Thursday 23 May 2013 09:58 UTC
Where have you been? What have you seen?
Someone posted on GA Discussion forum requesting info about a flight from Denham to Cannes in May. There was a good recommendation from some to include the picturesque South Coast VFR run as part of his trip.
This prompted me to dig out a trip report that I never posted last year and put it up on here in case it stirs anyone into action as the summer approaches!
As some of you know, I'm always shuttling up and down to Cannes on a regular basis, normally IFR, but last summer, when Cannes had no AVGAS (always an item to check before heading off there) I used the lovely Riviera VFR route along the South Coast from Cannes up to Avignon to refuel before heading home. Here's a little guide to that wonderful routing. It's the same route East or West.
Above, as you can see the route is marked by two letter reporting points, you'll need a copy of the latest SEast French VFR half mil which has the route and the heights clearly shown.
Above: On the way down or up you can't miss Montelimar, follwing the Rhone, as it is one of the most distinctive landmarks in France just South of the City and VOR.
Above: This is the most common view of the approach that you will get at Cannes onto RWY 17 as the sea breeze tends to favour this during the day.
Above: You will need the latest charts off the SIA website, but the illustration above shows the VFR reporting points to join the VFR route at point SW usually at 1000 feet.
The section between SW and DR is one of the most picturesque sections with the rocks having a very orange red hue.
Above: This is the disused at Frejus (which Adrian said not to mistake for Cannes in the murk). You can see the differences from Cannes and the crosses on the runway on this nice day. Shame we can't have it as a GA alternative to Cannes, great location.
Above: Another superb landmark is the Gulf of St Tropez, with the streams of boats coming out to head down to the restaurants on Pampelonne beach in the sun. This shot is looking at the Gulf from the North, so the route runs along the coast in the top part of the picture.
Above: From point ET the route takes you past the Ile du Levant which is a prohibited zone and also the restricted zone R60 on the coast, so best to let your GPS help you stay between the two.
Above: Approaching point ST the prominent strip of land in the shape of an upside down T sticks out South from the airport at Hyeres, which is used by Ryanair.
Above: You then track due West to point PT which looking back gives you a view into the harbour in Toulon city itself.
Above: From there you carry on all the way to Cap Croisette at point SE where the very helpful controllers at Marseilles will provide directions and clearance to cross directly over the airfield between the arrivals and departures.
Above: The crossing of LFML makes the routing a worthwhile exercise in itself on top of the all the fabulous low level views of the coastline. Alternatively you could still carry on down the coast to Montpellier.
Above: Finally if you get chance, do pop into Avignon as the Old city is a great place to visit and the airfield is very GA friendly.
Hope you manage to do the VFR coastal route as it really is another one of those great items on the "Pilot Bucket List".
Have good trip
Excellent photographic record. I agree that the route chasing the Corniche must be one of the most scenic routes I've every taken. Not for nothing is it called the Bay of Angels.
Cirencester & EGBJ Glos Airport
Worth saying that if you extended further east, Nice will likely route you out to sea a bit and at 500' maximum until clear of their approaches, then back up to 1000 - 1500' around Monaco.
The route I was advised to take through the low level mess around Avignon to Mareaille and through to the Med low level route is as marked on the scan of the Jeppesen (I found the Jepp charts far clearer)
From Avignon, route to Avignon VPR SE (basically the Durance River) at 1500’ then contact Salon Approach on 135.15. They route you via ME and LB VRP's again at 1500’ then hand off to Marseille Tower for a transit of the Marseille / Provence International Airport at 1500’ across the runway centreline to the VRP S, where you then contact Provence Information
Well worthwhile to mark it up on your map and GPS beforehand as the VRP's can come thick and fast. You do cross a ridge between ME and LB and come fairly close to the ridge, the town which is LB is on the far side of the ridgeline, so can't ben seen until you are on the ridge.
I second the comments regarding Avignon, but they don't call it 'windy city' for nothing (at least I think that's what they call it), you can get some VERY sporty head / tail winds and gusts!
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