The CIX VFR Club Baron over Ireland
Club Events - 2009 Christmas Caper
The Emerald Isle and a Drop of the Black Stuff for Christmas.
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Club Events - 2008 Christmas Caper>
The Emerald Isle and a Drop of the Black Stuff for Christmas. Briefing by: Peter Dodds.
  Briefing December 2009  
Introduction The now traditional Club Christmas tour this year will feature Ireland. This beautiful and enigmatic country with the same population as London, offers a significant challenge to the VFR pilot.  The most significant challenge is the weather - straight off the Atlantic ocean, so expect lots of cloud, drizzle, (soft rain) and tricky visibility.  There is quite a lot of controlled airspace to avoid, several of the airfields have no fuel, and some are scarcely more than a field with a portacabin at one end.  This is probably the nearest to real aviation exploring that you will find in Western Europe.  Coupled with the weather, the fuel issue, short days and the occasional short runway, we guarantee this tour will be as much a challenge as last year's to the Artic north.
Start Time and Place Start from the GA apron at Dublin Weston, EIWT, on or after 1st December.  Not much after, though, as you have a lot of airspace to cover.
Touring with Plan-G Featured strongly in this tour is Tim Arnot's new Plan-G flight planner.  If you download and install all the scenery available in the download area below, all the airfields will appear in Plan-G once you have rebuilt the database.  Also plotted in the Plan-G User Waypoint database will be a number of points of interest, such as the place where Alcock and Brown landed after their pioneering transatlantic flight.  Divert to have a look at these, or just browse the web for information about them.
VFR Route to Weston From the Irish Sea, track the Collinstown VOR (111.20) 270 radial. It is misspelled Collsintown in FSX!  If ATC is on you may be asked to track the Killiney NDB (378.0) initially until you are visual with the two 680ft high Pigeon House Chimneys of Poolbeg Power Station which guard the entrance to Dublin from the sea. Now tune the Weston VOR (114.70) and track direct to the chimneys and be at 1000ft Dublin QNH before reaching them. You will pass the Howth Peninsula on your right ('Ireland's Eye').  Fly overhead the River Liffey at 1000ft .  Phoenix Park will become visible straight ahead.  If ATC are on, they will ask you to report at Heuston Station, which is right on the eastern edge of Phoenix Park  You can see it very clearly in the satellite view of Plan-G . Now track the WST VOR direct to Weston, passing over the south eastern corner of the Phoenix Park restricted Area (SFC-1000ft). Dublin ATC don't seem to mind if you infringe this by a few feet. But be very careful not to track to the airfield you can see in your 10 o'clock. That is Casement Military Airfield, and you would not be welcome!  Because of your altitude Weston's runway will not become visible until about 4 miles out, so don't panic. Maintain heading and make a left base join when you see it..
Route, Scenery and Duration Members Andrew Sambrook and Richard Sinclair have built models of almost all the small public Irish airfields whiich are not built into FS9 and FSX, or available from other sources.  (Someone is bound to point out one we've missed).  There are in fact a total of 129 landing grounds in Ireland, according to the Irish VFR Guide, currently out of print, unfortunately.  We have designed a tour which visits every public airfield we have discovered, 35 in all, not including Dublin, Shannon and Aldergrove, where we would not, in the real world, receive the usual warm Irish welcome.  You can follow the route described here, or make up your own.
Weather ...or not Before starting any leg of the trip, check the weather en route. If it is unsuitable, then you can will fix it, something you can do in the simulator. Wouldn't it be nice if we could do it in real life, particularly in Ireland, where the weather, although often gentle, and in the south west positively Mediterranean, can change very suddenly, particularly in the west. To improve the weather: -
  • Select "Clear all weather" in Flight Simulator
  • in FSInn, click the CAVOK button and you get calm clear weather.
  • In Squawkbox turn off on-line weather updates.
Maps and Charts Airport charts and approach plates for the bigger airfields in this tour can be downloaded from the Irish IAIP. From that page, select IAIP from the menu on the left.  That opens the Integrated Aeronautical Information Package (IAIP)
page.  Click on the link upper centre of that page.  Aerodrome details are at the bottom of that page. AD1.3 a bit further up the page gives a complete list of all licensed airfields, but that's all.  For Northern Ireland (Enniskillen, City of Derry (Eglinton), Belfast City & Newtownards) consult the UK IAIP.
A full official list of airfields is published by the Irish Aviation Authority.  Only 10 of these airfields have official IAIP charts available and instrument approach procedures, and that includes the three we will not be visiting as part of the tour.  For information on the others you will have to glean what you can from the linformation below. Where web information exists, we have provided a link.
Rules There are only four rules.
1) Visit all 35 airfields, either according to the route provided, or in any order you wish (including Shannon, Dublin and Aldergrove if you think you can afford the landing and handling fees!)
2) if you start off in a big aircraft to cross the water, or to fly the longer legs, and then "hire" a smaller aircraft to enable you to land at the shorter strips, you must return it to the airfield you hired it from.  There are aircraft for hire at Weston, Galway, Donegal, Belfast City, Enniskillen, Cork and Waterford.
3) You must end up at Weston on 31st Decmber for the Club Christmas Party in their excellent restaurant.
4) For virtual Customs and Immigration (VCI) purposes, flying into Northern Ireland, You must plan your route to depart Eire from Donegal, and you must fly direct to City of Derry Airport (Eglinton). When leaving Nothern Ireland, the Club has arranged for VCI clearance to be available at Enniskillen, so you can depart Enniskillen for any Eireann VCI airport - Donegal, Sligo, or Connaught for example.
Scenery for FSX Dublin City : Dublin Airport : WestonMedium Airfields : Small Airfields
Scenery for FS9 Dublin City : Dublin Airport : WestonMedium Airfields : Small Airfields
You can download the pre-planned route save it in your normal Flight Plans folder after download and either load it into Plan-G or straight into FS.  There are two versions FSX Plan and FS9 Plan.  Alternatively you can plan and fly your own route. Some of Ireland's specialities are provided as Plan-G Points of Interest (yellow stars) in this csv format file. Click here to download it and copy it your your Plan-G folder and import it into the User Waypoint Database.  To get an overview, zoom Plan-G to level 8, then go to map settings and click "Show User Waypoints) on the top ribbon menu.
Airfields in Order of the Optional Pre-planned Route (left to right)
Weston

