Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Preparations for trip to Bulgaria and Finland

As I have already said the preparation started about two months before the actual flight. The most time consuming task was to study the aeronautical information publications (AIP) for the countries where I have never been before. I used Eurocontrol EAD (European AIS Database) Basic application which is available at ( ) and gives you access to AIPs of all European countries. I was interested especially in the following chapters: GEN 1.2- ENTRY, TRANSIT AND DEPARTURE OF AIRCRAFT and ENR 1.2-VISUAL FLIGHT RULES. For studying airspace I was using other parts of AIP together with Jeppesen maps and Jeppesen’s VFR FliteStar. For Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania I was using Jeppesen Low Altitude Enroute Charts which are used for IFR flying. In these countries one can fly only along published ATS routes and for any flying outside these routes one should obtain a special permission.

In the AIP of Bulgaria and Romania I found that I have to obtain a special permission to overfly or land in their territory. In order to get this permission I had to specify the planned arrival and departure and send them all relevant aircraft’s documents in scanned form. Surprisingly the Romanian CAA responded in few hours while I got the permit for Bulgaria only after several days. I would suggest to everyone who wants to get these permissions to first carefully study the prerequisites published in AIPs of these countries.

Another big challenge was Poland with its TSAs (Temporary Segregated Areas). It took me one whole evening and half night to prepare a route to cross Poland from south to north and from north-east to south-west on way back which was independent of current airspace usage in TSAs. Poland’s AIP defines a lot of TSAs which usage changes on daily basis and only at the day of actual flight one can be sure that he will be able to fly along planned route. The actual status can be obtained at Polish Air Navigation Services Agency (see ). On this page one can get the planned airspace usage for the following day besides the current airspace usage (see links Current AUP and AUP for Tomorrow). There is also an interactive map of airspace usage accessible under Elements of airspace/AUP. The AUP (Airspace Use Plan) for next day is available late afternoon day before but can still change and therefore one should check the status just before filling the flight plan.

Another big concern was the weather and I used several sources to first get long term forecast. I will discuss the weather issue while describing parts of the route later on. This time I was using for the first time.

The GPS Track of Trip to Bolgaria and Finland

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