The CIX VFR Club The Stapleford Gang
Club Events - Night Flight!
Redhill to Stansted
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The CIX VFR Club
Club Events - Night Flight!
Redhill to Stansted
 Briefing   Thursday 8th December 2005  
Version control This is Version 1.1 of the briefing timed at 12:45 ZULU 12/11/05. Minor errors corrected and a note added about Redhill runway designation changes. A link is also added to the IFR flight plans
Start Time and Place 19:30 to 20:30 zulu The Main Apron at Redhill Aerodrome
Night Manoeuvres at Redhill Redhill has grass runways and taxiways. The only night lighting in FS is runway 08R/26L, so it would be wise to familiarise yourself with the airfield layout a few days before the event. The parking area is on the north side of the field, east of runway 01/19 as shown in the picture on the right. Note that Redhill runway 01/19 has recently been redesignated 18/36 due to the slow march of magnetic variation and is shown as such on the up to date CAA charts. FS however has not yet caught up with the change! Rehill airfield layout
Help! I can't see where I am! In FS4 main roads were lit with street lights which was not only pretty but useful for navigation. FS2004 has strange glow-worm like dots scattered randomly about, so that their only value is to see that you are in fact moving. They have no relationship with the scenery. What is worse is that if you have the UK Visual Flight Photographic Scenery installed, there is no ground lighting at all except airfields. So, for this event, we will turn OFF the VFR scenery and fly using the default glow-worm lighting - it is better than pitch black!
Briefing As if that weren't enough to put you off, night flight is flown under Instrument Flight Rules, and we are a VFR club. However, we don't need to let that worry us as all the necessary information is provided here. After start up you may need to use top down view to follow the taxiway to runway 08 Right or 26 Left as directed by ATC. Hold a steady course along the light path on take off. ATC will provide outbound instructions to the first visual reference point (VRP) which will be either Reigate Railway Station if using runway 26L, or the junction of the M23 and the M25 if using runway 08R. The problem is, that these are not visible at night in FS, nor are they included in the UK VRP scenery addon. We are working on this and will advise what to do about it as soon as possible. Before departure, set the Redhill QNH by pressing the 'B' key, and proceed as follows: -

Runway 26L Departure (FSNav Flight Plan)
Climb straight ahead to 1200 feet Redhill QNH then turn right heading 359 degrees climbing to 1400 feet. Level out at 1400 feet QNH and expect to reach the Reigate Station VRP 2.3 nm after your turn (that's 1.4 minutes at 100 knots). Once passing Reigate Station VRP , turn right, heading 064 degrees and track the Biggin Hill VOR (BIG 115.10) inbound, climbing to 2400 feet to cross Biggin Hill at that altitude.

Runway 08R Departure (FSNav Flight Plan)
Climb straight ahead to 1000 feet Redhill QNH before turning left onto a heading of 328 degrees and continuing the climb to 1400 feet QNH. Level out at 1400 feet QNH and expect to reach the M25/M23 Junction VRP 3.0 nm (1.8 minutes at 100 knots) after your turn. Once passing the M25/M23 Junction, turn right, heading 061 degrees and track the Biggin Hill VOR (BIG 115.10) inbound, climbing to 2400 feet to cross Biggin Hill at that altitude.

Onward flight is to Dartford Bridge. Track the Biggin Hill VOR outbound on an OBS bearing of 048 degrees, to Dartford Bridge (which is highly visible). From Biggin, this is 11.6 nm - about 7 minutes. From Dartford, track the Lambourne VOR (LAM115.60) inbound on a bearing of 346 degrees at an altitude of 2400 feet. From Lambourne, fly a heading of 340 degrees (plus or minus wind drift allowance) to Epping VRP. Unless advised otherwise by ATC, descend to 1200 feet on Essex Regional QNH and continue at this altitude into the Stansted circuit. Epping is just 3.6 nm or 2 minutes and 10 seconds from Lambourne, so you need to stay alert and descend quickly. This is to avoid Stansted controlled airspace above you, but they may give you permission to remain higher. You can always ask them. At Epping, turn right and enter the Stansted zone. This will be about 2 minutes 20 seconds after your turn.
Pictured (right) on climbout from Runway 26L. Note Gatwick's proximity and the "glow-worm" default night lighting.
Climb-out from Gatwick at night
ATC will be provided by Redhill Tower (119.60) for take off, Thames Radar (132.70) after departure and as far as Dartford, and Essex Radar (120.62) from Dartford to Epping. Finally Stansted Tower will cover your approach and landing (126.80). Note that there is no Stansted Approach frequency - this is covered by Essex Radar. Stansted final at night
Position reporting is normally by means of radio navaids not ground features, e.g. "present position 25 DME from (the) Bravo India Golf bearing two four zero" or "passing (the) Lima Alpha Mike". Inclusion of "the" is common, though maybe not procedurally correct.
Picture (right) shows G-GYAV on short final into Stansted at night. This will be you on Thursday 1st December!
VOR Tracking This document is an extract from the Instrument Flight document also on the web site. If you are unsure how to track VORs inbound and outbound, download and have a look at this.
Instrument Flight Rules Night Flight is conducted in accordance with Instrument Flight Rules.
1) You must fly 1000 feet above the highest known obstacle within 5 nautical miles either side of track. except for a) Take off and landing, b) Routes notified in the Air Navigation Order, c) Below 3000 feet in sight of the surface.
2) You must obey the Quadrantal Rule outside controlled airspace: - fly at odd thousands of feet in the north-east quadrant, odd thousands plus 500 feet in the south east quadrant, even thousands of feet in the south west quadrant and even thousands plus 500 feet in the north west quadrant.
3)You must file a flight plan.
Practicalities In this part of the world, flying IFR according to the rules is almost impossible due to the Class A (=verboten) controlled airspace above you starting at 2500 feet. Fortunately you are exempt from the Quadrantal Rule when flying under radar control, so you must ask en route ATC (Thames and Essex) for a Radar Advisory Service, not a Flight or Radar Information Service. You must comply with rules 1 and 2. However, by filing an IFR flight plan, you will probably be given permission to fly in controlled airspace more readily than when filing a VFR flight plan.
Flight Plan The flight plan must be filed as IFR, so enter "IFR" in the appropriate box. In the section on routing, enter the following text.
DCT M25/M23 VRP DCT BIG DCT N51 28.36 E000 28.36 DCT LAM DCT EPPING VRP
There is no need to enter the departure and arrival aerodromes, you have done that elsewhere. The Latitude/Longitude coordinates are Dartford Bridge by the way, and DCT stands for "direct track to". Every other item on the form remains the same.
Radio Discipline Take care not to let our Teamspeak chat cut across ATC. Stop any conversation immediately the R/T comes alive, then continue if "he wasn't talking to us". This is difficult because when transmitting on Teamspeak you can't hear the R/T. So be brief on Teamspeak, and be aware that ATC might be trying to get through. If anyone hears an R/T message which seems to be being ignored, just say "ATC is calling G-CIXN" if you have identified the callsign, or "ATC is calling us" which is a cue for everyone to be quiet on Teamspeak until ATC call again (which they will). Remember too that if asked to "Stand By" by ATC, you do not reply - not even "Roger", but simply wait until you are called again.
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