The CIX VFR Club Tower
Club Events: Bristol - Cardiff Round Robin
Keeping it local, we visit a couple of popular nearby airfields...
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The CIX VFR Club
Club Events: Bristol - Cardiff Round Robin
Keeping it local, we visit a couple of popular nearby airfields... Briefing by: Tim Arnot.
  Briefing Tuesday 21st July, 2009  
Start Time and Place Where: Outside the Cix hangar at  Gloucester (EGBJ)
When: 1300z. (2pm UK - early),  1900z (8pm UK - evening),  2200z (11pm UK - late nighers) Pick the start time that you are most comfortable with
Weather ...or not Before starting we will check the weather. 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! For the general handling we need a cloud base that is at least 3000ft AGL.
FSInn has a "CAVOK" button. Click this and you get calm clear weather.
Those using SB will need to turn off the on-line weather updates, and select calm in the FS weather options.
Gloucester - Bristol EGBJ - EGGD
Alternate: EGTG
Route: Hicks Gate Roundabout
Comments = /V/ DAYLIGHT / CIX VFR CLUB


Departure clearance will be given by ATC, and they will give you a reporting point -- typically Stroud -- at which they will hand you over to whatever enroute ATC is available. It is your job to familiarise yourself with reporting points so that you recognise them when you pass by.

If the weather is nice, you may wish to route along the top of the Cotswold ridge, to get some stunning views of the hills and the river. With poorer weather, you can follow the M5 motorway, but take care not to encroach Filton's ATZ, whuch starts at the M5/M4 junction.

Bristol ATC will ask you to report arriving at the VRP, most likely this will be Hicks Gate Roundabout, and I've planned for that, but be prepared for a different VRP to be asked for. Bristol's CTA and CTR are class D, so you will be inside controlled airspace, and so under a Control Service. Follow whatever instructions ATC gives you.

Bristol - Cardiff Return Flight: EGGD - EGFF
Alternate: EGTG
Route: DCT
Comments = /V/ DAYLIGHT / CIX VFR CLUB


For the leg across the Bristol  Channel, you will be inside controlled airspace the whole time, and so under ATC control.  The FS airspace map harks back to a simpler time, and if you look at an up to date chart, you'll see it's now a mess of steps and blocks as the two airports have sought to carve up the space between them. But don't let this distract you: Simply follow the instructions you're given and you'll be fine.

Once over the channel, Bristol will hand you over to Cardiff. The voice will be different but the procedure is the same: Do what you are asked and you'll be fine. Don't forget also to familiarise yourself with Cardiff's VRPs.

It's a short leg and likely to be busy, so be prepared either to delay your departure or to hold for traffic.

Cardiff - Gloucester

Return Flight: EGFF - EGBJ
Alternate: EGTG
Route: Newport
Comments = /V/ DAYLIGHT / CIX VFR CLUB

ATC will give you a departure clearance. This will likely be via Wenvoe TV mast, but might be different. You should familiarise yourself with the location of Cardiff's VRPs so that you can easily identify them.

ATC will ask you to report passing Newport, which is the limit of their coverage, and at this point will hand you over to enroute ATC services.

Shortly before the Bends in the river, we should be able to get a service from Gloucester Approach, and they will ask us to report passing the bends for rejoin. Follow the instructions ATC give you; land, park back at the CIX hangar where tea and medals will be waiting. Simples.

PIREPs You should file a separate PIREP for each of the three legs of this flight.

Charts & Map

All bearings and headings given in the briefing are magnetic, and no allowance has been made for any cross wind. Airfield charts and information for UK are available from the AIS web site

Bristol-specific charts are here.
Cardiff-specific charts are here.

This map is representative of the route described in the briefing. it is not intended to be used for navigation purposes. Click on the thumbnail for the full size picture.

If anyone hasn't got access to official CAA charts, if they let us know, we can try and address it.

VOR Tracking

The Instrument Flight document in the Training section of the club web site contains a section on VORs and how to use them. If you are unsure how to track a VOR radial, download and have a look at this.
The document covers the use of NDB and DME for direction and distance measurements as well.

Radio Discipline

The CIX Teamspeak Traffic room is available for use in areas where there is no ATC coverage. Only use this room for traffic reports (no 'chat'); be brief and succinct. Do not enter this room and mute yourself! If you are not actively participating in the traffic, either monitor, or leave the room.

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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