Weston Airport - (EIWT)
Leixlip, Co. Kildare

Runway 25/07 - 924M
Freq. 122.40MHz
Elv. 154ft
N53° 21' 08"   W6° 29' 18"
Weston Airport

Trevet

Trevet - (EITT)
Dunshaughlin, Co. Meath

Runway 05/23 - 650M / 18M Grass
Freq. 118.275MHz
Elv. 385ft
N53° 32' 55"   W6° 31' 01"
No fuel

Trim

Trim - (EITM)
Co. Meath

Runway 10/28 - 560M / 12M Grass
Freq. 123.30MHz
Elv. 200ft
N53° 34' 27"   W6° 44' 10"
Trim Flying Club

Ballyboy

Ballyboy - (EIMH)
Co. Meath

Runway 11/29 - 400M / 18M Grass
Freq. 118.55MHz
Elv. 130ft
N53° 38' 16"   W6° 52' 43"
No fuel

Abbeyshrule

Abbeyshrule - (EIAB)
Co. Longford

Runway 10/28 - 799M / 18M Asphalt
Freq. 122.60MHz
Elv. 195ft
N53° 35' 25"   W7° 38' 9"
Abbeyshrule Airfield

Galway

Galway - (EICM)
Carnmore, Co. Galway

Runway 08/26 - 1220M / 30M
Freq. 122.50MHz
Elv. 81ft
N53° 18' 06"   W8° 56' 24"
Galway Airport

Sligo

Sligo - (EISG)
Co. Sligo

Runway 11/29 - 1129M / 30M
Freq. 122.10MHz
Elv. 11ft
N54° 16' 52"   W8° 35' 54"
Sligo Airport

Letterkenny

Letterkenny
Co. Donegal

Runway 25/07 -510M / 30M Grass
            25/07 -510M / 4.5M Tar
Freq. None
Elv. 20ft
N54° 56' 34"   W7° 40' 40"
No Fuel
Letterkenny Flying Club

Donegal

Donegal - (EIDL)
Co. Donegal

Runway 03/21 - 1496M / 30M
Freq. 118.60MHz
Elv. 30ft
N55° 2' 54"   W8° 21' 12"
Donegal Airport

Eglinton

Eglinton (City of Derry Airport)
Co. Londonderry

Runways 26/08 -1852 / 45M
              20/02 - 1204 / 45M
Freq.
Elv. 20ft
N55° 2' 34"   W7° 9' 40"
City of Derry Airport

Belfast City

George Best Belfast City
Co. Antrim

Runway 22/04 -1826 / 45M
Freq.
Elv. 15ft
N54° 38' 5"   W5° 52' 21"
No AVGAS
Belfast City Airport

Newtownards

Newtownards

Runways 22/04 -794 / 45M
              34/16 -618 / 45M
              26/08 -Unlicenced
Elv. 6ft
N54° 34' 52"   W5° 41' 31"
Ulster Flying Club

Enniskillen

Enniskillen

Runway 15/33 - 1426 / 30M
Freq. 123.20MHz
Elv. 155ft
N53° 23' 56"   W7° 39' 6"
Enniskillen Airport

Connaught

Connaught - (EIKN) (Knock)
Co. Mayo

Runway 09/27 - 2300M / 45M
Freq. 130.70MHz
Elv. 665ft
N53° 54' 37"   W8° 49' 6"
Connaught Airport

Belmullet

Belmullet - (EIBT)
Co. Mayo

Runway 07/25 - 450M / 18M
Freq. 123.60MHz
Elv. 150ft
N54° 13' 22"   W10° 1' 51"

Connemara

Connemara - (EICA)
Inverin, Co. Galway

Runway 05/23 - 609M / 18M
Freq. 123.00MHz
Elv. 70ft
N53° 13' 50"   W9° 28' 4"
Connemara Airfield

