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First IFR Trip: A mini-break visit to EIKY

For a number of reasons, it took me a VERY long time to finally get around to my first IFR flight after getting the rating. Initially I thought about going to France but given my novice status, an engine still being broken in, and AI being recently repaired, I decided to stack the deck in my favour a little and keep within Ireland, so planned on a couple of days in Kerry (EIKY).
I operate from an uncontrolled field, so I called Dublin ATC and they gave me a squawk and told me to call Dublin Info airborne. I did so and was cleared as filed to FL80 immediately, which is inside the general class C which covers the FIR. The weather was showing stratus from 2000 to 5000 across the country and that’s exactly how it turned out. The same controller seems to handle both the Control and FIS frequency, and I stayed on FIS until I was handed to Shannon Control who cleared me direct to the last point on my plan which is one of the IAF for the RNP approach for rwy 26.
Pretty solid undercast

It broke up occasionally

I called up for descent and got stepped down to FL60 keeping me inside CAS in the Shannon zone and handed to EIKY Tower. There is a good bit of terrain in the area and Ireland’s highest mountains are all in Kerry. At this stage I was getting a bit close for comfort to the IAF which calls for 3000 ft and is 6.4 miles from the descent point. At this point I was cleared down to 3000 ft and cleared for the RNP approach. The point I was headed for wasn’t listed as an IAF in the GNS430 database and this resulted in me hand flying a descent in IMC trying to reload the approach on the GNS, while being high and too fast to get the gear down which was a heavy workload. It wasn’t helped by the controller’s readability being poor, and him having a somewhat heavy Spanish accent. I broke out at 2000 ft and was happy to do so!
We got a taxi to the Europe Hotel in Killarney which is definitely the best hotel I’ve stayed in on these shores. It’s a 5 star hotel sitting right on the lakes, and I guess quite expensive, but it being early in the week and with the lack of foreign tourists we got 2 nights B&B with one dinner (which was excellent) for €650 which I think is a good deal.

Give me a few minutes to unscramble my brain!

That’s better.

Even on a bad day it looks pretty good.
The service there is amazing…I left my iPad behind and it was delivered to my door less than 24 hours later without question. We walked the 6 km into the town and back the next day. The walk back was very nostalgic as we took a path through the golf course that hosted the 1991 Irish Open, which I attended with my dad.

This was the hole I remembered. Slightly quieter today than 30 years ago.
Amazing to think we drove probably 6 hours each way in his work van in those days before our motorway system existed, to watch a couple of days of golf. Incidentally I met Payne Stewart that weekend, who was killed in quite a famous Learjet accident.

Even having one IFR flight under my belt made me feel better about the return trip. However the cloud base was quite low in the Dublin area in the morning and even when we were ready to go it was about 1500 ft. Not ideal for OCAS private strip IFR approach with no experience. On return to the airport they drove us out to the plane, briefly slowing down as we passed some bizjets (in for some golf) until I told him to keep going towards the least impressive plane in the place.

The worst plane in airport is better than no plane!
Ryanair are currently operating what are called ‘public service obligation’ flights to Dublin after Stobart Air went bust, but there are only 30-50 people on each flight (on a 737!). We started up just as they left and I flew the first SID I ever flew (none in training) with an OCAS cruise level of FL60. The return flight was fine. Shannon Approach forgot about me until I did a ‘radio check’ near the boundary with Dublin and the Dublin Control guy, who handled me despite being OCAS was mostly concerned that I would remember to close my flight plan when I landed. We broke out at about 2500 ft which made life very easy and landed without issue.


Kerry is a lovely airport and it was only €35 for a landing and 2 days parking. It doesn’t seem to get much love from the GA community here, possibly because it is a €30 taxi journey to either of the nearby big towns. I would definitely recommend a visit to the area for anyone coming to Ireland.
I really enjoyed the IFR experience and particularly being the reason for an ‘IFR traffic departing, remain OCAS’ call that someone else received! Engine and equipment behaved impeccably so ready to go further afield next time.

Last Edited by zuutroy at 24 Aug 19:05
EIMH, Ireland

Great report! Congratulations!

always learning
LO__, Austria

Lonely trip and great writeup.

As you say, the big problem with Kerry is that it’s a long way from anywhere. So it really needs to be an overnight visit to make it worth it. But it is a great overnight destination.

EIWT Weston, Ireland

The first IFR trip is a milstone, and it’s great if it can be a good trip in other ways too.
Great write up too. Congrats.

United Kingdom

Must be great to be back in the air “properly” after all the troubles!

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

zuutroy wrote:

Even on a bad day it looks pretty good.

It does thanks zuutroy, good writeup and Kerry looks like it’s worth a visit

Do you have a French mécano locally? A long time ago I wanted to keep an F-reg in the UK but this was a problem

EGHO-LFQF-KCLW, United Kingdom

Congrats ! Hope your passenger enjoyed all what you came through to get there.
The only negative bit is « IFR departing, stay OCAS ». Given the size of CAS they want, it is a lot for just a SEP climbing

LFOU, France

Capitaine wrote:

Do you have a French mécano locally? A long time ago I wanted to keep an F-reg in the UK but this was a problem

No problem these days with EASA and Part-ML. The only interaction I have with the French authority is to send them notification of ARC renewal each year.

EIMH, Ireland

Lovely report, in the typically Irish summer glad you got your F-reg Mooney back in the air !

zuutroy wrote:

I really enjoyed the IFR experience and particularly being the reason for an ‘IFR traffic departing, remain OCAS’ call that someone else received!

he should have gone “we have RyanAir on TCAS”

Paris/Essex, France/UK, United Kingdom

Fantastic, and here’s to many more trips to come for you!

LFHN - Bellegarde - Vouvray France
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