Primarily for general aviation discussion, but other aviation topics are also welcome.
By Shoestring Flyer
In actual fact when you are there it all works out so simple. You just take off on 23 and speak to Doncaster straight away. If someone is already talking you just turn right into the circuit. RH on 23, LH on 05.
It is not hard or complicated , it really it isn't!
AndyR liked this
By TopCat
Shoestring Flyer wrote:In actual fact when you are there it all works out so simple. You just take off on 23 and speak to Doncaster straight away. If someone is already talking you just turn right into the circuit. RH on 23, LH on 05.
It is not hard or complicated , it really it isn't!

So this implies that you're flying, possibly for two or three minutes, within the ATZ on a frequency other than that aerodrome's. Not sure I'm all that keen on that.

And you say 'straightaway', but the CTR boundary is literally at the end of runway 23.

It is not practical to get a clearance when departing on 23, before entering the CTR, whether someone is talking on the Doncaster frequency or not. Not without contacting them on the ground, anyway. I wonder if they can hear you?

I suspect that the reality in all this is that Doncaster has never been busy enough to be all that bothered about traffic in the ATZ, provided it's playing ball - squawking, and staying low, especially in the south western half. And their lack of traffic means that nearly always they can get a clearance to the Sandtoft departures without significant delay.

So there's never been any real incentive to clear up the undoubted obvious contradiction in the AIP, nor the lack of an unambiguous LFA.

I wouldn't bet against changes in traffic levels, management styles, and/or arbitrary policy changes, resulting in the sort of MORal panic that we've seen over Barton.
As I CFIT liked this
From the local area information section of,

'If you wish to depart due west, remain in the visual circuit at Sandtoft and obtain a CTR transit from Doncaster Radar on 126.225 MHz prior to entering controlled airspace.'


'An aircraft that leaves the lateral confines of the ATZ without a clearance to enter the CTR is, to air traffic control, an unknown aircraft'

So at Sandtoft, you can fly in the part of the circuit which lies within the Doncaster CTR without a clearance. The AIP entry should be more clear and I hope that there's some sort of briefing available for non-based pilots prior to departure, as this situation admittedly seems counter to the conventional application of air law. Any outcome other than getting into the circuit and sorting it out from there would surely be unnecessarily onerous.
trr13 liked this
User avatar
By A le Ron
All of the Doncaster CTR is class D. But control of the Sandtoft ATZ is “delegated”. Circuit traffic remaining within the ATZ and by convention below 1500’ does not need a Doncaster clearance, unless leaving the ATZ into CAS. If departing into class G, the Doncaster listening squawk is conventional. And it really isn’t difficult.
trr13, flybymike, mick w and 2 others liked this
User avatar
By EddieHeli
I used to be based there.
I would generally fly up the east of the zone staying outside and talk to Doncaster from about Gainsborough for clearance into the zone to land at Sandtoft . They would give me a squawk. On approaching Epworth I would tell Doncaster I had the field in sight and they would tell me to change squawk back to 7000 and change to Sandtoft.
Approach from the East is just north of Epworth to the overhead at 1500ft, circuits are to the West.
Circuit height is 1000ft.
On departure stay in the ATZ below 1500ft and depart to the north. Once past the M180 turn east (or carry on North) and leave the zone.
If going West either get clearance from Doncaster or go North until clear of the zone and then go west outside of the zone.
The 7010 squawk is only used when staying in the circuit, i.e. circuit training.
The Doncaster zone controllers are actually sat in Liverpool.
trr13 liked this
By trr13
I made it to Sandtoft last week. Thanks for all the advice!

Approaching from the north, I requested a transit from Doncaster radar.. they were really helpful and cleared me in (although I was only in their CTR for a very short amount of time). Then requested a change to Sandtoft radio when I had the airfield in sight.. the radio operator was very friendly. We then joined overhead at 1500' for runway 23.

On departure, I stayed on Sandtoft radio until leaving the ATZ to the north, I avoided controlled airspace on the way out, staying at around 1000' until I was clear, but got a basic service from Doncaster, again very friendly. As previous posts have said, there was no need to worry about the CTR which overlaps the ATZ.. I spoke to the radio guy about this when I paid the landing fee just to make sure, but there was no need to worry.

Thanks again for all the advice, it was an enjoyable flight. Nice cafe at the airfield too.
Dave W, Iceman, Shoestring Flyer and 6 others liked this
By trr13
I was in a PA28, only two of us so fairly light, but didn't really notice the trees to be honest.. got past them fine. It felt a little odd being low over the buildings on the industrial estate on final though!