The CIX VFR Club Over the Alps
Club Events - Difficult Airfields - Five in Three
This year’s event takes in five countries in three hours
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Briefing APRIL 2020

April's Star Event continues on the “Difficult airfields” theme but in a fun and relaxed environment. This year’s event takes in five countries in three hours (well…depending on how / what you fly!) It combines the beautiful Bavarian Alps, a complicated approach, landing and subsequent departure at Innsbruck (LOWI), a visit to Switzerland’s highest airport Samedan (LSZS) with difficult winds; before finally landing at a very difficult unheard of private airfield in Italy. Borders are open for this one! You will need to download the Italian airfield Locher (LILX) (links provided) and there are RW cockpit explanations on the airfield and approach (links provided). This airfield has been flown into before on all 3 FS platforms.


Your company at Biggin Hill has just refurbished a private PC12 for the Locher Company: a global fire door manufacturer in Italy. You are the delivery pilot contracted to deliver their PC-12 back to them. We pick up the journey in France (otherwise the event would perhaps be rather too long. Marvel in the beauty as this journey has some of the most beautiful topography available to the aviator today. Accepting the job, you take the opportunity to stop at four “Bucket-List” airfields before arrival at Locher. However, the aircraft must be delivered to Locher by April 30th April.

Start Time and Place

This event may be flown at any time in the month of April 2020. You will depart from Basle-Mulhouse (LFSB) and you must have arrived at Locher by 30th April 2020. You can make the positionng flight from Biggin Hill to Basle-Mulhouse if you wish, but it is not part of the event.

Flight Planning (Plan-G, Little NavMap)

Before the event you will need to plan your route. Note carefully all airspace restrictions abroad. Attached is an example plan ONLY as the crow flies. Feel free to explore the valleys. Just ensure you enter / depart LOWI & LSZS correctly.

The journey legs are: -

  1. LFSB Basel Mulhouse (France) – EDJA Allgau (Germany)
  2. EDJA Allgau / Memmingen (Germany) - LOWI Innsbruck (Austria)
  3. LOWI Innsbruck (Austria) - LSZS Samedan (Switzerland)
  4. LSZS Samedan (Switzerland) – LILX Locher Sarentino Private Airfield (Italy)
Members can try flying into and out of these airfields as many times as they like, either attempting them on their own, or as part of a group, but above all, in a relaxed environment and the friendliness of our Club spirit. Practice is recommended as the airfields are different to the UK, but for the nervous/new aviator, give it a shot; or ask for help… it will be worth it this time around.

Route Details

Leg 1: You depart from Basel Mulhouse LFSB in France is 2.2 miles NW of Basel, Switzerland, 12 miles SE Mulhouse in France and 29 miles SSW of Freiburg im Breisgau in Germany, within the French Alsace tripoint between France, Germany, and Switzerland. Identified in 1939 as a good site before the war, construction was finally agreed in 1946. You arrive at Allgau /Memmingen Airport (EDJA) has the highest altitude of any commercial airport in Germany.

Leg 2: You fly from Allgau /Memmingen into Austria, via the wonderful Bavarian Alps; over Oberammergau (home of the famous Passion play), over the infamous ski town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen (1936 Winter Olympics), then past the Zugspitze (on the right), the highest mountain in Germany. The whole area is truly breath-taking. Cross the Austria–Germany border and follow the renowned November; Golf approach visually into Innsbruck.

Innsbruck is the largest international airport in Tyrol in western Austria. It is well known for having a difficult approach due to surrounding terrain, prohibiting certain aircraft types from operating at the airport. The approach and descent is a very complicated process as the Alps create vicious winds and currents, which pilots have to deal with throughout the process. It is a Category C airport, an airport with special difficulties requiring pilots to have special training before using it. Be aware that there are specific arrival & departure routes.

Leg 3: Leaving Austria you fly West through the valleys to Samedan (LSZS ) in Switzerland; the highest airliner airport in Europe at 5600ft. (Only Courchevel is higher but it is only useable by STOL aircraft). Samedant is also considered one of the most challenging airports in the world because of its difficult topography and winds and because of the thinness of the air at that altitude…So check your RW weather.

Leg 4: Remember your altitude! Your departure performance may not be as expected! Depart and travel east to the private Locher Airfield in Italy… The ONLY one of its kind. The airfield belongs to Locher Gebhard and lies next to Mr. Gebhard's factory which produces metallic fire resistant doors. LOCHER has two production plants located near the city of Bolzano: one producing accessories and components for doors and metallic shutters for the building industry. The second, recently built plant was designed for the door manufacturing.

What Aircraft can I fly Any single engined or twin aircraft can be flown in this event as long as it is within the EASA "Light" category (see Club Rules for details). However, the Swiss-built Pilatus PC12 would be the natural preferred aircraft due to realism to the scenario and having a reasonable speed to complete the event in a reasonable time. Other aircraft of similar performance may be flown, or a slower one if you wish to take in the sights!

Innsbruck and Samedan are popular VATSIM control areas (depending on what time you go online), so be prepared and expect ATC to be active over the centre coverage area. Study the LOWI approach / departure procedures (e.g. November 1 or Golf) and LSZS procedures, being the highest Swiss airport. Consider LILX as Traffic (unless a CIX controller wishes to do RADIO on TS. At the time of publishing this event plan, ATC has not been requested due to the event being over an extended period of time and over Europe. If unsure or worried at any time, let a more experienced member explain on your behalf or simply call yourself “Student X-XXXX” is not familiar with..". Don’t let a fear of ATC ruin the beauty of this flight.

Weather - or Not!

Before starting we will check the weather. If it is unsuitable for the 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 SquawkboxB or XSquawkbox will need to turn off the on-line weather updates, and select calm in the FS weather options. Whilst CAVOK is ideal if IFR conditions exist; consider adding some high clouds / winds to add to the realism of the Alps.


Remember to ANC (Aviate, Navigate & Communicate). Take care not to let our TeamSpeak chat cut across ATC. Stop any conversation immediately the R/T comes alive, and 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. Remember...this should be fun for all.

Should your enjoyment become impaired due to “unsportsmanlike” ATC, let someone know to allow club senior pilots to pass on your concerns to the controller! By the same token, accept any refusal or admonishment lightly if you get something wrong, such as straying into Controlled Airspace without clearance, and use it as a learning point if required.

If you wish to receive help and training for / before the event, please ask. Everyone wants to help…It’s the CIX way!

Club Star Award One of the four destination airfields will be randomly selected as the STAR airfield. All pilots are therefore to complete a full stop turnaround and submit a separate PIREP for each leg.

Locher Sarentino Airfield Scenery:



Information Videos:

The Locher Approach:
Shortest take off:
When the boss…
Von Kempten zum "Locher Airfield Sarentino":
Locher Sarentino Airfield Pilot's Guide cockpit view:

Acknowledgements Event Idea: Dan Cooper
Event planning: Dan Cooper
Briefing: Dan Cooper
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