The CIX VFR Club
Club Events - Tough Airfields
Another visit to the Himalayas
Home > Monthly Events > Lukla 2022
Briefing FEBRUARY 2022

The April Star event will be in the shadow of Mt Everest, starting and finishing at the infamous Tenzing–Hillary Airport. There are many considerations for the pilot here, not only altitude and runway length, but the limitations on go-around / missed approach due to the geography. Add poor visibility and / or high crosswinds into the equation and things start looking slightly more precarious! Flights are usually scheduled in the early morning due to the equatorial environment (clouds) and 24 hr cancellations are common. In fact, the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal sets very high standards for pilots to land at Lukla: pilots must have completed 100 short-take-off-and-landing flights, have at least one year of such experience in Nepal and have successfully completed ten flights into Lukla with a certified instructor!

We don't need that in CIX... do we?

Start Time and Place

The event can be flown anytime in April 2022 and lasts for the duration of the month and can be done as many times as necessary. Departure is VNLK Lukla, visiting 3 local airfields and return to VNLK. For those wishing an extra challenge, arrange a date and time to depart / arrive around the same time with other pilots. The 3 other airfields involved also provide a challenge in themselves! The full journey is only around 125 nm long so should be a quick jaunt!

Flight Planning, Scenery and Star Rules: Flight planning plays a major part of this event. Before the event you will need to plan your route and consider the local geography.

The four legs of the trip are: -

  1. Approx 38 NM VNLK – VNTR
  2. Approx 27 NM VNTR - VNBJ
  3. Approx 29 NM VNBJ – VNRT
  4. Approx 31 NM VNRT - VNLK

Very basic FSX/P3D non ORBX scenery is not great (Nepal), but there is some great payware and free ware scenery available to enhance your experience.

Fuel For the purposes of this event, there is no fuel available at any other airstrip other than VNLK. Assume that VNLK is short of fuel, so you are offering your fuel to them before your departure. Plan and travel with only the fuel that you need!
Weight and Balance The altiport and area is difficult enough, as is the terrain, so to keep things simple for weight and balance; travel on your own, or with passengers (within the club rules), your choice; BUT, have enough fuel in the tanks for the journey plus contingencies, and a 20kg backpack (with warm kit and sleeping bag...just in case you are stranded at a strip for 24 hours)! Try a bit of fuel planning to only take what you need due to limited availability of fuel at the airstrips. (Minimum TO weight = you + fuel required + contingencies + backpack).
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.

Airmanship Remember...this should be fun for all. Should your enjoyment become impaired due to “unsportsmanlike” ATC or other traffic, let someone know to allow the club senior pilots to pass on your concerns to the controller or to escalate! By the same vein, 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! There are numerous videos on or around Lukla; if you have never been, then look; it’s a tough airfield for a reason! Please enjoy and remember, it’s all about learning.

Blue Skies!


At the time of publishing this event plan, ATC has not been confirmed for any of the airfields.

Club Star Award

To qualify for the star, four legs must be PIREP’d:

  • Leg 1 VNLK – VNTR
  • Leg 2 VNTR - VNBJ
  • Leg 3 VNBJ – VNRT
  • Leg 4 VNRT - VNLK

Two legs from the above four will be selected, 1/2 star each (obviously VNRT – VNLK will be one). You may need a coffee / tea (or alcoholic beverage) after each leg!

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