[jhb_airlines] Re: Which club to join?

  • From: "Bones" <bones@xxxxxxx>
  • To: <jhb_airlines@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 27 Jul 2004 04:36:35 +0100

This is something that a few pilots get confused about and it is
different in real life to VATSIM/IVAO and FPI..

In real life you have controllers working the controlled airspace
(airways) traffic and separate bods working the uncontrolled areas. The
airways controllers call themselves London Centre, Scottish Centre etc
and, because they are working traffic in controlled airspace they
provide full ATC service.

Outside the airways it is called uncontrolled airspace, Open FIR, bandit
country and more unprintable names because it is exactly that. It is a
free for all area that microlights, balloons, aircraft (military and
civil), kites, rockets and Thunderbirds can do whatever they wish to do.
No one is directly in charge of it - but it isn't totally neglected.
First you have the London FIR controller (who calls himself London FIR
as opposed to London Centre) and he can only provide a Flight
Information Service. That means information only, no controlling. He can
get you weather, frequencies, airways crossing clearances but he won't
tell you about other traffic or give you navigation guidance. 

If you DO want more positive help in the FIR then your better bet (in
real life still) is to find a LARS unit nearby and request a Radar
Advisory Service. This is loosely similar to the US Flight Following but
is basically traffic advice - not navigation or radar vectoring.

In FPI things are different. We have the following notified positions:

EGTT_N_CTR 127.10 (London North)
EGTT_S_CTR 129.10 (London South)
EGTT_C_CTR 120.52 (London TMA)
EGCC_CTR   134.42 (Manchester Centre)
EGPX_CTR   129.22 (Scottish Centre)
EISN_CTR   131.15 (Shannon Centre) 

Go to http://divisions.flightproject.net/uki/ and click on the EGTT link
on the side to see a diagram of the coverage of these positions.

Basically London North works EVERYTHING from Birmingham up to Carlisle
(52:30N to 55N) and there isn't really a distinction between airways and
none airways flights. London South works everything below 52:30N. London
TMA is just for the arrival traffic into the London TMA airports whilst
Manchester Centre is for the airways flights "up north" below FL130.

If you planed an IFR flight from EGPF to EGLL then you should, if the
controllers were available, talk to Glasgow Approach, Scottish Centre,
London North, London South, London TMA and then Heathrow Approach. If
only London South (EGTT_S_CTR) is active then it is assumed he is in
charge of ALL London traffic unless someone else logs in as London North
or London TMA. In this case it would indeed be correct to call London
South for clearance into the whole London airspace as you proceed
southbound.

If you are flying VFR around the UK you could also do no harm in calling
a London Centre controller en route. In this case, if you are staying
outside any Control Zones, it is entirely optional as to whether you
elect to have an ATC service or not. If the controller accepts you as
traffic I would guess his handling of you would depend upon the
individual and his personal knowledge of UK ATC procedures.

