Wednesday 22 May 2013 12:49 UTC
This forum is for anything to do with light aviation
my co-owner and I are planning a trip in our Ikarus C42 microlight from Old Sarum to Cannes LFMD in June and our plan is to fly across the channel from Hastings to Le Touquet then East of Paris and down to the South Coast overnighting at Avalon and refuelling at Avignon.
My concern is that the route goes through lots of 'areas' and zones that appear to have height restrictions based on height over land rather than height above sea level.
Do you have any tips on how I can plan the route as simply as possible?
Welcome to the forum. As mentioned SD will help you see the airspace a little more clearly than looking on a standard chart. I flew back from Cannes a few weeks ago and it is actually fairly straightforward. The military zones that you will encounter are their low level routes which are activated by notam for individual legs. If you go to http://www.sia.aviation-civile.gouv.fr/ and click on the AZBA charts tab it will show you which corridors are active and at what time on a particular day.
SkyDemon certainly makes things easier, but we all managed for years without it!
Look at the chart at your crossing point, add the zone height to the highest obstacle/spot height in the area, and cruise at an altitude above that. Simples.
It only gets tricky if you have a low cloud base to deal with.
Sent from my high horse
The "Carte du Réseau Très Basse Altitude Défense (RBTA)", from the SIA, shows all these corridors. The maximum altitude of each leg is printed on it, along with the min and max heights. I don't know if you can buy it separately, but it's included with their handy VFR Folder.
For more zone info go to this page
and then click on AZBA Charts on the left. You can then see the activity times for the various low level training corridors.
I recommend SkyDemon as well, which will popup a list of airspace alerts for the route you've chosen.
Prepare to be kept low under the Paris Class A TMA.
"R" (Regulated) airspace can be complex. Fly higher to avoid most of them, but if you really need to transit you can find their hours of activation in the Documents VFR folder as well.
Online AZBA charts are available which show the status of some (i.e. not all) "R" airspace.
French FIS is also very good if you have any "R" airspace doubts. They hand you off to the next unit too.
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If you check the VAC for Cannes it mentions that microlights are not allowed to land there.
Alternative options would be Fayence or Cuers LFTF.
If you want to rent a Car at Cuers I can try and find the telephone number.
It is about a 1 hour drive from Cuers to Cannes on the motorway.
Also check the notified hours of operation for some of the restrictions. Some are night time only, and some are inactive over the weekends. French ATC are pretty good at giving clearances through them as well.
1993 TB10 G-CBHA
I was on my way from Italy to Cannes 2 months ago but took a shorter route over the alps and into France. Cannes requires that one registers their name, aircraft and reads procedures before one is allowed to land there. A certificate is awarded via your e-mail after completion of the internet "test".
Skydemon is wonderful with regards to the french airspace and there is a iPhone App "Flying France" which shows what sectors of the airforce space are active and at what time for the coming days. It was very helpful for me anyway.
There are 2 ways to approach cannes from the west from what I understand. One from the water low level via SA the other over land via WT if I remeber correctly.
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