Primarily for general aviation discussion, but other aviation topics are also welcome.
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#1783007
Forewarned is forearmed, so in the hope this might be of help to others here is a brief description of my experience of getting N-S and S-N through the newish F'boro class D.

Based on a private strip near Lewes I wanted to fly to Sywell and back, could go east or west around Gatwick and Heathrow, but on this occasion I chose to go west.

The problem is to get through the gap between F'boro ATZ and Heathrow airspace, with D132 and D133 to contend with, and avoiding the Blackbushe ATZ. On this last point Blackbushe is at 325' so you may be able to squeeze over the top at 2,325' below the LTMA at 2,500' [Edit - LTMA base is actually 3,500' but if heading north you will be straight back down to the 2,500' limit. If you route over Reading you can stay up to 3,500'] but whether you would get a clearance..............
With regard to the Danger Areas D132 has a broken boundary line so will be given a NOTAM if active, up to 2,500', whereas D133 is at 1200' occasionally 2,400'.

Northbound, after departure I listened in on Gatwick 126.825 with a listening squawk of 7012, but neither spoke nor was spoken to.
Rather than go below the 1500' stub I held 2,000' as I cleared the corner at Billingshurst - thankfully whoever had the same idea coming the other way was 50' higher.

Changed frequency to F'boro West 125.250 and squawked 7,000 and asked for a basic service and zone transit East of their ATZ. (They asked if I was squawking 7012 and I said no, having been advised that that is a listening squawk only and to use 7000 if going on to request a service. Maybe it was the guy going the other way on 7012).  I was assigned a squawk and given a basic service.

Getting closer to the zone boundary I was then given 'Contact F'boro on 133.440 (the new VFR frequency) with squawk'.
Having done this I was given the clearance, keep to the east of F'boro ATZ, not above 2,000', keep clear of B'bushe ATZ. I think I was given a traffic service at this stage, and then actually crossing the zone boundary 'Radar Control' Which just requires the two words read back plus abbreviated call sign.

Clearing the Class D to the north it was back to traffic or basic service, keep clear of W Waltham and then change frequency en-route.

Coming back was essentially the same procedure. Make contact with F'boro West once clear of Booker, transferred to 133.440, and this time asked to route M3 J4 VRP and then carry on southward, then back to F'boro west and carry on homeward.

[I don't know if it is possible to go straight to the 133.440 frequency, can anyone else advise?]
Last edited by Charles Hunt on Wed Jul 22, 2020 6:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
#1783009
I believe you do have to use 125.250 first then wait to be handed over to 133.440 at least that's how I've found it so far. A point to be aware of though if you are going N-S you may well be cleared into the zone but have to hold at M3 J4 VRP, but this means just north of the motorway not over the junction :shock:
#1783013
To my understanding, one must use the published initial call frequencies as those controller terminals are the ones where the flight strip details may be entered.

Subsequent frequencies (whatever you are given), are either less equipped or have very limited capacity to take new (free)callers, and can usually only accept handoffs from others.
#1783018
If you’ve not been talking to LARS first, go straight to the zone crossing frequency to cross, but it’s more sensible to have been talking to LARS first to get a service who will then arrange a handover. Recently, whilst not too busy, 133.440 and 125.250 have been band-boxed.

Iceman 8)
Charles Hunt, UncleT liked this
#1783047
I have been crossing Farnborough airspace for many years.

I have never been refused a transit overhead.

Until my first attempt to cross their newly acquired airspace, lo and behold, unable to accommodate your request, remain outside.

Disappointed that the naysayers were correct.

:cry:
#1783059
hmm, so far never had a problem; some flex required though eg W-E turned N-S last weekend: coming from Popham it was quite busy, asked for transit along railway line and the reply was "that might take a while with 2 inbounds and several others to transit, can you go around Blackbushe?" which was fine; entered from the north and cleared to enter, hold in the zone, keep Bagshot to the north and M3 to the south (enough space but not sure I want to do that without GPS map); you wait for the inbound to go through and you get cleared to dash across on rolling out of the orbit
it seems you can use both frequencies for intial call; as Iceman says it's often bandboxed; use what makes more sense; from the west there was quite a bit of normal LARS service first so 125.250 was ok and you listen to the general chatter, if I depart from Fairoaks you just don't have the time and I go 133.440 directly which seems fine for them; btw it's not a VFR frequency, for IFR I'd be with them as well

(there is the occasional surprise: on a trip 2 weeks ago from the N I was with Luton, asked for handover to F'boro for zone transit, when the reply was "sure can do, but would you prefer a direct transit through Heathrow zone to Fairoaks?" ... indeed I would ;-)
Charles Hunt liked this
#1783061
To be honest I found it a real pain when I went through the other week.

Called from Westcott for southbound transit, was passed from 125.250 to 134.440 and then back again, which affected my look out and came rather too close to another aeroplane in the process (looked like they'd seen me and were turning to avoid). Then given a clearance via Bagshot which actually means the Bagshot Mast not the VRP on the chart, as I found out when they told me I was within 1 mile of the Heathrow Zone.