bones

> -----Original Message-----
> From: jhb_airlines-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx 
> [mailto:jhb_airlines-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of gwinsk@xxxxxxx
> Sent: 26 July 2004 14:03
> To: jhb_airlines@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
> Subject: [jhb_airlines] Re: Which club to join?
> 
> 
> Next question.
> The  controller I see listed most frequently is identified as 
> EGTT. As I understand it, 
> that's the code for London FIR. Is this a flight information 
> service? If so, does he act, in 
> the absence of others, as a universal England and Wales 
> contoller? If I was departing Glasgow, for Heathrow, with 
> only EGTT listed, am I right in assuming 
> that, having filed an IFR Flightplan, I would take off, 
> without contacting anyone, follow 
> my flightplan and contact EGTT approaching the Carlisle / 
> Newcastle border of London 
> FIR? If so, would he cover the remainder of my flight and 
> landing? Gerry Winskill gwinsk@xxxxxxx
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> On 24 Jul 2004 at 16:08, Bones wrote:
> 
> > Very good questions Gerry and very much to the point. I will indeed 
> > turn your questions into an FAQ page as my replies are going to be 
> > even longer.
> > 
> > In a nutshell though it would be worth flying all you 
> flights plugged 
> > into FPI simply because it would show others the UK is active. 
> > Activity will generate further activity (no one wants to plug in if 
> > the UK looks empty). The downside is that you lose your default AI 
> > aircraft and MS ATC so you are back in empty skies again.
> > 
> > bones
> > 
> > > -----Original Message-----
> > > From: jhb_airlines-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
> > > [mailto:jhb_airlines-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of
> > > gwinsk@xxxxxxx Sent: 24 July 2004 07:41 To:
> > > jhb_airlines@xxxxxxxxxxxxx Subject: [jhb_airlines] Re: 
> Which club to
> > > join?
> > > 
> > > 
> > > Hi Bones,
> > > 
> > > 
> > > On 23 Jul 2004 at 21:17, Bones wrote:
> > > 
> > > > Hi Peter,
> > > > 
> > > > 
> > > > What is odd is that if a pilot wants a quick session with
> > > other pilots
> > > > they are more likely to connect to a basic MP session than
> > > plug in to
> > > > FPI. It's odd because if there are no UK ATC units "live"
> > > on FPI you
> > > > can fly around as happy as you wish and still chat with
> > > other pilots.
> > > > I think the idea of doing this is somehow buried by the
> > > thought that
> > > > FPI is a live ATC environment and if ATC isn't available
> > > then it's not
> > > > worth connecting. In truth though FPI is still a MP session
> > > - just in
> > > > another format - but with ATC available if someone is around to 
> > > > provide it.
> > > > 
> > > > bones
> > > > 
> > > It could be that some of us, myself included, tend (ed) to
> > > think of the whole FPI thing as 
> > > IFR or, at least, Special VFR. I've hesitated to use it for 
> > > my JHB VFR assignments, 
> > > though I can see some potential benefits from moving to FPI 
> > > for those, as well as for 
> > > your own sessions.
> > >  If I move my VFRs across then can I put up some assumptions, 
> > > covering one of my 
> > > typical flights. 
> > > 
> > > 1) I should file a Flightplan, even though my primary route
> > > choice avoids all controlled 
> > > airspace, partly as a courtesy, to reassure any watching 
> > > controllers that I'm not just 
> > > swanning around.. I should connect to the server and to the 
> > > Chat frequency but not to a 
> > > controller.
> > > 
> > > 2) If I start from a small field outside controlled airspace
> > > and with no ATC, eg 
> > > Welshpool, then I don't need to contact an FPI controller, 
> > > before takeoff, but may be 
> > > allowed to do so, if I wish.
> > > 
> > > 3) I normally plan my route to avoid controlled airspace,
> > > partly because reports of real 
> > > life attempts to obtain permission to cross through Cat D 
> > > suggests that in many areas it 
> > > is rarely granted. If flying in FPI, presumably I could have 
> > > an alternate leg(s) in case I 
> > > got approval. Ten minutes before approaching the point where 
> > > my alternate route would 
> > > divert through a CAT D, or cross under a Cat A, I could 
> > > connect to my nearest UK FPI 
> > > Controller, give ident, type, position and altitude and 
> > > request permissin to cross, etc. If 
> > > granted, I would report leaving that Zone. Under those 
> > > circumstances, would I then 
> > > disconnect from the control frequency, to rejoin later, if
> > > neccessary?
> > > 
> > > 4) Approaching my destination, I should contact a controller,
> > > if, eg, it is under a 
> > > controlled airspace, like many in the South East, seeking 
> > > permission to join.
> > > 
> > > 5) If not covered by a zone, can I still ask a controller for
> > > permission to join, obtain local 
> > > weather, etc.?
> > > 
> > >  One of the reasons I've continued to use FS9 outside FPI,
> > > for these flights, is that I get 
> > > the best of both worlds, albeit in a less "real" sense. I use 
> > > ATC at departure and arrival, 
> > > getting details of the Active, plus the purple taxi line.I 
> > > don't opt for Flight Following, since 
> > > I understand this is available only in the USA. I do, 
> > > however, tune into the various, if 
> > > unrealistic, control centres advised, without contacting 
> > > them. This way I get information 
> > > on nearby AI movements. The downside of using FPI for cross 
> > > country would be the 
> > > comparative absence of other GA traffic, with AI disabled. I 
> > > can see, though, that this is 
> > > a chicken and egg situation, since the more we use FPI for 
> > > local flying or cross country, 
> > > the closer we will get to the FS AI  situation, and with 
> > > greater realism. If I remain logged 
> > > on to a controller, even though that might be necessary, I 
> > > would continue to hear his 
> > > chat; more realistic. Is that acceptable?
> > > 
> > > Overall, I would definitely tend to use FPI on a routine
> > > basis, because it's so easy to 
> > > use, if I can be more confident I'm not likely to be 
> > > breaching their ettiquette.
> > > 
> > > Sorry about the length of the "reply"; unintentionally, it's
> > > turned into a mini tutorial 
> > > request, where your answers could get me to the same point.
> > > 
> > > Gerry Winskill
> > > gwinsk@xxxxxxx
> > >  
> > > 
> > 
> > 
> 
> 
> 


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