Inishmore

Inishmore - (EIIM)
Aran Islands

Runway 14/32 - 520M / 18M
Freq. 123.00MHz
Elv. 24ft
N53° 6' 25"   W9° 39' 14"
Not in FS9
No Fuel
The Aran Islands

Inishmaan

Inishmaan - (EIMN)
Aran Islands

Runway 15/33 - 546M / 18M
Freq. 123.00MHz
Elv. 13ft
N53° 5' 31"   W9° 34' 12"
No Fuel

Inisheer

Inisheer - (EIIR)
Aran Islands

Runway 13/31 - 520M / 18M
Freq. 123.00MHz
Elv. 42ft
N53° 3' 31"   W9° 30' 22"
No Fuel

Spanish Point

Spanish Point (EISP)

Runway 06/24 - 600M / 20M
Elv. 108ft
N52° 50' 59"   W9° 25' 1"
No Fuel

Erinagh

Erinagh- (EIER)
Capperoe, Co. Tipperary

Runway 06/24 - 600M / 18M Grass
Freq. 118.175MHz
Elv. 155ft
N52° 48' 45"   W8° 16' 56"
No Fuel
Sky Dive Ireland

Coonagh

Coonagh - (EICN)
Co. Limerick

Runway 10/28 - 416M / 9M Grass
Freq. 129.90MHz
Elv. 6ft
N52° 39' 59"   W8° 40' 55"
No Fuel

Kerry

Kerry - (EIKY)
Co. Kerry

Runway 08/26 - 2000M / 45M
Freq. 123.325MHz
Elv. 112ft
N52° 10' 51"   W9° 31' 26"
Kerry Airport

Bantry

Bantry - (EIBN)
Co. Cork

Runway 07/25 - 450M / 15M Asphalt
Freq. 122.40MHz
Elv. 7ft
N51° 40' 8"   W9° 29' 4"
No Fuel
Bantry Airfield

Rathcoole

Rathcoole - (EIRT)
Co. Cork

Runway 09/27 - 450M / 18M Grass
Freq. NIL
Elv. 281ft
N52° 6' 20"   W8° 59' 0"
No Fuel

Cork

Cork - (EICK)
Co. Cork

Runway 17/35 - 2133M / 45M
Freq. 119.30MHz
Elv. 502ft
N51° 50' 50"   W8° 30' 7"
Cork Airport

Waterford

Waterford - (EIWF)
Co. Waterford

Runway 03/21 - 1433M / 30M
Freq. 129.85MHz
Elv. 119ft
N52° 10' 48"   W7° 4' 1"

Waterford Airport

Kilkenny

Kilkenny - (EIKK)
Co. Kilkenny

Runway 09/27 - 930M / 23M
Freq. 122.90MHz
Elv. 300ft
N52° 39' 3"   W7° 17' 46"
Irish Aerosports

Moyne

Moyne - (EIMY)
Co. Tipperary

Runway 02/20 - 355M / 18M Grass
Freq. 123.75MHz
Elv. 400ft
N52° 42' 11"   W7° 42' 20"
No Fuel

Birr

Birr - (EIBR)
Co. Offaly

Runway 18/36 - 570M / 18M
Freq. 122.95MHz
Elv. 250ft
N53° 4' 15"   W7° 53' 55"
No Fuel
Ormand Flying Club

Clobullogue

Clonbullogue - (EICL)
Co. Offaly

Runway 09/27 - 770M / 18M Grass
Freq. 128.55MHz
Elv. 240ft
N53° 14' 59"   W7° 7' 24"

Kilrush

Kilrush - (EIKH)
Co. Kildare

Runways 11/29 - 650M / 22M Grass

01/19 750 / 22M Grass
Freq. 123.425MHz
Elv. 303ft
N53° 3' 49"   W6° 51' 19"
Kilrush Airfield

Hacketstown

Hacketstown - (EIHN)
Co. Carlow

Runway 16/34 - 499M / 18M Grass
Freq. 129.90MHz
Elv. 610ft
N52° 51' 18"   W6° 32' 50"
No Fuel

Brittas Bay

Brittas Bay (EIBB)
C. Wicklow

11/29, 620m, Grass
16/34, 530m, Grass

Freq. 118.25 MHz
Elv. 50ft
N52° 51' 29"   W6° 03' 30"
Brittas Bay Airfield

Newcastle

Newcastle - (EINC)
Co. Wicklow

Runway 18/36 - 690M / 18M
Freq. 122.55MHz
Elv. 1ft
N53° 4' 16"   W6° 2' 44"
Newcastle Airport

Weston

Weston Airport - (EIWT)
Leixlip, Co. Kildare

Runway 25/07 - 924M
Freq. 122.40MHz
Elv. 154ft
N53° 32' 55"   W6° 31' 01"
Weston Airport

NDB and VOR 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.  The document also covers the use of VORs for direction and distance measurements.  Remember though that most Irish airfields have no radio navaids but you can use VOR radial-and-distance tracking as a means of finding them.

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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