On the way back northbound called just out of Redhill, helpful service and told to call 134.440 if near the zone rather than going via 125,250. The exact same controller was working both frequencies anyway..!

Multiple different transponder changes given in each direction.

Having transited Heathrow from Beaconsfield - Burnham - Ascot - Fairoaks I think I might stick to this as at least it's less faff with frequency changes etc.
#1783063
From Blackbushe it's a bit more complicated now, but on the other hand easier, clearance is sorted out while you're on the ground. There's excellent guidance on the Blackbushe airport website.
@AndyR My experience is the opposite of yours. Some might find this useful:
#1783067
clarkeysntfc wrote:On the way back northbound called just out of Redhill, helpful service and told to call 134.440 if near the zone rather than going via 125,250. The exact same controller was working both frequencies anyway..!


Did you really get a reply on 134.440? :roll:
#1783071
chevvron wrote:
clarkeysntfc wrote:On the way back northbound called just out of Redhill, helpful service and told to call 134.440 if near the zone rather than going via 125,250. The exact same controller was working both frequencies anyway..!


Did you really get a reply on 134.440? :roll:


OK I did a typo. It's 133.440 :roll:
#1783096
I just call them Farnborough without any suffix. Don't think it matters much.

I'm invariably launching out of Waltham so I go straight to 133.440.

The system of handovers from LARS may start to break down when it gets busy. After transiting north to south on Saturday I was transferred to LARS West and on that frequency heard many a pilot asking for a transit and being told in exasperated tones to call 133.440 if they wanted a transit.

So far I've not had to hold, but it doesn't feel far away and the whole thing is a bit of a pain in the backside, especially when the 'go round' option involves ploughing through Lasham. If heading south east from Waltham then Heathrow is probably a more reliable transit but I don't like flying that low in the TB10.
RisePilot liked this
#1783098
RisePilot wrote:What do you use as station name for 133.440? Is it "Farnborough Radar" or "Farnborough VFR Transit" (I see the latter in SkyDemon)?

Theoretically it should be 'Farnborough Zone' but all the radar frequencies are called 'Farnborough Radar' for some reason.
RisePilot liked this
#1783105
Northbound over the weekend I made contact on 133.440 some distance from the edge of the Farnborough zone, but as I got to half a mile from the zone, aside from being assigned a discrete squawk and doing the usual transponder height check, after ten minutes, no clearance was forthcoming. Upon taking up the orbit, a clearance was finally issued. Southbound a few hours later and we got a very confusing route which, whilst I was just about able to follow it, the student pilot I was instructing was completely thrown and I had to step in.

I am also growing increasingly concerned by the number of transponder code changes required for a flight these days. When I learned to fly around 20 years ago, you rarely if ever left 7000. Now most airfields have a "talking to me" squawk, there's another squawk if you're in the circuit, listening squawks right, left and centre, several different squawks each time you cross Class-D, each LARS service has a different "block" allocated to it. We need to recognise that setting and resetting the squawk is a relatively high pilot workload activity and requires eyes-in, increasing the chance of an airprox. To my mind, fiddling the with transponder is off the end of the Aviate, Navigate, Communicate mantra. Given pilots are getting a bad rep at the moment for stall-spin accidents in the circuit (failing to Aviate), infringing airspace (failing to Navigate), poor R/T (failing to Communicate), can someone explain to me why we insist on INCREASING pilot workload?

I have flown a lot in the US, and their system is always a blessed relief by comparison with what pilots have here in the UK. For those who haven't enjoyed flight in the States, each flight is allocated a single squawk code for the entire flight, sometimes before take-off, and keeps that squawk even if they cross the entire country. Furthermore, each controller does a full handoff to the next controller, further reducing pilot workload as there is no need for constant freecalling. In my opinion, these are both MAJOR safety enhancements, and whilst I appreciate that there is a big difference in the way ATC is funded in the UK and USA, if privatised ATC means that each controller not only needs "keep out" airspace but also "keep off" transponder codes and is no longer able to talk to their colleague controlling the adjacent sector, then I would argue that this is a significant reduction to safety.
James Chan, Gas Guzzler, skydriller and 9 others liked this
#1783130
T67M wrote:I am also growing increasingly concerned by the number of transponder code changes required for a flight these days. When I learned to fly around 20 years ago, you rarely if ever left 7000. Now most airfields have a "talking to me" squawk, there's another squawk if you're in the circuit, listening squawks right, left and centre, several different squawks each time you cross Class-D, each LARS service has a different "block" allocated to it. We need to recognise that setting and resetting the squawk is a relatively high pilot workload activity and requires eyes-in, increasing the chance of an airprox. To my mind, fiddling the with transponder is off the end of the Aviate, Navigate, Communicate mantra.


If the share-o-plane ever needs another transponder this will be the reason I give to spend a bit extra on the transponder that lets the pilot enter a squawk quickly and efficiently (with either just 4 digit presses (and perhaps Enter at the end) rather than the cheaper transponder we have that needs a knob rotating until it gets on the correct digit and Enter pressing, repeating for each digit of the squawk.
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