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  1. #1
    Captain Roger Mole's Avatar
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    Planning an international flight

    I've recently been working up the final plans for my next flight from France to the UK and back and have put up a detailed account of the steps involved on my blog.

    There may be some readers who are unfamiliar with the process and would like to know more or have never done it before and are thinking about having a go in the near future. If so, they may like to read my account and to save reprinting it all again here with the images etc, they can do so by clicking on the following link.

    http://www.micro-trike.co.uk/wordpre...e-we-go-again/

    I'm always grateful to receive any feedback and comments.


  2. #2
    Co-Pilot jetlag's Avatar
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    Excellent piece, even I could follow it. For the return leg am I correct you do the same in reverse GAR to leave UK and a Schengen entry form for France with a flight plan. Fingers crossed for the weather.
    F-JRIB
    Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.

    Phil.


  3. #3
    Captain Roger Mole's Avatar
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    Yup, there's a 'Préavis de Vol Entrée Schengen' available from the Calais aeroport website

    http://www.aeroport.capcalaisis.fr/w...-DUNKERQUE.pdf

    And if you already know the date and time that you'll be departing the UK you can enter that onto the GAR form when you first submit it (and vice versa). At present my visit is a bit open-ended and I don't know the date that I'll be returning to France and I've therefore left that section blank. I don't think that the UK authorities are that hot on knowing dates of departure, especially for UK citizens, but to be absolutely correct, it would be sensible to file another 'departure' GAR form when you do decide to leave.

    Just one thing. I've been advised by someone far more experienced in such things than I, that when travelling as a solo pilot, you don't need to list yourself as a 'passenger' on the GAR form, just as crew. I did do before so as to provide an address at which I'd be staying during my visit while in the UK as it was all clear and above board. I'd say that you should do whatever you think best for yourself - obviously if you are a foreign visitor it might be advantageous to show your UK address during the time of your stay and thereby avoid any unnecessary bureaucratic interference and disruption. But apparently it isn't necessary to do so.


  4. #4
    Captain Roger Mole's Avatar
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    I've received a couple of bits of very useful information from Rick who is very experienced in these matters and in particular the latest snippet is particularly useful. I quote:

    "Where a VFR flight crosses an FIR boundary the flight plan needs to show the crossing point (co-ords or a radial, for Cap GN to Dover I usually show DVR160 from memory) and the EET to that point. A flight plan generated by SkyDemon does this automatically by the way."

    Rick then found the following in the VFR Flight Planning Guide, which he kindly brought to my attention.

    7.3.1 Additionally, for flights to/from France, the French Authorities require the frontier crossing point (the UK/France FIR boundary position) to be included in Item 15 (Route) of the FPL. To assist pilots, the UK now includes the ATS route reporting points on the Southern England and Wales 1:500 000 chart. These can be used as a frontier crossing point. A position may also be shown as LAT/LONG, or as a bearing and distance from a route reporting point or navigation aid. Example: Cap Gris Nez - RINTI Cap Gris Nez - 51N00130E Cap Gris Nez - RINTI23005 Cap Gris Nez - DVR16010
    7.3.2 The EET for this position should be shown in Item 18 of the FPL (Other information) in the format EET/LFFF(elapsed time) or EET/EGTT (elapsed time), depending on flight direction. Example: EET/LFFF0145 (UK/France) or EET/EGTT0020 (France/UK)

    So after making the necessary amendments, this is how my France/UK flightplan looked.



    So now the border crossing point is shown in the 'Route' box and the time taken to reach it in Box 18 'Other Information'.

    I think that the section of the form that pilots find the most tricky and that causes the most rejections is the 'Route' box. There's really no need to fear it if you keep it simple and stick to points defined by latitude and longitude pairs.

    You can use decimal degrees or degrees and minutes. I find the latter simpler because you can then use 'N' to designate our northern latitudes and 'E' and 'W' for longitudes. All you need to remember is to insert 4 figures describing latitude in degrees and tens and units of minutes followed by 'N' (North) followed by 5 figures describing longitude in degrees and tens and units of minutes, followed by 'E' (East) or 'W' (West) and to make up the correct number of figures, where necessary, by insertion of zeros. Also, not to include spaces. However, if you need to describe a route by defining several lat/long points you just add each one in the same format in the 'Route' box with a space between them eg 5101N00132E 5101N00027W (the latter is the Billingshurst VRP to the SW of the Gatwick Class D). Then apart from only ticking boxes on the flight plan form that are relevant (ie no 'X's or '0's for items that do not apply) you should never have another flightplan rejected and have to start pulling your hair out wondering why.

    As always, grateful for any info/feedback as this is an area where I know some people get a bit foxed and are therefore discouraged from venturing a bit further afield as a result and I'd like to make sure that it's dead right.


  5. #5
    thebarb
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    I think the information Rick has given you is correct.
    His way seems to be overcomplicating it for the 'layman' though.

    This FPL is complete & not as complicated
    easy.jpg
    Attached Images Attached Images


  6. #6
    Captain Roger Mole's Avatar
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    Just in case there's any confusion, the info in the posts above is all mine - Rick has just helpfully commented outside of the forum.

    Yes, it seems that the various systems all produce slightly different results that all seem to be acceptable. Unfortunately I lost the details of the FP I filed the last time I did the trip in 2016 due to a PC hard disk crash but I don't recall including the FIR boundary as a waypoint then and the FP was accepted. Same this year - I suspect that if I'd just left it with a straight line joining Calais and Headcorn and the comment DCT in Box 18, EuroFPL would have submitted it (as they already validated it) and it would have been accepted. Maybe we VFR GA types are allowed a little more leaway than the pros filing IFR with their ANAV data and all that stuff. If so, that alone is encouraging.

    I have to say that when I flew my old AX3 over in 2012 I cheated by getting a 30 day SkyDemon trial to print the flightplan on screen (the trial version won't actually file it even for a fee) which I then copied and filed manually. However, hopefully this thread shows that you don't need to make the investment if you don't have the need for it otherwise and there are means for you to do it yourself.

    The message is I hope that it's not hard and this stuff shouldn't be a barrier to spreading your wings a bit. Your first Channel crossing is as exciting as your first solo in my book.

    BTW, if you mean Rick's using a radial and distance from a point (eg the DVR VOR) is overcomplicating it for the layman, yes, I agree with you. Like I said and as SkyDemon has done in your examples, I think using Lat/Lon pairs for points is simpler to use and easier to understand.

    In 2016 mainly because I went via Abbeville, I also transited from Cap Gris Nez to Headcorn via Folkestone. This year I've decided to do it direct Calais - Headcorn because even though the wet leg is a bit longer, in the Savannah flying at 150 kmh the extra time over the water is only a few minutes and as the trusty Rotax will by then already have done 5 hours through France, I'm prepared to take that risk.
    Last edited by Roger Mole; 14-05-18 at 22:36 PM.


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