Primarily for general aviation discussion, but other aviation topics are also welcome.
By D&O
#1771218
I live near Surbiton, and today I've seen 3 different single engine aircraft fly past.
I have to say I've never even seen one before (except Mil or BBMF). We are well inside the London TMZ and close to LHR.
I can only assume London are giving Special VFR Zone transits much more easily now things are quiet? It's not something I'd normally ask for, but if they are now possible I'll certainly ask next time I'm up. Any feedback on this would be welcome.

Also any comments on complying with the "Land Clear" rule. I certainly don't want to put anyone in the lurch here, but I'm not sure how to comply on this, as in the example of the most recent route I saw on FlightRadar: From Woolwich to Chertsey, via Forest Hill, Mitcham, Surbiton and Weybridge. (I could post an image, but don't have anywhere to host it). Thoughts on that also welcome
#1771221
I have to say I've never even seen one before


I've been doing this for years with the Burnham-Ascot route being the most popular.
Typical VFR/SVFR clearances are up to 1500ft for fixed wing but I have had slightly higher.
More routing options are available for helicopters.
The 'Restricted' Inner Area requires at least 60 mins PPR from 02380-401-110.

The higher you fly the more land options you have:
In 'normal' times, London overflight starts at FL90 but IFR only.
Lower levels may be available today due to much reduced traffic going into and out of the London majors.

And there's an argument that airspace above 2500ft should no longer be Class A to enforce IFR flight in such strange times.

Hopefully all the information you need should be available in the AIP entry.
Last edited by James Chan on Thu May 21, 2020 4:28 pm, edited 2 times in total.
#1771223
D&O wrote:Also any comments on complying with the "Land Clear" rule. I certainly don't want to put anyone in the lurch here, but I'm not sure how to comply on this, as in the example of the most recent route I saw on FlightRadar: From Woolwich to Chertsey, via Forest Hill, Mitcham, Surbiton and Weybridge. (I could post an image, but don't have anywhere to host it). Thoughts on that also welcome


The responsibilty to be able to "Land Clear" rests with the pilot, and a clearance through the airspace is unrelated to whether this is possible or not.
Charles Hunt, Talkdownman, Rob P and 2 others liked this
#1771225
London TMZ? did the Ascot-
Bur-Beaconsfield run many times in the past, but would be very wary of Ascot-Bur nowadays becaust it is right on the line of the inner area, and straying into that could be a bit tricky.
Last edited by FlarePath on Thu May 21, 2020 2:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
#1771228
So let me see if I understand, You say they are flying in the London TMZ? So near Stansted?

Do you mean the Heathrow CTR?

In which case on a gin clear day like today, no special VFR needed, Just a class D transit in the outer zone. The inner zone requires special permission VFR. Surbiton is in the outer zone which follows the south bank of the river in that area.

Or do you mean the LTMA above 2500' where class A exists where you need to be IFR?
Last edited by TLRippon on Thu May 21, 2020 2:56 pm, edited 2 times in total.
#1771229
D&O wrote:Also any comments on complying with the "Land Clear" rule. I certainly don't want to put anyone in the lurch here, but I'm not sure how to comply on this, as in the example of the most recent route I saw on FlightRadar: From Woolwich to Chertsey, via Forest Hill, Mitcham, Surbiton and Weybridge. (I could post an image, but don't have anywhere to host it). Thoughts on that also welcome


You use your own judgement. The pilot of the aircraft to which you refer will have used his or her own judgement, which may of course differ from yours. Fortunately that pilot is not required to justify their judgement in that matter to anyone, at least as long as the flight ends safely.

It is important that people are allowed to exercise their judgement in this way. The alternative is lots of 'prohibited to SEP' airspace dotted all over the county because someone thinks glide-clear can't be complied with in that location. Or worse, a directive that we're basically only allowed to fly over farmland.

I find posts along the lines of "look at what this person did, I think it's iffy and borderline illegal" to be in really bad taste. It's basically asking the authorities to regulate us out of existence, saying "hey, perhaps this should be banned more explicitly". Personally I'm glad you didn't post an image (it wasn't me!)
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#1771233
Thanks all - to be clear they were all certainly below 2,500ft and I would estimate nearer 1,500 to 1,000. (I did see them all visually) - hence definitely in the TMZ & CTR as this goes from surface to 2,500ft.
Good to know we can get the clearance, I'll make my own calls on Land Clear.
James Chan liked this
#1771567
defcribed wrote:It is important that people are allowed to exercise their judgement in this way. The alternative is lots of 'prohibited to SEP' airspace dotted all over the county because someone thinks glide-clear can't be complied with in that location.


I'm not so sure about this. In some places we've ended up with "prohibited to responsible SEP pilots" instead I think, because some of us can't get a clearance at what we think is an acceptable height and so go round, but ATC thinks it's fine because the norm is that some other SEP pilots accept it and so transit access is from their point of view not being denied.
#1771576
I had a transit through the Heathrow class D last week - I was expecting an Ascot-Burnham routing, however I was offered and took a direct "North from present position" routing, not above 2000', remaining East of the Heathrow ATZ (i.e. through the inner area). I think I was compliant with glide clear on the track I took, but only just - as I wasn't expecting it I hadn't really thought about it in advance, and I think if offered similar again I'd refuse it and ask for either Ascot-Burnham or a more direct routing but e.g. remaining West of the ATZ or even via the overhead...
#1771652
@defcribed

Whilst I can see what you are saying here:

I find posts along the lines of "look at what this person did, I think it's iffy and borderline illegal" to be in really bad taste. It's basically asking the authorities to regulate us out of existence, saying "hey, perhaps this should be banned more explicitly". Personally I'm glad you didn't post an image (it wasn't me!)


I also consider some people’s judgement to be exceptionally poor at times (if you want an idea of that just look at the actions of some of British public last Wednesday!). So sometimes it is better for a bit of peer review of your actions, rather than the Authority and possible Court action taking over. So, I would far rather discuss the pitfalls before someone has an occurrence, rather than after when people get hurt or worse. :thumright:
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#1771909
Heathrow CTR has been class D for ages. Re “Land clear” SERA says
“Except when necessary for take-off or landing, or except by permission from the competent authority, aircraft shall not be flown over the congested areas of cities, towns or settlements or over an open-air assembly of persons, unless at such a height as will permit, in the event of an emergency arising, a landing to be made without undue hazard to persons or property on the surface.”
Are your saying this pilot broke that rule? Nice curtains by the way.
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