The CIX VFR Club The Stapleford Gang
Club Events - Isle of Man
Cats without tails and fast motorbikes
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The CIX VFR Club
Club Events - Isle of Man
Cats without tails and fast motorbikes Briefing by Tony Driver
 Briefing Tuesday 7th February 2006
Start Time and Place 19:30 to 20:00 zulu - The CIX VFR Club parking area at Gloucestershire, which is in front of the Staverton Flying School hangar.
Departure and Duration We plan to depart and fly in two separate groups, based on cruising speed. The times do not include time spent on the ground.
Group one will cruise at 105 knots, taking about 1 hr 45 mins.
Group two will cruise at 180 knots, taking about 1 hr.
Weather ...or not Before starting we will check the weather en route. If it is unsuitable for our trip as planned, then we will fix it. Something we can do in the simulator - wouldn't it be nice if we could do it in real life!
FSInn has a "CAVOK" button. Click this and you get calm clear weather.
Those using SB3 will need to turn off the on-line weather updates, and select calm in the FS weather options.
For the purists, it is possible to find a route which can be flown below 1500 feet, but it's not as interesting, and to simplify the plan we choose not to do so for this occasion.
Routing Overview The route will take us over Shobdon to Welshpool, and up over the Snowdonia National Park to the Isle of Anglesey. Snowdon at 3560 feet is close to this route, and we will get a good view of the Welsh mountains.
We will take a short break at RAF Valley, before continuing across the Irish Sea to the Isle of Man.

Flight Plan

Your flight plan should show: departure = EGBJ, destination = EGNS, alternate = JURBY, route = DCT EGBS DCT EGCW DCT EGOV, and comments = /V/ DAYLIGHT / CIX VFR CLUB
All bearings and headings given in the briefing below are magnetic, and no allowance has been made for any cross wind.
Airfield charts and information are available from the AIS web site.
The alternate destination, Jurby is not covered there, see below for more information.

Gloucestershire to Shobdon

Before departure, file your flight plan, set your ADF radio to SH 426.0, and NAV1 radio to GOS 115.55 and your transponder to 7000. Set the local QNH by pressing the 'B' key. Contact ATC for taxi instructions and clearance for your departure as filed. Follow the instructions you are given to taxi out to the active runway. You can expect clearance to include your turn to the north west. Set squawk mode Charlie as you take up the runway. Shobdon is 33.5 nm from Gloucestershire at 315 degrees. After 9 nm we cross the M50 close to junction 2. After another 3 nm we pass to the west of Ledbury and the railway line from Ledbury crosses right to left after another 3 nm. 9 nm later we pass over a lake in a loop in the river where the railway line goes through a tunnel. Then we should be able to see Shobdon 7.5 nm ahead.

Use this leg to check the wind drift and make heading adjustments to correct your track as you pass over the landmarks. Refer to the Practical Navigation tutorial in the Training Manual for assistance.

Shobdon to Welshpool

Set radios ADF = WPL 323.0 and NAV1 = WPL 115.95. The direct track from Shobdon to Welshpool is 343 degrees and the distance is 25 nm. There are no obvious landmarks on this section, so we may need to use the NDB to confirm our track. Also, we get close to some high ground on each side as we approach the Welshpool area, so take care not to fly too low. The MSA is 2700 feet to give the required 1000 feet clearance.

Welshpool to RAF Valley

On this leg we need to fly higher. We will be passing close to Snowdon which is 3560 feet high, giving the MSA 4560 in that area.
Outbound from Welshpool keep radios set ADF = WPL 323.0 and NAV1 = WPL 115.95, and NAV1 standby = VYL 108.40. The direct track to RAF Valley is 315 degrees, but we need to make allowance for any cross wind. The distance is 60 nm, but we have some distinctive water features as landmarks. The first is 12 nm from Welshpool. Lake Vyrnwy is about 4 nm long - we fly lengthways along the right bank. We are about to cross into the Snowdonia National Park. Next a similar lake, Llyn Tegid whose length stretches off to the right - we should just miss the edge of this at 22 nm from Welshpool. If not done already, we must make contact now with RAF Valley, and take advantage of their Lower Airspace Radar Service (LARS) as we are about to enter an Area of Intense Aircraft Activity (AIAA). Also now, we should swap NAV1 to the preset VYL Tacan beacon. With 20 nm to run, we may see Snowdon on the right, but it will be difficult to pick out exactly which peak it is. With 15 nm to run we have cleared the high ground, and should see Caernarfon and the Menai Strait ahead - time to start our descent into RAF Valley. Ask for and follow the joining instructions. Land and take a ten minute break.

RAF Valley to Ronaldsway

On this leg we will track outbound from the Point Lynas NDB, which is on the north east corner of the Island. Set radios for this final leg ADF = PS 304.0 for the outbound half of the sea crossing, and RWY 359.0 for the inbound half. NAV1 is already set to VYL 108.40. Set the NAV1 standby to IOM 112.20, but note that this VOR is 4 nm from the airfield. There is a DME available on the IOM airfield intended for use with the ILS, it is I-RH 111.15. The total distance is about 53 nm. After take off, depart the zone as instructed and then head for the Penysarn NDB. On crossing it, turn to follow the outbound track 350 degrees making an appropriate allowance for any cross wind. The sea crossing from here direct to Ronaldsway is 40 nm. Expect to be handed over to the IOM Approach controller about half way through the sea crossing, when we should change the ADF to the Ronaldsway NDB.

Divert to Jurby

If you have to divert to Jurby, you will find the airfield near the north west coast of the island. From the IOM VOR it is 19 nm at 211 degrees, and from the RWY NDB it is at 198 degrees. It has a main hard surface runway 08-26 about 1000 metres long, but beware of fences either side of the road which crosses near the 26 threshold. There is also a shorter disused runway. The airfield is 100 feet AMSL. A top down screen shot of Jurby is available here.
NDB Tracking The Instrument Flight document in the Training section of the club web site contains a section on NDBs and how to use them. If you are unsure how to track NDBs, download and have a look at this.

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.
Remember also that there are several different ATC frequencies in use, and you may not be able to hear when communications are taking place. Make sure you have set and know how to use a Teamspeak mute switch.
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