Primarily for general aviation discussion, but other aviation topics are also welcome.
By berbles
In this month’s mag Russell Myles flies his Sling from Scotland to Sweden.

Setting aside for the moment his huge dogleg (I think I might have just flown direct from Newcastle to Sweden) he seemed to raise VFR Flight plans for every single leg. Is this normal practice, because I’m not sure I would have done so?

Or have I missed something and you need to raise a flight plan to fly between European countries?

I can understand Europeans intra-Schengen rules are tighter than they were but surely that would require a GAR not a flight plan?
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By Boecopter
Crossing an FIR boundary is the trigger, although there are some where there is a relaxation, Germany into Czech Republic I think is one...(and for us, London into Scottish) I just filed when Skydemon said it was required.

In Sweden, because of the vastness, they recommend filing one for any trip to aid with SAR just in case.

Skydemon also prompted filing the GAR...only one required and that was the inbound leg Kortrijk to Rochester.

As for the “huge dog leg” - if the finished article is anything like the draft, you can see from the About the Author box what I do for a living. No stranger to immersion suits, wet dinghy drills and dunker training, if the aircraft had the range I would consider straight across if solo. Two up, there is no room for a dinghy, and that was a risk too much. Mid-channel from 5000ft , either shore is possible in a glide, the Sting (with a T, not Sling) glides nicely.

It was about having an adventure, not getting there as quickly as possible, which is why we went the long way round. At our age, bladder range is more limiting than aircraft range!
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By James Chan
Some countries require VFR flight plans to be filed if crossing controlled airspace. The AIP will mention this if so and VFR flight planning tools like Skydemon should pop up an alert.

This allows a much more seamless/joined-up service with handovers, same squawk, and better assurances of crossings (although never guaranteed).

Although I wish they would also allow for an abbreviated one to be filed over the radio, like the UK.
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By akg1486
Boecopter wrote:Crossing an FIR boundary is the trigger

Germany has three FIRs: Bremen, Langen and Munich. There's no FPL requirement to go between them.
Boecopter wrote:In Sweden, because of the vastness, they recommend filing one for any trip to aid with SAR just in case.

It also saves ATS some time: they don't need to take your details and instead spend their time giving service. I usually have a flight plan also for shorter flights: it takes only a minute to file.
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By Iceman
To qualify, it's international FIR boundary crossings for which a flight plan is required, not FIR crossings within a country. The UK, for instance, has two FIRs, London and Scottish, but you don't have to file a FP to go to Scotland. Germany and France, for instance, have multiple internal FIRs for which no VFR FP is required (you may choose to file a FP for any flight, however).

Within Box 18 of the FP, you must put an EET/FIR designator(s) for each international FIR boundary crossed during the flight. This field specifies your Estimated Elapsed Time (from takeoff) to each successive international FIR boundary, e.g., EET/LFFF0035 EBBU0045 for crossing from the UK into Belgium via the Paris FIR. The likes of SkyDemon would normally do this for you, but if you have to file a FP manually, then you will have to calculate and add the EET field yourself. Each FIR has a 4-letter ICAO designator in a similar manner to airports, e.g., the London FIR is EGTT, Paris FIR LFFF, etc.

Iceman 8)
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