A week into the new Class D rules at former GAAP airports, here are some useful bits of information I gleaned around the web. I haven't flown under the new rules yet, but that should be fixed very soon, more on that further below.
CASA released an updated version of the Sydney Basin Visual Pilot Guide. The 78-page document contains detailed information for safely navigating the airspace around Sydney under the VFR. This includes flying in and out of Bankstown and Camden which are now Class D aerodromes, the Victor 1 and Harbour Scenic procedures as well as tips on avoiding violations of controlled airspace.
The June edition of From the Tower, the newsletter from the kind ATC folks at Bankstown Tower, has a map of the manoeuvring area at Bankstown that I mentioned in the previous blog post, which can also be found on the official website of the airport. The newsletter also contains very useful examples of typical radio calls at Bankstown on the ground and in the air under the new Class D rules. And, as icing on the cake, they used Schoies airplanes and parking areas as examples!
A few changes to the Bankstown procedures as published in ERSA on June 3rd are available through NOTAMs. Pilots now need to report on downwind, and establish contact with ground after landing and clearing all runways, not just monitor ground as stated in ERSA. If you need to know more, you certainly know where to find NOTAMs too.
I flew a short dual flight last week to regain recency in the Arrow. We went to Camden via Mayfield, did a few circuits and came back even before the morning surface inversion disappeared: we could still see smoke plumes from local factories rise a little and then go flat.
Apart from that over the last few weeks I have been preparing for an exciting flying trip over the coming Queen's Birthday week-end: from Sydney to Brisbane and back in Arrow VH-SFJ, together with two other Schoies pilots. With a bit of luck we may even make it to Fraser Island for some very scenic flying.
We had a planning session in a meeting room where I work that was really successful. The 450NM journey from Sydney to Brisbane fits within four VTC charts, which when put end to end almost cover the entire length of this table.
Ed had brought in his laptop with Command Flight Planner, an awesome Australian flight planning software. With the flight planner on the video projector and all the maps on the table, this normally boring corporate meeting room took the allure of a RAAF briefing room. Or so we liked to believe.
Pizzas and Coke were brought in to sustain the intense cerebral activity. The plan so far is on day one to fly coastal from Sydney to Archerfield, the
GAAP Class D aerodrome of Brisbane, with a stop in Coffs Harbour, fly to Fraser Island and back to Brisbane on day two, this time overnighting at Redcliffe aerodrome, and hopefully fly back to Sydney inland on day three.
That's the plan, and of course things won't go completely according to plan, which is always half the fun as long as you have a backup plan or two. Whatever happens you'll read about it either here or in the newspapers. :-)