quantum 503 Flexwing only Jockey now.


  9. #9
    Captain Roger Mole's Avatar
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    Clive, how does a Total card work? Don't you have to put money onto it beforehand? *

    As it happens, now confirmed that both of my intended fuel stops take debit card (out Blois, back Chartres) and Calais also should I decide to take a small quantity on before the crossing.

    In fact depending on the wind, I'm thinking that I could file my FP and clear customs at Blois which would save a bit of time and distance.

    * just seen in your link that they refer to free deferred payment, so evidently not. I considered it when I first moved to France and will probably go ahead now, especially if I do more touring.
    ** No I was right, a deposit is required
    Last edited by Roger Mole; 03-05-18 at 08:06 AM.


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